COST OF LIVING
SURVIVING THE RISE IN FOOD PRICES
If you are finding that you are spending
more money on food than a few months ago, you are not alone.
Rising food and fuel prices is a world-wide problem that affects
everyone. In the three years since 2005, food prices in South
Africa have gone up rapidly. All of us must learn to be more
clever and careful when buying food.
There are different reasons for the rise in
food prices. These include the fact that more people, especially
in developing countries, are able to buy more food. This means
the need for food is greater than what is available. Changing
weather patterns, droughts and floods have meant poor grain
harvests for the last few years. The political problems in the
Middle Eastern countries where our petrol comes from, are causing
petrol prices to rise.
The South African National Consumer Union
says that food price rises usually go in cycles. Producers will
act on the greater need and will plant more food, especially
grains, which will help the food prices to get back to normal
What you can do
In the meantime, the following tips from the
National Consumer Union could help you to save on food and make
the best of what you can afford.
Shop around for cheaper
food. Look for specials and marked down items in supermarkets.
Watch out for specials in the daily newspapers.
Donít buy what you donít
really need. Buy only what you need and donít let it spoil.
Vegetables are plentiful
at the moment because of good rainfall. The price of potatoes
has dropped and they are a healthy starch that can be
prepared in many delicious ways.
When buying bread, check
the prices on the shelf. Donít buy bread that is wrapped
and cut. An unwrapped loaf of uncut brown bread should
weigh 8oo grams. It has no VAT on
it and it is cheaper to produce so it should be about
20 per cent cheaper than wrapped
When buying meat, the
forequater cuts of beef are usually cheaper and can be
different ways. Avoid expensive cuts. Look out for specials.
Use left-over food in
other dishes like sauces, gravy and soup.
Plant vegetables in your
yard. Follow the advice of Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel,
who called on people to do their own survival farming
if they have small pieces of land.
Groups like the Food Gardens Foundation and Food and Trees
for Africa teach people to plant vegetables on such land.
-Louise van Niekerk.
Food prices have
been rising rapidly during the past year; not only in
South Africa, but in other African countries and the rest
of the world. This is due to a number of different things
like weather conditions, the rise in the petrol price
and more people in developing countries who need food.
But what can we do to survive?
For more information,
call SA National Consumer Union:
012 428 7122
Food Gardens Foundation:
011 880 5956/7 Food and Trees for Africa: 011 803 9750