Bargain reports and analytics

How South Africans save money

PicodiAug 25, 2021

What are the products that South Africans like to save money on? Why and how often do they reach for discounts? The analysis team conducted a survey among South African consumers to check what is their attitude towards sales and to find out the most popular ways to save money.

What we save money on

The pandemic forced many South Africans to save money. More than half of the surveyed people (75%) admitted that over the past year, they bought more products on sale than before.

What people save money on?

The product categories most frequently bought on sale include food, clothes, as well as home appliances. Products bought on sale the least are cars (car parts), travel & leisure, and pey supplies.

There are products which South Africans are willing to wait for instead of buying them at the initial price. These include home decor (93%), clothes (90%), travel & leisure (89%), home appliances (88%) or sporting goods (87%).

On the other hand, there are some categories of products which South Africans don’t want or can’t wait for — and they buy them regardless of whether there is a sale or not. These include medicine (53% don’t want to wait for discounts), food on delivery (51%), car or car parts (37%), underwear (37%), or food (36%).

Why do South African consumers buy on sales? The most common answer among female and male respondents was that they can save a lot of money thanks to discounts (63% and 59% respectively). Half of men (45%) and women (58%) surveyed believe that the initial prices are too high, so they look for discounted products. The third most popular answer among both men and women 42% and 45% respectively) was that discounts allow them to become familiar with a brand.

Not everyone likes discounts. 29% of women and 23% of men ignore sales because they simply don’t worry about the prices. 13% of women and 20% of men don’t buy on sales because they think high quality products are worth their standard price. 3% of women believe that discounted products are poor quality or outdated, although as many as 14% of men share this opinion.

Sometimes South Africans buy products on sale and never use them. The top 5 categories of products which are thrown away or left unused on shelves are:

  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Underwear
  4. Cosmetics and perfumes
  5. Home appliances

South African ways to save money

Our ways to save money

There are many ways to save money, that is why asked South Africans which methods for finding and using discounts are their favourite.

Among the most popular ones, price comparison services placed first. 17% of South Africans know this method and use it regularly, and as many as 20% use it from time to time. 13% participants admitted that they know what price comparison services are, but they don’t use them, and only 50% don’t know what it is at all.

Cashback services are used regularly by 13% of those surveyed. 22% use them sometimes, 18% know and don’t use them. 47% claimed they don’t know about the existence of cashback services.

In the third place were store flyers — 17% use them regularly. 18% use them from time to time, 18% know and don’t use them, while 47% don’t know them at all.

Browser plugins with coupons are not very common (72% of the surveyed consumers don’t know what it is), similar to apps for ordering unsold food surplus (63%), shelves with products near the expiration date (45%), and coupon services (62%).

What South Africans think about ads

What do South Africans think about advertisements, and do they feel overwhelmed by them? It turns out that half (51%) of the respondents think that the number of ads is acceptable. On the contrary, as many as 7% admit that there are too many advertisements. 42% of surveyed South African consumers don’t feel like there are too many ads.

What people think about ads

It turns out that the most popular ad that people receive is email — on average, as many as 34 a week. In second place are push notifications in mobile apps (28 times a week). Text messages and push notifications in browsers complete the podium — consumers see them around 13 times a week.

If you want to be like other South Africans and save on home decor, consider checking out our cashback service. With Picodi you can combine discount codes and cashback to save money in stores such as Homechoice, Ubuy and Loot.


The statistics are from an online survey conducted in July 2021.

Public Use

Would you like to share information about sales and discounts in South Africa? You are welcome to use all the data and infographics presented in this report for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, provided that you indicate the author of the research ( with a link to this subpage.