Where to Buy Healthy Food

With budget in mind, of course.

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I’ll be the first to admit that there are a lot of healthy foods out there that cost an arm and a leg. And a foot. But there are options. The first step to bargain hunting: Shop around. I’ve gotten to know which of my regular stores—Pak n Save, Countdown—carry which items, but beyond that, each of the Countdowns in town has different stock and often good mark-downs. Even the little market nearest us can have some excellent deals. Check out the health-food, bulk (like Bin Inn) and Asian shops in your town—each one might have different prices. 

Second step: Look online. Before you go to a direct shop, Google what you’re looking for (with an NZ at the end) and see what comes up. Real Food Direct is an excellent resource for bulk buys and free shipping over $70 (shipping costs are a must to look at before you spend too much time shopping). And bonus: They have a 10% off promotion with no expiration date. Use IAMNEW at checkout (but you can also look on Instagram to search for their ambassadors’ accounts and find a 15% off code). I haven’t found a better price on organic popcorn, many seeds and almond flour. Ceres is another one to check out, especially for coconut sugar (can’t beat it!). And they sell hard-to-find things like Tiger Nuts. I buy coconut oil in bulk directly from Blue Coconut and cleaning/home products directly from ecostore.com. Family Pantry is a great source for things like buckwheat flour. The Source Bulk Foods clearly states details about products—most of which are organic. And they offer free shipping over $100.

Step three: Travel! May seem crazy to some, but when I travel, I check out food stores. I never go to Wellington without hitting up Moore Wilson’s Foodservice (they have the best price on chia seeds, for instance). I once carried home a suitcase full of kumara from Dargaville (luckily no one checked the weight). 

Step four: Keep an eye out in the paper and online. One of the stalls at our farmer’s market sells vegetables directly through a website. I’ve bought bulk blueberries advertised in the paper. The butcher runs specials there as well. And there’s another butcher that runs specials on Facebook. It’s all about keeping an eye out for deals and stocking up when you see them. (On things you’ll actually use, of course. There’s no point in buying things that will just sit and sit and sit on the shelf.)

If it helps, keep a list of prices (or take a quick pic on your phone) of the health foods you buy so you will know in the future where to head when it’s time to replenish. There’s no point driving all over the place (using fuel and time) to save 10 cents. Be smart about it, be organised and hopefully you’ll enjoy the sweet smell of a bargain as much as I do.

Happy shopping!