South Africa
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Festive season finances: Five ways to save a little cash on groceries

As we enter into November, especially whilst downgraded to Level 1, we’ll naturally be dining out more often, celebrating the end of another tough year. However, this and other occurrences can impact your festive season finances quite a bit.

This time, out of the house attending company year-end events, having drinks with friends and attending school closure parties means far less money spent on stocking your own fridge – which can result in a nice saving ahead of the festive season.

In preparation for the annual gift-purchasing bonanza, here are 5 helpful tips for slashing your grocery expenditure each month and giving a much-needed boost to your festive season finances.  

Track your expenditure

Have you ever taken the opportunity to track your grocery expenses each month? If so, you may notice that popping into your local store to grab a couple of items a few times a week adds up to a mammoth bill.

“Tracking starts with working through your bank statement and slips and taking note of where, when and what food you’re buying each month. It’ll become far more apparent where you’re able to cut down (and you’ll be surprised at how much you can save),” advises Ucook.  

Avoid wastage

Over-purchasing is more of a problem than you can imagine, especially when it comes to fresh produce.

If you’re not eating at home often, Ucook advises that it might be worth considering a meal-kit subscription service to avoid wastage, and ensure healthier home-cooked options.

“Ucook meal kits are delivered to your home and contain fresh, locally sourced ingredients in the perfect portions, thereby eliminating food waste. The meal kits are priced from approximately R90 per person per meal.”

Stock your freezer with frozen meals

Instead of splurging on expensive takeaway meals, stock your freezer with a couple of nutritious options that are easily heated.

Being unprepared usually leads to expenditure that isn’t always necessary and you’ll thank yourself for taking care of dinner well in advance and your festive season finances will as well.

frozen ingredients
frozen ingredients
Frozen vegetables stir-fry. Picture: iStock

Stick to seasonal produce and fruit and vegetables

This is because fruits and vegetables that are in season or abundantly available, are priced lower than those sourced from other parts of the world.

It is also advisable to search for recipes online like chickpea curry, vegetable biryani and other interesting vegetable dishes that are easier on the budget.

Shop online

South Africans are in for a nasty surprise as fuel prices are expected to increase dramatically in November 2021.

What better reason to scroll from the comfort of your own couch and select the items you need, and only those items? Opt for online shopping when working to a budget to avoid giving into the temptation of unnecessary items in-store and avoid the car trip there. And that way, your festive season finances will be safe from “silly season.”

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho