20 June 2017

Cheap hacks for living in Auckland | Study With New Zealand

Drew Guillen
US Study Abroad Student
Last updated: 30 May 2019

During my time in New Zealand, I lived in Auckland City. Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, therefore, tends to be more expensive than other places. Over my semester living in the City, I discovered a few tricks to save a little money here and there.

Below are tips that I wish I had known when I moved to Auckland.


For coffee lovers, your coffee addiction will start to add up. Below are two coffee shops that are just as good, if not better than any other places in the city. Not only that, but they are cheap with better portion sizes than other places.

  • The Press Room - located on Victoria and Nelson streets
  • Coffix - a few different locations around the city

When visiting coffee shops, pay attention to prices, shops that are closer to main streets (for example Queen St) are usually more expensive than cafes further up the road.

A coffee shop in Auckland


Traveling around Auckland can be expensive. Here are some tips to help you save money.

Bus, Ferry & Train

The trick is, to load a student concession to your Auckland transport card to receive a student discount. This saves you a lot of money in the long run!

  • Bus, ferry, & train are cheaper than an Uber
  • Uber is cheaper than a taxi

Outside of Auckland City

When travelling outside of Auckland, around the north island, InterCity is a reasonably priced method of travelling. Check the website often to make sure you secure the best deal.

Auckland ferry

Food/Grocery Shopping:

  • Farmers markets (every weekend) are the cheapest place to get fruits and vegetables and other fresh items. After seeing the prices of the fruits and vegetables at the markets, I never went to the supermarkets for fruit and vegetables again.
  • Countdown (grocery store) in the middle of the city is very small, if you go to one a little further there will be a lot more variety. My advice, don’t buy anything if it isn't discounted or on special.
  • Pak’nSave is similar to Costco. It is further out of the City, therefore, you must consider the price of transport.
  • New Zealand convenience stores tend to be more expensive than supermarkets, but are good if you need one or two items.
  • The Warehouse can be ‘hit or miss’. They have really good sales but can be expensive otherwise. It is worth stopping in often to make sure you don't miss the good sales.
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About the contributors
Drew Guillen
US Study Abroad Student

Drew Guillen, from Parker, Colorado studied Interior Design and Construction Management at Colorado State University. She came to New Zealand to attend Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where she experienced studio classes and an internship. The North Island of New Zealand treated her well, with great weather, beautiful beaches, and the best flat whites!