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The Cheapskate’s Guide To Living Large In Auckland

By Natasha Van Der Laan
30th Mar 2016

cheap eats auckland, cheap beauty treatments auckland, auckland deals, things to do in Auckland

Auckland can be an expensive place, but that doesn’t mean you have to slum it. From bargain blow waves to express lunches at Auckland’s fine dining establishments, here’s our handy guide to some of the best deals in town. This list may or may not include a $15 blow dry…

Eats & Drinks

While there are some seriously good cheap eats in Auckland town, today we’re talking fancy feasts at five-star venues, without the three-figure price tag. 

Our mates at Everybody’s do a two-for-one deal on Tuesdays. Choose two dishes from their ‘middle ground’ menu and pay for one. Think Angus sirloin beef, grilled market fish and Wagyu brisket bolognese. If you split the bill, you’ll be paying less than $15 each—bargain! They also do $2 oysters any day of the week.

If you thought SidArt was only for high rollers, think again. While Wednesdays through Saturdays you’ll be coughing up some serious moolah for their tasting menu (add in matching wines and you’re looking at around a weeks’ rent), the Tuesday Test Kitchen option is a more palatable $80 per person (wines additional). We’re not suggesting a standing weekly booking or saying it’s cheap, but here’s an opportunity to enjoy eight courses of the most innovative food in town at a relatively reasonable price.

Merediths is another fancy pants Auckland restaurant that’s keeping it real with a great lunch deal on Fridays. Enjoy a top notch four-course degustation for just $65. They’ll even throw in a glass of Taittinger champagne—holla.

For an upmarket steak night, bypass the local and head to Mission Bay fave The Attic. On Wednesdays the gastropub serves steak with thick-cut fries and salad for just $20. Rest assured, you won’t be served up a shitty piece of rump—this deal is for a thick, juicy cut of sirloin.

Cibo’s express lunch menu offers fancy fare at a steal. You’ll feast on two courses for just $44. If you’re feeling hungry, you opt for an extra course for just 5 bux. You’ll find all your faves such as pork belly, duck breast and eye fillet steak. On ya, Cibo! 

Treat your significant other to dinner for two at La Zeppa on Wednesdays. The $49 deal includes a selection of their signature dishes such as raw kingfish, smoked pork belly and—our favourite—ricotta doughnuts. Offer to pay before your man/woman sees the bill and they’ll be none the wiser about your tight-ass ways. 


Looking good don’t come cheap, but there are a few ways to get your gorge on without breaking the bank. While we wouldn’t suggest scrimping when it comes to a quality cut and colour, it brings a tear to our eye to hand over 60 hard-earned dollarz for a blow dry.


The cost of makeup can be extortionate, but ain’t no way we gonna give it up! Pro-tip: Next time you’re planning on splurging at a MAC store, make sure it coincides with an event you want to look super spesh for. Book in for a five-star makeover with one of their gun makeup artists and they’ll make you look fab for $90, redeemable on prodz purchased on the day.


If you really want to penny pinch, head to a Servilles’ Academy Salon on Queen Street. You can get a banging blow dry from a trainee from $15. A hair up will set you back $25, while you can get your hair coloured from $41. Fear not, all work is fully supervised by tutors. 


There are dozens of cheap spray tan deals in Auckland but, in the fear of turning out like an oompa loompa, we’re sticking with the experts. Most good spray tanning salons in Auckland sell five or 10 concession cards, which are definitely worth considering if you like a golden glow from winter through summer. Vivo Hair & Beauty in Albany, Smales Farm and Howick offer five sessions for just $168—that’s just $33.60 a tan!

Health & Fitness

Gym memberships are exxy and often they don’t deliver all you’re after, which means you then fork out even MORE MONEY for an extra yoga or barre studio membership on top. But that doesn’t mean you should be a lazy lump. Let us explain how…

Consider making nifty fitness app Nike+ Training Club your new best friend instead. You’ll have access to a bunch of drill-like workouts focusing on HIIT, yoga and pilates. The best part? It’s FREEEE. Your body and your bank balance will thank you.

If it’s a serious case of two-minute-noodle-until-pay-day, you can drop in to the free yoga or running classes held at lululemon stores across Auckland. Check out the website to see what’s on near you.

Get yo run on at every Wednesday night at Britomart’s Nike store. From 5.30pm onwards they run (pun intended) a Nike+ run club. Their pace leaders will lead you through some of Auckland’s best urban running routes with a variety of paces and distances on offer each week. Oh, and it’s totally free—yuss.


Academy Cinemas has the answer to your mundane Wednesdays with cheap-as-chips flicks. Visit on hump day and catch a film for just $5. Alternatively, visit Lido or Captiol cinemas on Tuesdays and pay just $11 to watch a flick.

They say laughter is free, and it almost is at The Classic comedy bar. On Wednesdays you’ll pay just $15 to see 10+ comedians—that’s a $1.50 an act! On Friday and Saturday nights they do a ‘Late & Live show’ from 10pm for just $15. With ticket prices like that, you’ll be away laughing.

Next door, at The Basement, you’ll find an improv show called Snort. Held from 10pm on Fridays, the show will have you snorting with laughter. The stellar core-cast includes some of our fave Kiwi comedians such as Rose Matafeo, Guy Montgomery, Joseph Moore and Laura Daniel. The show will set you back just $12.

After more cheap things to do? Check out 50 Things To Do In Auckland Under $50.

Image credit: Business Insider

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