Shopping for My New Zealand Dorm Room
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Student Life

Shopping for My New Zealand Dorm Room

I do not enjoy shopping, but the excitement and inner sociologist enjoyed my experience.

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Shopping for My New Zealand Dorm Room
Taishiana Tsosie

I've never been one for shopping, but since I am no longer in the states and do not have access to seemingly universal amenities, I had to shop.

I also left a lot of things so that I can bring more back from New Zealand when my study concludes and that included some small, common items that you don't grow attached to.

The first things I needed were clothes hangers, a fan (because our dorm has no air-conditioning and I arrived in the middle of their summer season), extra sandals, and little push pins for pictures.

My first stop was The Warehouse where you can buy home necessities for in-door and outdoor activities, some dry food, clothes, movies, and toiletries, etc. It is similar to a Walmart but without a pharmacy, produce, or electronic section.

The Warehouse that we went to was next to a small plaza consisting of a pizzeria, local produce market, barber shop, and a liquor. It was about a 12 minute walk and easily accessible to bus as well.

As I walked into the store, I so wanted to gaze and wander around the aisles to observe the price differences, the brands, the styles that are marketed, the quality, and if there was any variety in the goods displayed.

Here are somethings I noticed

No overwhelming variety

You know how in the U.S. there's like 8 different brands of the same product? Yeah, NZ only has like 4 (at most) brands of the same product. Very little options = less time and energy spent at the store!

Placement of items are the same

  • The locations of items are arranged/located almost exactly the same as U.S. supermarkets, but some placed elsewhere.

No spicy flavored chips (not the fried potato ones, bagged chips)

There are no spicy flavored chips. I knew that prior to leaving the U.S., but I hoped for different variation of it. Because I miss all the different hot chips that the U.S. Southwest had to offer.

Self-checkout is the same

Self-checkout is formatted the same as the U.S., though they do not take cash, only card.

Bottled beverages come in different portions

Some foods may not be sold in huge quantities that Americans may be used to, especially liquids or drinks. I tried finding a gallon of orange juice and found only 1/2 liter sized options.

​Coco-Cola is sold here

Fret not Coke drinkers, Coca-Cola is everywhere and come in unique flavors here!

​Clearance is the best

Clearance has some great steals. I bought real denim overalls and a summer sunflower dress for $10 NZD each and they are sturdy quality!

Friendly Service

Salespeople, cashiers, delivery people, and managers are very polite. Friendly service is available everywhere that I have seen so far.

Shopping carts are called trolleys

The sizes are about the same in the U.S. and baskets are available as well. Some people who live nearby may steal a trolley, so be sure to put them back after using one.

NO PLASTIC BAGS

In New Zealand, there are no plastic carry-out bags, only reusable totes. I bought two bags as well as another fan for a friend, all paid for in New Zealand dollars. My total was about $100 NZD, which was roughly $62.01 USD. It is quite expensive here, but everything is growing more expensive anyway.


  • Once we walked with our newly acquired belongings in tow, I set up my room. As time goes on, I know I will buy more items to remember my time here and I want to keep room for my journey. I'll follow up with more shopping observations soon!
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