How this stay-at-home mum stays sane and has fun one day at a time.

Market prices

Kid finds beetroot the size of his head at local market.

Kid finds beetroot the size of his head at local market.

My weekly grocery trip wouldn’t be the same without the involuntary gasp I do at the checkout when the total comes up. No matter how many times I see the tally tick over $200, it always shocks me. We were doing okay with one bubbalicious, but having one more mouth to feed seems to have increased our spend a lot. Recently, I discovered the cheaper option of pre-paying for online grocery delivery (10 deliveries for $69) which meant I could justify the extra expense and I could see more easily where all the mula was going.

Of course there’s always the big cost of meat, but we have cut down on our portions and now we spend less on that. Our new healthier lifestyle means we need platefuls of vegetables and mostly snack on fruit, so roughly half the grocery bill goes on fruit and vegetables – around $100. Once I realised this, I thought there must be a better way. Separate stops at fruit and vege stores was a big miss – the prices seemed very similar, give or take a little.

Then on Mother’s Day, Tim took me to the Auckland Markets at Stonefields, not a romantic day out for some, but my idea of heaven with all that junky bric-a-brac. There I noticed the fruit and vegetables seemed really cheap. I’d ruled out shopping at markets before because they are all in the weekends and I hate doing chores in the weekends.

I’d picked Dr Libby Weaver’s cookbook Real Food Chef as my Mother’s Day present and even though I wanted to make every single recipe, I realised a lot of the ingredients are quite costly. When you are using coconut oil, lots of raw nuts, almond milk and fancy flour, it’s really easy to blow your budget. If I wanted to take the family towards a clean eating lifestyle, I’d have to ‘trim the fat’ on the weekly groceries for sure!

And that’s how I ended up back at the Auckland Markets yesterday morning (with both kids because I’m an idiot/sucker for punishment) buying my weekly F&V and writing down how much everything cost so I could share it with you wonderful people. Was it cheaper? I took out $100 and came home rolling in bank notes. A slight exaggeration, but I did get my whole week’s F&V for $53. Here’s a chart to show you how much everything cost at the market, compared to the supermarket on the same day. (Only tomatoes and mangoes were more expensive at the market).

* Please note that there might have been cheaper options throughout the markets. I did this shop with a toddler who was acting like a runaway prisoner and a baby having a serious case of the cranky pants, so I bloody hotfooted it around like I’d stolen something.

Fruit or Vegetables
Red Onions
Telegraph Cucumber
Green Beans
Royal Gala Apples
Imported Oranges
Packham Pears
Green Grapes
Market Price (Per kg)
$2 each ($1.50 for hard ones)
$2.49 each
$2.50 for bag of six small ones
$2 each
$2 each
$2.50/1.5kg  bag
2 for $5
Supermarket Price (Per kg)
$2.99 each
$3.99 each
$2.50 each
$2 each
$2.50 each
$3.30/120g Spinach Greens
2 for $3.50

13 Responses to “Market prices”

  1. Adele Bryson

    Love love love markets and admire you determination to do it cheaper, lack of time means we gave up on that. IN south Auckland though we are spoilt by places like fresh n save that do not only F and V cheaper but meat too. I need to get back to doing separate shops me thinks as well…hmmm food for thought x

    • kellyburnie

      Next stop is definitely to source cheaper meat! I know, all these separate stops are too much when you’re a working mum too.

  2. Paula

    Wonder how those delivered F&V places compare, like foodbox. Hard to tell as you only see it once you’ve got it, and there is no per kg breakdown.

    • kellyburnie

      Good point! They’re really focussed on seasonal produce aren’t they? So that normally makes them cheaper. I’ve never tried them because I always stick to a meal plan so the random F&V’s a bit too much for my OCD ha ha. Love the idea though.

  3. Amanda Peart

    This is totally inspiring. I’ve been full of good intentions to do markets too but the best I can do is go to a fruit and vege shop instead of supermarket. It’s definitely a bit cheaper but I’m sure not as good as markets,which has added bonus of buying from the growers direct. I’m going to take your price list to the shop I usually go to and compare prices. And ideally one day grow much more in my own garden and avoid buying much fruit and veg at all!

    • kellyburnie

      I can’t wait for the day I have time to grow my own, just never seems to be enough hours in the day. Can you share your list with me, I could update the post, would be really interesting.

  4. Kiri Hyde

    Inspiring indeed! Checking out markets is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – we stopped F&V shopping at the supermarket a long while back because we thought Fruit World was cheaper and in particular fresher but now I’m not so sure. The fresh aspect is a massive plus for markets – I’m sick of buying fruit that’s turning mushy/mouldy before the week is out!!

    • kellyburnie

      You are so right. I didn’t have time to find the absolute best quality of everything, but hoping to go this week on my own and spend a good amount of time figuring out where to buy stuff. Just need an extra day in the weekend ay!

  5. Meredith Street

    We do markets when we can, the Takapuna ones are great for F&V, and we made it to the Avondale markets last weekend for the first time which was like a goldmine! Definitely a cheaper way to do it, plus you get the opportunity to discover all sorts of interesting produce that you may never see on the supermarket shelves! xoxo

    • kellyburnie

      I have heard a rumour that the Avondale Markets are closing down. Wouldn’t that be the end of an era. I think my new plan is to go to Otara on a Saturday morning straight after my run so that Sundays are saved purely for chilling out with the family! Too many chores, not enough time 😉

  6. Haeley

    Oh, I hope that rumour is wrong Kelly, I was reading your blog post thinking – ‘hitting the Avondale markets will be one good thing bout moving to west Auckland’ … Fingers crossed they stick around a while.

    • kellyburnie

      There are still the Titirangi Markets, and I’ve heard a few people rave about Oratia too (an absolutely beautiful part of the West where I just happen to have grown up). I think they’re both more boutique markets though as opposed to your classic Fruit and Veg Extravaganza?


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