Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Major discounts on food items across supermarkets in Saudi Arabia are under way as Ramadan approaches.

Ramadan is expected to begin on March 23, but the exact date will be determined by the Moon-sighting committee when it searches the skies for the new crescent.

Residents across the country are making use of discounts as they stock up on essentials that will last well beyond the holy month.

Shoppers who spoke to The National in Jeddah said they eagerly awaited the yearly Ramadan deals that allow them to buy and share food with relatives and those in need.

“It is the perfect time to stock up on dates for Ramadan and for the rest of the year as they don’t expire. I just stock them in our fridge and they last me all year,” said Rawan Hasan.

“My favourites are Ajwa and Sukkari.”

Umm Ayesha, another Jeddah resident, chose to stock up on sugary drinks traditionally consumed during Ramadan.

“I got seven bottles of Tang [an orange powdered drink], Vimto and ingredients for Sobia [a starchy milk drink] and Qamar Al-Din [a sweet drink made of dried apricot], and that’s only for drinks,” said Umm Ayesha.

“The discounts go up to 50 per cent, so I am buying for the whole month as we have a lot of guests throughout Ramadan for iftar and suhoor.”

Muslims across the world break their fast with dates and water, whereas most families in the kingdom enjoy a cup of Saudi coffee and dates before iftar.

The prices of dates, dairy and sweets have also been reduced.

“Since Ramadan and Eid are the most important months for us, they are also the busiest with the most amount of social and family gatherings over food,” said Summaya Gandour, a Riyadh resident.

“This helps families who are struggling financially, as well as those who like to give charity and help give grocery supplies to families, a great deal.”

People are also using online shopping portals and apps to take advantage of deals online.

“I have been buying a lot of items from Amazon. It saves me the time and energy to go grocery shopping and reap the benefits of Ramadan discounts,” said Tahira Ali, another Jeddah resident.

“I even found boxes pre-made to give away to poor neighbourhoods instead of buying each one separately and wrapping them up.”

The “Ramadan box bundle” comprises grocery supplies for a month, including Basmati rice, milk creamer, oil, sugar, dates, juice, flour, spaghetti, oats and tea that can help a family during Ramadan.

Normally, a one kg bag of rice would cost 42.50 Saudi riyals. However, with the Ramadan discounts, the price of this staple could go as low as 34.95 riyals.

For most families, Ramadan shopping is a ritual that both children and adults take part in every year.

“I have great memories of my father taking my grocery shopping in Ramadan and our trolley used to be stacked up with cartons of Tang and biscuits, which we were so excited to have,” said Hala Alsaeed.

“Now, he takes my children, so we keep that tradition going.”

Updated: March 21, 2023, 5:16 AM


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