Inflation – What is it? In short inflation is the increase in price of something over time and recent years have seen food & drink prices rising more than ever before; leading tot he cost of living crisis that we are facing today.
This is inevitable having a knock on effect on our nutrition and hence our bodies – with traditionally ‘unhealthy’ and fast foods being the cheaper option to a nutritious, balanced meal.
Why is the cost of living going up?
While inflation is hitting a 40 year high, average wages are not reflecting the cost of living meaning normal people simply can’t afford the things they used to be able to.
Andrew Bailey, The Bank Of England Governor stated that “the Russia shock is now the largest contributor to UK inflation”. However, many agree that there are a wide range of factors that are seeing prices soar, including:
- Rising energy bills which have risen rapidly because of high oil and gas prices.
- The price of fuel – partly because the war in Ukraine has driven up the cost of crude oil. Prices rose as high as £2.00+ a litre recently, but still remain higher than before.
- There has been a significant increase in the costs of raw materials, household goods, and furniture and in the hospitality sector, including restaurants and hotels
- Finally, higher interest rates which are making mortgage payments more expensive for many homeowners.
Beyond the cost of living crisis forcing some to opt for unhealthy fast foods, the serious reality for others is that they simply cannot afford to eat. A recent article from The Food Foundation said:
“In April, 7.3 million adults live in households that said they had gone without food or could not physically get it in the past month, which include 2.6 million children. This is compared with 4.7 million adults in January”.
“Food banks are reporting that users are increasingly requesting products that do not need cooking as the cost of living crisis bites deeper and families cannot afford energy bills”.
Average Basket Cost Last Year Vs Now:
The CPI, which is the official mechanism used to measure UK inflation, showed the cost of food and drink has gone up 12.6% year-on-year as of July 2022.
So, if a food item cost £1 in July 2021, it was likely to cost an extra 12.6p by July 2022.
This figure also means food prices are outpacing overall inflation, which sits at 10.1%.
- Milk: low fat milk has gone up in price by 34%, while whole milk has risen 28.1%.
- Flours and other cereals: this category has risen 29.7% in price, largely as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war (Ukraine being a major supplier of cereal crops).
- Butter: prices for the dairy product have risen by an average of 27.1% compared to July 2021. The reasons for these hikes are broadly the same as the ones behind the rise in milk prices. One of the most visibly brand increases, if that of Lurpak!
Tips On Budgeting:
Whilst we are not budgeting experts, we’ve compiled a few tips for you to use when trying to budget your income and not be tempted to go for cheaper, ‘unhealthy’ foods:
- Shop with a list – it sounds so simple, but taking the time to create a shopping list or even dong your shop online and getting it delivered, is a great way to plan your meals and budget!
- Drink more water and ditch the soft drinks – many people spend £££ on fizzy, soft drinks when shopping, which is great for a treat every once in a while but swapping them out for tap water at home will benefit your health and your money.
- Be more conscious of your leftovers – Having meals where you’re eating leftover veg/ other foods is a great way to make the most of our budget, as well as ensuring we aren’t wasting food! Meals could include: stir fry, soup, curries or pasta!