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Don't know where to start saving money on groceries as a student? Here are 5 tips to stretch your cash

You should meticulously plan out your monthly grocery store run to save a bit of money or even afford food. Picture: File

You should meticulously plan out your monthly grocery store run to save a bit of money or even afford food. Picture: File

Published Mar 29, 2022

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Durban - Budgeting as a student can be tough, especially if you do not have extra funds for groceries.

The staple diet of students - bread and cereal - is in fact getting exponentially more expensive each month, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and that is making budgeting even more difficult.

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The price of white bread, for instance, shot up by 3.2 percent between January and February.

Experts say you should meticulously plan out your monthly grocery store run in order to save a bit of money or to even afford food.

Here are 5 useful tips when food shopping as a student that will help you:

1. Have a game plan

You need to start by deciding how much money you can put aside for groceries. Write down exactly what you will need to buy, with a focus on essentials first, you can buy treats once you have gotten the important items.

2. Compare prices

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South African retailers’ prices on products can vary greatly even with the same items. If you want to score a bargain, invest some time in finding the most affordable prices.

Here is a comparison of some of the cheapest student staple foods from the country’s biggest stores:

Two minute noodles prices
CheckersMaggi (5x73g) R28.99Mr Pasta (5x60g) R19.99Roka (5x85g) R24.99)
ShopriteMaggi (5x73g) R27.99Mr Pasta (5x60g) R19.99Roka (5x85g) R24.99
Pick n PayMaggi(5x73g) R28.99Kellogs (5x70g) R28.99Fantastic Cup noodles (70g) R29.99
Baked Beans in tomato sauce prices
CheckersKoo 410g (R12.99)Checkers Housebrand 410g (R9.99)Rhodes 410g (R12.99)
ShopriteKoo 410g (R13.99)Ritebrand 410g (R9.99)Pot O’ Gold 410g (R10.99)
Pick n PayKoo 410g (R12.99)PnP brand 400g (R11.49)PnP No name 400g (R9.99)
Tinned Pilchards prices
Checkers Lucky Star 400 g (R22.99)Checkers Housebrand 400g (R21.99) Cape Point 400g (R21.99)
WoolworthsLucky Star 400 g (R24.99)
ShopriteLucky Star 400g (R23.99)Saldanha 400g (R22.99)
Pick n PayLucky Stars 400g (R22.99)PnP BRAND 400g (R22.99)
Cornflakes prices
CheckersKellogs 500g (R47.99) Bokomo 500g (R39.99)Checkers Housebrand 500g (R28.99)
WoolworthsKellogs 500g (R41.99)Woolworths brand 500g (R31.95)
ShopriteKellogs 500g (R45.99) Bokomo 500g (R39.99)Ritebrand 500g (R45.99)
Pick n PayKellogs 500g (R44.99) Bokomo 500g (R36.99)PnP No Name 1kg (R48.99)

3. Non-perishables are your friend

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Non-perishable foods are processed or packaged to withstand prolonged storage; these include canned vegetables, boxed cereals, peanut butter, tea bags, and coffee.

These are very convenient as they can stay in your cupboard for a long time while still being healthy. You do not have to buy them on a daily basis so you can use your money to purchase whatever else you need.

They will also be there for emergencies when you run out of your perishable foods such as bread.

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4. Use loyalty cards

Most South African supermarkets offer loyalty cards. With these you can get discounts and some decent savings every time you shop. Having several will ensure that you get a variety of deals that benefit your pocket.

5. Never shop whilst hungry

When you are perusing the supermarket aisles with a grumbling stomach, it may be hard to think straight and not go for the delicious snacks in front of you.

According to a study published in the US’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, unsatisfied hunger can even lead to a desire to buy non-food items.

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