Grocery bills up by £514 million since January
The cost of a weekly supermarket shop has increased by over 5% since January, adding £514 million to the nation’s grocery bills.
A report found that the cost of fruit and vegetables has increased by 16% in the first five months of the year, while prices on meats and fish are up 7% and dairy products by 6.2%. The average household food shop is now thought to be 5.8% higher than it was at the start of 2008 – and is likely to increase further.
Verdict Research, which produced the report, estimates that for every £1 spent, 13p goes on groceries, meaning food price inflation is hitting the pockets of households across the UK.
“Food shopping is something most people do regularly, so they immediately notice increases in prices more than they do in other areas,” says Neil Saunders, a director of Verdict. “For many, the price of the weekly food shop is the real measure of inflation – it’s what they react to when they make decisions about the household budget and what to spend on other things”.
Time to cut back?
In response to rising food prices, many shoppers are looking to reduce their weekly spend by moving to a cheaper supermarket.
In response, German budget supermarket Aldi has launched an online food calculator which it says highlights the lifetime saving of switching to its budget stores.
The supermarket claims to save British shoppers over £1 million a day off their grocery bills with own brand products at prices up to 30% lower than its supermarket competitors.
A good way to see which supermarkets really offer the lowest prices is to use an online comparison site like mysupermarket.co.uk.
Another good way to avoid spending over the odds when doing your weekly shop is to write a list before you go, cut out impulse buys, and consider two-for-one offers.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).