Mohammed Darwish purchased meat and vegetables on a daily basis over the past two weeks because on-going power outages in Egypt made it impossible to store food in the refrigerator.
Darwish, a 43-year old secondary school teacher, usually shops for a week's worth of supplies or more in one trip.
"Ramadan this year has been harsh because of high temperatures coupled with power outages," he said.
Darwish said the government is not the only entity responsible for the problem.
"There is a lot of waste by citizens when it comes to electricity consumption, and there is a real need for awareness campaigns to save energy," he said.
So Darwish began an initiative with some residents in his Maadi neighbourhood. They visited area residents and business owners and tried to convince them to reduce their energy consumption, particularly during Ramadan.
Some people responded and turned off the lighted decorations they put up in the streets at the start of Ramadan.
Over the past two weeks, power cuts have increased in frequency in Egypt, and power outages in some areas lasted 18 hours a day.
This created resentment among residents and some blocked the roads and gathered for sit-ins in front of their provincial administrative buildings to demand the resumption of electricity.
The crisis delayed trading at the Cairo Stock Exchange and caused disruption in the city's metro service for two hours on August 9th, according to AFP.
Tariq al-Shami, an engineer who supervises consumption at the Giza power station, said power outages during summer -- when consumption increases -- are normal, especially because many use air conditioners and electrical appliances.
Al-Shami also associated the continuous increase in consumption patterns with the month of Ramadan, which also coincided with a recent spike in high temperatures.
"This is what caused peak hours to go up to 19 hours a day, beginning from 8 a.m. and continuing until after 3 a.m. at the time of suhoor," he said, noting that the overload caused some power stations to go out of service.
Al-Shami said other reasons for the outages include weak grid infrastructure and decaying power stations.
"The Walidiya station alone took 650 megawatts away from the [national] electricity supply after two of its units, out of a total of 2,000 units that operate for general consumption, went out of service," he said.
According to al-Shami, a new unit will be added to the Abu Quir station, which will provide 650 megawatts of energy and reduce the load off the electricity grid.
He said it is important to upgrade the entire grid and bring in new power stations to solve the long-term problem.
Industry and tourism are suffering heavy losses on a daily basis because of the power outages, according to Mahmoud Mansour, a member of the Egyptian Businessmen's Association.
"The industrial sector has been hit hard by the electricity crisis because of forced production breaks in many factories," he said.
He estimated daily production losses to be around 25%, saying that the state of confusion in executing production plans led to rescheduling export operations.
Tourist sites like Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh also lost many visitors, who left before their scheduled departure dates or cancelled their trips, Mansour said.
"After the power failure, resorts tried to rely on their own generators; but in the absence of the diesel fuel required to operate [the generators], these also stopped working," he said.
"All we need is patience since no one can wave a magic wand," Mansour said.
He said he expects conditions to return to normal after Eid and after power units are repaired and new ones begin operating.