It’s not just prices that are rising

So is our anger.
Yet there is nothing we can do except what everyone else is, and manage the best we can.
Being on a limited and fixed income has been our way of life for years. Neither of us are tax payers, so any crap about taking people out of the tax bracket (personal allowances have been frozen for five years) doesn’t apply to us as we are already, but we still have to pay whatever is asked to eat and keep warm .
I had been looking forward to receiving my state pension to take the pressure off, but that is already being eaten away by the cost of living, and heaven help us if the proposed scrapping of gas boilers and petrol/diesel vehicles comes about. No-one in government has any idea how people like us can be expected to pay thousands of pounds for ineffective heat pumps that are more expensive to run and incompatible with most existing central heating systems, or pay extortionate prices for an electric car with no infrastructure in place to charge it on long journeys. Living where we do there is a pathetic bus service so we need a car to get us to health appointments and to shop.

Hubby read today that diesel is going to hit the £1.80 a litre mark by the end of the week.
A few days ago, this was anticipated for the end of the month, yet June isn’t even in double figures yet.
Having to collect our friend’s daughter from the train station today, he intended to fuel up the car on the way.
He couldn’t get into the local Tesco fuel station where diesel is currently 175.9p a litre as they had a delivery and already there were about 20 cars queuing to get in so he decided to fuel up en route.
He could not believe that at one supermarket, fuel was 184.7p and another 187.9p. He did not pass Tesco but the last time we were there, their fuel was 181.9p so you can guarantee they have also put their prices up to over 185p.
Back home, we went to Tesco and the price was still 175.9p, so we joined the queue of about eight cars as well as the four that were filling up. The lady in front of us got in a muddle with her payment, inserted her card after purchase and drove off. Hubby could have fueled up on her card as she had left the payment open, so he cleared it down and inserted his own card details. Not everyone would have been as honest.

This is just the latest in the cost of living crisis which is not just soaring but going into orbit. It doesn’t help that it isn’t just in the UK, but for weeks I’ve been noticing rises in the shops and they are not just a few pence per item. I bought myself a tuna and sweetcorn sandwich filler for a change the other day which was normally 99p. I had a shock doing my spread sheet as it was now £1.35, an increase of over 35%! I won’t be buying it again, nor the egg mayo, cheese and onion or coronation chicken varieties.
Most items are going up by at least 10%, this includes confectionery, and if you want a 2 litre bottle of a branded cola, you are looking at £3. A sugar tax was introduced some years ago to address the problem of obesity. It’s not just sugar at fault, but poor diets because basically, people are unable to afford anything else.

I’m glad I keep a spreadsheet because I can keep a better track of prices than most housewives. I also have the advantage of time to shop around, plus we are not brand loyal. Sometimes it pays to spend a few extra pence to get a better quality but that still doesn’t mean it has to be a brand name.
Finally, I have done an up to date list of price comparisons from February to this past week.

Note: My differences have all come out as negatives, so until I can adjust my figures, they are all increases, not reductions.
Some items show no increases, but reading through local articles, pasta is heading for a hike and the 500g pack of tri colour twists I used to buy for 50p are now 80p. I was stunned at prices of 80p to £1.40 for pasta quills then looked on the bottom shelf tucked out of the way for a ‘discount supermarket match’ and found them for 30p. It pays to look lower than your knees sometimes!

Incidentally, the cost of diesel fuel in January was 147.9p a litre.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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34 Responses to It’s not just prices that are rising

  1. Paula Light says:

    It’s nuts. It really is. I’m starting to watch prices more closely and pick less desirable lunches and whatnot to save a bit. I also have to think more carefully about going anywhere because of fuel prices 🙁

    • Same here, but our GP is not on a direct bus route, to do a decent shop we have to travel 20 miles plus, and to get to a branch of our bank is 20 miles in one direction or 17 in the other. Our vet is now 25 miles away (better care for Maya so we don’t begrudge that) and as for hospital appointments, those are 45 miles away minimum. Taxi fares are horrendous. I looked up a journey of some 27KM (not miles as it is all calculated in kilometres) and it was over £55 (one way). How can people, pensioners especially, be expected to pay that?

  2. How much more do the profiteers in this messed up world think the common person can stand? No blood from a turnip that I’ve ever heard of, they’ll squeeze I suppose until we’re just dried out husks. It’s as horrid over here, as small a consolation as that might be. I don’t know how to convert liter to gallon nor the money involved either, but here it has been around $2.25 to $2.65 (of a holiday weekend) to now over $5 which double the cost. People in my circumstances (fixed income, reliant on the government) are finding it harder and harder to even cover necessities. I have medical bills coming and I’m so dispirited by that idea that things look very bleak. But I don’t have it as bad as thousands of others in America, and that is a blessing. I hope things improve a bit on your side of the pond and that damned soon.

    • We are luckier than many too and for that I count my blessings. We both have state pensions now and Hubby has a mobility allowance but other than that, our only other income is a couple of small annuities (total £150 a year!!!) and our works pensions.
      Income wise, we are out of the tax bracket, or if Hubby is now in it, pays about £60 a year since I transferred 10% of my
      personal tax allowance being on the lower income. We manage and live quite comfortably but we owe nothing and intend to keep it that way. It’s the future proposal of the means to heat our homes and personal transport that worries us more than anything.

  3. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Di, I just finished reading your post. Yes, prices are certainly on the rise and we who are on fixed incomes receive little relief. I have no idea what government is thinking with regard to capability of retirees’ affordance to live. It’s beyond ‘sad’ at this point ~ work all your life ~ save for a fairly comfortable future and greeted with inflation at every turn.

    • If they left things alone (and that includes running diesel cars and gas central heating) we would be fine, but their proposals will squash us as our outgoings will at least quadruple. And we are luckier than many.

  4. Nope, Not Pam says:

    It’s the same here, and the follow on effects are terrible. People are giving up their pets in droves, as they can’t afford to feed them, and we’ve had more resignations in the last month than we did in the last year cos people are looking for positions closer to home.

    • It all has a knock on effect doesn’t it. The government are offering certain households a £5000 grant towards installing a heat pump, yet they cost £15k plus so who has that kind of money to spare when they are already on the breadline? Running costs are more expensive and they are less efficient according to both experts and installers!
      Already families are choosing heat or eat, and parents are going without food so that they can feed and clothe their kids. We are more fortunate than many, because although we are actually considered to be in poverty (an upgrade from severe poverty before I got my state pension), we don’t have any loans, overdrafts, credit cards, rent or a mortgage to pay. It’s ironic that because of that, we don’t qualify for any of the state benefits to help with heating or concessions in local taxes, but to be honest, we don’t need it (yet) or actually want it.

      • Nope, Not Pam says:

        It’s the families I feel for, how can you explain to your child they can eat but anything else is out of the question.

      • It saddens me too as I have heard it in the shops and it breaks my heart that they cannot afford the 30p bar of chocolate I take for granted.

      • Nope, Not Pam says:

        Unfortunately governments on their million dollar pay packets just can’t relate

      • How true. I would so love for them to have to live a year on the minimum wage, without benefits or expense accounts, OR reimbursement for said year, and see how they get on. They need to get back into the real world, but they don’t give a s**t.

  5. murisopsis says:

    We are fortunate to have a big chest freezer and lots of storage space so we are able to stock up on items when they are on sale or better discontinued! I managed to get spaghetti sauce for 89cents a jar (regularly $2.99 each) so we have about 15 jars in storage. The same with pasta and canned garbanzo beans – got them on close out and now have a good stash of them… The freezer is packed with meat so I’m happy to say we haven’t had to pay the current prices.

    • Good for you. This is what we used to do. We have limited storage here, and no space for a second freezer, but we manage OK really. We have rice and pasta in reserve and my sauces are nice without meat.

  6. Sadje says:

    It’s the same here too. 😡🤬

  7. I am trying not to dwell on the state of the economy, Di… to be frank, I am beginning to hope I won’t be around when it gets really bad…

  8. Cathy Cade says:

    I recall my mum complaining about the cost of petrol going up in the seventies and her shock that beef now cost almost £1 per lb.
    In the eighties we were paying 15% interest on our mortgage and I wasn’t working (there wasn’t much childcare around back then and it cost a small fortune so working wasn’t an option for some years – even though I’d been earning more than my husband.) There was Tupperware and similar work-from-home options, but I never ended up with much in the way of income – just more Tupperware and the occasional hostess trolley.
    There’s no point being angry. The world has been in a two-year economic halt and Putin is bombing half the world’s wheat supply. He doesn’t care if his own country’s angry at him, so your rising blood pressure won’t bother him.
    We’re also on pensions, but I know I can spend less when I put my mind to it. I was taught by an older friend (now deceased) who had brought up three children alone, working two meagre part-time jobs in the days before benefits. Even though she lived more comfortably in her later days, old habits tend to stick, and she passed on a lot of tips
    It’s probably time I put them into practice…

    • Thanks Cathy. I brought up a young family on £8 a week in the 80s, so have always known how to save a few pence and make things stretch. When I left that relationship, I was up to my eyes in debt and worked two jobs just to make ends meet and reduce those as best I could until the house was sold. My solicitor took two years to get a court order by which time it had devalued by over £25K, but at least I came out with some equity, unlike ex partner who went bankrupt because he had mortgaged himself to the hilt with a new partner but had not been able to sway me to let him use my share of the equity in our house for his (failed) business venture,
      Anger is a good motivation not to be beaten, but TPTB aren’t going to give a toss, so I channel it.
      When Hubby and I bought our first house in 1990, we got caught in negative equity within months and after 6 years had a deficit of £15K to cover before moving on. We saved like stink those 6 years, and were able to sell, cover our selling and legal fees, the necessary 5% deposit on the new house and the legal fees on that without taking on extra debt. It’s stuck and we still live frugally, which is just as well, but it’s a blessing rather than hardship because we always have. I have tweaking room on our food bill, and we can cut down on our field trips, but at the moment, we can manage.

      • Cathy Cade says:

        Fortunately we were in the same house through the years when its value dropped by several tens of thousands, and it had gone up again by the time hubby finally moved out full-time to his girfriend’s and the kids were old enough, or had already struck out on their own. Not enough to be able to rehome without a mortgage but, cest la vie! At least I had enough working years left before retirement to get a mortgage.
        I see my kids, who were just levelling out after struggling to get on the housing market while paying for childcare, about to struggle further.
        No doubt things will level out again in the fullness of time, but will I be around to see it?

      • That is indeed the question at our age. We don’t have the years on our side anymore to wait it out or make provisions.

  9. willowdot21 says:

    The government will not be happy until they grind us in the earth beneath their heels💜

  10. Pingback: It’s not just prices that are rising – allmaa

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  12. Very cheap compared average income. In Indonesia 1 kg rice = IDR 12k = USD 0.85, eggs 1 kg/15 pcs= IDR 26k = USD 1.9, onion 1 kg = IDR 30k = USD 2.2

    • I paid £1 (UK sterling) for 6 eggs which is almost 18K IDR according to a currency converter I used today. We are on a low income as we are both retired. It is mind blowing how items we pay pence for (like rice at 45p) costs thousands in your country.

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