The dismal news for homeowners continued apace this week as the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium showed that food prices are still racing ahead as the headline rate of inflation hit its highest level for 30 months.
Largest increase for years
The monthly increase is the largest since 2008 and it seems as though anything that can adversely affect the price of food is happening right here and right now. The four horsemen of a modern day apocalypse seem to have been given full rein. Droughts in Russia and China have affected the grain harvests so much that China is becoming a net importer. In Australia cyclones and storms have destroyed crops, the horn of Africa is suffering yet again from drought and the worldwide increase in fuel prices is just metaphorically pouring oil on a burning fire.
Buy one get one free tops the shopping list
Back in the UK the BRC have noted that consumers are managing to keep spending under control by looking for bargains. Household costs such as home insurance and utility bills are being sourced from price comparison websites, while supermarket shopping by the savvy consumer means promotional offers are targeted for the bulk of the weekly shopping list. The BRC reckon about 40% of food purchases are now made from products on “offer”.
Down to the bare bones
Even basics such as milk, bread and sugar have risen sharply in price leaving the most vulnerable members of society with few cheap options for their shopping basket. It is at times like these that homeowners begin to cut down on products that they deemed as normal living costs but can no longer afford. Trips to the cinema, dining out and holiday bookings have all been put to one side by many families and some are still looking for other expenses they can cut away from their domestic budget.
Cancelling insurance can be a costly saving
There is no mistaking that household insurance providers are worried that households will begin to question if they can afford their current policies and will look elsewhere to see if they can procure a bargain, some are even considering not renewing their policies at all. It is a massive risk for any household to be uninsured and the news this week that many house fires have been caused by faulty fridges illustrates the point well.