December, despite being the crazy, hectic month that it is supposed to be, brought a whole lot of grocery finds and savings for us. I managed to avoid the inevitable madness of December shopping by doing most of my grocery shopping earlier on in the month. When I did have to go back to the shops for just a few more items on my shopping list I realised how lucky I was to have planned and finished most of my shopping earlier on! December was an unbelievably hectic time to be in the shops and I’m glad I didn’t get stuck right in the middle of it!


My first stop was at Apple Tree Fresh Food Market and I scored some really good deals at the beginning of the month. I purchased a 10kg pocket of potatoes for R29.00 (their ‘regular’ price is now ocver R70.00!), 7kg butternut also for R29.00 and a 10kg pocket of onions also for the same price. The potatoes and the butternut were our staples for the month, and now into January as well. I also purchased a 5kg bag of beetroot which I used to make pickled beetroot. A 700 gr. jar of pickled beetroot costs on average R25.00 – 27.00 in the shops so if I had to buy about 4,5 kg of pickled beetroot (if we exclude the weight if the beet skin) I would have paid at least R150.00 but I paid R29.00 for the beetroot and R19.00 for the vinegar so this was about a R100.00 saving for us.


Apple Tree Fresh Food Market was also running a special on green beans, tomatoes, lettuce and button mushrooms for R13.00 per punnet so I was able to stock up on that as well. We have enjoyed some really yummy mushroom sauce to go with our meats over the holiday season. I’ve also used some to make mushroom risottos as well as an addition to omelettes – being at home during the holidays meant that we had a lot more time to prepare and enjoy a variety of hearty breakfasts at our leisure! I also bought 3kg of plums for only R25.00 which was about R8.00 per kg and cheaper even than our ‘cheapest’ fruit i.e. bananas.


My next stop was at Meat World. While I was hoping that they would have Biltong on special for just over R120.00 per kg, but they didn’t, I found boneless gammon for R69.00 per kg as well as bacon for R60.00 per kg, which is about R20.00 cheaper than in regular supermarkets. I didn’t buy much else at Meat World as we had other meat which I had stocked up on the previous month, and that’s probably going to last us until end of January and more than likely well into February as well.


Some of my other finds at Pick ‘n’ Pay included milk at R21.00 for 2 litres, yoghurt at R22.00 per litre, butter, oil, eggs at R36.00 for a tray of 30 (regular grain-fed, large eggs) and a variety of other smaller items which were on my shopping list such as crackers, sour cream, toothpaste, air freshener, etc. I also used up a R57.00 in Smart Shopper points on my total shop.


What I did buy at Pick ‘n’ Pay which was not on my shopping list were the Lady Speed stick deodorants which I love and I was so surprised to see how cheap they were – R12.99 each! I also managed to find Mitchum’s antiperspirant stick deodorant for R37.00 on special as well. Their regular price is well over R50.00 and their price on special usually isn’t less than R42.00 each (even Makro was running a special on 2 of those for R85.00 which is R42.50 each). Both of these were a good buy and I think I’m going to regret not stocking up more!


I didn’t buy much at Checkers as they didn’t have items on specials that were on my shopping list for December. I did, however, find 3 ready-made pizzas at R27.00 each (reduced to clear). We had one immediately that night and froze the other two for use later. I also found 400 gr. punnets of strawberries for only R13.00! I bought quite a few, some of which we ate that week, and the rest I washed, removed the stems and froze for use as an addition to porridge, to make smoothies and flavoured water (check out my post on Frugal Summer Refreshments) and to bake. Neither the pizzas nor the strawberries were on my shopping list but I was within my budget so I bought.


I bought most of my toiletries at Dis-Chem as they had quite a few specials on but the absolutely best buy for me were the Handy Andy Actifizz trigger bottles. I used a Unilever deals voucher x 2 for this which they had on offer last month. It was basically buy 2 for the price of 1 up to the value of R45.00 which brought the total voucher amount to R90.00. At 36.00 per bottle the total price for 4 bottles was R144.00 of which R90.00 was discounted as well as a further R13.00 that I had in Dis-Chem Loyalty Benefits points. Effectively, I only paid R41.00 for 4 bottles which came to R10.25 each!!! That was an unbelievable saving and I will be buying the same item again this month to add to my pantry stockpile because the voucher is also available in January. You can have a look at all the Unilever deals or read more about Why I Love Unilever Deals Coupons.


The only item I bought at Woolworths in December ws the steamed Christmas pudding (400 gr.) and 1 packet of mince pies. On 23rd December Woolworths was offering 30% off to WRewards card holders for any 2 Christmas puddings and/or mince pies. So I paid only R56.00 for the Christmas pudding which was cheaper than any other supermarket at the time. Then again on 27th December Woolworths was offering 20% off Christmas puddings, labelled as ‘reduced to clear’, so I bought another one for us to enjoy on the days leading up to New Year. You will usually find a few Christmas pudding tubs on ‘reduced to clear’ shelves at Woolworths so if you feel like having some even after Christmas, you can get it a bit cheaper then, though these do get grabbed quite quickly!


And my last find for the month of December was dog food (chunks) for our doggies and shampoo (for me) on Takealot. I actually stocked up quite a bit on dog food which will last us for at least another 3 months. There was some wiggle room in my budget plus the price was really good – between R155.00 – R165.00 per 7.3/10kg bag. The 7.3 kg bag was R35.00-R50.00 cheaper than in supermarkets – depending on the retailer – and the 10kg bag even more cheaper! I’d stocked up on tinned dog food over the previous 2-3 months so I didn’t need to buy that this month. And the 750ml Pantene shampoo was R35.00 cheaper than Dis-Chem.


You might be wondering by now why I haven’t mentioned any Christmas gift shopping in December. If you remember my post from February last year Start Budgeting for Christmas Expenses Now, you’ll know that I started saving for Christmas gifts a little bit each month from then onwards. I was then able to start shopping for Christmas gifts as early as July. It is not true that the best ‘specials’ come just before the end of the year – I’ve actually found some very nice gifts throughout the year so that by the time November came my Christmas gift shopping was done and dusted and everything was packed and ready to go! This kind of planning also reduced a whole lot of panic and stress that comes with finding ‘the right gift’ and I could quite comfortably avoid shopping malls and shopping centres altogether as I didn’t actually need to buy anything.


All in all, with these grocery finds & savings in December that’s a whole R638.00 saved! I’m very happy about the amount.


What were some of your grocery savings & finds in December?


If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, please share it with others!

You can also find Frugal in SA

on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter.