Your Christmas dinner won’t cost much more than it did in 2021, but most of us have less money than last Christmas. High inflation and subsequent high interest rates have put a heavy strain on middle-income consumers’ budgets.
The rising cost of living has affected the financial well-being of most consumers in South Africa, with the majority of consumers feeling that their financial situation has remained the same or gotten worse over the past year, according to the State of the South African Consumer report by Deloitte.
The report shows that most consumers lack confidence in their ability to absorb future shocks and are more concerned about their savings levels, while their spending intentions have also changed as the essentials take over their wallets.
groceries more expensive
Since expenditure on essential things such as food and housing takes up a larger proportion of the household budget, the proportion of discretionary expenditure such as e.g. B. handing out food for Christmas dinner, under pressure.
Low- and middle-income groups now tend to spend more of their income on food, housing and education, while upper-income groups show intentions to spend more on leisure and entertainment.
According to the report, consumers are trying to save on groceries to ease the pressure of rising prices, with grocery shoppers most likely to choose meals to make the most of the groceries they have at home (44%) and spend more time on spend planning their purchases (42%). In addition, about a third are switching to cheaper proteins and buying big brands.
However, the report also points out that despite the financial pressures, South African consumers are still looking for ways to treat themselves to a bit of fun.
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Middle income Christmas dinner
Looking at the prices Checkers is charging for Christmas food, it seems consumers aren’t much worse off. A festive Forage and Feast ham costs R199.99 per kg, the same as last year, while a rolled pork belly costs R119.99 per kg, slightly up from the R99.99 per kg in 2021.
If you don’t like red meat for Christmas dinner or want to save some money, you can buy Simple Truth free range chicken for R59.99 per kg, which is also the same as last year.
If you add side dishes, peas pay R34.99 per kg, slightly down from last year’s R37.99, while mixed vegetables are at R28.99 per kg this year compared to R34.99 last year also slightly cheaper is year. Add rice which is also cheaper at R59.99 per kg compared to R67.99 last year.
To satisfy any sweet tooth at the Christmas table you can get a Forage and Feast Frozen Christmas Cake at R149.99 per 800g, the same as last year, or Forage and Feast Sticky Toffee Pudding at R99.99 per 500g, also the same Price like last year.
Your snacking budget won’t change all that much, either, as Baker’s Choice Assorted biscuits sell for R99.99 per kg, slightly less than the R109.99 they charged last year. You can buy three packs of Lay’s Chips for R48, also slightly less than last year when you could buy two packs for R35.
If you want to treat your guests to a bottle of sparkling wine you can buy a 750ml bottle of Odd Bins Cap Classique for R99.99, the same price as a year ago. Two bottles of Coke or Fanta Zero cost R34, just a little more than a year ago.
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Low earners pay significantly more
Unfortunately, if you look at the November grocery basket prices provided by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group, low-income consumers are now paying much more for groceries than they were last year.
Most items cost more, only two products are cheaper than last year: 10kg of rice now costs R135.76 compared to R139.64 last year and 10kg of potatoes now costs R63.83 compared to R87.71 last year year.
Low-income consumers who want meat for dinner have to pay R378.94 for 10kg of frozen chicken portions, for which they paid R347.54 last year, or R181.96 for 2kg of pot roast, for which they paid R171 have paid Rand. 56 a year ago.
Adding vegetables will also cost more, with 5kg of carrots costing R37.67 compared to R25.86 last year, eight bunches of spinach costing R93.19 compared to R77.83 last year and 6kg Tomatoes cost R108.83 compared to R97.97 last year.
Low-income consumers’ incomes have not kept pace with inflation at all, meaning they will have to spend another Christmas without the luxuries that middle-income consumers can just about afford.