This is a proper greengrocer, with a nice wide range set out around the store, minimal prepackaged bags, but not part of a supermarket or wider chain like Raewards. There's also plenty of parking, and they sell a few other goods like local Manuka honey and some very tasty DF/GF cookies.
Keep an eye on Facebook and also the roadside boards for info about specials, but try not to drop in too often - there lies the perilous road of impulse shopping. :)
My favourite Hidden Gem is... my bank! I recently discovered that ASB - and probably other banks too - have coffee machines onsite, free for the use of customers. The machine makes pretty good, it even seems to use beans rather than instant mixes. So if I happen to be at a mall (rare as that is) and fancy a coffee, I head to the bank! While I'm there I can also check on my bank balance to remind myself of the day's budget and state of the savings, while waiting for my lovely free mochaccino to bubble into a takeaway cup!
All I have to do is walk in! I usually try to demonstrate that I am an actual customer though, rather than waltzing straight to the coffee machine!
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.
This pita bread bakery sells bags of seconds for $5.00. I bought several bags and have made mini pizzas for the freezer and will use the rest for lunch wraps, garlic naan, or burritos. This shop is a real Gem!
If you like a bargain, then you will like this store. The seconds they sell maybe misshapen but there is nothing wrong with the quality of the pitas.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 a new shop that has opened at the north end of Princes Street in Dunedin. They sell clothing shoes, handbags, bed linen, curtains and such. I love it because it is well spaced out and the lighting is great so you can have a really good look. They have a huge area where everything is only $2.00 per item. My friends and I have had a wonderful time finding bargains in this area!
The ladies who work there are really friendly and helpful. I feel this is a definite Hidden Gem and I'm sure the students will be piling in once they know about it!
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".
Great deals are on offer every day.
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.
Open cafe hours, closed Sundays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is surely the cheapest organic shop in Christchurch and almost the only one still open after the earthquake :). The service is very good and some of the prices even cheaper than an ordinary supermarket! Check out their website http://sevenfieldsorganic.com/
Great deals are on all the time.
This second hand clothing shop actually GIVES AWAY all their clothes once a year to make way for new stock. They also donate some of their profits to Hospice and the Heart Foundations. Well worth supporting!
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.
Their prices and product range are just always great.
Magill's is great - they have the yummiest bacon hocks - no other retailer in Te Awamutu comes close. They have regular specials on fresh and frozen meat products and everything is packed attractively, laid out well and is easy to find. They also sell wine, bread baked in store, cooked chicken, hot chips, ready cooked food, cold sliced meats, fresh mussels and a range of sauces and marinades. They've just begun to produce specialty sausages too - the Romanian pork sausages are great!
They basically sell everything you'd expect from a specialty butcher and more. I've been shopping there for over 25 years, since they were in the main street, and have never had any reason to stop and more than enough reasons to keep on going there!
The best time to go there is first thing in the morning. They sell their day old bread products for $1, no matter what the usual price. Great for kids' lunches or dinner that night!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
My family and I absolutely LOVE shopping at The Reading Bug! The owners designed the store to be just what their daughters would love. It's bright, colourful, and has special little nooks and reading corners for kids to tuck themselves up into.
The staff are so friendly and helpful, and actually make a point of getting to know you personally, so each time we go in we have meaningful conversations!
When I spoke to the owner about why they price their books so cheap in comparison to other book stores, they said they did that as they knew they wouldn't be able to compete with the sales the chain stores had, so they just mark them much lower all the time! Excellent!
As well as this, they have a reward card, which you get stamped each time you make a book purchase, and after 10 stamps they give you a book up of your choice up to the value of $20! That is way better than most reward cards that just give you a discount on your next purchase!
And finally, something to make the trip breezy for us busy parents... they have a child-friendly toilet! With fun posters on the wall, and even a stepstool for the kids to reach the taps, this place is well thought out and very family friendly! We love it here!
I always try to use my reward card, as that adds up quickly! Especially as their is no minimum price on the book purchase (even if the full ticket cost is $5 it still counts!). Brilliant!
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!
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!
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.
This is a family-owned store with some outside staff and everyone is just so very helpful and friendly - they always greet you with a smile when you arrive and offer to carry your bag to the car when you leave. They'll order any thing they dont have for you without a fuss. They are ready to find a box and their own brown paper for your parcels and always have cellotape handy to seal your mail before you mail it there.
If you are unwell, or the weather is bad, one of the staff will bring your groceries to your home! The staff will spend time with tourists telling them where to go and what to see, and even help travellers find accommodation etc. Once the Store Manager took time from his work to come to my house and lift out a TV I'd had on the back seat of my car for a week, because I could not lift it out on my own. He then installed the TV, and said "Anytime you need a hand, give a shout."Another time the same Manager came and lifted an enormous pot of soup into the car for me to take to a Seniors meeting. How's that for the greatest service!?
You don't have to "charm" the staff, you always get the best deal whatever the day.
Prices are reasonable for a country store far from the city and warehouses, so of course, you expect to pay a little more, but you can walk to the store, (and get fit) and save petrol by not having to drive to the next biggest town about 30kms away. I don't think you save much by shopping in the bigger town - and you save the hassle of driving, and it's relaxing to go into the local and meet all your mates there!
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!
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.
Baker Boys Factory Shop sells all the (seconds) 'bakery' items that places like Couplands sell.
Example of pricing:
24 Savouries $4
12 Lamingtons $5
Bags of cookies you'd get at Couplands for at least $5 are only $2 here
Seconds slices (e.g. Belgian, lemon, ginger crunch, choc fudge and so on) $1 per tray
Family sized pies $3 (Couplands charges $6-7)
Any time of the day, they do mark things down further so when you do go in and see this buy in bulk. They also give you free gifts (e.g. I got a free pack of Easter buns) when you spend a certain amount.
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.
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.
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.
Fantastic, friendly staff! It's hard not to get excited and go overboard shopping in there!
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!
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.
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.