I've spent £3k stockpiling for the cost of living crisis, I'm called selfish, I don't care, I time my kids washing too | The Sun09/02/2022
LAST week it was announced that the energy price cap will rise by a staggering 80 per cent which makes choosing between heating and eating a reality for even more families in the UK.
Recent figures show that nine out of 10 people have already been adversely affected by the soaring prices of food, energy and fuel.
In a bid to get ahead of their bills, certain mums are harping back to pandemic habits and are stockpiling in preparation for the winter, regardless of any criticism they might face.
Here two women explain to Fabulous how they’re hoping to cope with the impending financial storm…..
Tucked away in Claire Matthews’ garage is a year’s supply of cat food.
In the loft there are spare toiletries and dotted around the house are packets of pasta, flour, cereal bars and canned goods.
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For the last seven months, Claire has been buying extra before the cost of food rises further.
Claire, 44, a custody officer, who lives with her police officer husband, Rob, and their two children, Sophie, 13 and Ben, 12, says, “I’ve been alarmed how quickly prices are rising – my deodorant used to be £1.50 and it’s gone up to nearly a fiver – so it makes sense to buy what we can now.
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“Recently, I’ve spent over £1,000 extra on food with a long shelf life and other basics.
“People might accuse me of being selfish but I’m not – I’m just buying a bit more every time I shop.
“We were caught out in Covid when everyone else was shopping and by the time I got there the shelves were empty.
“I only thought it would last for a few weeks. I’m determined not to be caught out again. Obviously this is different.
“The shelves will still be full, but I won’t be able to afford what I need at the rate the prices are going up.”
The picture is concerning – it’s estimated household bills, such as food and energy, could increase by a staggering average of £6,000 this year.
People might accuse me of being selfish but I’m not – I’m just buying a bit more every time I shop
A recent survey by the Office of National Statistics, showed that 16 million people in Britain have been forced to cut back on food and other essentials because of the rise in the cost of living.
Over 90 per cent of people saw their food shop costs increase and 77 per cent were hit by the jump in fuel prices.
Homeless charity Crisis has estimated that even those on middle incomes of around £22,615 will end up spending 73 per cent of their salary on bills next year.
Claire is only too aware that the crisis will hit her family of four.
She says, “It feels inevitable and that the only way to get through it is to plan ahead.
“So since February I’ve been buying a bit extra at every shop, particularly if things are on offer.
“I estimate it’s cost me £1,000 – I’ve spent £100 on cat food alone. But it will save money in the long run.
“We’re already saving on gas and electricity. We used to have the water on for three hours in the morning and evening, now we only turn it on when we have a shower. I’ve cut down to showering every other day as has my son.
“My daughter used to be in the shower for nearly 50 minutes at a time, now I’ve put her on a timer for 15 minutes.
“I also turn the oven off 10 minutes before something is cooked, it keeps its temperature for that amount of time, and means I’m not wasting the heat on an empty oven.
“I charge my phone at work, I no longer use my hair dryer and will put the bare minimum water in the kettle. It might only make a tiny difference, but every little helps.”
Meanwhile Jeannine McAndrew, 49, and her husband Paul Wagland, 43, who work in property and live near Portsmouth, Hampshire, have also started stockpiling.
We’ve stuffed our freezer full and ended up spending an extra £3,000 stockpiling
She explains, “Paul’s mother instilled it into him to be prepared.
“And I grew up in the country where we were often snowed in so it’s been drummed into me too.
“We’ve started buying food that has a long shelf life and is likely to go up, such as cooking oils and quorn mince.
“We’ve stuffed our freezer full and ended up spending an extra £3,000 stockpiling.
“I always used to shop in Aldi, but I’ve now taken to shopping around to find special offers.
"I’ve recently bought a second-hand bread maker for £5 and lots of bread mix as I believe that will go up.
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"And I’m looking for a second-hand air fryer, as turning on your cooker uses a lot of electricity.
“I’m feeling very nervous but having a few months of food tucked away reassures me.”
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