Thursday, May 19, 2016

Can we talk about the price of groceries?

Before we talk about groceries, can I please ask you to tell me ONE thing on this post?

Thank you kindly because I really don't fancy talking to myself!

My Baggu shopping bags - bought about 8 years ago, still going strong :)
Our grocery bill has increased dramatically in the last 3 - 5 months. I can't say that we're eating differently - if anything, I was cooking less because the heat wasn't kind to me, and I therefore avoid my kitchen in summer. Good thing everyone around here thinks eggs on toast is a perfectly good meal :)

Usually one or two months of not sticking to the budget doesn't unduly alarm me. I tend to think maybe there were lots of specials (D is a sucker like most of you for The Sale) or we were having show houses (I am a sucker for all the cleaning things).

But then month 3, and I realised we needed to increase the budget. I can't keep making a line item called "overspent" - it just doesn't feel right.

My colleagues and I have been talking about the grocery issue for months now.

Yes, we moan about it but somehow there's somewhat of a money buffer in our budgets so we can stop doing other things to pay more for groceries.... and water and electricity (next blog post) and petrol.

But what of others who are living "on the bread line"?

I felt so guilty about this issue that we gave Nanny S and the gardener a cost-of-living increase in March.

Back to the groceries. R24,99 for a head of broccoli or cauliflower that used to cost R15,99. All packs of 1.5 kg apples now R25,99 each - they used to cost R15,99 and we bought 3 every week because we all eat lots of apples.

Carrots, thankfully, are still about R10,99 a bag. These prices are at the blue and red retailer.

So, no wonder the grocery bill has exploded. And I am getting more fussy so I'm checking that fridge daily to see what needs to be used, what can be tossed into the freezer for when we make soup. I even said, "we are not buying any more cereal until everything is used up". It still isn't, two months later.

Also, thank you to Kelloggs for the huge hamper of cereal I won at the blogger meet-up. I shared with Nanny S but we still had plenty for ourselves that will probably last til mid-June since we only eat on the weekends.

Anyway, so tell me, are you feeling the pinch?
Do you have any new tricks up your sleeve to not waste food/ use up food in interesting ways? I'm letting my pantry run completely bare a lot more... and making do every couple of weeks with what is here instead of adding more.

What are you doing to stretch your rands/ dollars?


  1. Gosh have you seen what Butter spread costs now? Above R50! For the first time I am really watching out for specials but we are really feeling it. Also more stews and cheaper meat cuts is my way to go now

    1. ALso we have planted a small veggy garden - we have only had salad from it but the cauliflower is doing really well and the spinach

    2. See - I can not stop "talking" today - I hear you on the talking to yourself thing - I have a book review post with many views and not a single comment. The book posts usually do very well.

  2. Onions have tripled in price. I know it's only around R7.50 for two, but a few months ago, it was R2.50! And my shock, horror, disbelief was confirmed when they said at some economic presentation at work that the price of onions has increased by 65%. I am not coping at all with the increased price of groceries but more importantly, can you please share with us on how you managed to pay your house off in 5yrs (if memory serves)?!?!?

  3. We've started shopping around, instead of just getting everything at one shop. I hate it...because of inconsistent quality.

  4. We shop at Apple Tree in Meadowdale now. We have to help our parents on both sides so it is really difficult. I meal plan ahead and only buy exactly what we need in 3. I share my meal plan with the parents and they can make their own creations out of it. Meat gets ordered in bulk a day ahead from Foodlovers and I buy the other ingredients from PnP mostly. If you have the patience try SnapnSave or ask your hubby to try it, works well to save a few Rands, just dont book stuff you really dont need. The Checkers app also works quite well. Like I say just dont fall for "because its cheap". We have a very very strict budget right now fause of medical costs so I am like a drill seargent at the moment with our finances. LOL

  5. Ooo cleaning stuff, we buy Aro brands in bulk from Makro once every 6/8 months...they are not too bad quality compared to your fancier brands. Makro's M brand clothes soap and dishwas tablets are the old Woolies brand, so we get that in bulk too.

  6. Our budget has gone crazy... not even the photoshoots help anymore.

  7. Yip! I have noticed it for a while now. Brown sugar used to cost R16.99 last year - its now R25!

    Fruit and veg really seem to have been the biggest increases!

    I check specials now, if its not on special I don't buy it. Fortunately I am able to check daily specials because I am out and about with the kids.

    We have pretty much stopped eating red meat - I can't justify spending R80 JUST on meat per meal!

  8. Groceries are one thing I don't stress about. We don't eat out often, so I buy (mostly) what I want to eat. We do our very best to eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and lean meat, and that's not cheap. I will choose our fruit selection based on what's a good price, but otherwise I get what's on my list, regardless.

    We actually have a new grocery store in town. It's a little higher to shop there, but the produce and meat are SO nice! For a long time I was going to our old store for most things, and stopping by the new place for select items. I finally made the switch to the new place, though. It feels a bit indulgent, but it's a less assault on the senses than the old grocery store. ;)

  9. I have lost complete touch with what things cost in South Africa and if that is expensive or not as I have been here in NZ now on the way to 12 years now. Here too groceries are pretty expensive, but I would love to get to a point where I have a veggie / fruit garden that is completely self-sufficient / producing. There was a show we had "Get Growing" and she taught people to start from scratch in a garden that could be pretty small, but it is designed to keep you stocked with a constant supply of veggies and fruit.

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  11. Groceries do cost a heap more than it used to. Fruit and veggies in season cost less than out of season fruit. We buy just two types of fruit a week and eat it finished before new fruit. Frozen veggies seem to be cheaper and they do not rot away quickly. We menu plan differently now. We shop and then see what we have and take it from there. Things like dish soap we are fussy with so we still stick with a brand. Also, if it is too expensive we just do without. There are many things it is easy to live without, just a mind shift.


  12. Life has been absolutely mad here, so my pantry has run bare and my fridge looks like a floor model. I haven't had the time to sit and properly plan, list, and shop so I've unfortunately been making many small trips. I'm only buying the food I need for the next few days quickly so I haven't had time to over shop. Certainly not a wonderful way to live, but I have bought significantly fewer cookies!

  13. I meant to email you about this. NOT. COPING.
    And I have to shop for MIL as well.
    I buy cheaper cuts of meat. Like pork and beef. And I buy those small packs of apples at Pnp for like R12. I think it's a 1kg pack. I find that fresh produce is killing me the most. I can probably buy from the roadside vendor but then it means that I have to eat it that day and I can't take it back if it gets rotten overnight. Someone told me to try organic market - I'll be checking that option soon. Oh, and I NEVER shop while the cupboards are still full. I want them EMPTY. Also. Petrol goes up next week again. By 50c or something. I am trying not to twitch.

  14. Everything is so much more expensive!!!! At one point a kg of banana was R16:99 at most grocery shops and let's not talk about fancy fruits .

    I buy bulk of non-perishable items on sale every few months. I've figured the sales happen very other month or so. And we have to do this because I find with things like tissue and dish washing liquid you get what you pay for, we always joke we need puppies on our tissue :) I'm also cleaning out my grocery cupboard more and shopping when we absolutely need to

  15. I am in total denial as to how frigging much my grocery bill has climbed! I am being much more frugal - scouring for deals and bulk buys and we hardly eat meat anymore and I am making sure that my fridge and pantry run DRY before I go to the shops. It is total madness!


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