Due to technical issues, I have had to post this blog unedited. Please forgive the grammatical errors.
On a Facebook group I belong to, the topic of budgets came up and we started talking about the cost of groceries. I have already worked out my budget, which we stick to pretty closely, but I wanted to try a different store. We average R1500 per month per person, this includes meat, veg, milk, bread, toiletries and groceries. I originally estimated R1000 per person, but I didn’t take into account toiletries and fruit and veg. If you entertain a lot then your groceries will definitely be more.
I also think that if you have a baby you spend more because of the formula and nappies. So for a baby I would say R2000 and for everyone else R1500 is possible.
I have been doing my shopping online, buying fruit and veg from Food Lover Market and toiletries from Clicks Norwood mall as my husband is the Pharmacist there so I can use his staff card and still get my discovery points.
Today I did my monthly shop by actually going into a physical store. I spent double my normal budget! What did I learn from this?
- NEVER shop on an empty stomach! This is an old rule that I already knew, but I broke it today. Not only was it an empty stomach, but it is also the fast of Tisha B’Av. I don’t fast well. Ever. In fact I usually go to bed and stay there! So how I thought I could actually do the shopping I have no idea.
- NEVER take your husband with! My husband is not the most disciplined when it comes to budget. Husbands in general tend to impulse buy. I also seem to loose my ability to make decisions for myself and defer to him, normally if I can’t decide on something I leave it on the shelf. It was a really good deal, I just won’t buy this for next month.
- NEVER take your children with. My kids are good, they didn’t once ask for sweets or chocolate, which they only get for Shabbat. I did, however, buy olives, pickles (two kinds), extra jam, tinned peaches and custard these things were not on my original list.
- Lastly NEVER go into an actual store! I saw all the specials (Tenderchick chickens and R49 per kg, for those of you who don’t keep kosher, that is an excellent price), bought a new type of pear to try, Nectarines which are new in season so cost a bit more and fresh strawberries, new slippers- although mine are old they are not broken and keep my feet warm just fine, but these were cute.
Overall I learnt a valuable lesson, as much as Pick n Pay is more expensive for some things, the vitality points and your smart shopper card definitely make a difference. I would have earned points and fuel cash. Using my card and coupons at Checkers I only saved R8 in coupons and I think earned just over R70 in ebucks (I don’t know how to work it out), and because I actually went into the store I spent double my budget.
Shabbat should cost between R500 to R700 per week, this is if you are entertaining. On a family Shabbat (no guests) we only have soup, main, 1 starch and 2 veg, salad, a 2 litre cold drink and occasionally desert, for dinner and for lunch, a main, and salad and desert. Desert is normally homemade ice-cream. If we are entertaining we would have a starter and a salad, 1 meat dish, 1 starch and 2 veg, a salad, 2-3 2 litre cold drinks and desert.
When I do my meat order I order enough for all the Shabbat meals. I generally don’t do last minute invitations so I almost always know how many will be coming for meals in a month.
Your basic Shabbat would then cost a lot less, bought Challah (PnP) R9- R16 (Shula’s homemade/ German) per challah, Shabbat breakfast for us is a cake or pastry (PnP Melktart) R20-R50 (Shula’s rugelach) depending on what you get and where you get it from. 1 cold drink for supper and 1 for lunch, and very importantly Shabbat morning treat, this is usually just a slab of chocolate, once a month I will by individual treats. As part of my envelope budget I include money for 4 Shabbats, this way I will always be able to buy my basics, so even if it is a peanut butter type of month, Shabbat will be special.
Obviously if you are not Kosher, Checkers is definitely a lot cheaper as their brand name product prices are really good and you can do your shopping according to the available vouchers on ezee-coupons the Checkers app, thereby earning a bigger discount, also unless you are on a very high tier for ebucks you don’t earn much, I still don’t know that it is worth it.
I will be going back to my online shopping from next month.
A big part of my online shopping is that I have a problem with crowds, Pick n Pay just has too many people especially at month end. Checkers was a much better experience for me in this regard.