By a mean minded government looking for a scapegoat and excuses for it’s own incompetence
I haven’t yet had to make use of food banks or charity food handouts etc – yet.
But I can tell you that the weekly food bill for my fourteen year old son & me must be not less than £70. (& we buy well & cheaply & I have the catering expertise to cook very cheap meals).
If I didn’t make huge efforts I am sure my son and I would be going hungry and become reliant on food banks. And if the Government continues its campaign of spiteful intimidation of people compelled to live in abject poverty, then it is clear my son & I will be unable to survive for much longer and nor will thousands of other people.
I always, always cook proper ‘old fashioned’ food from raw and fresh ingredients. I never buy or eat ‘value added’ or processed or convenient food if I can help it. I eat in the same sort of way everyone did a hundred years ago before the birth of the modern processed food industry. In those days if you wanted something, you had no option but to cook it yourself from scratch.
Because I do that, it saves a lot of money and we eat much better quality food. Bread for example; I find ordinary sliced supermarket bread fairly vile in taste and texture. So I make my own wholemeal bread which not only saves money, but it tastes better and will fill your stomach up and keep hunger at bay for hours which the grim supermarket bread will never do.
I keep all receipts and started entering them on a spreadsheet to help control costs & budgeting of everything so this £70 is a reasonably accurate figure, although I am a few months behind with entering all this rubbish into the spreadsheet, so it does not reflect recent and spectacular food inflation.
– Sainsbury’s standard loose onions now £1 kg, 88p a few weeks ago, & less than 80p a few months ago. That’s a 25% increase !
– Sainsbury’s “new’ potatoes ( which are demonstrably NOT ‘new’ at this moment because it is more or less the end of the annual potato harvest & therefore the entire annual potato harvest is now available for the market, making it the cheapest point of the year and the time when this product should be at it’s cheapest.
But because Sainsbury’s are constructing this fiction of ‘new’ potatoes having a huge premium over ‘ordinary’ potatoes, it enables the supermarket to also uplift the prices of ordinary potatoes enormously – which is exactly what it has done from long before this year’s bad weather occurred to affect anything.
I think ordinary Sainsbury’s potatoes are still selling at well over £1 a kg, and the ‘new’ potatoes at £3 are actually more expensive than some meat, notably chicken, many types of which frequently sell at less than £3 kg. I bought Sainsburys chicken breasts a few days ago at about £2.70 a kilo.
It is an utter nonsense that potatoes, which are what should be just about be the cheapest staple food of all types in this country, along with basic flour based items, might be sold for more than meat.
It is a completely ludicrous supermarket construct by which the buying public are manipulated into paying far, far more for basic groceries than should be the case.
Bog standard Sainsbury’s broccoli zoomed from about £1.80/97 a kilo to just under £3 a kilo recently; I think it actually reached £3 at one point. We eat this stuff almost daily so I am keenly aware of this gigantic price increase of about 50% , although it has now fallen back in price a bit – probably because everyone else noticed the ridiculous price increase and refused to buy it, like I did.
Oranges grow like a weed in the countries where they are grown. I have lived in such countries & know just how amazingly cheap they are to buy in those countries. Bulk buying supermarkets will be buying them at even lower prices. It is therefore extremely doubtful that an orange will cost the supermarket more than 5p; it will almost certainly be considerably less.
I am forced to pay 50p for that same orange from Sainsburys, and it is almost always many months old and consequently of inferior quality & nothing like a recently picked orange in season. Frequently, Sainsbury’s oranges grow mould & rot within a day or two because they have been stored so long. It is a rip off.
Curiously, oranges equate to about £2 a kg at Sainsbury’s whereas bananas are much, much cheaper at 68p per kilo. Bananas are much more difficult and expensive to grow, pick & transport though, than oranges. Oranges which grow easily, like a rampant weed, are the easiest of crops to pick, transport & store and must be the toughest, most robust and least delicate of all of crops – and potentially amongst the cheapest of all to buy if the supermarkets weren’t being so greedy by charging as much as they can get away with for cheaper items.
Look closely at this and you will find a total rip off engineered over time by supermarkets who effectively dictate (artificially false, inflated ) food prices for the entire UK market as they control most of the market & all other independent food shops effectively have to set their own prices at the same levels. There are numerous other examples of rampant supermarket profiteering in the selling of food at extortionately high prices.
I would make the point that I do not, and never will, give priority to paying over my meagre income over to greedy commercial organisations or grasping government departments so that I am left with too little money to buy food for my child and me.
That would be ridiculous; and I suspect that many poverty struck people like single parents on benefits feel so bullied, intimidated and terrorised by a whirlwind of aggressive money demands from unpleasant people, that they give in to these demands only to find they have no money left to buy food. These people are then forced to turn to food banks and other charity organisations to simply survive.
Rent is my first priority, food second, necessary clothes third, fuel fourth; everything else afterwards with many things falling off the list entirely as there is no money left to pay for them. Things like water bills, tv licenses and many ordinary things people normally take for granted as essential parts of everyday life.
Living in extreme poverty either on benefits or not is brutal, nasty and unpleasant. It is a complete lie to suggest it is an easy life.
The government is just being abusive and nasty to target the very poor people at the bottom of society as an excuse for their own government incompetence of wasting unimaginably vast amounts of the total benefits budget with job creation schemes for a bloated army of fools who are the thousands of dimwitted slobs who inflict this moronic benefits systems on both taxpayers and the needy.
Most of the idiots running the benefits system would be unemployable anywhere else. They are appalling and they do an appallingly bad job and in the worse possible way.
If they did do their jobs properly a gigantic amount of money they currently waste by their mindlessly stupid systems of administration of the welfare budget would be available to be put to good use. And it is also the case that it is the stupidity of these people responsible for administering the welfare budget that encourage huge amounts of money to be wasted in both fraud and frequent and persistent maladministration.
It is a rotten system, dreamt up by a whole series of rotten and corrupt governments which have inflicted themselves on us over a long period of time.