Papakura Courier

Money Matters

- Rob Stock

OPINION: Pak ’n Save’s suggested shopping lists have not been updated since November 2020.

While you might say that’s not trying very hard from the very profitable supermarke­t cooperativ­e, it does provide an opportunit­y to calculate ‘‘then and now’’ prices to show how far food prices have moved in the last year and a bit.

Pak ’n Save’s weekly shopping list for two came in at $137.98 in November 2020, based on prices at the Mount Albert store in Auckland.

I live near the Pak ’n Save in Royal Oak, just under

7 kilometres away, and the price for those same groceries on Tuesday would have set that couple back $159.13.

That’s just over 15 per cent more in just 15 months.

The startling $30 a week for a single person list (actually $29.78) would have set the shopper back $31.56 today, a much lower rise of 6 per cent.

The family of four list cost $208.38 in November 2020. I costed it out at $228.31, a rise of just under 10 per cent.

Pak ’n Save’s website also says


▮ Shop to a meal-plan

▮ Shop healthy

▮ Take pride in frugal eating

Otago University’s estimated weekly cost of maintainin­g a basic diet for men is $69.25 a week, and for women $59 a week.

For two adults (it assumes one man, one woman) with 10- and four-year-old children, the estimated cost is $212, it says.

I checked those figures. They were from 2019.

The 2021 figures were $73 for a man, $62 for a woman, and $221 for that family of four.

Pak ’n Save took down the lists, when I pointed out they were a wee bit outdated. It now plans to update them, and republish them.

The lists also showed where prices had moved, and where they had changed little, or not at all.

Fresh fruit and veges were more expensive, except bananas and basic white (washed) potatoes, and carrots had hardly moved. Some prices had doubled (brown onions), and some more than doubled (broccoli and green cabbage), though when you price a list of groceries matters.

To shop cost-effectivel­y, you have to embrace seasonalit­y.

There had been some pretty big movements in meat prices, and for eggs, but frozen mixed veges, and frozen berries were cheaper. Weet-Bix had not moved, and neither had natural yoghurt. And thank God for lentils. The lists did carry a few home truths.

There was no space for soft drinks, alcohol, juices, lollies, and either no space, or precious little space for chippies, cakes, or biscuits, depending on the list in question.

Each of those has an aisle, or the better part of an aisle, to itself in my local supermarke­t, which is a Countdown.

You are straight into these luxuries when you come in through the door.

Happily, Pak ’n Save Royal Oak puts the fruit and veges first.

At Countdown it’s cakes first,

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