But there are ways we can beat the worst of the rising cost of our food
Food prices have rocketed by nearly 20 per cent, and some grocery items cost nearly 30 per cent more than they did this time last year.
The new figures explain why affording our usual weekly shop is such a struggle at the moment. Inflation in general is still sitting at more than 10 per cent but food has seen greater price rises.
But with some products rising in price more than others, is there anything we can do to avoid the worst of it?
Milk, cheese and eggs now cost us 30 per cent more than they did this time last year. And meat and veg have risen by about 18 per cent.
Most of these products can be bought with Healthy Start vouchers. If we have young children or are expecting a baby, we could get a card loaded with £4.25 a week (£8.50 a week if we have a child under one) that we can spend on healthy foods.
It’s really worth doing, especially as food prices are unlikely to come down any time soon. But thousands of us who qualify aren’t claiming.
(We can also get free vitamins on Healthy Start. Even if we eat a great diet, folic acid and vitamins A and D can be harder to get from food alone.)
Quids in! has been looking for some good food news in amongst the gloom.
The truth is there isn’t much. Almost all foods are rising in price but some rises have been tiny.
And apples and pears have actually seen a small drop in price – two and four per cent. So it could ease the strain on our cash if we could switch to these from other fruits.
Similarly, the price of mushrooms has gone up by six per cent. That’s a lot less than the rises for other types of veg – so that might be another smart switch we could make. Sweet potatoes and turnips have also seen price rises way below the average.
And dried fruit also saw lower price rises.
The cost of a cuppa is on the rise too. Tea is up by 14 per cent since last year, and we’ve already mentioned the eyewatering rise in milk costs.
But if we’re happy to switch to instant coffee we’ll feel the rise a bit less. The price of a jar of granules is up a bit less at eight per cent. And if we can drink it black, then we’ll save a bit more.
Budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl tend to offer the lowest prices, but they are now seeing bigger rises than the traditional stores.
Which? found their prices have risen by 23 and 25 per cent over the last year. The rate was lower for other stores – 14 per cent at Tesco, 15 per cent at Sainsbury’s and around 18 per cent at Morrisons and Asda.
For more on eating well for less, check out our five top tips for saving on the supermarket shop.
Main image: Aldi