Am I The Only One Spending A Fortune On Groceries Every Month – Follow Up Post

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Just over 6 weeks ago, I shared my frustration about the enormous amount of money I’ve been spending on groceries. Judging by the responses to the post, it seems that I am not the only one who’s feeling the crunch and looking for ways to save and get the most value out of our money – including other bloggers like Zoe from Born Geek and Natalija from Frugal in SA.

Since then I’ve been very conscious about my spending on groceries and Kurt and I have made a few changes, especially with regard to our meals in the evening – which is probably the meal we spend the most on. Previously, we would just decide on the day what we felt like eating that evening and cook that. On occasion, we were also very indecisive and ended up getting Nando’s or other take-aways, which is not that cheap to feed a family of four.

I can’t say exactly how much we’ve saved just yet, but there have been some notable differences after making these few changes:

1.We have a 5-week Dinner Meal plan

Kurt is the chef in our house, so I asked him to draw up a dinner meal plan for the 4 of us. Besides saving money, this has already made such a difference in our lives:

  • We no longer have the daily debate of “What’s for dinner
  • It makes drawing up a shopping list so much easier. At the beginning of the month, I can purchase all the perishable goods required for the meals and take advantage of some of the bulk deals in store and weekly I buy the fresh goods.
  • It’s drawn up in a way that we don’t eat the same thing every day (we sometimes used to eat chicken 5 days out of the week)

2. Less Take-out

As another consequence of the menu-plan, we hardly had any take-out meals this past month. We knew what was for dinner, all the ingredients were available and there was no reason to buy more food. In fact, Kurt added a few days whereby we buy take-out and it’s more of a treat now!

3.Using Snap n’Save

I’ve had the Snap n’Save app downloaded on my phone for a while, but never really used it. When a colleague of mine told me that she has over R400 in her virtual wallet for savings from the app, I thought I’d give it a try. There are some really good deals on the app and it works in the form of cash back to your virtual wallet in the app. Each week there are new deals loaded whereby you can book the deals and go to any major retailer and buy the items you’ve booked. Once you have your till slip, snap a photo of your till slip and the cash will be loaded to your wallet.

4.Looking at Specials and Buying in Bulk

I’ve been more cognisant of specials and deals – especially for things like toilet paper, long life milk and frozen foods, basically things that can be kept for a long time. Snap’nSave also comes in handy with these kinds of deals. For example, this weekend I got R29 cashback for a pack of toilet paper which cost R49 in store.

I also noticed just how some of the stores prices vary on certain items, which is just ridiculous. For example, a pack of nappies at one store cost R229 and R299 at another. Neither was on a “special” – this was the normal price. This is a big difference to me!

5.We are yet to try Online Shopping For Groceries

This is something I’ve been thinking and talking about for a long time, but haven’t really tried. It boils down to timing I think. If you order today, when will the food arrive? Woolworths online store says items ordered today will arrive the next day. With Pick n’ Pay online, you have to select an available time-slot for delivery in your area and the price depends on the time slot. This timing has always been a deterrent for me, but after spending more than 30 minutes in a queue at a store this past weekend, I’m so ready to give the online shopping a try!

Although these things are helping me save – the proof is in the pudding! I’m going to start looking at the numbers and see what weve been saving in monetary terms.

Have you made any changes in your shopping patterns to save some bucks? I would love to hear!

 

 

15 Comments

  1. Last year I was without a car and started shopping for groceries online at Woolies. The delivery turnaround is fantastic (I have yet to try PnP because of the delivery slots) and best of all you don’t walk past tempting items and chuck them in your trolley. I find I stick much more to my budget when I shop online.

    Reply
    • Hayley October 4, 2016

      That delivery time slots is a bit off putting for me and that’s probably why I haven’t tried it. I will probably start with woolies for my weekly shop and see how that goes.

      Reply
  2. Nicole Wyngaard October 4, 2016

    Well I can vouch for the increase in groceries. Even as a single person, going into pick and pay coming home with two bags of groceries at R600 was killing me. Over the last two years I have tried and tested various strategies. One thing I have cut out for me personally was a ‘monthly’ shop. This unfortunately doesn’t work for a single person. Meal prep has played a big role in savings and healthy living which suites my budget &a my lifestyle . I also don’t mind eating the same meal for lunch and dinner where sides can be mixed up to change the variety if chicken was on the menu for the week. Cooking your own meals for lunch instead of buying lunch every day is a big cost saver. I do go out for dinners often. But these costs are a saving as there are so many Eat Out deals from Monday to Friday around Cape Town. So I am not actually spending more than even that R600 for a week on food. I love good food. I admit I love a good meal deal and special – but I cringe when my grocery bill is over excess than what last weeks bill was.

    Reply
    • Hayley October 4, 2016

      Gosh R600 a week for 1 person is a lot. It must be challenging to cook for one person but at the same time you have a lot more freedom in terms of choice. Healthy food can become quite expensive but if you plan your meals well, it works out as you won’t waste anything. Over a cup of coffee – I would love to hear more about your savings strategy hun!

      Reply
  3. J October 4, 2016

    Woolworths delivery is good, first delivery is free.

    I work on a monthly menu, shop sales through the month which will be meals for next month. Its worked well, and I hardly ever buy groceries at full price now.

    Go look at my blog for savings.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for the mention Hayley! I agree with you the prices of most groceries seem to have really gone up in the past year. Meal planning, cooking ahead and shopping for the best deals seems to be the way to go in keeping the costs down.

    Reply
  5. Ilze Shepherd October 5, 2016

    Thanks for the tip on the snap and save app. Never heard of it before. Def going to try it.

    Reply
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  7. Kim Muller November 7, 2016

    We definitely need to have a look at how we’re spending. Gosh, the amount of money we give out on groceries is insane. Would love to see what your meal planning looks like, if you’re keen to share.

    Reply
    • Hayley November 7, 2016

      I don’t mind sharing at all! Think I will outsource that post to the Hubby though 🙂

      Reply
  8. Sharon November 7, 2016

    I do bi-weekly fruit and veg boxes since its just me and my two kids. The person who does these boxes also has weekly boxes. Its economical and I get it delivered to my door. They also have meat boxes that are very reasonable. For me this means budgeting exactly what I spend on veg and fruit a month. Saves me going to the shops. I also buy my meat at a butcher as opposed to PNP etc. Again huge savings and better quality meat.

    Reply
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  10. Chantal January 25, 2017

    Hello just a note on online shopping I used to do it but now tend to stay away from it, I used to find a lot of the times they didn’t have the items shown on the site and they replaced it with the next best thing, not necessarily the cheapest best thing. Also specials are easily more identifiable rather than shopping online and I tend to shop more and more for specials being a family of five!

    Reply
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