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This is the cheapest store to purchase a basic grocery bag from in January 2023

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As the cost of living continues to soar in South Africa for consumers, many are looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their rands a little further every month.

On Wednesday *(25/01/2023), the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity (PMBEJD) Household Affordability Index for January 2023 showed that the average cost of the household food basket is R4 917.42.

In December 2022 the food basket was calculated to be R4 853.18. This means that in just one month consumers are paying an addition R64.25 or 13% for basic food goods.

If you compare it to January 2022, consumers were paying R4 401.02.

They are now paying R4 917.42 in January 2023.

This translates to an increase of R516.40 or 11.7%.

According to data from Outlierafrica, which looks at in-store prices of the same basket of goods across six major retailers, Food Lover’s Market ranked as the cheapest store to buy goods from, with the most expensive being SPAR, for the month of January 2023.

The six retailers looked at are, Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, SPAR, Food Lover’s Market and Woolworths.

The basket is made up of the following items:

  • 700g loaf of Albany Superior Sliced White Bread (or store brand)
  • 2-litre store brand sunflower oil
  • 2.5kg Iwisa maize meal
  • 2.5kg Selati white sugar
  • 2-litre store brand milk
  • 2kg Tastic rice
  • 2.5kg Snowflake cake flour
  • 175g Dettol Herbal Soap
  • 9-pack of 2-ply Baby Soft toilet paper (or store brand)

SPAR was the most expensive retailer, R51.54 more expensive for January’s basket of nine staples compared with Food Lover’s Market.

Below is the comparison that was carried out for January 2023:

A comparison of a basic grocery basket from six different retailers in South Africa. Image: Outlierafrica.

Below is a price breakdown of the items from the different stores:

Image: Outlierafrica.

During the month of December 2022, the cheapest store was Food Lover’s Market, where the basket cost R385.87, followed surprisingly by Woolworths, which set shoppers back R396.91 and Shoprite costing consumers R406.91.

The next three food baskets cost the following at the respective other supermarkets during the month of December 2022:

∎ Checkers – R407.91

∎ SPAR – R410.91

∎ Pick n Pay – R417.21. 


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