Inside a wholesale store in downtown Cairo, Murtadha Mahmoud, 46, and his wife were buying goods for the month of Ramadan using the funds the couple had put aside for the occasion.
Mahmoud, a government employee, considers Ramadan to be a month of family feasts and visiting friends and acquaintances that only happens at this time of year. Mahmoud calls it "a blessed month".
In preparation for the holy month, the couple spent 1,100 Egyptian pounds ($181) on dried fruit and foods such as rice, pasta, sugar and meat.
Adel Mustafa, the owner of a wholesale store in downtown Cairo, said food prices are slightly lower than 2011 prices and are widely available.
The price of dates starts at five pounds ($.83) per kilogramme and reaches 23 pounds ($3.80) per kilogramme, while some varieties cost 32 pounds ($5.28) per kilogramme.
The price of Syrian dried figs ranges between 10 ($1.60) to 14 pounds ($2.25), dried apricots are 34 pounds ($5.60) per kilogramme, and Egyptian raisins are 24 pounds ($4) per kilogramme.
Local meat prices range between 55 ($9) to 70 pounds ($11.50) per kilogramme for beef and around 70 pounds per kilogramme for lamb.
Consumption of food products during the month of Ramadan rises by 70% compared with the rest of the year and the increase in red meat and chicken consumption is estimated to be 50%, according to the Egyptian Chamber of Food Industries.
Egyptians spend 30 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) during Ramadan out of a total of 200 billion pounds ($33 billion) spent on food annually, according to the report.
Families typically gather for a feast during the first week of Ramadan.
"We usually host feasts for families and friends during the first five days of Ramadan," said Wajdi Abdul Magid, 52.
Abdul Magid, who works in real estate, said such feasts are both expensive and time-consuming, but they are a source of much happiness for his family members, who are already thinking about the menu for their guests.
Muna Fathi, Abdul Magid's wife, said the meal served on the first day of Ramadan is always the best as she and her sister prepare the entire meal in her kitchen.
Fathi said there will be a variety of dishes on their table for the first day of Ramadan. The starters are three types of rice, stuffed vegetable and salads. She will serve several meat dishes including turkey, grilled and roasted beef and chicken and pigeon stuffed with rice and wheat.
"I will also be preparing other dishes such as okra with meat and pasta with béchamel sauce, which my friends request every Ramadan," she said.
Ramadan is also the best month for juice bars, especially since Ramadan this year occurs during a very hot summer. Egyptians will be fasting up to 16 hours per day during periods when temperatures can reach 39 degrees Celsius.
The preferred juices during Ramadan are date, licorice, hibiscus, orange and a coconut milk drink, according to Mohammed al-Mawridi, who owns a juice bar.
This year, al-Mawridi added tangerine and mango to his menu although they are more expensive than other juices as one litre of each juice costs around 10 pounds ($1.60) while date juice and coconut milk juice costs only four pounds ($.66).