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How to $ave Money Amid COVID-19

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: October 07, 2020  

Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on our lives and especially on the personal finances of individuals and families. 

Many Kenyans have lost their jobs or been put on smaller salaries or unpaid leave.  If you’re one of the many Kenyans facing a cash crunch, here’s how you can save money in Nairobi.

  1. Rent- Move to a less expensive location. The golden rule is that your rent shouldn’t exceed a third of your salary. This should be inclusive of your amenity bills. So always do the math before contacting a realtor.

2.) Food-  Daily nutrition is something we can’t skimp on. But it doesn’t have to be a budget buster. Before making that detour to your favourite fish & chips place, ask yourself if you have food at home? Cut out the take out and strive to carry lunch to work. Here are places you can get foodstuff on a budget:

Vegetables: Marikiti and Gikomba.  Stores in Nairobi get their fresh produce in bulk at these markets. Find your way there and you can stock up on some fresh & dried veggies for as low as Ksh 20.

  Milk: If you consume dairy daily, I’d recommend getting the Fino packaged milk pouches. If you live alone, a whole box should take you through the month. A box will set you back about Ksh 600. That’s two cups of latte at some upscale coffee shop.

Meat, Fish & eggs:  Humans do not need to consume meat, fish or eggs to be strong and healthy. To save money, consider removing them from your diet or cutting down to once a week or once a month. But when you do want or need these items, visit City market, in the heart of the city. This market has all the nyama & eggs you need and for cheap too! You can get a kilo of beef for Ksh 200 in Ndonyo Market. At Alpha Foods, Road A, Enterprise Road, you’ll get as much as 30 pieces of tilapia for  Ksh1700. 

Uncooked Cereals, Fruits & Nuts: Cereals – Get them at Nyamakima. A  kilo of beans can go for as low as Ksh 50. They have an assortment of fresh and dried fruits too. And you can always haggle with the vendors.

–  Sundries: O.T.C, downtown Nairobi, get your cooking oil, sugar, rice, flour…the whole kitchen shebang for a fraction of the price of a supermarket.

3.) Toiletries: O.T.C is right up your alley. Toilet paper, soap, bleach….for unbeatable prices.

4.) Utensils: Kamkunji along Landhies road . You can get everything…and I mean everything you need here. I got a travel flask here for Ksh 200 four years ago. Works good as new.

5.) Clothing, shoes: Gikomba, Toi, Ngara, Mutindwa. The biggest names when it comes to quality second hand clothing & shoes. If you don’t want to go rummaging, try Think Twice Second Hand Clothes

6.) Grooming: Dubois street is a one-stop lane for all sorts of beauty products, jewelry, hair products, and perfumes, at budget friendly  prices. You might wanna be keen on the counterfeit though.

7.) Electronics: Luthuli street is your plug for all cheap electronics in Nairobi. See all these online stores you love so much? That’s where they get their stuff. Don’t knock it until you try it.

8.)  Books: Ever heard of ‘Inama Bookshop’ ? These are second hand book vendors who sell used books along the streets of Nairobi. I got a Stephen King novel for Ksh 50!

9.) Furniture: Jogoo road, Gikomba are great places to get custom made furniture for cheap! The carpenters can be hella slow though and never pay a 100% deposit!

10.) Commuting: Commuting everyday in Nairobi can dent your pockets. Ride sharing services like Swvl can help you stretch those coins.

*Here’s a guide on Money Management during this pandemic.

 

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

Maureen is our resident cat lady and Beyoncé stan. She writes about spas, brunch and ballet recitals but has never been to any. Moonlights as a social justice activist in her spare time. She knows things and is obnoxiously opinionated on the internet but not in real life

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