Shopping for whatever you need can be fun but stressful if you do not know where to get what. As housewives or career women, when the week is drawing to a close, what comes to mind is what soups and stews to prepare for the family and where to take the children for fun and relaxation.
Depending on what one wants to buy, there are big markets, shopping centres and other shopping outlets where one can get things at cheaper prices in Accra.
Some of the capital's famous markets include: Agbogbloshie, Madina, Adabraka, Mallam, Makola no. 1& 2 and Kwaseadwaso.
Each of these markets are noted for particular foodstuffs and many women do not mind trekking from one market to another to buy fresh products brought in from the rural areas.
Besides foodstuffs people shop for provisions, meats and groceries from the various shopping malls such as Accra Mall, Marina Mall, Koala and Maxmat.
'I always want to get fresh foodstuffs so I go to the Agbogbloshie Market in Accra where the market women bring their wares straight from the villages,' says Maame Aba, a mother of three.
'As early as 6am every other Saturday, I visit the Agbogbloshie Market to get plantain, yam, tomatoes, vegetables and fruits at cheaper cost, as compared to other markets in the capital. I like to buy these foodstuffs from here because they are always fresh and cheaper,' she added.
Aku, however, has about four different markets where she shops for various items.
She buys cassava dough from the Mallam Atta Market, gets her dry fish from the Adabraka Market, snails and tuna fish from Kwaseadwaso in Accra near the Makola Market. She then buys her vegetables including tomatoes and pepper and other ingredients from the Agbogbloshie Market.
Hitherto, the only places that people did their marketing were the Kaneshie Market and other community markets such as the Dansoman Market. In these markets, one could buy everything that one needed but at higher cost, but today, according to Auntie Docia, people have found other markets where foodstuffs are fresher and cheaper, compared to the Kaneshie and other community markets.
'I live at Dansoman,' says Auntie Docia, 'and work at Adabraka, I therefore make sure I buy all my fresh food items from Agbogbloshie and then get my smoked fish from the Adabraka Market.
I hardly go to the Kaneshie Market because I buy my items at cheaper prices from where I shop'.
People in Madina, Adenta and their environs also get fresh tomatoes, onions, fruits and fish in abundance from the Madina Market where, according to Aunty Mary, although sometimes expensive, it becomes unwise to travel all the way to the other big markets such as Agbogbloshie to get such foodstuffs.
'I also like shopping at the Madina Market because it has in stock different types of green leaves and helps me cook a variety of soups and sauces for my children,' she said.
Naa, on the other hand, says she does all her marketing at the Mallam Market which is located on the Kasoa-Kaneshie highway. Here she can get all her foodstuffs, from yam to maize, at reasonable prices, as well as fruits, which, according to her, are always in abundance at the market.
In shopping for other items such as groceries and houseware, people troop to the Accra Mall, where they can get well-preserved groceries from Shoprite; kitchen accessories from Game; clothing from the Woodin outlet at the mall and Mr Price, as well as other shops within the mall.
Koala, Maxmat, Marina Mall and other shopping centres also have in stock provisions, groceries, fish, meats and other dairy products which make shopping for women convenient and less stressful.
Hitherto, people living near Kasoa had to drive all the way to the Accra Mall to get what they need but today, there is a branch of Shoprite on the main road and according to Naa, this has made life very easy for her and the family. She buys all her dairy products and other items from Shoprite at Weija.
After a hard day's shopping, the numerous fast food joints, including Food Court at Accra Mall, the countless number of eating joints at Osu, among others, make life very easy for mothers.
In all these shopping malls, the children are not left out as they have play areas, ice cream shops, as well as seating areas for grownups.
'Melcom is one of my favourite shopping centres, as a mother. The various outlets have made shopping very comfortable for me as I can get plastic products for food preservation, provisions, household items, clothing, among others, all at a go and at cheaper rates,' says Maame Aba.
Story: Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho / Daily Graphic / Ghana