Want to save a couple of thousand rand a year on your shopping? With a little bit of know-how, it’s easier to save money than you think.
1. Hunt for the best value
- When it comes to expensive cleaning stuff from big brands like Ariel or Omo, go to the large supermarkets and stock up on special offers.
- For meat, we found Food Lovers Market offers affordable prices for premium steak, such as ribeye, and for nice cheeses like mozzarella and Brie. Checkers is known for its fish counters – but always check the expiry date!
- For fresh packaged salads, both Pick n Pay and Food Lovers Market offer good value. Make guzzle.co.za your best friend, and use it to check all the offers on appliances, groceries, electronics, clothes and more.
2. Get couponing!
- Shoppers all over the world are doing it and South Africans are wising up to it, too. Hundreds of free coupons are available through different retailers, usually if you are a member of their clubs. Or try coupon and voucher websites, such as couponsa.co.za, or checkers.co.za and shoprite.mobi for mobile coupons – right on your cell phone!
3. Skip the ready-made
- We all have those evenings where the last thing we want to do is cook supper, but avoid ready-made meals as far as you can. They’re lower in nutritional value, and often cost double what it would take for you to make the meals yourself! Stock your freezer with made-ahead sauces, such as bolognaise or mushroom sauce, which you can use to make pasta or casseroles. If you’re making stew, soup, curry, lasagne or ratatouille, always make extra and freeze leftovers for lazy nights in.
4. Buy in bulk
- Avoid buying must-haves like loo paper, washing powder and shower gel in the weekly shopping mania. Instead, stock up when they’re discounted at big supermarkets or retailers such as Clicks or Checkers. You can do this by searching for the brands and comparing prices on pricecheck.co.za. Bulk buy store-cupboard and cleaning items, too, but buy fresh for everything else. You may also find that toiletries and beauty products are cheaper at supermarkets, too.
- To save on wine, buy it in bulk once a month. Checkers and Pick n Pay have a wide variety on offer, and have excellent prices when their wines are on special.
5. Keep it simple
- Rather than buying specialised cleaning products (one for every different surface in the house!), narrow down your cleaning cupboard buys and stick to the basics. Bicarb works really well for removing carpet stains and for scouring pots and pans. And there’s no need to spend R50 on a window cleaner when all you need in your cupboard is a bottle of vinegar, which will leave your windows sparkling!
6. Trade down on must-haves
- Opt for supermarket value items — if you’re buying ingredients to go in a recipe, they’re just as good as well-known brands. This could save you enough money so you can still buy the products you don’t want to compromise on, like a favourite wine.
7. Check out loyalty cards
- It’s worth signing up to different retailers’ schemes, and other programmes for rewards. The Clicks Clubcard, Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card, Checkers EeziCoupon and Woolworths WRewards are well known, but don’t forget about the Exclusive Books Fanatics card, Kauai coupons, Dis-Chem loyalty card and Edgars Thank U rewards, too. The rewards offered by Discovery Vitality and FNB eBucks are definitely worth looking at and can save you a whole lot in the long run.
8. Use price alerts
- Many products we buy regularly aren’t always on offer and it’s not always convenient to check every day to see if the price drops. You can add alerts to different product categories such as groceries, appliances and beauty products on guzzle.co.za, and receive an email as specials come up. Brilliant!
- SnapnSave is fast becoming one of our favourite apps for saving money. Basically it gives you cash back when you buy loads of brands, regardless of where you buy them. Deals are updated on a weekly basis and include all your favourite staples. Find out how to start saving here.
9. Start eating fakeaways!
- This is the new buzz word! Rather than paying for costly takeaway meals (our last burger and chips takeout was over R80 a head!), why not make your own replica Chinese, Indian and fish and chips at home for a fraction of the cost? Time to erase the takeaway numbers on speed dial then!
10. Don’t be a veg snob
- Buying pre-packed and chopped veggies means that you can get dinner on the table earlier. But handpicking your own works out much cheaper, and lasts much longer. We found a head of broccoli for R20, whereas pre-packed was R35. We also handpicked a handful of spinach for R15, where the pre-chopped and cleaned spinach was R20, and you got even less spinach!
Tips for smart online shopping:
- We love Takealot’s daily deals and payday specials. Just remember, you’re not saving money if you buy something you don’t need, so don’t be tempted by things online just because they’re cheap.
- Need a deal, but haven’t seen it? Just go to pricecheck.co.za to see where you can get an item at its cheapest so you don’t lose out!
- Follow our tips on safe online shopping to make sure you don’t compromise any of your details
- If you’re using a site you’re not familiar with, make sure you do your homework and read reviews from other users before following any deals or advice.