1. Don’t drink too much
The biggest expensive on most backpackers’ food budget is alcohol. Being an alcoholic is costly, especially when buying drinks in bars. Keep drinking nights to a minimum and suggest to do other awesome stuff with your travel mates. Besides, it’s not like there isn’t enough to do in New Zealand…
2. Cook in your hostel
Every hostel in New Zealand has a kitchen. Use it and save! Here are some easy meals to cook in a hostel, if you need inspiration.
3. Check the price per KG
For the love of backpacking, check the price per kg on every item! Price and packaging can be very misleading but supermarkets will tell you the price per weight or quantity as a tiny price in the corner of the food label.
4. Always check the free food shelf in your hostel
Backpackers who leave their food behind in a hostel practically donate to other backpackers. The best time to rummage is after 10am (check out time) every day.
5. Use hostels that offer free breakfast
Because it’s free breakfast!
6. Don’t cook too much
It’s pretty hard to cook for just one person so keep quantities to a minimum and save and eat any leftovers. Everything in the bin is money out of your pocket. However, it’s best to store food in your own food container rather than bowls and pots in the hostel. For more hostel etiquette, check out How to Live in a Hostel.
7. Do your food shopping just before closing time in the supermarket
Fresh items will be reduced for a quick sale.
8. Don’t go food shopping when you are hungry
You’ll get “eyes bigger than belly” syndrome and buy much more!
9. Get a loyalty card
Such as the New World club card and OneCard in Countdown. This way, you will qualify to get the “club deal” prices on a great deal of the items in-store. New World also offers tourist cards which will get you the same discounts as a club card.
10. Find cooking friends
Cooking with others means you can split the cost of food and make slaving over a hot stove fun.
11. Buy Versatile ingredients
So you can use them in many meals again and again and again! Some ingredients are listed in Backpackers’ Food Shopping List: 10 Must-Have Food Items.
If you are reading this, then we guess you like food
Here are a few more articles to help your food shop on a budget: