Top Ten Tips to Consider Before or During Any Grocery Shopping Outing

Top Ten Tips to Consider Before or During Any Grocery Shopping Outing #WomensMonth2023

Top Ten Tips to Consider Before or During Any Grocery Shopping Outing


“With grocery prices being a continuous concern and talking point, it’s crucial for South Africans to be mindful of their spending. According to the PMBEJD Household Affordability Index, the cost of the average household food basket has increased by 7% year-on-year. So, as we navigate financial challenging times, it’s essential to try and make every rand count, especially during our shopping and grocery store trips,”

emphasises Carla Oberholzer, a mother and registered Debt Counsellor here at CreditSmart Financial Services.

In honour of #WomensMonth, and to help alleviate the stress of grocery planning and shopping, our CreditSmart team presents tips and considerations to help you, our South African women, to make the most of your grocery budgets. “Let’s shop smartly and confidently,” suggests Oberholzer:

1. Set and stick to your budget

Determine your monthly grocery budget (this includes your budget amount – say R1 200 – per person in your household) and regularly use convenient budgeting tools to ensure you stay within your limits (whether using an Excel sheet outline or phone budgeting app, for example).

2. Plan meals & create a shopping list

Before heading to the store, outline your/your family’s meals for the week or month. Summarise each week’s menu in advance and create a well-organised shopping list (that you can tick off) with categories like meat, canned goods, etc., as this can help you to avoid non-essential and impulse purchases while strolling through the store aisles.  

3. Compare bulk and single-item options 

Especially when it comes to non-perishable goods – make sure to take advantage of actual discounts to save you money. Calculate the cost per unit when choosing between individual items and bulk options.

4. Earn various store savings/discount points and use online/mobile apps to find specials on groceries and essential items

Regularly swipe your loyalty cards to increase your points so that you can redeem your rewards during future grocery purchases when you are really feeling the financial pinch. Also consider using apps, such as cataloguespecials.co.za or snapnsave, to help you save more than a few rands in the long run.

5. Explore online shopping options & hunt for specials

Keep an eye out for grocery specials in online or newspaper (printed) ads and consider grocery shopping online at your convenience. This can also help you save on unnecessary fuel costs or to and fro shopping trips.

6. Opt for seasonal produce

Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season as they are often cheaper and fresher, which is a win-win. Make sure to compare your local farmer’s market prices to various stores near your home or office.

7. Prepare your meals in larger quantities

This can allow you to reduce food waste by freezing leftovers and saving you time on future cooking responsibilities and expenses.

8. Never enter the grocery store on an empty stomach

Shop with a full tummy to resist temptation, prevent unhealthy food choices, and avoid unplanned purchases. Note: the snacks near the tills/paying counters are there for a reason.

9. Mind the details – use suitably sized shopping baskets and reusable bags

Choose a smaller basket to resist unnecessary buys when shopping for a few items. And don’t forget to take your reusable shopping bags with you to not only support the environment but also save on extra bag charges. Remember, even the little things can add up to significant savings over time.

10. Check your slip

Avoid paying for any extra items that do not reflect what you added to your shopping cart.

These practical tips and tricks can empower you to make ‘mindful’ choices when managing your grocery budget and purchasing essential goods each month. As we celebrate Women’s Month this August, we acknowledge the vital role you play as the pillar of your household and a financial decision-maker. As you get into the habit of ‘money savviness’, you ensure not only smart spending in the present but also establish a financially stable outlook for yourself (and your loved ones).

Happy Women’s Month, and happy grocery shopping.

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