Asda’s leader has urged ministers to do more to tackle the cost of living crisis, warning that people will suffer if prices rise and stay high.
Lord Rose of Monewden said there is “a domino effect” due to the cost of raw materials and the impact of inflation.
Sunflower oil, wheat and oil prices were affected by the war in Ukraine. Latest data from market researcher Kantar suggests that inflation for all food prices has now reached 5.9%, its fastest rise since December 2011.
The Kantar figures add an estimated £271 to the average amount buyers will pay this year.
Meanwhile, CPI inflation rose to 7% in March and analysts have predicted it could have hit more than 8% in April due to the impact of higher energy bills this month.
Rose told the BBC show on Sunday morning the government “cannot solve all the problems”, adding: “Unfortunately, the consumer will suffer too.”
He suggested that families should cut out products they don’t need as costs are “reaching a new high”, adding: “What we all need to do now is maybe change our behaviour. I will personally examine my own behavior and what things I need and what I don’t need.
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“There are no uniform rules for Covid. There are no one-size-fits-all rules for all sorts of things. Government needs to look and say, ‘How do we make things easier?’.”
Rose added that ministers could also help with the cost of living crisis by speaking to grocery retailers “to make sure we cut any extra costs”.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is under pressure from Tory MPs, some Cabinet ministers and Labor to do more to help people with the cost of living.
Last week, official data showed that 91% of UK adults said their cost of living had increased, up from 88% in early April.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics found that 39% of adults said they had reduced their grocery purchases in the past two weeks.
As for raw material costs, Rose said there will be a “new level” that “is not going to go down.” “It’s a new high and people have to accept that,” he said.
“We now have to consider whether this will have a long-term effect on inflation, because then we’ll have a wage spiral, won’t we?”
As the impact of the cost-of-living crisis hits millions of people, some say there are some small changes that could shave hundreds off your bill.
Adam French, consumer rights expert, said: “Rising food prices and the cost of living crisis are putting enormous pressure on household budgets right now and no one wants to pay too much for groceries.
“Looking around and buying private label is an easy way to save hundreds of pounds a year, as is avoiding expensive convenience stores if you can. Those willing to switch to a cheaper supermarket for their regular shopping will likely find some reasonably priced alternatives to their favorite brands.”
1. Avoid convenience stores
While it’s not an option for everyone, avoiding convenience stores could save shoppers 9.5% annually on their grocery store – and that includes Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Extra.
Which? analyzed the average prices of 48 items at the two largest convenience chains, Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local, and compared the costs to the same items at their supermarket counterparts.
The highest weekly price difference between Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s Local during the period was a substantial £10.20, or £322 over the course of a year. Meanwhile, a Tesco Express grocery basket cost an average of £279 more over the course of a year.
For those who have the opportunity to go to a regular supermarket instead of a convenience store, it’s worth making the switch.
2. If you look around you can save £9.21 a week
It is often worth looking for the best prices in different supermarkets.
For example, Lidl was the cheapest supermarket in March 2022, with a basket of 21 groceries costing an average of £26.83.
The same or equivalent items from the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose, are £36.04, a saving of £9.21.
3. Take the private label test
Shoppers can also make significant savings by opting for supermarket private label products over expensive branded items.
For example, switching from Innocent orange juice (£3.60 for 1.35 litre, 27p per 100ml) to Aldi’s The Juice Company Smooth Orange Juice – which is just £1.69 per 1.75 liter carton ( 10p per 100ml) – saving shoppers almost £100 a year.
4. Search different aisles
Which? found that some products, including rice, sauces and baking ingredients, can be found in several different supermarket aisles at different prices.
For example, rice and chickpeas can be cheaper in the world foods section than other parts of the store.
Sultanas and cashew nuts also often cost less in the baking department, as do dried fruits and nuts or snack shelves.
Supermarkets often place their less profitable items high and low on the shelves and those they want to promote at eye level. Shoppers should scan the shelves thoroughly, looking up and down.
5. Stock up if you can
Grocery prices can vary from week to week, fluctuating by as much as 284 percent.
Price swings, or “yo-yo” pricing, mean it’s often worthwhile for shoppers to stock up when items they regularly buy are discounted.
This approach can work particularly well for pantry items and products that can be frozen.
6. Get rewarded for your spending
Shoppers can sign up for in-store loyalty programs to earn points and save money when shopping.
Many programs offer loyal customers exclusive discounts, rewards, charities and contests.
Which? found that customers could save between 50p (with Sainsbury’s Nectar) and £5 (Iceland) for every £100 they spent using a supermarket loyalty scheme.
However, those savings could easily be canceled out if the shop’s prices are higher than the competition. So while it’s always worth enrolling in programs offered by stores you already use, you probably shouldn’t change where you shop just to earn points.
7. Don’t be fooled by discounts
Supermarkets often place vertical signs with offers in the middle of the aisle to attract shoppers’ attention.
While special offers can be helpful, they can encourage shoppers to buy items they didn’t mean to buy.
Buyers should look at the unit or 100g cost rather than the total price of the pack – this makes it much easier to compare the product to alternatives.
It’s also worth noting that “value packs” don’t always offer the best deal. Sometimes buying two packs of five is even cheaper than buying a pack of ten.
8. Write a list and stick to it
Supermarkets target different types of groceries in different areas of the store to ensure customers walk past as many shelves as possible, even if they’re just there for a few basic items.
The simple step of making a list and not getting distracted by other products is an easy way for shoppers to save money.
9. Be flexible with sell-by dates
Foods with an expiry date must be consumed before midnight of the expiry date or they may be unsafe.
However, best-before dates are much more flexible and don’t have the same security issues.
Groceries close to or even past the best before date are usually perfectly fine and often heavily discounted. If you find something in the closet that’s past its sell-by date, give it a sniff—if it smells good, it should be okay to eat.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/nine-ways-save-hundreds-your-26847275 Nine ways to save hundreds at your grocery store as Asda boss warns of more price hikes