This post has been in draft for a while, but after yet another month of enormous shopping bills – I thought I would share my frustration.
Here is some context: Kurt and I moved in together in 2006 and we were on a very tight budget, having just started out and bought our first home. I clearly remember budgeting about R500 a month for groceries and toiletries – and believe it or not, it was enough.
Well, fast forward 10 years and we are now spending more than 10 times that amount!
Yes, our family has doubled in size and yes inflation happens… but seriously spending thousands a month to feed my family is just ridiculous. I am not very extravagant with our shopping list but I don’t budge on quality. I also don’t shop at only one supermarket, as I find that in some stores the quality of certain things are just better. For example, the quality of fresh fruit and veg at some stores are just pathetic. If you buy a bag of apples that is perhaps cheaper than at another store, you come home and unpack the bag – only to find that there are 3 or 4 rotten ones that have to be thrown away!
We also eat and cook a lot of healthy meals and although we are part of healthy eating rewards program, I still find that our shopping bill is on the high end. In fact, it feels as if we are being penalised for eating this way!
Then on top of the high prices, we as parents fall target of the marketing campaigns of these stores who entice you to spend that little bit more to make up another R150 to get that little toy or card.
Maybe I’m doing something wrong, or maybe I just don’t have the time to shop around enough for bargains but there must be a way for me to save.
I thought I would share my grocery shopping “pattern” and perhaps I could get some tips from other shoppers? Any tips would be helpful in my quest because this seriously cannot go on.
So this is how I shop:
- I do 1 “big” shop for groceries each month at a “reasonably priced” store.
- I purchase all our toiletries from another store once a month (I’ve always done this). I receive cash back and points etc. – it makes sense for me 🙂
- Weekly, I spend another few hundred at a “pricier” store for fresh items such as fruit, veg, yoghurt, bread, juices, snacks, 1 or 2 packs of meat/chicken/fish and a few fresh cooked meals for the kids
I don’t think this is extravagant because there are still times when I open the fridge and it’s almost empty, just days after I’ve shopped!
What am I doing wrong?
It seems the price of groceries will just keep on rising as it has over the last few months, so I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling it. Are there any families out there who have found some great ways to save and manage their costs? I would really love to hear from you!