How stokvels can make the most of Black Friday

Take advantage of bulk grocery deals to stock up on essentials

15 November 2023 - 14:16
By Sibongile Mashaba
Shoppers took advantage of Black Friday specials at Canal Walk, Cape Town. Date: November 23, 2018.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER Shoppers took advantage of Black Friday specials at Canal Walk, Cape Town. Date: November 23, 2018.

Some people see a missed opportunity as failure. Others say it is a chance to set clearer goals. Not only that, but to get started and work towards reaching your target. Same goes for stokvels.

There are people who fall off the wagon due to various reasons, including financial constraints and are forced to leave their societies.

Over the next few weeks, many stokvels will divide their savings, to share groceries or meet to deliberate on what the next goal should be. There will be a lot of excitement as members wind up the year and reflect on their achievements. But for people who left stokvels due to challenges they faced, it could mean a lot of things, including seeing themselves as failures.

If you are one of those people who could not continue with a stokvel this year, do not be hard on yourself. Work on finding a stokvel that you can fit into your budget so that you don’t have to break the bank to be able to make monthly contributions.

Grocery stokvels have always ensured that families have food on the table over the Christmas holidays and beyond. They also provide relief for members during bereavement.

National PR, communications & sponsorships manager at The Spar Group, Mpudi Maubane, says: “Over the last few years, we’ve seen hundreds of shoppers coming into Spar stores as part of grocery stokvels, whereby they have pooled funds along with friends, family and neighbours to buy bulk groceries, mainly essentials. This happens most typically between November and mid-December.

“In the face of widespread financial constraints, grocery stokvels provide a practical lifeline. Not only do they enable members to stretch their budgets, ensuring a degree of financial and food security for their families; they offer a good starting point for consumers to learn to maintain control over their limited finances, creating healthier long-term spending habits.” 

Maubane says by joining a grocery stokvel, members can benefit from bulk buying, budget control and financial security.

“Bulk grocery deals on items that have a longer shelf life like rice, maize, canned goods and other pantry staples, which can significantly reduce your monthly grocery expenses. Bulk buying other essential items like detergents, toiletries and back-to-school supplies makes good sense too. 

Stokvels help participants stick to a budget by planning their purchases. This prevents overspending and ensures that money is allocated efficiently. In times of emergency or unexpected expenses, stokvel members can rely on their savings to cover essential purchases without resorting to high-interest loans or credit cards,” says Maubane. 

She says Black Friday is the perfect time to harness the power of grocery stokvels.

“Many retailers offer substantial discounts on a wide range of products, including groceries. By coordinating stokvel purchases with Black Friday deals, consumers can maximise their savings even further.

“Grocery stokvels and community-based savings clubs are an economical way to shop for necessities and we anticipate that these emerging trends will continue to shape the way consumers shop in the future.

“As we prepare for this year's Black Friday, The Spar Group remains committed to offering the very best deals across all member stores. Beyond this, our Spar house brand products offer customers a way to buy smartly and get more for less across various ranges and categories all year-round, while our Spar Rewards card provides access to monthly deals and promotions across a range of products to help our customers with continued cost-savings,” says Maubane. 

Below are tips on how stokvels can make the most of Black Friday: 

Plan ahead: Black Friday deals in SA often span more than just one day, but not always, so it will be key to research all available deals and create a shopping list with stokvel members to ensure that the best discounts aren’t missed.  

Bulk buying: Take advantage of bulk grocery deals on Black Friday to stock up on essentials that your stokvel needs. This can lead to significant long-term savings. 

Stay safe: Remember to shop responsibly, whether in-store or online, and adhere to budgets. Avoid impulsive purchases that can strain the pooled finances. 

Don’t give up: If deals are missed, South Africans can still tap into the power of bulk-buying during month-end and mid-month sales and promotions that are offered regularly.

Remember, starting a stokvel needs commitment and you have to find trustworthy people.

Experts advise that you start of a stokvel with friends, family or neighbours.

If you see a stokvel you’re interested in on social media or anywhere else, always do research about it before making a decision to join the grouping to avoid being scammed.

For those who are planning to start a grocery stokvel, here are a few things you need to know:

Gather your group: Assemble a group of like-minded individuals who will agree to and be committed to the stokvel’s objectives.  

Set rules and contributions: Define the rules of your stokvel, including what the regular contributions from each member will be and on a meeting schedule to review finances and make purchases. 

Trust and transparency: Build trust within your stokvel by maintaining transparency and clear communication. Honesty and open discussions are key to a successful group. 

Choose the purpose: Decide what range of grocery items you want to save for. You might want to exclude perishables, luxury items or alcohol for example. The key to running a successful stokvel is to establish clear goals and rules upfront.