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
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.
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