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Food budget for 2 people

Average food budget for 2 people

Whether you’re a couple of flatmates, a couple or a small family, food budgeting requires a bit of team work and understanding. To help you get started, we’ve put together some basic guidelines below, plus an example shopping list so you can start saving faster.


How much should I budget for groceries for 2 people?

The average two-person household spends $137.60 on food every week (excluding beverages and restaurant meals), according to Stats NZ.

So, how much do you really need to spend?

The Department of Human Nutrition at University of Otago estimates a minimum weekly food cost for New Zealanders in the four main cities to meet basic dietary and nutritional needs.

  • For two adults (one man and one woman), this averages to about $128.25 per week ($513 per month).
  • For two adult men, this is likely to be higher, around $138.50 per week ($554 per month).
  • For two adult women, it’s around $118 per week ($472 per month) .

So, generally speaking, 2 people need to spend somewhere between $118 and $138.50 per week on groceries to ensure a proper, balanced diet. A moderate shop, including a greater range of meat, fish and produce, would likely cost around $83.13. Meanwhile, a liberal shop with more convenience foods and imported produce would cost roughly $99.75.
When your household consists of you and a child, the numbers are likely to be lower as children typically don’t eat as much.

What can I buy with these budgets?

Using the average weekly spend of $137.60 from Stats NZ, you have a good allowance to feed two people.

Rather than spending extra on meat to accommodate a second person, it’s a great idea to learn how to make meat go further. For example, adding lentils to casseroles and mince dishes adds lots of filling protein for very cheap.

Find out about saving money on meat and meal prepping

Keeping the fixings for a basic salad, such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumber is a good idea during summer months, as it’s an easy way and healthy way to bulk up your meals.

Buying a 12-pack of eggs means there’s room for both of you to have an egg a day, six days a week. Plus, stocking up on tins of tuna or chicken for the work week means you both have an easy grab-and-go lunch option.

Shopping list for 2

We’ve put together this example shopping list to give you an idea of what foods you could buy with your budget.

Download the list and take it with you to the supermarket. Or use it as inspiration to make your own.

*All prices are indicative only, and may vary according to seasonality, sales and demand. Product, price and limits may vary between store.

Download the shopping list for 2 people.

Looking for more ways to save?

Check out our tips on food budgeting or take a look at our other food budget guides.