Save on Christmas dinner this year
Dec 16, 2022

Christmas dinner may cost a bit more this year. Learn how to save here! 

Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year. For Kiwi families across the motu, they’ll be thinking about how to cover expenses to buy presents for the whole whānau. However, another costly factor we need to remember is Christmas dinner. 

While it’s always been a bit of a spend to feed everyone on Christmas, this year will be even more expensive! With rising inflation, your usual grocery shop for Christmas could end up coming out to a lot more than you would like. 

So to ease the pressure on Kiwis, we’ve got some tips on how you can save money on Christmas dinner! 

Food prices reach record highs! 

Last month, Statistics NZ, Tatauranga Aotearoa reported that October saw the annual food price increase over 10 percent. Food prices were higher by 10.1 percent in October 2022 compared to October 2021. This was the highest annual increase in 14 years! 

There were some staggering increases seen like vegetable and fruit prices rising by 17 percent and meat (including poultry and fish) prices rising by 10 percent. 

Alongside the annual price increases reported, Statistics NZ also announced that there was a 0.8 percent rise in monthly food prices (September 2022 - October 2022). 

It’s clear that the cost of groceries is rising and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This makes it tough as we move closer to Christmas and have to decide how we’ll feed everyone come Christmas day.

How much will Christmas dinner cost this year? 

It’s impossible to calculate how much Christmas dinner will cost for all Kiwis, as each family’s situation will be different.

So, the next best thing we can do is research how much a traditional Christmas dinner would cost for four people. This will help gauge how pricey your own festive meal could end up being. 

We looked at the cost of Christmas dinner for a family of 4. We included staples like roast ham, potatoes and kumara, vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and Pavlova and Christmas pudding (with fresh cream and custard) into our calculations. 

Here are the results!

New World (Online Shopping)

  • $72.54

PAK'nSAVE (Online Shopping)

  • $70.41

Countdown (Online Shopping)

  • $69.36

*These figures should be used as a guide only. Prices will vary when you shop yourself. Prices stated above were taken on 16/12/2022.* 

While Countdown came out as the cheapest when we looked online, there were some major price differences between certain products across the three supermarkets (thus, you should use FoodMe, more on that later).

On paper, it may not seem like a huge amount to have to splash out. Keep in mind though that this is a relatively simple Christmas dinner without any fancy bits on the side. If you have to feed heaps of hungry adults, then the costs will quickly stack up. 

Also, in our research, we noticed that vegetables and meat cost a considerable amount more than all other groceries. This reflects the steep price increases we’ve seen in recent months across staple items, like veggies and meat. 

With skyrocketing inflation and high interest rates, what used to seem like ‘just a bit of an extra cost’ for Christmas dinner will now be feeling out of reach. 

Kiwis are feeling the pressure

It’s evident that the rising costs of food will impact many Kiwis’ plans for Christmas. 

Stuff interviewed some local Kiwis on the street to see how they are feeling about Christmas dinner. Those interviewed said they won’t be able to have their Christmas meals like usual.  They noticed a major difference in the prices of groceries this year, outlining fresh produce, meat, and eggs as the items that have increased in price the most. 

One couple interviewed said they won’t be buying a Christmas ham, instead opting for a barbeque. Also, they’ll ask guests to bring a plate of food to contribute. Similarly, one woman said she won’t be providing all the food, instead asking family members to bring a dish or two. 

This Christmas, why not follow in the footsteps of these Kiwis and bring your own plate of food to Christmas dinner. If everyone pitches in, things will be much easier for your family members who are hosting. 

Ways you can save!

We want all Kiwis to be able to have a hearty Christmas dinner without it breaking the bank. So, we’ve put together our top ways you can save on groceries!

1). Use FoodMe!

Need to find which supermarket has the lowest prices? Then head to FoodMe! It’s a grocery comparison website where you can compare the prices of different grocery items from various stores in your area. By comparing prices, you’ll see where you can get the best deals and save heaps of money!!

2). Buy on special and in season 

While we all love a traditional Christmas dinner, a lot of those iconic foods will be more expensive at this time of year. So, shake it up this holiday season and opt for foods that are on special or in season! Not only will this save you cash but you’ll also get tastier food. 

Also, skip the fancy brands and go for the supermarket ones like Pams at New World or Countdown’s own line-up. You’ll be surprised how much you can save if you do this! 

3). Plan for left-overs

Make your Christmas dinner last more than one meal. Buy a little bit extra of all your groceries and use any left-overs for your meals on Boxing Day and the few days after. This will cut down on food waste, allow you to spend less time in the kitchen, and save you money. 

For even more tips on how to save money, check out our other recommendations! Or read about how to beat rising inflation

Head to FoodMe! 

As mentioned previously, the best way to have Christmas dinner on a budget is by heading to FoodMe!

FoodMe is one of NZ Compare's comparison websites that lets you compare grocery prices. 

Why waste your time and energy by going to different supermarkets to try and find the best prices? With FoodMe, all you have to do is search up the item and you’ll be shown which store has the cheapest price! It only takes seconds to find great savings on FoodMe!! 

FoodMe is super easy to use! Just head to the website, enter your postcode and start searching for the items you’re after!


To find out more about FoodMe, click here!