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$200 Grocery Budget

A grocery budget of $200 a week should comfortably feed a family of four or three adults. Check out our recipe ideas and shopping list. 

$200 food budget shopping list

A food budget of $200 a week should comfortably feed a family of four or three adults.

If you’re tightening your food budget, you might be wondering what you can buy with $200. We’ve got you covered, with a full shopping list and our tips below.

A weekly food budget of $150 is just above the average for a two-person household, according to Stats NZ. Meanwhile, it’s a little below the average of $182.40 for a three-person household.

Simply put, $150 is a moderate budget for two people, but a conservative one for three. If you’re two adults and a kid, $150 may be just enough to enjoy a complete basic diet for the week.


How much food can I get for $200 a week?

The average four-person household in Aotearoa spends $208.50 on groceries every week, according to Stats NZ. Meanwhile, the University of Otago reckons $216 is about what a family of four would need to spend to enjoy complete basic diets.

With these numbers, it seems reasonable to say that a budget-conscious household of four should be able to get by on $200 a week for food.

Of course, if you’re a household of three adults, $200 is only a bit above the average three-person spend of $182.40 (Stats NZ). So, a $200 budget will mean you have extra room for fun things, snacks, and premium items.

Here are a few tips to make $200 last the week:

Buy a range of premium meats

$200 can quite easily be enough to enjoy some premium meats throughout the week. This means more expensive cuts like lamb leg steaks, premium beef mince, or skinless boneless chicken breast.

Of course, if you’re feeding a whole family, there’s good reason not to go wild. Rather than buying a lot of premium cuts, buy a mixture of cheap and premium.

Why not also introduce some seafood to the budget? Frozen prawns are easy to incorporate into a range of meals, and last a long time when kept frozen.


Get recipe inspiration with our Budget Meal Planners
Find out how to save money on meat

When you’re eating on such a tight grocery budget, your best bet is to plan your meals a week in advance and do plenty of meal prep. 


Enjoy a great variety of fruit and veg

Even with a full house, $200 a week gives you the room to enjoy lots of different fruit and vegetables. Kumara is a Kiwi favourite, and a great addition to your shopping list. A little goes a long way, so a few kumara will be plenty to serve up with roasts, mash, and more.

In the warmer months, it’s a great idea to pick up your favourite salad leaves, a few cucumbers, and a punnett or two of cherry tomatoes. Of course, you can just use regular tomatoes if you prefer. Add in any other salad vegetables you love and you’ve got an easy go-to side salad for dinner most nights.

Easy dinner convenience foods

When you’re feeding a full family, it’s a really good idea to budget for some convenience foods. You’ve probably got a lot on the go, so having a family-sized pie in the freezer can make dinner on Friday night much easier.

Other frozen foods like potato roasters and mixed veggies are also great for taking the stress out of the weeknight meal.

You might also consider dry convenience foods like a taco kit. These include seasoning and tortillas which you could make yourself or piece together for cheaper, but buying a kit will save you time in the supermarket and in the kitchen.

Example $200 budget weekly shopping list

A $200 budget should give you enough food to last the week as a family of four while also having time to spend together. Print out this shopping list and bring it with you the next time you do your weekly food shop. Or, use it as a guide to build your own list.

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

Download the $200 budget shopping list.

Looking for more ways to save?

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