Where to beat cost of shopping in Nairobi

With the current economic times biting a majority of Kenyans, most people are seeking alternatives just to get along. From food sources to means of transportation, people are getting not only creative but deliberately conscious of their spending. Here are some of the means Nairobians are adopting

With the current economic times biting a majority of Kenyans, most people are seeking alternatives just to get along. From food sources to means of transportation, people are getting not only creative but deliberately conscious of their spending. Here are some of the means Nairobians are adopting.

1. Travel

For the middle-class, travel is considerably a huge fad. Travelling alone is very expensive especially during peak hours. E-hailing cabs allow for sharing which reduces the cost of travel from home to work and vice-versa. Using city commuter train and cycling will definitely cut your cost of transport. If not pressed for time, take advantage of cheaper off-peak hours to travel between work and home or when simply running errands.

2. Food purchases

Despite being a basic commodity, food is increasingly getting expensive. Most ordinary folk who live below Sh100 or a dollar a day are grappling with this crisis. However, there are areas in Nairobi that are considerably cheap especially if buying in bulk for the family. Cereals, vegetables and fruits, being the mainstay of most households, can cheaply be bought from Nyamakima, Marikiti and Gikomba in downtown Nairobi. Groundnuts from the market cost Sh190 per kilo, but at Nyamakima they go for Sh110.

3. Fabrics and clothes

As a growing city, clothes and fabric in Nairobi are becoming increasingly expensive. However Eastleigh and River Road are proving a masterstroke for those who want a good bargain and quality as well. These places have variety which is good for those seeking options at a good discount . For instance, along River Road opposite Bata Mini Price, there are cheaper fabrics on offer. A spot called Zion Kitenge past KCB on River Road is a hit and attracts numbers by the day. In Eastleigh, materials are quite affordable at Sh900 for six yards or even as low as Sh750.

4. Hair braiding and styling

For the ladies who obviously want to look the part, there are far more appealing and cheap options. Nowadays, there are top of the range salons in the city that literally cost an arm and a leg. However, in areas like Toi Market in Kibera and Kenyatta Market in Mbagathi, you can look good at a fraction of the price. For as little as Sh300, a woman can rock a beautiful hairstyle from stylists who worries about your pocket. The beauty about these spots is that they are easily accessible to the masses.

5. Curtains and carpets

Curtains and carpets in most shops in Nairobi, come at an exorbitant price. In Eastleigh, however, in places like Amal Plaza, you can get a beautiful shaggy rug or  quality curtains for a price that will not break the bank. On weekends, people flock to Eastleigh for a good bargains. Going to the various shops to compare prices and fabrics means one will be spoilt for choice. It is advisable to move from shop to shop comparing prices. This will ensure that you do not buy overpriced curtains or carpets.

6. Vehicle spare parts

Along Kirinyaga Road and Tom Mboya Street, there are a number of shops that deal with a variety of spares particularly for the popular Japanese makes. These areas are far much cheaper and interestingly also have warranties for bulk purchase. Enterprise Road and Lusaka Road in the southlands of Nairobi have shops that attract car owners from far and wide. Most of the spares come from certified dealers particularly from India, China and Dubai and are usually run by qualified sales and technical personnel.

7. Household appliances

In the vast Kamukunji area, household apparatus go for good prices. The Somali and Asian community shops carry a variety of appliances suited for your  kitchen and bathroom at very affordable rates. One can save a good buck when buying from this shops. The traders also take advantage of the centrality of Kamukunji and the large numbers to push sales even if for a meaningful mark-up. However, be vigilant incase you land errant folk who deal with fakes. It is advisable to get a guide who is conversant with the market.

8. Lighting accessories

Downtown Nairobi is a hub of lighting accessories which explains the huge influx of people and vehicles in the area. Lighting equipment are another fast moving product because of the lean pricing. Construction workers and development owners have been known to troop the area around Mfangano Road just after the OTC Bus Station for the good deals. At the same time, most of the shop are known to stock a variety of lighting accessories. You will be spoilt for choice. Some of the lights available include Neons, LEDs, Chandeliers and desk lights.

9. Beddings

You can get good beddings for as low as Sh500 at  Kamukunji and Gikomba markets. From duvets, bed sheets, pillow covers, mosquito nets and mattress covers; all are found here in different shapes, styles and sizes for the interested buyers. There are various stalls and shops trading in this fast moving commodity given its demands. A place only known as Kwa Wagacucu in Gikomba market is another popular spot that stocks beddings. Bed sheets, which are a hit in the market, are often bought in bulk by retailers who will make some mark-up in their different areas of jurisdiction.

10. Shoes

Along the busy Mfangano Street, shoes are in abundance and cheap. On this street you will find very nice and comfortable shoes, especially for women, that will suits and impresses you. From heels to boots, the girls are pretty much sorted and with as little as Sh1,000 one can walk away with a pair or two. Men are also not left out as the variety means they can also get a feel of nice and affordable shoes. Canvas and leather shoes are very common and cost from the region of Sh1,500.



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