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Survey reveals Kiwis plan to spend less this Christmas – PriceSpy

13 December 2023

Frugal festivities ahead: Survey reveals Kiwis plan to spend less this Christmas

Key insights:

Rise in cost-conscious festive spending: A new survey from PriceSpy reveals a significant 44 per cent of New Zealanders are adopting a more frugal approach to Christmas shopping this year

Impact of the cost-of-living crisis: Overwhelmingly, 94 per cent of the surveyed Kiwis say they have felt the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, with 93 per cent observing price hikes in everyday items like fuel and groceries.

Strategic festive shopping trends: The survey highlights strategic shopping trends among Kiwis, with about 40 per cent starting their Christmas shopping up to two months in advance and nearly 24 per cent opting for last-minute purchases.

Ahead of the Christmas season, a recent consumer omnibus survey- commissioned on behalf of PriceSpy, the fully impartial price and product comparison site, uncovers a significant shift in New Zealanders’ spending habits.

Key findings from the PriceSpy 2023 survey, include:

A significant 44 per cent of New Zealanders are taking a more frugal approach to their Christmas spending this year, saying they intend to spend less this Christmas compared to last year. This marks a notable seven per cent rise, signalling a growing trend towards more cost-conscious festive shopping;

An additional seven per cent of the survey respondents also say they do not intend to spend at all on Christmas festivities this year, offering a striking reflection of the current economic challenges.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand Country Manager for PriceSpy, comments: “The past few years have been financially challenging for many. Despite recent improvements in inflation rates, the lingering effects of previous price increases continue to influence consumer spending, leading to noticeable cutbacks this Christmas amongst consumers.”

The impact of the cost-of-living-crisis is evident

Recent findings shared in PriceSpy’s 2023 Black Friday Report last month, set the scene as to how Kiwis are impacted by the cost-of-living crisis:

An overwhelming 94% of respondents say they have been impacted by the cost of living crisis;

Additionally, 93% have noticed price increases across everyday items, like fuel and groceries. Amongst this group, over three quarters (77 per cent) have perceived significant price increases, marking a seven per cent year-on-year rise.

Expect a more expensive Christmas PriceSpy’s ongoing pricing research has also found that average standard price points across the thousands of products listed on the price and product comparison site have been higher across much of 2023, compared to 2022:

January to November 2023 saw average standard price increases varying between 1.57% and 6.63%;

And June 2023 was the only month that offered an average standard price decrease.

PriceSpy’s Average Standard Price Changes by Month – 2023 vs 2022



Difference ($)

Difference (%)




$30 more expensive in 2023

3.75% more expensive in 2023




$53 more expensive in 2023

6.63% more expensive in 2023




$53 more expensive in 2023

6.60% more expensive in 2023




$38 more expensive in 2023

4.66% more expensive in 2023




$34 more expensive in 2023

4.09% more expensive in 2023




-$11 less expensive in 2023

-1.28% less expensive in 2023




$13 more expensive in 2023

1.57% more expensive in 2023




$34 more expensive in 2023

4.10% more expensive in 2023




$35 more expensive in 2023

4.25% more expensive in 2023




$35 more expensive in 2023

4.23% more expensive in 2023




$24 more expensive in 2023

3.03% more expensive in 2023

Liisa adds: “Our research shows a consistent trend of higher prices throughout most of 2023 – and for some months, the price hikes inflated up to 6.63% compared to 2022.

“Off the back of this research, we expect this Christmas to be one of the most expensive yet.”

Smart shopping strategies are the way forward

At a time when every dollar counts, PriceSpy’s latest survey highlights how Kiwis are taking a more strategic approach towards their festive shopping strategies:

Approximately 40 per cent of survey respondents say they tend to do most of their shopping up to two months in advance of Christmas;

And, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) appear to be taking a more spontaneous approach, saying they tend to shop for Chirstmas last-minute.

“Making smart purchase decisions is crucial to maximise festive budgets and make people’s money go further. And, especially when the price of goods may cost otherwise more,” says Liisa.

“One effective approach to managing Christmas expenses is to spread them out over several months. This will help ease the financial strain instead of facing all expenditures at once.”

“And for those who relish the excitement of last-minute shopping, this approach can be surprisingly beneficial in terms of savings.”

PriceSpy’s Price Index data supports this strategy, showing that purchases made in the days just before Christmas often result in considerable savings.

“While last-minute shopping can be hectic, this savvy tactic can provide considerable savings. However, it’s important to note that this approach also comes with its challenges, such as limited stock availability. Flexibility in gift choices is key if opting for this method.

Many will also maximise saving opportunities by shopping for Christmas on Boxing Day Many are set to maximize their savings by opting for Christmas shopping on Boxing Day. This year’s survey highlights a notable trend towards more prudent shopping habits, with a significant number of New Zealanders choosing to delay their festive purchases until the Boxing Day sales:

An impressive 58 per cent of survey participants say they have waited to purchase a Christmas present in the Boxing Day sales so that it is cheaper.

“The attraction of purchasing festive gifts during post-Christmas sales is evident, as many New Zealanders are eager to capitalise on the substantial discounts available. Our survey results indicate a substantial number of respondents are adopting this approach.

“Especially for those that have planned gift exchanges for after Christmas Day, this strategy is a savvy move that should not be underestimated, so long as people conduct important pricing research before they buy, of course!”

PriceSpy’s Insights: What to Buy This December

Ahead of the festive rush, PriceSpy’s pricing analysis reveals some of the key categories where December presents particularly good deals.

PriceSpy’s budget-friendly picks for December DSLR Cameras—

Sewing Machines.—

Air Fryers and Fryers—

Other highly sought-after Christmas shopping categories, while may not necessarily deliver the cheapest price in December, but still present good saving opportunities, include:

Game Consoles—

Fridge Freezers—



Binoculars & Telescopes—

“To help shoppers make more informed purchase decision this festive season, our insights shed light on top-trending Christmas shopping categories that appear to deliver good saving opportunities this month, says Liisa.

“Whether you’re purchasing Christmas gifts, planning ahead for future buys, or simply indulging in a personal treat, strategic shopping is undeniably essential. Remember, no matter the season, our expert tips can guide you to consistently find the best deals and prices.”

Follow PriceSpy’s expert shopping tips

Prepare Ahead

Start your Christmas shopping with a clear plan. Know exactly what you want and its typical price to avoid impulsive purchases during the festive rush. Setting up price alerts on PriceSpy can keep you informed about sudden price drops on your desired items.

Compare Prices Thoroughly

Don’t settle on the first price you see. Take the time to compare prices across different retailers using a free price comparison site or app, like PriceSpy. This step is crucial, as the same item can often be found at a better price elsewhere, leading to significant savings on your Christmas shopping.

Research and Check Price History

Rely on your own research rather than flashy sale signs in stores or online. Use impartial price comparison sites to understand the real value of a deal. Reviewing the price history of products can reveal if an item is genuinely offered at a seasonal low or if it’s been priced lower at other times of the year, ensuring you make the most informed decision for your holiday purchases. And if a price point appears to be higher, perhaps look to buy something else instead.

Download the PriceSpy app here.



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