Shopping showdown: Where to buy your groceries

By Athenkosi Sawutana

More than 43% of our readers are in debt because of food, a startling statistic that we discovered in a survey that we ran in November.

Food is becoming prohibitively expensive in South Africa. In January, StatsSA released a study showing that food and non-alcoholic beverages are some of the biggest contributors to inflation.

It light of this, JustMoney hit three of the largest supermarkets to compare the prices of 12 basic items. The same brand was purchased where possible, and in the same quantity. These are our findings.

Tip: To watch the savvy shopping showdown video and stand a chance to win, click here.

Checkers offers the lowest prices

Checkers came out tops for pricing, and offered particularly excellent value for potatoes and toilet paper. A 2Kg bag of potatoes cost R19.99, compared to R33.99 at Woolworths and R34.99 at Pick n Pay. We paid R59.99 for 9 Baby Soft 2-ply toilet paper rolls at Checkers and R69.99 at Pick n Pay. We couldn’t find same brand at Woolies, so we opted for another brand which cost us R62.99.

In total we spent R368.71 at Checkers.

Woolworths gave us the best shopping experience

When it came to shopping experience, Woolworths took the first prize. The store was clean and the lighting was good. Even though the store was quite small, the queue was neatly organised and the social distancing rules were carefully observed. The queue system was used to call the customers and the teller who served us was friendly and patient.

The total pricing for our shop came in at R 442.34.

And the best discounts went to…

Pick n Pay Smart Shopper was the only rewards card we had between us, though we did note that there were no rewards offered on our items at the other stores. Using this rewards card, we saved R16.00 on our bill. Without it, our total spend would have been R427.99. Our purchase also increased our loyalty points by R2.13.

Smart Shopper offers one point for every R2 you spend when you swipe your card. At Woolworths and Checkers, various discounts are offered as marked on the shelves.

READ MORE: Make rewards programmes work for you

“Shopping around is important when buying your groceries,” says Sarah Nicholson, commercial manager at JustMoney. “This may take time, but it will definitely save you money. Check sale ads and emailers, and go online to compare prices. If you decide to shop online you must also consider delivery costs.”

“Be sure to apply for loyalty cards, as these can save you thousands annually,” says Nicholson. “Almost every shop has a rewards programme now, some of which accrue points every time you shop, while others secure discounts online or in-store.”

JustMoney can also help you free up some cash if you’re struggling to pay your debt. Click here to find out how.

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