Universal credit woman showers once a week and drinks milk due to cost of living
Retired nurse Bonnie Noel, 65, eats groceries weeks after she needs them, showers only once a week to conserve water, cuts her hair to save money and turns off her washing machine halfway through the time to get a full charge to save
A woman on Universal Credit says she’s been drinking curd milk and eating “dropped out” groceries because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Bonnie Noel, 65, is a retired nurse on Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment because a previous injury prevents her from working.
She says the increase in the cost of living has been “just hell” and she needs to make drastic cuts.
Bonnie, who lives in a council bungalow in Surrey, said: “The worst started when the £20-a-week increase stopped being given to welfare recipients.
“Now I drink curd milk or eat it as yogurt because of the protein.
“I buy groceries that are on sale. I eat food up to two weeks past the expiration date if it doesn’t smell or look like it. I cook them in the microwave at high temperature and if they taste good I eat it No food poisoning so far.
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“I eat one meal a day that contains protein. The rest are potatoes with tomatoes, bananas and the cheapest fruit and veg on offer.
“I’m lucky in a way because I know there are people who are a lot worse off than I am. I live off what the government gives me and I am thankful for it.”
Bonnie says she’s not naturally a “thrifty person,” but that she was forced into this lifestyle as the cost of groceries, energy and other bills soared.
She now says she only showers once a week and cuts her own hair to save money.
It also saves money by not running the washing machine for a full cycle.
Instead, she hits pause on a cold wash and lets her clothes soak instead.
“It works out!” She added.
Bonnie’s constant companion is her dog, a blind collie named Luca, whom she rescued from a farm in her native Ireland.
“My dog can’t go without, and he still has his treats,” she said.
She’s also had to limit dishwashing to get her bills under control.
“I usually wash my dishes at once every five to seven days, a good thing it’s not warm outside because of flies and rodents,” Bonnie said. “I collect my used tissues to wipe cutlery and plates clean before washing.”
She said her local Citizens Advice Office refused to refer her to a blackboard, saying she should be able to get by on the benefits she is receiving.
“I asked for some milk, bread and fresh fruit two months ago,” she said. “But they said they couldn’t in good conscience afford me that because I should make do with the benefits I’m receiving.”
Bonnie receives around £850 a month in Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments.
Opposite Bonnie’s Bungalow is a Waitrose – not an ideal supermarket for those on a budget.
But Bonnie said the friendly supermarket staff have been known to give her grocery gifts.
“Sometimes it was more than I could carry home and I want to say a sincere thank you,” she said.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/woman-universal-credit-showers-once-26829203 Universal credit woman showers once a week and drinks milk due to cost of living