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Shop smart and maintain a budget

Ilisapeci Tinanisigabalavu
Friday, December 08, 2017

SALOME Vuli's prioritises her four children, who attend primary school, and ensures they eat healthy and fresh foods for their growth. Ms Vuli, an entrepreneur and farmer operates her own canteen business from home and is the sole breadwinner for her family.

Shopper caught up with Ms Vuli who had already started her back to school shopping.

"My children's health is the most important thing to me because they all love to eat. I also want them to be mentally alert in school. My oldest son plays for his school's rugby team, so maintaining a strict diet throughout the last school term was a sacrifice that my family went through together so that he doesn't feel left out in his diet, "she said.

"We eat rourou, bele, spinach and ota because we have an abundant supply. We also plant cassava and dalo for our own use and for export. Meat is a must have on Sundays. I always try to cut down on our eating processed food and red meat, but sometimes it is easier said than done," she said.

Ms Vuli shops at MaxVal-u Supermarket and Food For Less Supermarket because of their affordable prices and wide range of products. There is no need for her to buy fruits and vegetables from the market because she does her own farming. She spends around $100 to $180 on her fortnightly grocery shopping for six people. Food like cooking oil, flour, rice, Weet Bix, canned food and sugar are what she mainly shops for.

"Budgeting my income and sticking to buying what is on my shopping list helps me work out my savings and expenses. I run a canteen business at home so I also have to keep a close eye on the money I spend for the canteen and our groceries," she said.

"I cannot allow myself to overspend on unnecessary things because I might incur a loss and that is a risk I cannot take. I am a very strict shopper and I have to be because I am the only one providing for my family," she said.

Ms Vuli explained the advantages of running a canteen business because it has helped her with her children's school needs and unforeseen circumstances that arise. She sells basic food items such as noodles, canned food, mosquito coils and toiletries.

She advises shoppers to be mindful of the products they buy and to always look out for specials of the week.

"Check the supermarkets that are having a sale so that you spend less on your shopping. Also be careful of expiry dates and dented tins because those are harmful for your health," she said.

Salome's shopping tips:

* Write a shopping list and stick to buying the items you wrote in it. A shopping list is a lifesaver;

* Set aside a budget for your shopping and try to not overspend;

* Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season because they will be cheaper.

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