Cheap groceries: Auckland woman shares how she got incredible $40 food haul

An Auckland woman who was fed up with the supermarket duopoly has shared how she got an impressive $40 food haul. 

Lauren McGee posted her incredible haul on Facebook of green vegetables as well as onions, bananas, grapes, capsicums, avocados, ginger, carrots, tofu and brisket from the Avondale market for only $40.

McGee said her shop at the supermarket usually cost her more than double that price.

She said she would never buy brisket at the supermarket because it was too expensive but managed to get 1kg for $17, whereas at Countdown it was $18.00 for 500g.

She also bought 700g of tofu for $2.50, whereas at Countdown the cheapest tofu was on sale for $4 for 300g.

$40 food haul from Avondale market.
$40 food haul from Avondale market. Photo credit: Supplied/Lauren McGee

New Zealand food prices have been climbing, with Stats NZ's food price index for June 1.2 percent higher (0.8 pct after seasonal adjustment) last month than in May.

As well as the monthly increase, the June index was 6.6 percent higher than a year earlier with the cost of fruit and vegetables 5.5 percent higher than in June 2021.

The Consumer NZ Sentiment Tracker has found groceries went from the eighth biggest financial concern in June 2021 to third in April 2022, beaten only by rent and mortgage payments - so it's no surprise Kiwis are looking at cheaper alternatives.

McGee said about a month ago she ditched the supermarkets after being angry at knowing they were turning record profits at the same time Kiwis were struggling with an "out of control" cost of living crisis.

"I would walk in and get a $5 capsicum and see someone with a family of 4 and their trolley and turn to look at the $6 bag of limp lettuce and get enraged at the whole situation," she said. "I was leaving my grocery shops with my soul angry."

In May, the Commerce Commission's market study into New Zealand supermarkets found they earn $1 million a day in excess profits.

The Commission made 14 recommendations, including introducing a mandatory code of conduct to establishing an industry regulator and ensuring loyalty programmes are easy to understand and transparent. The Government accepted 12 of the recommendations and said it is taking stronger action on the other two.

McGee said she has tried three different markets so far and loved all of them.

She said if Kiwis are in the position to, they should get behind their communities and support local growers and producers, and cut out the middleman.

"I just think far too many New Zealanders are being made to be too time, cash and energy poor to get the luxury of options right now and spend a significant amount of those reserves instead working off someone else's mortgage," McGee said. 

"We have to stick up for each other and say no to this stuff. We have to do our part that we can in our communities - there is power in that."