workers Food prices of 12 basic items cheaper at Checkers

SA workers are under pressure due to rising food and transport costs. Picture: Supplied/JustMoney

Food prices: Checkers is cheapest, new survey shows

Shopping around for the best food prices definitely pays off as this latest survey of 12 monthly grocery essentials reveals.

workers Food prices of 12 basic items cheaper at Checkers

SA workers are under pressure due to rising food and transport costs. Picture: Supplied/JustMoney

As consumers sink into debt to buy food a new shopping survey has showed that Checkers offers some of the lowest food prices on a humble basket of a dozen grocery items.

Sarah Nicholson, operations manager of personal finance website JustMoney said the online publication had decided to do the survey after noting that due to rising food prices more than 43% of its readers polled were in debt trying to put food on the table.

“In light of this, JustMoney visited three Cape Town outlets representing large supermarket brands to compare the prices of 12 basic items such as milk, bread and potatoes. The same brand was purchased where possible, and in the same quantity.”

The 12 items selected were toilet paper, washing powder, rice, tea bags, potatoes, chicken pieces, baked beans, Coke, sugar, milk, bread and bananas. 

The shoppers gathering food prices were copy editor Erica Liebenberg (Checkers Sea Point), writer Athenkosi Sawutana (Pick n Pay Sea Point) and marketing manager Shafeeka Anthony (Woolworths Sea Point).

The overall shopping basket for the 12 items cost R368.71 at Checkers, which was 16,64% cheaper than the most expensive basket at Woolworths, priced at R 442.34. The same items at Pick n Pay cost R427.99 before a R16 deduction for the store’s Smart Shopper reward savings.

Watch the savvy shopping showdown video, click here.

Here’s the low down on food prices and the shopping experience from the JustMoney team:

Checkers offers lowest food prices for the basket

Checkers came out tops for pricing and offered excellent value for potatoes and toilet paper in particular. 

A 2kg bag of potatoes cost R19.99, compared to R33.99 at Woolworths and R34.99 at Pick n Pay. JustMoney paid R59.99 for nine Baby Soft 2-ply toilet paper rolls at Checkers, and R69.99 at Pick n Pay. The same brand was not available at Woolworths, so JustMoney opted for another brand which cost R62.99.

In total, the team spent R368.71 at Checkers.

Woolworths gave the best shopping experience

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

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

And the best discounts on food prices went to…

Pick n Pay Smart Shopper was the only reward card held by the shoppers, though they did note that there were no rewards offered on their purchased items at the other stores. Using this rewards card, they saved R16.00 on the bill. Without it, the total spend would have been R427.99. The purchases also increased the shoppers’ loyalty points by R2.13.

The Smart Shopper programme 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.

Shop around for the best food prices to save

“Shopping around is important when buying your groceries,” Nicholson said. “This may take time, but it will definitely save you money. Check sales ads and emailers, and go online to compare prices. If you decide to shop online, you must also take into account delivery costs.

“Be sure to apply for loyalty cards, as these can save you thousands annually. 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.”