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One of my readers recently suggested I visit the Trig Distributors shop in Chloorkop, so I decided to give it a go. Needless to say, I was curious to see what’s on offer and what the prices are like. I love bargain shops! And I can tell you straight away, that I wasn’t disappointed!

So what’s available at the Trig Distributors shop in Chloorkop?

I had a good look around at all the isles. There were lots of cereals (Weetbix, ProNutro, Future Life, cornflakes, loops, muesli, etc.), rusks, pasta and noodles, fruit juices and fruit concentrates, condiments, staples, jams, a variety of biscuits and crackers, lots of sweets and chips, dried fruits, cereal bars, some household cleaning supplies and quite a variety of other items such as boxed salads, baking supplies (baking powder, shredded coconut, etc.).

The Trig Distributors shop is fairly large and they were very well stocked. The shop was also fairly busy and most people that were there had their trolleys packed. I suppose if you’re going all the way out to Chloorkop, and you don’t live in the area, it makes sense to stock up a bit. Trig Distributors is located at 10 Vaseur Road, in Chloorkop, Gauteng.

The items for sale at Trig Distributors are either about to expire, or have expired already. However, there are also items that still have several months to go before they reach their expiry date. You just have to check when you pick up the item that you want to buy. Most of the items I chose have not gone past their expiry date at all, yet they were reasonably priced, and certainly cheaper than in the shops, so I was chuffed about that.

So here’s what I bought:

3 x packets (of 5 each) ProNutro bars for R40.00. Each packet of 5 retails for about R38.00 in the shops.

Ceres tomato juice cans for R5.00 each.

Sushi nori packets for R22.00 each. These normally retail for R45.00 – R55.00 in the shops.

1.5 kg of Good Morning biscuits for R15.00. The only thing is that most biscuits are broken in half but I honestly don’t care about that. A biscuit is a biscuit! Besides, they break when you chew on them anyway!

Safari To Go Fruit Medley 50 gr. packets for just R2.80 each.

750 gr. Muesli for R22.00.

200 gr. plain crackers for R7.50. That’s half the price than what these normally cost in the shops.

500 gr. packet of noodles for R9.00.

So even though I didn’t buy that much (we’re all stocked up for the month ahead), I feel that I’ve found a few good bargains. I’ve had a leisurely look around and I have an idea of what’s on offer. All in all, it was a worthwhile visit! I’ll definitely be back again when I’m next in the area.

Have you been to the Trig Distributors shop? What are your thoughts?

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Over the past year, our 6-year-old lemon tree has started producing more lemons than we know what to do with! We had a whole heap of lemons towards the end of last year, a lot more this year in February and even after the second bountiful harvest we are still left with lots of fleshy, juicy and fully ripened lemons on our tree.

I couldn’t be happier, or more grateful, that our lemon tree is now doing so well, even though it’s really taken its time. At some point I thought, we’re never going to have any lemons, and even though our lemon tree kept growing and sending out new shoots, albeit slowly, I knew I was just being impatient! Five years is not that long when it comes to fruit trees; in fact, it’s probably right on time.

So what have we done with all those lovely lemons? Well, we’ve made tons of delicious marmalade! We’ve kept quite a few jars for ourselves and we’ve shared the rest with family and friends. We’ve also made lots of lemonade; so much, in fact, that I’ve hardly had to buy any juice for us in the shops at all! We’ve also frozen some lemon rind and lemon juice to use later (especially in baking) and we’ve enjoyed freshly squeezed lemons in fruit salads as well as slices of lemon in our tea. While I haven’t quite sat down to calculate the savings, I know that we’ve saved on our grocery budget.

The benefits of growing fruit trees in your garden are not just financial though. Yes, it’s true, you get produce practically for free (excluding the money spent on composting and watering, which can be minimised if you make your own compost and rely on rainwater, both of which we do) but you are also beautifying your outdoor space, creating shade in your garden, attracting bees and birdlife and let’s not forget that planting any tree is good for our environment.

Besides, the fruit trees in your garden are organic produce. The fruit is also the freshest because it’s picked and consumed at source. We don’t spray any of our fruit trees yet we have so much to consume, share with family and friends, as well as provide for the birds and insects who feast on the fruit on the trees. By growing your own fruit trees, you are also not contributing to the CO2 in the atmosphere, which we all do the minute we purchase any produce at a shop; after all, the produce we consume has to be transported from somewhere to wherever you are, and transportation of any kind contributes to global CO2 emissions.

Now that winter is in full swing, we’ve kept back quite a few lemons on our tree to pick as needed. I love nothing more on a chilly winter’s evening than to curl up with a blankie and a hot cup of Rooibos tea, with ginger, lemon and honey. I’m grateful that we won’t have to buy any lemons this winter. I’m also pretty chuffed that our lemon tree is finally yielding some fruit!

Do you have any fruit trees in your garden? Have you considered planting one or two? I’m sure you wouldn’t have to look far and wide for something you fancy as most local nurseries stock a good variety of grafted fruit trees, suitable for our geographical region. While your initial purchase might seem expensive, give it a couple of years, and the produce yield, year after year, will be more than worth it.

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Frugal in SA by Natalija Cameron - 1M ago

Are you using reusable shopping bags when grocery shopping each month? As convenient as it to just pay for a plastic bag at the till point (I know I’ve done that far too many times in the past), now I really love my homemade shopping bags and I make sure I don’t walk into a shop without them!

While you can easily purchase a variety of reusable shopping bags at all the major retailers in South Africa, you can also make them at home, for a fraction of the cost.

Reusable shopping bags can be made from:

  • Leftover sewing fabric (if you sew).
  • Scraps of fabric that you can’t use for anything else (you can join as many small pieces as you have to create unique and beautiful designs)
  • Old pillowcases, cushion covers, dishcloths, t-shirts, shirts, jeans, towels, etc. that can no longer be worn e.g. perhaps the colour has washed out or the fabric has become too thin.

These reusable shopping bags don’t take that long to put together at all. I’ve reached the stage where I don’t even measure – I simply cut, sew and I have a reusable shopping bag in 15 minutes or so. All of my bags are pretty much the same in size, though probably not to the exact millimetre; nonetheless, I am repurposing leftover scraps of material that I have, as well as old jeans, towelling, pillowcases, etc. that can no longer be worn.

And best of all, I simply love my reusable shopping bags. They are cottony, easy to wash and they fold neatly in the boot of my car. They are colourful and eye-catching. I’m absolutely thrilled not to be buying any more plastic bags when I do my grocery shopping – I’m not wasting money or polluting the oceans and rivers with plastic trash. It’s an absolute win-win! Here are 25 other reasons why we should ditch the single-use plastic bags.

If you’d like to give these awesome, reusable shopping bags a go, here are a few easy-to-follow sewing tutorials for a variety of patterns.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Easy Grocery Shopping Bag Tote from 2 Pillowcases

Roll-Up Shopping Bags

If you don’t sew but would still like one or more of these, why not ask a friend to help you out?

Apart from my homemade shopping bags, I also have a few reusable nylon mesh bags so that I can pack loose fruits and veggies, for example bananas or garlic, when doing my grocery shopping. There is no longer a need to reach for those single-use plastic bags that tear even before you get home.

I bought my reusable nylon mesh bags from FreshBag sometime last year and I absolutely love using them! They fit nicely into the boot of my car, along with my other shopping bags, so they’re always ready for me to grab before I walk into the shops. You can order your nylon mesh bags directly from FreshBag or from the Faithful to Nature online store.

I have also just ordered a cotton calico bread bag from FreshBag as well, which I’m so looking forward to using! Although we usually make our own homemade bread, sometimes we just run out of time and energy and we end up buying a loaf or two from the shops. And sometimes we just like to get a loaf of specialty bread or some nice rolls. In any case, I’m really looking forward to buying bread and using a reusable bread bag to bring it home.

If you’re up to it, you might want to make your own linen bread bag, in which case check out this easy tutorial:

DIY Bread Bag from Upcycled Linen

So many retailers pre-package our fruits and vegetables for us in plastic bags and we often don’t have a choice – we have to buy food. I really wish more retailers would make more produce available to us without the plastic packaging. I do like the Food Lover’s Market initiative to offer the following pantry products (in addition to dried fruit and nuts) in their bulk dispensers, and without the plastic packaging: stoneground flour, rice, chickpeas, lentils, oats and muesli. You can read more about that #zerowaste initiative here. And I also read just the other day that Woolworths is planning to phase out its non-recyclable plastic packaging for its own products (including plastic bags and straws) by 2022.

Disclaimer: Financial compensation was not received for this post. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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Frugal in SA by Natalija Cameron - 1M ago

Shopping for groceries this month was a breeze. I went grocery shopping on Saturday morning and because I decided to leave the house quite early, just before 8am, the shops were still quiet for a good hour or two, even though it was month end. I went through all the inserts in our local newspaper (if you prefer to browse online, try Guzzle instead), made a shopping list and prepared our meal plan for the month ahead. I was all set for the shops!

I managed to find some good bargains this month. My first stop was at the Apple Tree Food Market. I stocked up on our staple veggies such as potatoes (7kg for R28), onions (7 kg for R38), baby potatoes (2kg for R14.00). My meal plan for the month of June includes a whole lot of soups and stews, so lots of onions are needed, and potatoes will go quite nicely with our choice of stews.

I bought a 5kg bag of oranges for R10.00, 3 punnets of mushrooms for R30.00, a large box of naartjies for R19.99, pawpaw for R12.99, very large avocados for R6.99 each, 4 quinces for R20.00. These were my best buys. I also had to buy some tomatoes, green peppers, bananas but these were not on special and I ended up paying full price e.g. R15.99 for 1kg of tomatoes and R9.99 for 1kg of bananas (but that’s still cheaper than in supermarkets).

My next stop was at Meat World. This month, they had whole chickens for R29.99 per kg so I stocked up. They also had minced meat at R66.99 per kg as well as pork bangers for R39.99 also per kg. Both of these were good buys, and especially the minced meat which is cheaper than in supermarkets and it’s also cheaper than stewing beef (with bone) per kilogram.

This month I found 2kg bag of Tastic rice at Spar for R19.99 so I stocked up. We were actually all out of rice but as we usually eat more rice in winter (with stews and curries), I stocked up as the cold winter months are here. Spar also had the cheapest tins of baked beans at R6.99 each as well as 500 gr. packets of sugar beans for R15.99.

At Pick ‘n’ Pay I found quite a few grocery items that were well priced: 2.5 kg. sugar for R28.00, 2.5 kg. flour for R19.99, Ouma rusks for R27.90 (I stocked up on these again), long-life milk for R59.99 for 6, 500 gr. brown lentils for R13.99, Nestle hot chocolate 2 x 500 gr. for R80.00 (they normally retail for R65.00 each!), Flatties dog treats for R15.99 (these retail for well over R20.00 these days), a crate of large eggs for R40.00. I bought a few other grocery items at Pick ‘n’ Pay but the savings on those items were small (the specials could have been better!).

I then made my way to Checkers although I didn’t buy that many items there. My best grocery buys at Checkers were 500 gr. packets of ground coffee for R79.99 (the cheapest anywhere), sunflower oil which was reduced to R29.99 for a 2-litre bottle so I bought to add to my stockpile. Checkers was also selling large bags of Tait’s chips for R9.99 (which is the cheapest as well, as Lay’s for example is now selling for almost R20.00 a bag!), cream crackers for R8.99 and tins of tomato & onion mix for R9.99 each. All in all, not much.

I bought the least at Woolies this month, really only a few grocery items. My best buys were Brie and Camembert cheeses at R22.95 each. This was cheaper than Fairview Brie for example at Checkers at R24.00 (on special).

I also bought very few items at Dis-Chem as we’re all stocked up with toiletries. My best buy at Dis-Chem were the Sunlight dishwasher tablets. By using a Wuhu deals coupon I ended up paying only R39.99 for a packet of 23 Sunlight dishwashing tablets. This works out to R1.73 per dishwashing tablet, so R173.00 for a 100. That’s definitely cheaper than anywhere else at the moment. I used 2 Wuhu coupons, as only 2 were available, but I’m definitely going to check for this deal again next month.

So those were my grocery savings for the month. I hope you managed to find some good deals at the end of April/beginning of this month as well?

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The post Grocery Savings & Deals in May appeared first on Frugal in SA.

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I really enjoyed reading It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan. It’s a very light-hearted read, which l liked, yet it certainly makes you think about your values and perceptions of money.

It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! is a narrative that explores how the concept of money differs throughout various world religions and cultures. It also looks at ways in which readers can increase their own wealth through consideration of these practices. That’s something that certainly kept me interested and reading along! It’s certainly different from the more traditional, how-to approach we find so often in books that talk about the subject of money.

Although “this is not a get rich quick book – it is a book about authenticity,” says MacMillan. “When we learn to break free of our patterns and choose to recognize that money is just a resource, we too can become rich and truly enjoy today.”

The story takes place in a classroom where a teacher named Catherine has written the word, Money, in large capital letters on the blackboard. She invites her students to help her define what money is. The students propose varying answers, and Catherine explains how each of these different definitions comes from our cultural, religious, family, and economic backgrounds.

Here is an excerpt from It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan:

As the students walked in to the classroom, they looked up to see “Money” written in large letters on the whiteboard. Grumbling could be heard as kids elbowed each other and pointed to the board.

 

David finally spoke up. “It’s about time this class got interesting.”

 

The kids sat down just as the guest professor walked in.

 

“Hi, my name is Catherine. I am here to teach you about money. Let’s start with a question—let me qualify, every answer is right—so, what is money?”

 

There was silence for a while. Then finally, the answers started to come…

 

“Money makes you popular.”


“Money is power.”


“Money means shopping.”


“Money means rich.”


“Money means you can buy whatever you want.”

“Money means you don’t have to work.”

“Money is something you fight over.”

“Money is greed.”


“Money is fun.”

 

The answers paused at this point, so Catherine asked if anyone else had anything to say.

Amal spoke very quietly. “Money is responsibility.”

Joseph smiled. “Money grows on trees!”


Everyone laughed.


Dayo spoke up. “Money is everywhere.”

Prisha added, “Money is necessary.”


Sean said, “Money is abundance.”


“And what is abundance?” Catherine asked.


Sean smiled. “I don’t know, but I saw it on the board over there.”


 

With this the whole class laughed again. Catherine smiled and looked around the classroom. “You each have a true definition of money. Yes, they are all very different, but we each are very different. Our definition of money comes from our families, our cultures, and our society. We each have a paradigm, or a picture in our heads, about what money means to us. Today we are going to look at those definitions and try to come up with a class definition.

 

“So, what is money? Simply put, money is the resource that we use for exchange. We exchange work for money. We exchange other resources like food or shelter for money. But that definition did not come up in our brainstorming.

“It seems that we have added so much to the meaning of money that we all mean something very different when we say the same word. Why?

 

“Many aspects of our lives have become complicated. It is the price to pay for industrialization and globalization. The truth is, as we became industrialized, our demand for resources dramatically increased. So we wanted more things, and for that we needed more money. And we kept accumulating.”

 

“And the more things that we have, the richer we are, and the more popular we are,” Zoe said.

 

“But each culture still has its own teaching about money and our relationship with it. Each family has its own history and experience with money on top of the cultural teaching. So when we add this all up…it’s complicated.

 

“It is time to simplify and break it down into its basic components. What is money? What are our beliefs about money? What are society’s beliefs about money that are similar to our own? How do we follow our own beliefs about money rather than someone else’s?

 

“Are you ready? Let’s start.”

So are you ready to start reading? The book is available on Amazon.com and you can purchase It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! E-Book or Paperback edition by clicking on this link. Unfortunately, the book is not yet available on some of our local online stores.

Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of the E-Book It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan for the purpose of this book review but opinions expressed here are my own.

About the Author

 

Cara MacMillan is a thought leader in sustainability and financial management. She has the privilege of teaching and learning with courageous individuals who are committed to making a difference for themselves, their world, and future generations. As a thought leader, Cara regularly publishes in the areas of personal finance and investments. As an adjunct professor in the School of Business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, her vision is to empower people to think and act for themselves financially.

She also serves as a Climate Reality Leader in The Climate Reality Leadership Corps. This group is a global network of activists committed to taking on the climate crisis by providing training in climate science, communications, and organizing to tell the story of climate change and inspire communities everywhere to take action. The result is a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums from family dinners to international summits and building a 21st-century movement for solutions.

Cara lives in Ottawa with her life partner and best friend, David, and their two children. She is currently working on her next book, Make Big Money and Make a Big Difference, for readers who want to learn how to invest in responsible companies and opportunities.  It is due out later this year.

You can connect with Cara MacMillan on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to Cara MacMillan.

“It Is Only Money is a well-written and imaginative multi ethnic and multi-cultural look at acquiring wealth. I loved the give and take between Catherine, the teacher, and the diverse group of students who are in her class. Through this device, the author explores the role of money in Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religions….” – 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“I have absolutely loved reading It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees by Cara MacMillan. I definitely recommend it. It’s a fun, quick and easy read.” – Eat, Drink, and Save Money

“It Is Only Money tackles personal finance from a perspective I had never really seen or thought about before, providing stories of how money and finances are viewed by various cultures and religions around the world.” – Ditching the Daily Grind

“For as much time as we spend talking about what to do with money, I think we’d all benefit from taking a step back every once in a while and having a discussion about what money really is, what it means to us, and how that meaning shapes our behavior. It is Only Money and It Grows on Trees by Cara MacMillan does exactly this. With a super-readable narrative, Cara explores how different cultures, religions, and personal backgrounds shape peoples’ views of money… Overall, It is Only Money and It Grows on Trees is a great resource to help you to pause and reflect on where your views about money come from and what you can do to approach money in a healthier way. With that new knowledge and the lessons you’ll learn about the other views out there, you’ll find yourself in a better position to make sound choices about how to handle your money and build a better future for yourself and those around you.” – Keep Thrifty

“The story keeps your interest, while the classroom stories and discussion will keep you thinking. If you are looking for a break from the normal personal finance book, with ‘how to’ steps I would suggest It Is Only Money.” – Debt Discipline

“Honestly, this is one of the only books that deals with finance and money that I could not only read cover to cover, but also understood and enjoyed reading…Totally a five-star book!” – Dhwani Swadia, There and Their

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What do you think? I’ve heard some people say, yes, we should buy fruits and veggies in bulk and in season, and I’ve heard others say, no. Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten into the habit of buying both fruits and vegetables in bulk for us. The main reason for this, of course, is to help us save on our monthly grocery bill.

Fruits and veggies are most certainly the cheapest when they’re in season. If the harvest is bountiful for many farmers, the abundance of produce tends to bring the price down. And if there is an abundance of produce, retailers will want to sell it as quickly as possible, to avoid waste and maximise profit. So why not take advantage of that, and save a bit on your monthly grocery bill?

We certainly do. As an added benefit, buying produce in season also means that you are getting the produce at its ripest and freshest. The fruits and vegetables would have ripened in the sun, at their own pace and time, and will taste their best as well as hold the most nutritional value.

Bananas, butternut, gem squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, pumpkin and sweet potato are available in season all year round in this part of the world. For all other fruits and veggies here is quick guide to what’s in season in spring, summer, autumn and winter in South Africa.

But I’m sure by now you must be wondering: if I buy fresh produce in bulk when in season, does any of it, or most of it, go to waste? Not at all. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now will know that I hate waste, especially when it comes to food. So on a really busy grocery shopping day, I end up getting even busier in the kitchen when I get home.

I wash, peel, chop and dice. I cook. I freeze. I preserve. My kitchen is absolutely chaotic on those days, and I’m at it for hours. It’s not easy to find the time to do this over the weekend, which I have to as I work full-time, but somehow we make it happen in this household.

Needless to say, I’m absolutely knackered afterwards but the savings and the benefits are great. We love our home-cooked meals and feel that we get the most nutritional benefits when we prepare meals from scratch. It also helps that both my husband and I love to cook, so we help each other out as much as we can on our busy grocery shop days.

If you’re not used to buying fresh produce in bulk, but you’re considering giving it a go, make sure that you’re prepared to process and to store rather large amounts of produce.

Think about:

  • Do I have enough freezer space for washed, sliced and diced vegetables as well as ready-made meals?
  • Am I really saving money, that is, am I buying the produce at the right price?
  • Am I sure I’m going to have enough time today/tomorrow/the next day to prepare, cook and preserve all the produce?
  • And if I’m storing a portion of the produce in the fridge, am I going to be storing it correctly?
  • And lastly, are we really going to consume all the produce we’ve bought?

If you’ve answered yes to all, or most of those questions, then you’re certainly well-prepared and ready to start processing large amounts of produce. If you are planning on cooking meals in bulk, and freezing them, be prepared for additional benefits – you’re going to have a whole lot of ready-made meals when you come home tired from a day’s work, and will only have to defrost and reheat, with minimum fuss, before your supper is served.

Over the years, I’ve tried buying fruits and veggies in smaller packets, and I’ve experimented buying both weekly and every two weeks. Either way, I didn’t like the idea of wasting more money on petrol by driving to the shops more often, which also impacted on my free time in the evenings. I also had to spend more time on weeknights processing the piecemeal veggies I’d bought. I also spent more money overall when buying smaller packets of produce at a time.

Buying fruits and veggies in bulk and in season most definitely keeps our food budget down. What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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CashBag Rewards is an exciting new rewards program where you earn cash back when shopping online. Now isn’t that exciting news? If you enjoy using the Snap ‘n’ Save app to get cash back on your grocery purchases, you’re going to love using CashBag Rewards to get cash back when shopping online as well!

CashBag has partnered with selected South African online retailers such as Spree, Travelstart, Faithful to Nature, Zando, Mantality, NetFlorist, Wantitall, Sweep South, Homechoice, and more, to give you up to 25% cash back on your online purchases.

While I don’t often shop online, I have at times bought from a few of those retailers. Now I wish I had known about CashBag Rewards sooner! Every bit of cash back counts.

So how does CashBag Rewards work?

Well, first, you do have to sign up and you can do that by clicking the link below. You will automatically receive a R25 welcome bonus too.


Once you are registered on the CashBag Rewards website, you can begin your online shopping. You will find the latest discounts, e.g. R50 OFF, or the cash back percentage offered at selected online retailers, on the CashBag Rewards homepage.

Always begin your online shopping from the CashBag Rewards homepage by clicking on a selected retailer. This will ensure that your cash back rewards are applied to your purchase, and you will be re-directed to your selected retailer to browse and shop. Your discount, or cash back percentage, will then be applied to your online shopping, provided you’ve followed the link from the CashBag Rewards site and completed a purchase.

Alternatively, you can opt to download and install the CashBag Rewards button for your browser, and receive a R25 bonus just by doing that. The CashBag button will then notify you when you visit a CashBag partner site so that you never miss out on an opportunity to earn back some cash.

Or even better, why not download the CashBag app for your smart phone?

Every 3 months CashBag Rewards will pay you your cash back balance earned in the previous quarter, as per the schedule below:

Purchases Made: Payment Made:
1 January – 31 March 30 May
1 April – 30 June 30 August
1 July – 30 September 30 November
1 October – 31 December 28 February

If your cash back balance is less than R100.00 then the balance will be carried over to the next quarter. For more information on CashBag Rewards check out their FAQs.

If you’re happy to earn cash back with CashBag Rewards, remember to spread the word and refer your friends to sign up! For each successful referral, you will receive R25 in your CashBag account and your friend will receive a R25 welcome bonus too!

Disclaimer: Financial compensation was not received for this post. However, I may receive a small referral fee if you decide to sign up for CashBag Rewards by following the sign-up links displayed in this post, and on my blog.

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I recently heard that a salvage shop has opened in Alberton, and of course I had to go have a look!

I know that just the name itself – salvage shop – could be off-putting to some. I know it instantly makes me think of salvage yards or motor salvage places. So what exactly is a salvage shop? What do they sell?

Traditionally, salvage shops sell grocery or household items that have been salvaged from truck wrecks, items in dented or torn packaging, items from manufacturer overstock or merchandise liquidation and generally items that stores can’t sell for some reason, such as items nearing their expiry dates, although the items wouldn’t necessarily be expired at all.

Typically, salvage shops should be selling such items at half the price, at least. So, needless to say that I was more than curious to go have a look at what’s available at the newly opened salvage shop ‘Deal Direct’ in Alberton. It’s worth mentioning that salvage items for sale may change weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on what is available.

‘Deal Direct’ in Alberton is not a very large store, but it certainly had a variety of items for sale – household cleaning items, laundry detergents, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, sweets, snacks and cool drinks, toys, nappies, baby wipes, etc. If you are driving to the shop, be prepared to park on the side of the road though. The shop is located in Voortrekker Road, in Alberton.

So, did I find any bargains? A few. I found refill cans of automatic freshener for only R20.00 and these normally retail for about R49.00 in the shops. This was my best buy. While I do like to have an automatic freshener in our living room, I do find that replenishing a can each month (that’s how long it usually lasts) to be a bit pricey, and for that reason I don’t always buy unless I find the refill cans on special.

I also found a combo of mini (travel) shampoo and conditioner kits (100 ml each) for only R8.00. It’s always handy to have these. I then bought, also a combo deal, 2 x mini Vaseline lotions (100 ml each) for R15.00 which I will use as my hand creams to go in my handbag. Hand lotions, or mini lotions, can cost anywhere from R25.00 upwards for just the one tube or mini bottle in other shops, so I thought this was a good buy as well.

I found a 6- pack of Good Morning Biscuits, which I really like, for R18.00 and these retail for well over R20.00 in the shops so I was chuffed about that. An interesting buy, and good value too, was this 750 gr. jar of black olives for only R18.00 and a jar of pickles for R15.00. None of these are expired. I then found 250 ml. cans of Fitch & Leedes lemonade for R2.50 – while the cans were dented a bit, the drink was perfectly fine.

I bought one other item which was the Ajax window cleaner, 750 ml spray bottle, for R25.00. While a bottle of Windolene retails for well over R40.00 in the shops these days, I tend to buy the Glass Master refill packs of 750 ml + extra 200 ml for R24.99 so the Ajax worked out a bit more expensive than what I would normally pay but, the bottle is much, much sturdier than the Windolene bottle which I’m using and refilling at the moment and I’m hoping will last longer, so I bought it.

Otherwise, there were lots of sweets, chocolates, biscuits and cool drinks for sale in the shop and some were quite reasonably priced too. I saw quite a few people buying cool drinks and beer, both reasonably priced. Some other items I noticed, such as StaSoft fabric conditioner, Pantene shampoos, Sunlight detergent, etc. cost almost the same as what they normally retail at Pick ‘n’ Pay or Dis-Chem. A 500 ml bottle of Handy Andy Hygiene, for example, cost R16.00 and the same item is available at Makro for R17.00 so that didn’t seem like much of a saving.

As with any discount shop, you do have to go in knowing your prices so that you can gauge if an item is cheaper than what you would pay for it elsewhere. But all in all, I’m happy with my bargains though, especially the automatic freshener refill cans, and I will definitely be back for another visit soon. Who knows, there might be even better bargains in store then!

If you’re interested in similarly discounted items you might also want to check out my review of the Best Before Shop in Sandton.

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The post A Visit to the Salvage Shop ‘Deal Direct’ appeared first on Frugal in SA.

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Frugal in SA by Natalija Cameron - 2M ago

With the VAT increase in April, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of price increases of food when I ventured for my monthly grocery shop last month. I can certainly tell you that I’m as happy as can be, and so grateful, that I have my small stockpile going. I cannot stress enough what a huge savings that is for us, and I think it would be in anyone’s household budget.

The price increases on food items in general is evident, even if it is a Rand or two or three here and there, because it all adds up on our total grocery bill. The more luxury items are becoming more of a luxury, it seems, and of course, the imported items are becoming pricier as well. Some of the items we regularly use and buy are simply – more expensive now. And with the price of fuel that has just gone up, I can only assume that food prices will be increasing again.

Despite all of that, I managed to stay within my budget for our groceries this month. I bought a whole lot of fruit and veggies at the Apple Tree Food Market at very reasonable prices. For example, I paid R30.00 for 10kg onions, R25.00 for 7kg potatoes, R10.00 for three enormous sweet potatoes (they probably weighed a kilo each!), R20.00 for 6 Avos (I bought 3 of those packets and let them ripen on the kitchen window sill), R10.00 for 2 pineapples, R39.00 for 18 very large green peppers, R25.00 for 1.5 kg grapes, R20.00 for 2 kg of apples, R10.00 for 2 lettuce and R15.00 for calabash (I bought two of those). I paid R65.00 for 7 kg of tomatoes, because I needed to buy, but this wasn’t as good a price as they normally have tomatoes in bulk so there were no savings on that.

And while I had my staple veggies and fruits sorted for the month, I still planned on replenishing lettuce, cucumber and some cheaper fruits like bananas, which would bring my total for fruits and vegetables for the month to about R400.00. While I was at Apple Tree I noticed that they had stock of Couscous (imported from Morocco) for R29.00 for a 1 kg packet, which I thought was a good price, so I bought us two packets. We love couscous but I don’t think I’ve seen this particular brand here before.

My next stop was at Meat World although I didn’t buy much there this month. I was hoping they would have whole chickens on special, which is usually R30.00 per kg, which is a huge savings as they are normally well over R40.00, but they didn’t. So instead I replenished our stock of boerewors, at a good price, and I later on stocked up on Hake medallions at Pick ‘n’ Pay which they had on reduced at R40.00 for 400 gr. packets and chicken livers which were R11.00 for 250 gr. (though not on special, still at a good regular price).

Pick ‘n’ Pay had some interesting specials this month, such as 4 litres of milk (in 2-litres bottles) for just R20.00! At Pick ‘n’ Pay I also bought Clover fruit yoghurt 6-pack at R20.00 for 2, a couple of 2.5 kg. sugar packs at R28.99 (which was a really good price!), Ouma rusks 500 gr. at R29.00, 4 tins of Koo baked beans for R30.00 (the cheapest price these days at R7.50 a tin). Woolies once again had their special on 500 gr. packets of pasta – buy 5 for R50.00 and Pick ‘n’ Pay were offering Fatti and Moni’s 500 gr. pasta for the same price, so I stocked up on both brands. A crate of eggs was selling for just over R40.00 at Pick ‘n’ Pay so I bought from them this month though I normally buy elsewhere.

This month, Spar had the cheapest tins of Alpo dog food at R18.99 (they are now normally retailing for R24.99) and Pick ‘n’ Pay was a close second at R19.99. I replenished my stockpile with about 15 tins although I still had quite a few, but will simply rotate the tins in the stockpile to use up the ones I bought the month before. Both Woolies and Clicks had 18s toilet paper on special, at R79.99 and R69.99 each. This was a good price, and will contribute to the savings we can make in our grocery budget over the next couple of months, so I stocked up on a few.

There are quite a few items in my stockpile which I won’t need to replenish for a couple of more months such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, various household cleaning supplies such as Handy Andy, window cleaner, carpet cleaner, etc., a variety of tinned foods e.g. tuna, tomato puree, corn and peas, Joko tea, honey, dried fruits.

How was your monthly grocery shop in April? I hope you managed to snag a few good deals! Please share with us in the comments below.

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The post Grocery Savings and Deals in April appeared first on Frugal in SA.

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Frugal in SA by Natalija Cameron - 2M ago

If you’ve read my post South Africa’s Most Romantic Cities, you’ll know that we were planning a trip! At the time, we weren’t quite decided where we were going to but now I can tell you that we decided to go to Ballito. We drove down to Ballito and stayed for a few short, but wonderful, days.

Because we decided to travel out of season, the accommodation was much cheaper than it usually is. We chose self-catering accommodation too, which meant that we didn’t spend much on food for the duration of our stay. We drove down to Ballito and back, and of course I prepared quite a few snacks and sandwiches for the road (you can check out some ideas in my blog post Road Trip Food on a Budget). The road tolls cost us just over R100 each way, and of course there was the cost of fuel, but on the open road, driving at a steady 100-120 kilometres per hour we used a whole tank and a half of fuel for the whole trip, which we thought was quite good.

The weather was a tad bit chilly but still warm enough for us to enjoy the beach! The water was fiercely cold at first but not so bad after a few minutes, although the waves and the tide were quite strong, even in the tidal pools! The sunsets and the sunrises were just amazing, and the moonlight shining across the ocean on one particular evening was probably one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. I could certainly get used to the constant sound of waves crashing along the shore – it was quite loud at first but it mellowed out eventually.

I loved walking along the beach when the tide was out. I did get a bit sun burnt, despite plastering myself with sunscreen lotion, but I thought that was a small price to pay for frolicking in the sand for a couple of days! I enjoyed picking up the tiny shells thrown out on the beach by the waves. I collected probably about 2 or 3 dozen small shells, and I picked up a bit of sand in a small bucket too, so that I could create these beautiful beach memories in a bottle when we returned home. Honestly, I felt like a child all over again, but it felt good!

The week after we got back, I bought a few bottles with cork lids at Westpack Lifestyle, and they were reasonably priced at just R7.99 for the smaller ones and R8.99 each for the slightly larger ones. I also bought some nylon weave rope there (about 3 cm thin) which cost R12.00. I used marine silicon glue for this project and because we already had a tube of glue at home, I didn’t have to buy.

I first filled up each bottle with sand from the beach, and I was so glad I’d brought back just enough to fill a few small bottles! I glued the shells on the outside of the bottles and allowed them to set for a couple of days. I also decided to glue a couple of these flat stones that I’d picked up on the beach on some of the cork lids, just because I thought it looked pretty!

I then used the nylon weave rope to decorate the bottle necks and, at hubby’s suggestion, I applied some glue on that too, just to make sure the rope doesn’t unravel. For some, I printed a small photo with ‘Ballito’ written on it, hole-punched it and slid the rope through before tying the final knot.

And voila, a few days later we have a few gorgeous beach memory bottles on a budget to decorate our bathroom.

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