Feed­ing four means clever shop­ping

The SA Re­serve Bank an­nounced this week that in­fla­tion eased to 6.3% in July from 6.6% in June. But the good news is not trans­lat­ing to most South Africans’ shop­ping trol­leys. City Press asks or­di­nary families how they man­age their gro­cery bills

CityPress - - News - – Poloko Tau

This week, the Mak­gato fam­ily grew by one – and pre­pared for a big­ger gro­cery bill. Calvin, Le­bo­hang, three-year-old Mahlatse and Re­abetswe, who was born on Mon­day, live in Polok­wane.

The young cou­ple are clever shop­pers who care­fully com­pare prices and always keep an eye out for spe­cials, but refuse to com­pro­mise when it comes to the qual­ity of their food and main­tain­ing a healthy diet.

Mahlatse is be­gin­ning to eat the same things as her par­ents, so they won’t be pay­ing dou­ble for pricy baby food.

The fam­ily spends about R2 000 a month, mostly on non-per­ish­ables, with smaller weekly shops for meat and veg­eta­bles.

Some small changes have helped them save.

“We have cut down dras­ti­cally on eat­ing out. Our fam­ily tra­di­tion of eat­ing out ev­ery Fri­day night has been cut down to only once a month,” says Le­bo­hang.

Her hus­band adds: “Not ev­ery­thing is cheap in one shop, but our shop­ping is also largely based on what we find to be on spe­cial from news­pa­per ads.

“But we do now have a gen­eral idea of where to find cheap items and this means our gro­cery shop­ping takes us to a num­ber of stores – but that’s how we save.”

They buy the red meat they eat at butcheries. “We’ve been do­ing that even be­fore red meat prices sky­rock­eted.” Calvin, a med­i­cal doc­tor, says he knows the price of meat per kilo­gram.

Le­bo­hang keeps a close eye on small price fluc­tu­a­tions. For in­stance, she says toi­let pa­per has been “cheaper at Woolies for the past six months”.

“We buy fruit and veg­gies ev­ery week, and I’ve been look­ing at how some prices have changed since Jan­uary un­til now.

“I used to get fresh let­tuce for around R8.99 from Woolies and it has now gone up by al­most R4,” she says.

PHOTO: LEBOGANG MAKWELA

FAM­ILY FO­CUSED Le­bo­hang and Calvin Mak­gato with their daugh­ter Mahlatse. The Mak­gatos shop around to save money, es­pe­cially since the ar­rival of their new­est fam­ily mem­ber Re­abetswe this week

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