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Shop smart by buying in bulk this Christmas

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Stokvels save you a lot of money

IT IS that time of the year when most stokvel members will be sharing the savings they have made throughout the year.

Those who have joined a grocery stokvel have learned the art of being smart shoppers and will be buying their groceries in bulk at discounted prices.

Nelisiwe Khumalo, a 63-year-old, of Jabulani in Soweto, has been a member of Masakane Stokvel for the past three years. She said she contributes R300 a month towards her December groceries. There are 15 members in her stokvel.

Each member contributes what they can afford, and this amount is collected by their executive members and later deposited into their stokvel grocery account at Makro stores, said Khumalo.

She said members agree beforehand on what they will buy at the end of the year because Makro allows them to make pre-orders. There are only two members authorised to access the account. At the end of the year groceries are delivered at one of the members’ houses where they are shared.

“The grocery and holiday stokvels are much safer than the money-sharing one,” she said.

She is looking forward to going to Mpumalanga for the Christmas holiday because she is a member of a holiday stokvel to which she contributes R150 a month.

Nolene Parboo, a savings and investments senior manager at Standard Bank, said the festive season is an expensive time and, like Khumalo, consumers should use this opportunity to develop “smart shopping” habits that can reduce holiday catering costs by up to 10%.

Getting the best value for your groceries and household needs involves learning to buy in bulk, said Parboo. She said although changing shopping habits needs planning, the effort will be more than rewarded by the savings that can be achieved. Parboo said prices are competitive and there are plenty of “specials” on offer.

She said buying smart means doing a bit of homework, and scanning retailers’ marketing leaflets is a great place to start. Without leaving home, you can get an idea of who is offering what, where the lowest prices are and how long the offers will last, said Parboo.

“Getting into bulk-buying mode means taking a stricter approach to shopping,” she said.

Lesego Moagi a brand corporate manager at Makro said the stokvel account has been running for more than 20 years. He said it was initiated by Makro “when we realised the need to service the stokvel customers, who predominantly buy food products in bulk no more than twice a year”.

These stokvels have grown by leaps and bounds and to date the Crown Mines, Johannesburg, store has over 500 stokvels, Moagi said.

He said Makro hosts stokvel days at the end of each year and also facilitates deliveries to designated drop-off points.

First published in The Sowetan.


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