1Know your prices – I cannot stress this enough. If you know a bottle of dishwashing liquid goes for R24.99 at most shops, you will be aware that the special of “buy two for R35” is a great deal. Also know your volumes. Make sure the same-sized bottle is discounted.
2Buy specials as often as you can and buy them in bulk. If that bottle of dishwashing liquid is really a good deal, don’t buy one, buy 10. You’re not going to have to worry about at least one essential product for a few months, and it will give you a bit of extra money.
3Buy in bulk. I have filled my car boot with toilet paper on special. It means I have three months not to worry about it. But when you buy fresh produce in bulk, be ready to process and freeze most of it, otherwise you’re throwing money away on what seemed like a good deal. Tip: If you buy tomatoes in bulk, simply wash and freeze those you are not going to use and haul them out of the freezer to add to stews or soups.
4Bargains can be found in weird places. I buy washing powder from a little garage café. They put those sorts of things on special to draw in customers to buy more expensive stuff, such as cooldrinks and pies. Ignore those and just buy the washing powder. An amount of R15 off a 2kg brand-name washing powder is a great deal.
5Spoil yourself occasionally. What’s the point of working hard to save your cents and not earning some rewards? If you are vigilant about shopping smartly, then those boots on sale are a great gift to yourself – and they’re on sale. (I seldom buy clothes at full price. The shops are so keen on bringing in new merchandise, you only have to wait a few weeks before stuff goes on sale anyway.)