The cost of pensioners’ basic diet

2011-02-26 12:36

Over half of a pensioner’s monthly grant allowance goes towards the purchase of basic groceries.

City Press observed that a pensioner pays about R708 for selected items, and only if the purchase is made from a store targeting low-income earners.

Last week, we visited a store at an Ekurhuleni township. It was pay day and lots of social grant beneficiaries descended on the store offering “special prices”.

The R1?080 pension pay-out quickly diminishes with every purchase of an item that will barely last a full month.

Our shopping basket contained mainly store-branded items. Topping the list was a hamper filled with 10kg rice, 12.5 kg cake flour, 12.5 kg sugar, 2 litres fish oil and a 12.5kg maize meal selling for ?R273.99. The “special” tag was displayed at the entrance.

Separate 2kg packs of maize rice as well as a combination of samp and beans sell for R15.89 and R19.95 respectively.

The price of seasoning ­products differs for the brands available, but Knorr products seemed to be popular among shoppers on the day.

A box of 24 beef stock cubes sells for R11.99 and a 200g packet of soup sells for R5.99.

A 200g box of curry powder costs R8.99 and 20g of yeast, which is usually used to prepare dumplings, a favourite of many elderly people, costs R1.69. The price of a packet of tea bags (100s) is R8.99 while a 250g tin of coffee costs R22.99. The store charges R23.99 for powdered milk, a special price at the time as announced on the store’s radio.

A 900g tin of jam cost R14.95, 1kg margarine R28.99 and a 400 gram of tinned fish cost R11.59.

A variety of cleaning detergents including 400g floor polish, 750ml bleach and a dishwashing liquid soap were each selling for R17.59, R11.96 and R17.99. The prices for 2kg of washing powder ranged between R38.99 and R43.99, while a bar of toilet soap is R7.49. A 5kg chicken pack costs R93 and there are different types of poultry favourites like heads and feet, hearts, gizzards or liver available per kilogram.

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