With the VAT increase in April, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of price increases of food when I ventured for my monthly grocery shop last month. I can certainly tell you that I’m as happy as can be, and so grateful, that I have my small stockpile going. I cannot stress enough what a huge savings that is for us, and I think it would be in anyone’s household budget.


The price increases on food items in general is evident, even if it is a Rand or two or three here and there, because it all adds up on our total grocery bill. The more luxury items are becoming more of a luxury, it seems, and of course, the imported items are becoming pricier as well. Some of the items we regularly use and buy are simply – more expensive now. And with the price of fuel that has just gone up, I can only assume that food prices will be increasing again.


Despite all of that, I managed to stay within my budget for our groceries this month. I bought a whole lot of fruit and veggies at the Apple Tree Food Market at very reasonable prices. For example, I paid R30.00 for 10kg onions, R25.00 for 7kg potatoes, R10.00 for three enormous sweet potatoes (they probably weighed a kilo each!), R20.00 for 6 Avos (I bought 3 of those packets and let them ripen on the kitchen window sill), R10.00 for 2 pineapples, R39.00 for 18 very large green peppers, R25.00 for 1.5 kg grapes, R20.00 for 2 kg of apples, R10.00 for 2 lettuce and R15.00 for calabash (I bought two of those). I paid R65.00 for 7 kg of tomatoes, because I needed to buy, but this wasn’t as good a price as they normally have tomatoes in bulk so there were no savings on that.


And while I had my staple veggies and fruits sorted for the month, I still planned on replenishing lettuce, cucumber and some cheaper fruits like bananas, which would bring my total for fruits and vegetables for the month to about R400.00. While I was at Apple Tree I noticed that they had stock of Couscous (imported from Morocco) for R29.00 for a 1 kg packet, which I thought was a good price, so I bought us two packets. We love couscous but I don’t think I’ve seen this particular brand here before.


My next stop was at Meat World although I didn’t buy much there this month. I was hoping they would have whole chickens on special, which is usually R30.00 per kg, which is a huge savings as they are normally well over R40.00, but they didn’t. So instead I replenished our stock of boerewors, at a good price, and I later on stocked up on Hake medallions at Pick ‘n’ Pay which they had on reduced at R40.00 for 400 gr. packets and chicken livers which were R11.00 for 250 gr. (though not on special, still at a good regular price).


Pick ‘n’ Pay had some interesting specials this month, such as 4 litres of milk (in 2-litres bottles) for just R20.00! At Pick ‘n’ Pay I also bought Clover fruit yoghurt 6-pack at R20.00 for 2, a couple of 2.5 kg. sugar packs at R28.99 (which was a really good price!), Ouma rusks 500 gr. at R29.00, 4 tins of Koo baked beans for R30.00 (the cheapest price these days at R7.50 a tin). Woolies once again had their special on 500 gr. packets of pasta – buy 5 for R50.00 and Pick ‘n’ Pay were offering Fatti and Moni’s 500 gr. pasta for the same price, so I stocked up on both brands. A crate of eggs was selling for just over R40.00 at Pick ‘n’ Pay so I bought from them this month though I normally buy elsewhere.


This month, Spar had the cheapest tins of Alpo dog food at R18.99 (they are now normally retailing for R24.99) and Pick ‘n’ Pay was a close second at R19.99. I replenished my stockpile with about 15 tins although I still had quite a few, but will simply rotate the tins in the stockpile to use up the ones I bought the month before. Both Woolies and Clicks had 18s toilet paper on special, at R79.99 and R69.99 each. This was a good price, and will contribute to the savings we can make in our grocery budget over the next couple of months, so I stocked up on a few.


There are quite a few items in my stockpile which I won’t need to replenish for a couple of more months such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, various household cleaning supplies such as Handy Andy, window cleaner, carpet cleaner, etc., a variety of tinned foods e.g. tuna, tomato puree, corn and peas, Joko tea, honey, dried fruits.


How was your monthly grocery shop in April? I hope you managed to snag a few good deals! Please share with us in the comments below.


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