Shoppers up and down the country would have been struggling not to spit out their cuppas when they heard National leader Christopher Luxon casually claim that his weekly supermarket splurge costs a mere $60 during the latest Leaders' Debate.
In a world where grocery prices have reached heights that feel like Mount Everest in recent years, most of us are finding our wallets have a grocery-cart-sized hole in them.
According to a fresh report from Stats NZ, we’ve had a gut-wrenching 8% increase in food prices in the past 12 months alone.
So, what on earth could you snag for just $60?
One Reddit user jumped online and created a shopping list from New World to try and sort a week's worth of food for $60.
User u/WeylandNZ’s list consisting of 1x Freya’s Tuscan Mixed Grain Bread, 1x Value Table Spread, 1x Anchor Blue Milk, 1x Value Instant Coffee, 1x Pams Smooth Peanut Butter and 7x Wattie’s Butter Chicken ready meals came to a total of $59.11
SOURCE: u/WeylandNZ on Reddit
Now, while we can applaud getting in a week's worth of breakfast and dinner meals, we can’t help but notice there’s a lack of lunch options in there.
I gave it a go myself on Countdown and PaknSave’s websites (and yes it’s taken a lot of trial and error).
Note: All items included are the cheapest available items per product.
1x Essentials Sliced Bread White
1x Essentials Table Spread
1x Countdown Milk Standard Uht
1x Craigs Breakfast Marmalade
1x Indomie Mi Goreng Instant Noodles Bbq Chicken Multi Pack (10)
7x Plantitude Ready To Go Prepacked Meal Pad Thai Tofu
Total - $59.95
After that grim attempt to fit all meals into our tight budget I decided to switch up the breakfast options as we move into PaknSaves list to try and add a vegetable or two in.
1x Sanitarium Weet-Bix Breakfast Cereal (24 biscuits)
1x Pams Standard UHT Milk
1x Pams White Sugar
1x Value Instant Coffee Powder
7x San Remo La Pasta Creamy Bacon Pasta & Sauce Single Snack
1x Skinless Chicken Breast
7x Wattie's Fish Pie
1x Value Mixed Vegetables
Total - $52.61
I'm honestly gob-smacked that I managed to make this budget work, but it's crucial to mention that some of these options were discounted. If they hadn't been, I'd definitely have gone over my budget in both cases.
So, what did I learn from my little investigation? Well, when I looked for the cheapest basics and ready-made meals, it turns out you can scrape by for a week, but you won't exactly be eating a nutritious diet.
And this approach won't cut it for many Kiwi families who have multiple mouths to feed.
You’d have to commend Chris if he really can fill his fridge for just $60 a week, but with the current cost of living putting a serious strain on most Kiwis, maybe he should share his secrets?!