Dubai: With the UAE's Ministry of Economy having approved on Saturday a temporary increase in prices of egg and poultry products, as reported by Emirates News Agency (WAM), here are a few useful trends that can assist a grocery shopper in saving money in the short run and even more so in the longer term.
When analysing the cost of eggs, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables over the last two-plus years, Your Money has found that the price of these food items stayed largely in check. Recurring patterns of price dips were also seen during the week, which if tracked, would make it cost-effective for a shopper to buy groceries in Dubai.
Which days are ideal for grocery discounts?
During the course of these months, it was observed to be cost effective to buy fresh chicken during the start of the week, particularly most Mondays. On the other hand the cost of seafood and vegetables were seen to be largely cheaper halfway through the week, and cost effective fruits could be ideally picked up towards the end of the week.
Before world food prices started to dip, soaring raw material prices have been threatening a world economy trying to recover from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. They help fuel food inflation, and emerging markets were particularly vulnerable because food costs make up a larger share of their spending.
In the UAE, which imports 90 per cent of its food and allows its economy ministry to control prices, a temporary increase in prices of egg and poultry products by a maximum of 13 per cent was approved, which according to prices recorded over last couple of years, transalates to a rise of between Dh1 and Dh4 for a set of 15 medium-sized eggs.
This was after the ministry carried out an analytical study to verify the necessity of increase and studied the cost of egg and chicken products, while taking into consideration high production costs and a rise in international shipping costs.
When analysing the price of a set of 15 medium-sized eggs, over the last two years, the starting price stayed steady at Dh9, while the costliest variant hovered at Dh30. As of January 2023, the maximum price for eggs were Dh73.5.
Pick up seafood every Wednesday!
If you were wondering about which part of the week would be ideal to pick up seafood at a lesser-than-usual cost, the answer is still mid-week. A study of prices over the last 28 months proved that the cost of fish and shrimp dropped mostly on Wednesdays, while prices were seen higher during the start of the week.
The price of all seafood variants, be it Seabass, Hamour, Kingfish, Salmon, Sea Bream or small-sized shrimp, was seen dropping halfway through the week, over the past 100-plus weeks. So, that would be good news for those seafood-lovers who were looking for cost effective days to shop!
Moreover, when analysing prices of these fish species, it was also observed that the days prices largely stayed consistantly high was at the start of the week, particularly Monday and sometimes on Sunday - so it would be safe to avoid stocking up on seafood soon after the weekend, to take it easy on your pocket and your finances.
Fruits get more cost-effective on weekends
If you were wondering which day of the week would be best to pick up fruits at a cheaper-than-usual rate, the study of prices over the last 28 months also showed that the cost of all fruits got cheaper towards the end of the week, making the weekend an ideal time to go shopping for fruits!
A weekly trend was also observed wherein the price of bananas started getting cheaper around mid-week and the cheapest during the weekend, so did oranges. The per-kilogram cost of lemons stayed largely in check the past few months.
This would be considered good news for those who are looking for cost-effective days to shop for citric fruits! A similar pattern arose when analysing the cost of apples and lime, which fell slightly towards the end of the week and got comparatively pricier at the start of the week, particularly on Sunday and Monday.
For those fruits that fluctuated, namely bananas, oranges and apples, prices were seen higher at the start of the week on Sunday, and it got cheaper towards the end of the week. Again, proving that the weekend is a great time to shop for fruits!
Most veggies get cheap mid-week!
When it comes to vegetables, prices of items like tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce were mostly seen dropping mid-week in the last 100-plus weeks, or a little over 28 months.
The cost of onions, another common household staple, which largely stayed the same all through the past months, was between Dh2.7 and Dh5.9 per kilogram. For people looking to plan their grocery costs ahead, it would be cost-effective to make use of these prices.
Cost of fresh chicken drops most Mondays
When analysing the cost of poultry, beef, and lamb over the past 100-plus weeks, it was observed to be cost-effective to buy fresh chicken largely during the start of the week, whereas the cost of other poultry items like frozen chicken and eggs stayed the same in the past 28 months.
The price of fresh chicken was seen to continue to dip at the start of the week, mostly every Monday - making it an ideal time to buy and stock up on it. However, there were a few instances wherein prices dropped just ahead of the weekend as well.
So, be on a lookout when you go shopping this weekend, keeping in mind that a kilogram of the meat currently starts at a competitive price level of Dh13.3, with the maximum price at Dh55.8.
On the other hand, the price of beef and lamb, be it variants from Australia, India, Pakistan or the UAE, have stayed the same, as it has been the trend, and did not witness any fluctuation in prices, over the course of the past 28 months.
Latest per-kilogram prices of every fish variant available in the market:
As of January, among fish variants, the cost of Seabass starts at Dh43 per kilogram and Hamour was priced at Dh40. On the other hand, Kingfish was priced at Dh20, and Salmon was priced at Dh49.5. A kilo of SeaBream costs Dh36.9, while small-sized shrimp was currently cheaply priced at a starting price of Dh25.9.
Latest per-kilogram prices of every variant of beef and lamb available in the market:
The price of beef and lamb, be it variants from Australia, India, Pakistan was priced as follows, as of January.
Among different varieties of beef, the variant from Australia cost Dh39.5 per kilogram, the type from India was priced at Dh28.3 and the kind that was locally produced was Dh45.0. On the other hand, when it came to lamb, the Australian variant now costs Dh42.9 and the breed from India was priced at Dh36.9.
Latest per-kilogram prices of every variant of fruits and vegetables available in the market:
When it comes to fruits the per kilo starting price of bananas is currently priced at Dh4.7, oranges are Dh3.9 and apples cost Dh2.6. On the other hand, prices pertaining to vegetables include - potatoes costing Dh3.0 and lettuce at Dh4.8. Also, the price of a kilogram of lemon is Dh5.5, while lime costs Dh4.3 - a citrus fruit that has become comparatively cheaper given that it is a seasonal favourite among residents in the start of summer.