Paying bills or putting food on the table…

September 22, 2023 • Chris Bardsley

Paying bills or putting food on the table…

Recent research shared by consumer body 'Which?' with the Guardian has highlighted a concerning trend. Over the past two years, prices for basic food items such as cheese, butter, and bread have skyrocketed by over 30%.

This has left many families, particularly those in lower-income households, grappling with the agonising decision of either keeping up with bill payments or ensuring there's enough food on the table.

While the pace of grocery price growth has marginally slowed recently, the cost of food remains substantially higher than it was just two short years ago.

  • Food essentials like cheese, butter, and bread have increased by over 30%

  • Specific items witnessing high rates of inflation include milk at 36.4%, cheese at 35.2%, and butters and spreads at 32.2%

  • Additionally, bakery items, cakes, and cookies have seen a rise of about 30% since 2021

  • For our veggie lovers, vegetable prices have surged by 19.1% since mid-2021, while meat prices have increased by 23.6%.

Now, the real heart of the matter: these rising costs are forcing many people into impossible positions. Richard Lane from StepChange paints a vivid picture, saying:

“These rises are hitting the poorest the hardest, as it creates a poverty premium where those on tighter budgets are unable to save by buying in bulk and end up spending more money on food and essentials, as they shop little and often.”

He added: “As food costs continue to rise, the knock-on effects can be felt elsewhere, with people having to make desperate choices between keeping up their bills or putting food on the table.”

The gravity is even more pronounced when considering StepChange's research: one in seven people have had to skip meals just to keep up with credit repayments. And for those on universal credit, that figure increases to one in three.

We understand better than most that this isn’t just numbers; it's about real people, real families, and the everyday choices they're forced to grapple with due to circumstances beyond their control.

Consumer rights champions, 'Which?', are rallying supermarkets to make affordable and wholesome food more accessible for everyone. We wholeheartedly stand behind this.

We're all in this together. And as we face these hurdles, do remember options like the Fair for You Food Club Card. It's one way we're trying to lend a hand and ensure no one has to choose between bills and meals. Curious? Check out our Food Club Card page.

Please note we’ve used links to external websites. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, Fair for You Enterprise CIC cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers. Views expressed on external sites we link to are not necessarily those of Fair for You Enterprise CIC. If you come across any external links that don’t work, we would be grateful if you could report them to the web content team.

The content of this blog does not constitute personal financial advice, and the views expressed in it are those of the contributor or author, which may not necessarily represent or reflect the views expressed by Fair for You Enterprise CIC.

This entry was posted in Finance, Budgeting Tips and Blog
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