Written by Charlene Hartung

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1 Sep, 2023

Creating a budget-friendly shopping list takes some planning and prioritizing. When I was pregnant with my son, we were living with my parents but had plans to move into our new home after he was born. Since I had the time and energy, I decided to start shopping around for prices.

I made a list of everything we needed to start a whole new household and went to different stores like Shoprite, Spar, and Pick n Pay. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a Checkers nearby at that time.

I noticed that some items were more expensive at Spar, but I also found that others were cheaper. So it was a bit of a mixed bag. At the end of the day, I realized that driving around to find the cheapest items might actually cost more in petrol.

But hey, if you stumble upon a good bargain, it’s always a win! Extra money in your pocket is never a bad thing. Just remember, always go to the store with a shopping list. Otherwise, you might end up buying things you don’t really need. Happy shopping!

Here are some tips to help you create a budget-friendly shopping list:

  1. Set a budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on groceries each week or month. This will help you prioritize your purchases and avoid overspending.
  2. Plan your meals: Plan your meals for the week ahead. This will help you buy only the necessary ingredients and reduce food waste. Look for recipes that use similar ingredients to save money. Going to the shop daily to buy what you need for that night’s meal can become very expensive. 
  3. Make a list: Before heading to the store, make a detailed list of the items you need. Stick to the list and avoid impulse purchases. This will help you stay focused and avoid buying unnecessary items.
  4. Compare prices: Compare prices of different brands and products to find the best deals. Consider buying generic or store brands, as they are often cheaper and can be of similar quality to name brands.
  5. Buy in bulk: Purchasing items in bulk can often save you money in the long run. Look for non-perishable items, such as rice, pasta, and canned goods, that you use frequently and buy them in larger quantities.
  6. Shop seasonal and local: Buying seasonal produce can be cheaper and fresher. Additionally, consider shopping at local farmer’s markets, as they often offer competitive prices and support local businesses.
  7. Avoid pre-packaged and convenience foods: Pre-packaged and convenience foods are usually more expensive. Instead, opt for fresh ingredients and prepare meals from scratch. This will not only save you money but also allow you to have more control over the quality and nutritional value of your meals.
  8. Shop with a full stomach: Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse purchases and buying unnecessary snacks or treats. Eat a meal or snack before heading to the store to avoid these temptations.
  9. Track your expenses: Keep track of your grocery expenses to evaluate your spending habits and identify areas where you can make adjustments. This will help you stay accountable and make more informed decisions in the future.

Creating a budget-friendly shopping list is a continuous process of learning and adapting. With practice, you’ll become more efficient at sticking to your budget and finding the best deals.


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