We help you to shop for the best prices

2009-12-12 13:42

COMPARING the cost of our shopping basket in Bloemfontein, Free

State, was carried out at three of the five major national retailers, as Spar

and Woolworths did not stock some of the 11 items we needed.

Even among the three we compared, we couldn’t find a price for the

full chicken per kilogram at Shoprite, and Pick n Pay stocked a 1kg washing

powder box which was smaller than the one on our list.

This contributed to Shoprite registering the lowest total price, at

R231.40, for our shopping basket containing 2kg Tastic rice, 2.5kg ­Hulett’s

sugar, 2 litres Clover fresh milk, 5kg Ace maize meal, Five Roses teabags (100),

100ml bar of Lux soap, 2kg Omo washing powder, Twinsaver toilet paper (10), a

tray of 30 large eggs and a full chicken.

At R234.79, Pick n Pay was the ­second lowest-priced shop. The

basket costs R270.39 at Checkers, but at this shop we found all 11 items in the

­desired quantities.

Over the past five months City Press has visited stores in Gauteng,

Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and now the Free State, to conduct a price

check at retail stores Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, Spar and


The visits follow an undertaking by the Competition Commission to

probe allegations of collusion among retailers and also to research the reason

for food prices remaining high although inflation has been edging


In Bloemfontein we excluded Spar and Woolworths because the Spar at

Fleurdal Centre is under construction and there was not enough stock available

to make a proper comparison at Forna Centre.

Woolworths was excluded because they sell mainly their own branded


We visited the Maitland Street Shoprite, the Pick n Pay supermarket

at the Waterfront Mall and Checkers at Fauna Centre.

All the stores charge R23.99 for 2kg Tastic rice. At Pick n Pay,

Hulett’s sugar was sold most cheaply, at R15.49, while Shoprite and Checkers

sell the same brand for R17.99.

Pick n Pay also sells the cheapest Five Roses teabags, for R21.99

compared to R22.99 at Checkers and R23.99 at Shoprite.

There is a R0.50 difference in the price of toothpaste, which costs

R6.49 at Pick n Pay and R6.99 at Shoprite and Checkers.

Shoprite and Checkers, which belong to the same group, charge

similar prices for 5kg Ace maize meal which sells for R25.99; sugar at R17.99;

milk at R16.99; Twinsaver toilet rolls for R36.99; a bar of soap selling for

R4.49 and 2kg Omo for R41.99. The 1kg Omo washing powder at Pick n Pay cost


The supermarkets offer brands of chicken with a R12.16 difference

in the price. Pick n Pay sells the Fiesta brand for R26.79 per kilogram while

Checkers Hyper’s own brand went for R38.95 a kilo.

Pick n Pay sells a large tray of 30 Top Lay eggs for R38.99 while

the same brand is available at Checkers Hyper for R33.95. Shoprite sells the

Moreson brand at R31.99.

The total cost of the basket at Shoprite in Free State was

comparable to the Shoprite in Gauteng, where we paid R224.99 for the full basket

– a difference of R19.80.

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