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Cut your monthly costs on food and groceries with these 3 simple tips

With the cost of food and groceries on the rise in the country, people will be looking at different ways to save money. Picture: Maria Lin Kim/Unsplash

It’s getting more expensive each month to put food on the table and this is backed by data.

According to the August 2022 Household Affordability Index and Key Data from the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD), the price of an average household food basket increased by R26.72, from R4 748.87 in July 2022 to R4 775.59 in August 2022.

So how do you save money when you are out shopping for groceries amid the rising cost of food and groceries?

Our team went in search of the experts to help you do just this.

1. Bulk buying

South African retailer Makro suggests bulk-buying non-perishable items as an easy way to save money and stock up your household pantry with groceries.

Buying in bulk is often the cheaper option because you save on the extra packaging, which is also an added benefit for the environment.

HOW DO I DO IT? Monitor the amount of items you consume in a month, including toilet paper, breakfast cereal and toothpaste. The process of bulk-buying will be made easier if you know exactly how much you and your family consume in a month, so you only buy what you need. This will also mean less trips to the grocery stores, so you save on petrol and time.

2. Online shopping

After Covid-19 hit us, the use of delivery services and online shopping became a popular way of shopping for consumers.

Here are the top reasons why online shopping may be the better option for your pocket:

* Travelling costs

Instead of using petrol to get to the store, save your petrol money and do your online shopping from the comfort of your home. While you may worry about the cost of the delivery fees, in the long run it might be cheaper to have the groceries come to you.

* Saving money

In hard economic times, sticking to your monthly budget is important for your finances. By choosing the online shopping, you can control your money spend because you will only be purchasing the grocery items that are on your shopping list.

* Loyalty programmes

Retailers that have online grocery shopping sites and loyalty programmes will offer consumers discounts on delivery or on their basket when they make the first purchase on the site as well as allow people to earn loyalty points with their purchases.

Some retailers will only offer discounts for loyalty programme members when they shop online as well as incentives such as double points.

3. Research, research, research

Many stores have specials. However, if you don’t know what the cost of things are at other stores you could be hoodwinked into believing that the special is indeed a special. So do your research before you go to the grocery store and don’t be fooled by ‘sale’ or ‘special’ signs. Added to that, by doing the research, you will know where to get the best discounts so you can save as much money as possible.

You will also have a very good idea how much the items generally cost. If you have regular items you buy, you could also start your own ledger and see how the costs go up per month and then in your research you can find the shops that provide the best overall costs.

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