Not Only Food

We all know that prices are going up. Fuel, Gas, Electricity, nothing ever seems to go down. Those same price increases are beginning to impact on food prices too, as anyone who has recently done a ‘big shop’ at a supermarket will tell you.

On the 21st of March, we went to get our regular weekly shop at the huge branch of Tesco in Dereham, the supermarket we use the most. Julie came with me on that occasion, as I am still unable to drive. I had my list ready, and didn’t buy any ‘extras’, or anything on impulse. I was also only shopping for six days, not seven, as we had something in the freezer for one meal that week.

After packing everything away at the checkout, the total bill came to £97. ($128) Bearing in mind there are only two of us, that seemed a lot. On the way home, Julie remarked how much it had gone up from the previous week, and that we might have to start thinking seriously about reducing our bill by buying cheaper things.

When I got home, I decided to check the till receipt in detail, and realised that a large percentage of what we had bought was not food at all. The breakdown was something like this.

Antibacterial Spray. £1.50
Bin liners. £2.40
Liquid hand soap. £1.50
Shower/bath gel. £2.00
Toilet Rolls.
(9-pack) £5.00
Kitchen Roll.
(2-pack) £3.50
Bleach. £0.50
Toothpaste. £2.60
Deodorant Can. £1.70

Total £20.70 ($28)

That brought the shopping bill down to £76.30. ($100.50) Of course, I don’t have to buy everything on that list every week. Some of those items will last longer than seven days.

Then there was Ollie to consider, if you have a pet.

Bag of dog food pellets. £4.00
Box of Bonio Biscuits. £1.60
Treats. £2.00
Fresh chicken for his dinners. £4.50

Total £12.10 ($16)

Take that off the shopping bill, and we were left with a new total of £64.20. ($85) That is a little over £10 ($13.16) a day for food for six days for two people.
Seen like that, it is actually not that bad.

45 thoughts on “Not Only Food

    1. It wouldn’t be so much of a worry if I was still working. But with my wife only part-time, my work pensions and State pension are the lion’s share of our joint income. And they don’t increase much.
      Cheers, Pete.

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    1. My wife still gets discounts in some places with her Blue Light Card. For example, we can get 20% off food (but not drinks) if we eat in our local pub in Dereham. Not sure about Morrison’s here though, as I always go to Tesco.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m coping with price increases at the supermarket although I don’t pick up the extras like I used to. But filling the car…oof, that makes me brace myself. My walking has gone up a bit, on the plus side. Doing the legs no harm at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I walk a lot, because I have limited alternatives on public transport. But with the nearest shops 3-4 miles away, we have to use the car for a ‘big shop’. I could never carry enough home otherwise. Luckily, we don’t use our cars that much. I only use mine for taking my dog anywhere, and my wife works just 2 miles away, so her annual mileage is very low. (She couldn’t walk to work, as it is on a fast road with no paths, so too dangerous.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Hi Pete, we have to buy food for six and I’ve noticed the price increases too. It is true that some of the items you listed are not bought weekly, but next week there’ll be other things of a similar nature that have finished and you need to buy. It is an endless cycle if you want to maintain good standards of health and cleanliness. The thing that always strikes me when I’m in the UK (we will be in Suffolk over Christmas this year) is how expensive toilet paper is. It is four times more expensive than here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can buy cheap toilet paper here in some shops like Poundland and Aldi. But it is a false economy, as it is poor quality and slightly smaller rolls. I quoted the price for Andrex, the premium brand we always use.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting to see that grocery shopping is the same everywhere.. or in the lest, between two English-speaking countries. 🙂

    Then after I buy the junk that I buy (I should never go shopping with the other half) I look down at my middle and imagine how many Ukrainian refugees I could feed with my 38 pounds of excess fat were food. Damn indulgent Americans. Ugh.
    I heard the other day that eating one hot dog shortens your life by a week. Over the span of my life and the numbers of those things I’ve consumed, I should have passed on decades ago (although the last one I have eaten was over a month ago).
    I just don’t see myself eating the leaves and twigs or lawn cutting mulch from the back yard for the rest of my life… or working it all off so I can process the next meal.

    Life is full of compromises.

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    1. According to all available medical advice, I should have been dead before my 50th birthday. The 20 years since then have all been a bonus, apparently. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Hehe. Like that Vulcan always said.. live long and prosper. It’s the measure of prosperity I desire that is lacking, although the fact we continue to defy the odds and are living longer might suggest that’s a prosperity in and of itself.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a trend here. When the government announced cutting the tax by 5p a litre, the companies put their prices up by 4p a litre the day before. Less tax perhaps, same profits for the oil giants.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Breaking things down does help with our mental state, but it doesn’t help anything else. There’s just 2 of us here and our supermarket bills have gone up considerably!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It adds up quick doesn’t it! We are running at about £500 a month (everything from the shop) at the moment, almost double what we spent 4 years ago, but then the kids have started insisting on something other than bread and water 🙂
    Just reading your comments of PV panels, I wonder if this takes into account the increase in electricity prices? I’d guess the payback time has decreased considerably and will only come down as prices continue to rise. Of course it would be even better if the government provided more incentives 🙂

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    1. The solar panel figures I found were an average, Eddy. One of my neighbours had them fitted 4 years ago, in a house behind ours. She gets some rebate from the company for electricity they take from her panels off-peak, and that cuts her bill by around 40%. However, the recoup of the actual installation charge was estimated to take her 12 years. She is just 60, so by the time she is my age, she will be in net profit. If the prices increase by 50%+ next week, I’m not sure if she will get any rebate, but might remain on more or less what we are paying now.
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I looked a little closer and the UK gov do not offer much in the way of grants (no VAT from April 1st), hopefully this will change for you with the future energy policy that is meant to be announced. Fingers crossed that it will be worth it for more households in the future.
        I also realised how much more sunshine we get here in Poland, we generated all we used this March and it should only get better as the year goes on.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I did buy wine that week, but paid for it myself, not on our household account. Life without wine is more or less unthinkable to me, Cindy. I now have just one large glass each day, at 6pm. I confess that I do anticipate that with relish!
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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  6. My main problem is energy…as in electricity/propane to run the house. I debated getting solar panels last year but every time I attempt something like that it turns into a fiasco where everyone runs around like headless chickens and no one gives you a straight answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a decade to recoup the cost of installing enough solar panels to make a real difference, Carolyn.
      ‘Checking some numbers, we get to the expected results: cities in the south come out with the lowest payback years. While the national average is 9.5 years, it takes only 8.4 years in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro (the top three) for a domestic solar panel installation to pay for itself. However, cities in the north are not as left behind as one would expect.’
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. In my case, I allocate £30 per week for my food shopping online. It’s hard because there are some foods like chocolate that I dearly love which I rarely buy these days. So I rely on simple foods like potato wedges and beef mince. Bread rolls and sliced beef topside. Eggs and Bacon. That’s about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems our bill is not much over £30 each at the moment for food, Jack. We don’t live high on the hog, though we still have a traditional roast meat dinner of some kind at least one day every week.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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