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Shopping in New Zealand

Shopping In New Zealand

Shopping, you either love it or hate it. In New Zealand it’s no different, although you may find that a lot of the shops aren’t as crowded as they often were back home, so it’s not all bad news. With New Zealand being so far from other countries, apart from Australia, and having a smaller population, there might not be quite as much choice of products from overseas as you might hope for. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying what the country has to offer, as there are still many exciting and interesting things on offer, especially in the food line, so give it a go. Experiment, improvise and enjoy the challenge.

Whenever someone leaves their country for pastures new, the temptation is to take familiar and comforting things with them, one being their eating preferences. It really is a good idea to mentally prepare for this by getting into the mindset, well before you go, that you are very likely going to have to do without many tried and trusted foodstuffs you could easily lay your hands on at home. You are leaving your home country, with all its pleasures and foibles, behind you in favour of a completely new country, so you can’t expect to slip quickly back into your old habits.

The larger supermarkets, in general, are open 8 a.m. until maybe 9 p.m. and all over the weekend, so no problems there. Quite a lot of trade outlets e.g. electrical and plumbing supplies, however, often shut half day on Saturday and all day Sunday. As well as the supermarkets there are smaller places to shop for food and basic necessities within the community e.g. dairies {the equivalent of the corner shop) and the slightly larger superettes, both of which can be open for longer hours than the supermarkets. For those who like to browse, New Zealand has its share of shopping malls, too.

Shopping is a great way to enjoy the friendly chit chat of the shop assistants who often go out of their way to be helpful.

Below is a selection of shopping-related links relative to New Zealand. Some have online shopping, so you can swot up on how much things cost downunder. Do a trial shop and see how your bill shapes up, but do be warned, converting the totals back into your own currency is fine for curiosity’s sake, but take into account that these amounts will be deducted from your New Zealand salary, which could be a lot lower than you’re used to. Budgeting and being cautious is the way to go, at least until you’ve been able to judge for yourself how your income to expenditure ratio is going to work out.

New World supermarket – no online shopping but brings up special offers now and then.
Foodtown supermarket.
Woolworths . Almost identical to Foodtown’s site as they’re owned by the same company.
Countdown , the last of the trio owned by Progressive.
Pak ‘n’ Save supermarket. Cheaper and much more basic, where you pack your own bags.
Progressive . A site giving information about the various supermarket chains.
Bininn , a step back to the time when you could buy items by the scoopful. Useful cooking advice also.
Bramptins , for when you get desperate for a taste of the UK, at a price!
The English Corner Shop . As above.
Four Square . With more than 300 stores, Four Square serves local communities and towns throughout New Zealand.
Supervalue . First established in the South Island in the early 1960’s, they are generally smaller stores that offer a more personalised shopping experience.
Types of vegetable (with pictures) available in NZ What to look for in the supermarket and how to cook it.
ChecknSave . This site finds the best grocery product specials by comparing advertised specials from stores and supermarkets all over New Zealand and ranking them.
Pharmac . Find out if your medication is available in NZ.

Household and clothing
Bond and Bond . Electrical appliances
Online NZ pharmacy . Check availability and price.
Dress-smart . Clothing
DSE . Electronics
Ferrit . General online shopping site.
Freedom Furniture .
Kids New Zealand. Online clothing and accessories for kids
L V Martin . Appliances, cameras etc.
Noel Leeming . Appliances and cameras.
Shop New Zealand . For NZ oriented products.
Spotlight . Furnishings, fabrics, crafts items
The Warehouse . Reasonably priced store for various household and clothing items.
Trademe New Zealand version of Ebay.
Westfield . Large shopping mall.