Truthful Tuesday 30th August, my response

My question earlier was

With energy prices and inflation going mad, what changes will you be able to make to save money? Do you think there is anything you can do in respect of voicing your concerns?Hubby leaves the house budgeting and money matters to me, though we discuss it and rattle ideas around, especially now.
We are on a fixed tariff at the moment, so will be OK for this Winter, but with predictions and projections of future increases, we can expect to pay at least five times what we are now when our current tariff expires.
To say I am worried is an understatement, especially as there is talk of average energy bills leaping to as much as £10,000 by the end of next year. Ordinary people do not have that kind of money, and we certainly don’t. My state pension is over £2000 less than that.

I have already taken stock of the food we buy, and refusing to pay what is being asked for shoddy fresh produce that I end up throwing away, or items that were treats that have now escalated by about 20%. Not having those will help the diet, but that is really beside the point.
The price for basic staples of milk, eggs, bread, breakfast cereals, baked beans, cheese, rice and pasta is increasing at a phenomenal rate, and I am buying less. I have also noticed that fresh fruit especially may be the same price, but the weight has been reduced.  However, I’m not buying alternatives which I did before.
I will not pay almost £2 for a 500g tub of margarine in the discount supermarket which was £1.19 at the beginning of the year and that same 500g tub of margarine is £2.50 plus in the ‘Big Four’.  I have a tub in the freezer and when that has gone, unless I see it at a sensible price, we will go without. I have tried an alternative and it was gross. We will just have our bread dry, and toast will have jam only as that is currently 31p for a 400g jar, that is if we can still afford to buy bread.  Beans on toast will soon be a luxury.
Meat has gone up, and again for what I pay, even less weight, I will still make four meals out of it.
Our food bill last year was less than £1800, and we have spent that already this year, even taking out what we spend on dog food.

As for energy prices, I feel physically sick the way it is going. As I said, we are on a fixed tariff so will see this Winter through, but thousands of people won’t.
We use about 24 kwh of electricity a week, the only thing on standby 24/7 is the fridge freezer and internet router. Our shower is gravity fed and heated by our gas boiler, which also runs our central heating and cooker hob.
On the boat, we had bottled gas, and a 6kg bottle would last us about 9 months as I only used the oven hob, never the oven. Our boiler and hob here can be converted to bottled gas, so we have an alternative to mains and of course larger bottles are available!
Our lights all have energy saving bulbs, we have no TV, dishwasher (that’s us with a washing up bowl) or tumble dryer. The new washing machine has a choice of three economy cycles and on the ‘test run’ we did yesterday, a thirty minute wash at 30º and spin of 1000 revs was equal to what we had before for less time.  It will be interesting to see if there is any increase in our usage when I read the meters next Wednesday.

We shall be spending the next few months on tenterhooks in the hope that somebody in power will see sense and do something about this catastrophic situation which will put millions of households into fuel poverty. The potential death count is unthinkable.

I have written to my MP about my concerns, and after her initial response last week enclosing a letter from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and signed by the Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change which referred me to the government website and list of now inadequate grants available (some of which we do not qualify for as we are not on benefits or in receipt of tax credits because they are means tested), I was not satisfied and followed it up as she offered a copy of a letter she had received from Ofgem, who are hiking the prices in the first place.
I’m interested at what spin they are putting on this extortion.


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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33 Responses to Truthful Tuesday 30th August, my response

  1. Di,

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful poem with me for ‘Poetry Partners’. I have posted it and responded to it here, at The Skeptic’s Kaddish:

    Much love,

  2. Nope, Not Pam says:

    We’re using if it ain’t essential then go without policy, but there are some things we can’t do without. Hubby has applied for the pension, but I’m still working, so he may not get anything. If he does qualify for the lowest amount we’ll be eligible for the heath care card and the associated benefits would be fantastic

    • I don’t know how it works where you are, but over here if one spouse is of pensionable age and the other working, they will still get it. Hubby got his pension last year but didn’t qualify for the heating allowance because his birthday was in November and the cut off for eligibility was October. We shall have it this year though.

  3. Sadje says:

    Must be a worrying situation for you

  4. willowdot21 says:

    It all makes me want to run off and like an ostrich hide my head in the sand!
    That said we have bought an air fryer as the as so much cheaper to run than a hob and oven ….so air fryer, microwave, steamer and slow cooker it will be!

  5. Worrying times Di. I hear ya.

  6. murisopsis says:

    And I thought the greedy energy companies were all here in the US. Our summer costs are usually about $25 per month from April – September but this summer they have really jumped – the last one was over double. I think this winter we will be closing off all the rooms upstairs except the master bedroom and there will be extra covers on the bed… As for cutting costs I will be supporting Sparky at keeping the thermostat at 65F and unplugging everything possible. We have stocked up the freezer so we will be whittling that down to empty. A pound of minced was on sale for $6.49. We used to get a 5 pound package for $7 so a big increase. It used to be expensive to go vegetarian/vegan but now it is cheaper to eat without meat. On the other hand son#1 has been able to score “manager’s specials” on meat that was priced too high. It was finally marked down because it didn’t sell and he has bought us some pork steaks and sausages for cheap.

    • These are the sort of deals we also look out for. We can expect our energy bill to be at least five times what we’re paying now when our tariff expires unless Governments step in and stop it

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