Local savings in North Island
FABULOUS Thai food at an even better price! We moved from the area and still travel all the way back for it - which isn't so silly because it costs less than any other Thai takeaways we know of elsewhere. They also have a dine in restaurant in the Albany mega centre with the same great food but as it's a sit down affair the prices are a little higher. (Still a great deal for a dine-in Thai restaurant though, as the mains there go for the price of other takeaway Thai places). Not only do they offer the best deal in price, theirs is by far the best, best, best Thai food we have found anywhere and they're lovely to deal with. Mains are about $8.50 with rice and if you are so inclined you can dine in at the food hall instead of taking it away. My husband and I often "ate out" together there on special occasions; it may not be fancy but it's delicious and I still didn't have to clean up afterwards! The only problem is that there are so many great dishes it's hard to choose - but once you have your favourites you aren't inclined to miss out on them by trying something else![less]
Just go to the food hall.
For a warm, welcoming atmosphere with wall to wall quality second hand books, head to Browsers! I save at least three quarters of the recommended retail price on new releases and bestsellers. The store is well set out with extensive sections on every subject and all of them well marked, making it easy to find your favourite subjects or authors. Many of the books are in such good condition that you could easily purchase them to give as gifts and nobody would know they are second hand! Staff are really friendly and helpful and are extremely knowledgable about all the various books and authors. The only section which I find lacking is the children's section but everything else is full to bursting. I'm so glad I found this bookstore and don't buy my books from anywhere else now. Be warned, you can spend a loooong time in there and you won't want to leave![less]
The more books you purchase, the more willing staff are to knock a few dollars off. However, Browsers also buy books so you can save a bundle on new books by trading in your old ones. They are interested in purchasing books on pretty much every subject, except Mills and Boon and Readers Digest novels. And of course there's nothing stopping you from buying your books from Browsers and then taking them back there to sell again once you've read them!
A great market for a wide variety of good quality, freshly picked fruit and vegetables, plus fish and Polynesian foods. The piece de resistance, in my opinion though, is the fresh tofu (two blocks for $2.00 - about a quarter of the supermarket price!) and fresh egg noodles sold by two sellers at the market.
The market is open from 5-10am on the Cobham Court car park on Saturday mornings.[less]
Prices are set.
This hidden gem really is well hidden! Many people don't even know it exists but at the top of Huntly's Main Street is The Old Courthouse Cafe and Bar. As the name suggests, it was once an old courthouse and the building has been lovingly restored. The atmosphere is warm, intimate and friendly, with an open fire in winter. The service is absolutely excellent. Owned by a husband and wife team, all the food is prepared fresh on the premises. The pizzas are all home made and cooked in front of you in a large, traditional pizza oven but no matter what you have, steak, salmon or whatever, they are always cooked to perfection and absolutely divine. The desserts look just as wonderful but we've always been too full to eat any! What we love about the place is that the chef, Stacey so obviously loves what he does. It's a pleasure to watch him at work. We have taken several people to eat there and they always rave about the food. It's the best place we know to dine out!
The Old Courthouse is open for brunch, lunch and dinner and is licensed. Off-street parking available.[less]
At around $25 per person, this is more of a place for 'special occasion' dining but definitely qualifies as a Hidden Gem as the food is just SO good!
Vege Heaven in Fairfield is a great place to buy your fruit and vegetables. They get fresh produce in almost daily and their customer service is unbeatable. Highly recommended![less]
Sometimes they have special deals on buying in bulk.
Their fruit and vegetables are sold at good-value-for-money prices.
Steve often has kids' yoghurt and regular six packs of yoghurt on sale for $1.50 - $2.00, depending on how soon they expire. Other great bargains although not always available include:
500ml sour cream = $1.50
250ml spreadable cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese = $1.00
Gourmet 500ml tubs of yoghurt (Puhoi, Hollander) = from $2.00 depending on expiry
Puhoi Camembert and Brie = from $1.00 per 100g
750g thick sliced bacon = $6.00
Bacon pieces = $4.00 per kg
1.5kg sweet bread mix = $9.00
Baking soda = $0.39 per 100g
He also has a great range of organic and earth friendly cleaning products and ingredients to make your own. Plus other random bargains too![less]
buy the products, they're already great prices. Just be sure to check the use by/expiry date.
Visiting this store is like going back in time! This large and busy store has a great selection of pre-loved men's and women's clothes. While you do have to ferret around a bit to find the really good pieces, you almost always come away with a fantastic bargain. There is new stock coming in all the time so it's well worth going in for a look every so often. The racks are well set out and everything is easy to find according to what you're looking for. I particularly like the 'Out of the Ordinary' rack where you can find all sorts of interesting garments and ballgowns! The ladies in the store are so kind and helpful too. They also have quite a large selection of shoes, the only thing they don't have much of is children's clothing.[less]
The prices are always super low! I pay an average of $4 per garment and often you can walk in to find they are having a 50% off day.
This is an Avon lady that wants to be the biggest fundraiser for breast cancer research and against domestic violence. If you buy a pink ribbon pin or bracelet from her for a donation of $3.99 she will send you a list of Avon stuff you can buy for over 70% off cause she reduces her commission to really low. I bought heaps of deodorant at $1.79 each for 85ml (I usually get 50ml for $4.35 at Pak n Save) so this is a big saving for everyone in the family.
I like it because I'm not tempted by the whole brochure, I just know that the stuff on the list is really cheap. You have to pay for postage as she will send it anywhere but it is still worth it for the amount you save. I can buy lip balm for the kids' dry lips in winter for $1.19 compared to $7 in the shops. If you can't find what you're looking for, just ask and she will source the best deal for you. I now enjoy using face creams that normally would be out of my budget at Pak and Save prices. Also, my step-daughter likes to use Proactiv products but it's expensive and I hate that it has bleached some of my towels! This lady however has the same sort of set for less than half the price and we have found it works just as good - and doesn't bleach the towels and sheets!
Sometimes you may have to wait a while to get popular items and sometimes she does sell out but it's really worth a go for the savings.[less]
You have to send an email with 'Fight breast cancer and domestic violence' as the subject heading to email@example.com and she will then send you a list of products. Ask her also to send you a catalogue and then you will know what she's talking about in her emails, such as colours for lipstick and sizes for bottles etc. Be careful that some things are sometimes small sizes like only 200ml so they have to be really cheap to be cheaper than the supermarket. But the make-up is always a bargain and if the colour isnt right she will happily exchange it.
The Frozen Food Factory Shop in Milson sells a range of frozen foods (vegies, berries, processed meat, pies and so on) as well as packaged processed foods (biscuits, packaged foods, dairy food and so on). Many products seem to be someone else's overstock (somewhat unusual flavours sometimes!) or past their best before dates but you can get some great deals.
To get there from Palmerston North, drive onto Railway Road past Bunnings, over the railway and around the bend. To the right you'll see the shop but you can't enter it from Railway Rd, you need to turn right onto Settlers Line then right again onto Noel Rodgers Place.
Check opening hours (especially on weekends) because they are not open all the normal times. Call on (06) 355 1045 for more information.
Go before going to the supermarket to see what good deals there are. A box of random flavour (you don't know what you will get beforehand) fruit pie seconds was a good deal if you don't mind some broken pies. You get random freebies (eg loaf of bread, can of food) if you spend above a certain amount of money.
Morzart's specialise in second hand children's wear and have a really good variety at reasonable prices. They have their own Facebook page which you can add to your profile so you can keep up with new arrivals and bargains. Very nice, switched on people!
Opening hours: 1pm - 5pm Wednesday - Friday[less]
The prices are pretty fair already but I am sure you could haggle
The service here is brilliant if you get the right guy!
We were totally impressed when we were served by Greg. We needed six chicken boneless chicken thighs and I also wanted a chicken carcass to make stock. When he heard I was making stock, he suggested we get thighs with bones in them and he would debone them for me there in the store so i would get extra bones for my stock.
He also informed me that they take the meat off the bones in a hurry, so the carcasses often are left with a lot of meat and skin on the bones. They only charge $3.50 a kilo so my one carcass only cost $1.60 (plus the free bones from the chicken thighs)
Since we were on our way into the vege markets - Greg then offered to hang our purchase in the store fridge with our receipt on it so we could collect it on the way home and protect the quality of the meat.
When we got home, we weighed the chicken thighs - and they came to just over a kilo - and he had charged us $11. That's pretty cheap compared to $21 kilo for boneless thighs at the supermarket!
He has basically guaranteed us as future customers![less]
Avoid being served by the younger sales boys. They are usually apprentice - like employees, are less skilled and knowledgeable. (we've witnessed them having to ask senior employees questions or to cut meat on several occasions - they are also less likely to give you any discount as they do not have the approval to do so)
Explain what you are planning to do with the meat. Ask for their advice, and ask questions. We found that the times we have actually conversed with the butchers they have been so much more wiling to help and give a good price.
They have never charged us extra for their time when deboning meat - we have always had them do this rather than buying the prepackaged packs. While they debone it, watch and ask for tips. They love showing their skill and enjoy helping you learn.
Avoid going when you're in a hurry. You will miss out on all the goodiness of being served personally and getting any benefits.
Check out by the EXIT DOOR in the corner for massively priced "Reduced To Clear" bread. Albeit that it probably expires that day, there is nothing wrong with popping it in the freezer for school lunches![less]
Reduced to Clear sell all kinds of supermarket type products (food, cleaning products some toys etc) at clearance prices. The range varies considerably depending on what they've been able to find cheaply at the time but it's well worth checking out. You can even shop online and receive a weekly specials newsletter.[less]
This is a cute, rustic store filled with all sorts of organic healthy goodies. I find they are a lot cheaper than our local health shop for personal items such as hair and skin care & and often are good for fresh fruit and vegies. An added bonus is that the fruit and vegies that they atock are always in season! No long food miles here!
Staff are always very friendly and are usually volunteers. And they always try to get something in for you if they don't happen to have it in stock.[less]
This shop is reasonably priced, so I don't mind supporting them regularly. I find they have the best selection on Saturday morning in preparation for the weekly Saturday morning markets that they have in their Grahamstown block of town.
This cafe is fantastic if you've got kids! It is a large area, with well-spaced out tables and chairs, and has lots of room for strollers and a practical hard floor (great for cleaning up food messes). They also provide good quality high chairs and have storytelling on Thursday mornings! There is a separate play area for children with a lockable gate, different types of toys, TV and DVD player (they were playing 'Robots' on our last visit), and a comfy couch to watch from. There is also a kids' restroom attached. It has a reasonably-priced children's menu which includes sandwiches and fruit, not just the less healthy fries etc. You also get a free fluffy with any purchase from this menu. Their 'grown-up' food and drinks are yummy and well-priced too! The staff are also used to cleaning up after and being around kids, which is a nice change. Each month they support a different charity with their hot beverages; for each one sold they donate 50c to that charity. They also have live music occasionally in the evenings, with a low door entry fee ($5) which is also donated to their charity. I also noticed lots of working people also choose Cafe Agora for their lunch/cuppa spot. I love the whole concept![less]
My daughter's carer told me about this little Hidden Gem. She spent her toy allowance there and bought some great stuff with very little money. So, with a 2nd baby on the way, I decided to check it out! They have everything from 2nd hand toys and clothes to everything you possibly need for your children! There is a rack of 'label' clothes at reasonable prices and prams are in fantastic condition. You can even take in your unwanted things and they will buy them from you.[less]
Fantastic, friendly staff! It's hard not to get excited and go overboard shopping in there!
Apart from having gorgeous, well priced fresh veges Shires Fruit & Vegetable Market also goes the extra mile to make sure you get value for money. For example recently when looking at the bottling peaches at $19 for a 10kg case they asked me if I wanted an unsorted box and they would do me a deal. I now have 20kg of golden queens bottled in my pantry for which cost just $10. They always point out a better deal if its available to save you money. The best thing available in their shop though is the fresh homemade curry powder from their old family recipe. It costs $2.50 for a little ziplock bag which lasts our family about 6 meals. It is insanely good and I no longer buy expensive curry pastes from the supermarket. My dad recently stocked up on it to take back to the bottom of the South Island.[less]
I think the best thing about this wonderful little shop is that they remember you and always give you the best deal whatever time you go in. They always have a smile and go the extra mile to make sure all their customers are happy. It is an old family business and that makes it very different to a supermarket both in quality and service.
Hidden away in Ashhurst, at the side of the road is Riverside Orchards. It's a family business and it has that homely feel to it. The staff are both friendly and knowledgeable, selling top quality fresh produce (most of which is grown by the orchard). I frequently visit to buy "the cheapest milk in Ashhurst", which at $3.50 for 2L is also likely to be the cheapest milk in Palmerston North! Bread is also a competitive price at $1.70 per loaf. I picked up 10kg of Agria potatoes for $10 a few weeks ago and they were so fresh that I've been able to slowly use them without any going bad (a problem I have with buying supermarket potatoes in bulk).
Last time I visited the orchard I was looking for pumpkin to make my first homemade pumpkin soup Not only did they help me to find the correct type of pumpkin for soup but they offered some helpful tips on how to make it a success (which I can report it was!) I left with a smile - and a free pear. Customer service is outstanding and quite often we leave with freebies - especially if the kids are with me.
For those of who don't want to travel out to Ashhurst or just don't have much spare time, the orchard also has an online service. It was a friend from Palmy who told me about this little gem - simply spend $15 or more and the delivery is free for Palmerston North and Ashhurst residents. Now I may only live round the corner from this orchard but I admit I have used this online service more than once - it's just so much fun having a package delivered to your door! Plus I found it an invaluable service after I had my second son four months ago and found it hard enough to make a cup of tea, let alone venture out with the two boys and shop![less]
The best thing about Riverside Orchards is once you know where to find them, anyone can get these great deals! Of course it does help to have time for a chat, and bringing the cute kids along helps to ensure a free sample of their home grown produce! Also if you live locally, look out for the special coupons that appear in the local Ashhurst paper from time to time - the orchard will offer specials to local residents to show they appreciate our support.
This amazing Op Shop is a little known hidden gem in Auckland's Eastern Suburbs. We used to call it Botany's best kept secret but now I am letting the cat out of the bag! People who are lucky enough to find this treasure constantly return. I worked there as a volunteer for nearly 7 years and have now moved to the South Island. My one regret was that I couldn't take this op shop, stock and the all wonderful staff with me! I have made some cherished friendships with some of the women volunteering in this shop and also the customers.
This shop clothed our family of 7 and replaced broken/damaged household items for very little with wonderful staff happy to assist you. This came at a time when we couldn't afford to pay shop prices and I don't know how we would have survived raising 5 kids at that time if I hadn't stumbled onto this shop.
Their clothing prices are amazingly cheap; $6 or less for most of their skirts, pants, tops and shoes. Baby, children 2-14 and teen clothing also available for very little. Books, glasses, crockery, cutlery, kitchenware, towels, sheets, linen, blankets, coats/jackets, jewellery, ornaments, nik knacks, small furniture items, baby requirements, the list goes on.
All the goods are donated by parishners and the public and the quality is extremely high. Anything below their very exacting standard is donated to the City Mission (and they get very good quality too!) If you cannot find what you are looking for all you have to do is ask. They go out of their way to assist you in any way they can.
Over the years they have sold some wonderful and wacky items: expensive gold/silver jewellery, a 1700's moustache cup and saucer, crystal, silverware, English china, mats/rugs, paintings, wedding dresses, matching bridesmaid dresses, page boys and flower girls outfits, ball gowns, tuxedos, suits (the new lawyers come regularly to buy their first suits when they graduate) mother of the bride outfits, fur coats/stoles, hats, surf boards, skis, roller blades, wetsuits/weights/diving equipment, exercise equipment, childrens/babies toys, strollers, cots, playpens, new items still in their wrapping for gifts, christmas decorations, etc. Every week was a surprise. You never know what you will find from week to week.
At the end of Summer and Winter, the sale to end all sales commence and bargains galore at half price or less.
This is not some crusty old op shoppy smelling place! It is well laid out with signs and sparkling clean. The lady in charge keeps the shop in excellent condition with fresh flowers and a new display of special items each week and always has a smile for everyone.
To find this Aladdin's Cave, entrance is opposite Countdown in Ti Rakau Drive, drive to the right once you have entered and drive to the back of the church. You will see the drive way entrance leading to under ground car parking which caters for all Auckland's weather!
This shop is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday only 9am to 12.30pm. This is one shop that will keep you coming back (and save you so much money) You will never need to pay full price again! Happy shopping![less]
The stock is priced on Mondays and put out for the week so Wednesday (the first day opened after Monday) is the best day to visit if you can. But the ladies on Thursday and Friday also put out new stock on their days too. It is also open over the school holidays but you need to check the dates they are open for the Christmas/New Year period.
Every item in this shop is a great deal! But if you are looking for something special, ask and they will do their best to help you. The Wednesday lady in charge will go into the office and look through any new stock and she has amazingly good taste in clothing and items.
fruit, veges and grocery items at bargain prices. Milk cheaper than anywhere else. Delivery fee of $5 within the designated areas or free if you spend over $25. Next day delivery guaranteed + variety of payment methods. Money back guarantee within 24 hours of delivery. Awesome![less]
This is a great store ,with very friendly staff that always have a smile. Why Not is a clearance store with mostly food but also cleaning products and bits and bobs. Great for getting cheap snack for school lunches. I have noticed there are starting to stock bulk salad dressing and oil and frozen meats. The stock varies and sometimes you get even better deals than usuall. I would definitely recommend a visit.[less]
The bargains are fantastic and some days you can get better deals as new stock arrives . I got 50 delmaine fresh lasagne sheets for $3.99. (The food is mostly 'best before' and some items have expired.) They have a range of products and are a lot cheaper than the supermarket.
I love this shop as I love both sewing and finding a bargain! The fabric in this store come from the mills and is so cheap. They also stock buttons, lace, ribbon cotton and a huge selection of very good qaulity fabric. The staff are also friendly and helpful.[less]
This store is so much cheaper than Spotlight and has a great range. Their material is always cheap. I went today and saw most expensive merino for $16 per metre. Material starts from $1.50 per metre. If you love sewing this is the place to go.
A friend recommended the Newtown Market which is on Sundays at Newtown School a few months back when it was just starting, and this honestly has been a life saver in the fruit and veg and eggs part of our shop. It is central to our weekend travels, is a longer market than most, has a large assortment of fruit and veg -even out of season treats on occasion, and has by far the best prices all in one place. (We had been struggling to keep our grocery bills down since the economy downturn and going down to one income with 2 small children, so have been frantically trying to keep food prices in check.)
We have made it a family thing to go on Sunday to look through all of the vendors with a list of what we need and to teach our 4.5 year old son getting the best value. We cruise the aisles looking at price (and sometimes quality, as there are some bargains, but some of the bits aren't the freshest) together and remember which ones had the best price on this or that and go back to pay for them. He loves the game and helping to pay for them himself by counting out the money.
I've managed to cut my costs about 3/4 by doing this and am enjoying the plethora of food it provides, plus it's a fun family event that sometimes even is topped off with a treat of hot chips when it's cold. Some of the super cheap stuff gets chopped and put in the freezer for later use or when it goes out of season. To top it off, there are free range eggs (which in the stores cost so much, but my guilt won't allow me to not spend the extra money on) at some excellent prices.
I hope that some of your readers won't have heard of it, and this will be a help to their budgets too![less]
I read the April article about the cheapest milk in Palmerston North and know of a place even cheaper. Try Steve's Bulk Barn in Albert Street, opposite Woolworths and Subway. They sell two brands of milk (Fonterra and Meadowfresh) at $3.05 for two litres.
They also have heaps of products including cheese and other dairy products from well known and top quality brands at discounted prices. I was in there today and they had 250g sour cream for $1.39, twin packs of Griffins Chocolate Chippie biscuits for $2.50 and one litre of Yoghurt for $2.99 . They must have access to surplus stock, ends of runs, near use by date products - whatever they do the quality is great and so are the prices.
There is a huge selection of grocery items including organic products, Eco products, fruit and veges, and you can fill your own bottles with a wide range of household cleaners. You can also buy bulk flour and even rabbit pellets.
The service is great, Steve is a real character and they are open six days a week to around 6.00 pm. They even open very early on a Saturday to cater for shoppers at the Albert Street market.[less]
Their prices and product range are just always great.
Garden of York is a spacious vege and fruit market garden store. I have never known produce to be anything but ultra fresh. The length of time it lasts in the fridge when you get it home is a testimony to this. Also the prices are very reasonable compared with other stores. (e.g. 3 x avocados for $2.00, broccoli 90c per head and grapes $3.99 per kg) They also have marked down produce for making jam or sauce.
The staff are very friendly and usually very busy too!
Although I have to travel a few kilometres to go there, the trip is worth it for lovely fresh produce at really good prices.[less]
A cooked lunch for just $3.50 is possible even in the city! Run by the Lifewise Trust, this cafe also benefits the homeless amongst other causes, so as well as getting a cheap lunch, you also get to do your bit to help others. The menu changes daily and has both cooked lunches and cabinet options as well as serving breakfast. Personally, given the low, low price, I always pay for another lunch for someone who can't afford to purchase their own. I would implore others to do the same and keep this wonderful cafe going.[less]
Charming staff and great people - they really are a delight and since it helps such a great cause (and the food is tasty too) I won't hesitate to spread the word about this hidden gem.
This is a little boutique shop that caters for anything baby related. They have top quality toys and clothing and also a great range of buggies, cots and car seats. My brother needed a buggy and car seat and they discounted both of them to well below what could be purchased online. They have great knowledge about their products and don't pressure you in to buying; they are happy just to help out. It was a fantastic experience and I would go there again. My brother came from across Auckland because the deals and service were that good.[less]
You don't even need to ask, they offer to research the best prices, including the online price while you are there. And then they better it by at least 10%! If you buy more than one piece you get an additional discount.
Run by a genuine French couple, in the heart of Rotorua city, the food is excellent and very affordable. Friendly, clean and would recommend them for their all day breakfast, very good value.[less]
Open cafe hours, closed Sundays.
I usually have to eat before I eat out because I am gluten intolerant and often have very little choice. Usually I get a drink to be polite and a little something if possible. I shouldn't have done it the day I discovered Moxies! There were ample choices and generous servings at reasonable prices. They cater to other dietary needs as well. Needless to say, next time I visited Palmerston North, I headed straight for Moxies and had a yummy lunch. Look for it on the cafe edge of the "square".[less]
Great deals are on offer every day.
Koala Auto Services is my local garage and real Hidden Gem. I have a 12-year-old car that I don't want to spend any more on than the bare minimum. But if something goes wrong, I take it down to Koala. Not only do the guys phone me once they know what the problem is, they give me a total breakdown of what it will cost, what my options are, and whether they can leave something this time round without compromising safety. They then ring me when the job is done. Recently I lost my keys at the railway station, but as they had a Koala tag on them, a stranger handed them in to Koala. Not only did the owner contact me after hours, but he drove me down to where I had had to leave my car so it wasn't out on the streets overnight. I don't think service gets much better than this![less]
I don't think I am at all special in terms of getting great service from Koala. I think they are just great people and it is a great garage and I would recommend them firmly as my 'Hidden Gem'.
This is the best Hospice Shop in New Zealand! It's always busy, people queue at the glass doors from 8am to get to see what is put out. Once the doors open at 9am, there is a mad rush in!
This store has new stock continuously put on sale all throughout the day until 4pm when the shop closes. The next day's stock is delivered from the Hospice warehouse and the volunteers are at the shop by 7am the next day. There are between 80 to 100 plus volunteers every day, working in pick-ups, deliveries, sorting, boxing, recycling, electrical, fire wood, and furniture and more![less]
You get a good price every day. Prices start at $0.50c and there is a large area outside the front wall where you can fill a bag for $1.00!
Every day is a good day and the staff are cheerful and happy to stop for a chat. The shop is open 9am - 4pm Tuesday to Friday and 9am - 1pm on Saturday.
The Wholesale Clearance Store is a wholesale shop with bargain prices! The store itself is quite small but it is filled with great bargains. You can pick up all types of fabric for $3.00 - $7.50 per metre. Plus you can get women's, men's and children's tees for a few dollars each, socks (NZ wool) for $1.00 per pair - all brand new! They also have lots of other bargains such as soft toys, homewares, knick knacks and factory seconds.The list goes on. Well worth a look!
They are only open Fridays 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 3pm.[less]
This store is amazing and is full of short-dated stock. They stock lots of yoghurts, cheeses and cold meats plus aisles and aisles of dry stock. It's a great place to visit if you are having a party as they have lots of frozen samosas and party savories. But my warning is to avoid all the treats and 'rubbish food' as there are lots of those! When I go, I only buy things that are part of our family's grocery list or if I can make a meal out of it.[less]