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We often get so caught up in the daily grind we miss what is right in front us. Believe it or not‚ the price of fuel‚ vegetables‚ oils‚ fats‚ bread‚ cereal and fruit has decreased since the start of the year.

This is according to latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) from StatsSA. The CPI takes a basket of goods and services to see how their prices change over time.

The price of fuel has dropped by 1.7% from January to August. This decreased the price of a 45-litre tank of 93 octane petrol bought in the interior from R589 to R577. Recent fuel increases may still change the picture towards the end of the year.

Recent StatsSA figures showed South Africans spend more money on beer than vegetables. Beer accounted for 2.1% of household spending while only 1.5% was spent on vegetables.

Stellenbosch University dietician Irene Labuschagne said she is not surprised and that the alcohol consumption of South Africans is “alarming”.

However‚ the price of vegetables dropping by 3.6% might sway South Africans to opt for some veggies. Labuschagne suspects the public is unaware of these decreases and the value for money of buying vegetables over sweets.

Lettuce‚ tomatoes‚ pumpkins and potatoes in particular contributed to the price decrease. “It is not as if people are going to start buying more [vegetables]‚ because they are already in the habit of buying products they are used to buying.”

The cherry on top for those who eat healthily is that the price of fruit has decreased by 8.4% to levels last seen around June 2016. Bananas‚ plums and pineapples were the main contributors to this drop. Labuschagne however believes these items will not have a significant impact on the basket of most consumers.

There is good news for those who are not banting‚ with the price of bread and cereal decreasing by 4% after steeply rising in 2016. StatsSA said the decrease is due to crop production recovering from one of the worst droughts in South African history.

However‚ South Africans have had to pay more for education‚ medical services‚ insurance‚ water‚ electricity and meat during 2017.

BY NICO GOUS / TimesLive

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