Blogs Reports

Cost of Living


Reported by Karen

Published on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Accommodation Physical Health Support and Relationships Women's Perspectives
Blogs Reports

Cost of Living


Written by Karen

Published on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Accommodation

Physical Health

Support and Relationships

Women's Perspectives

 

Hi, it’s Karen. I just thought I’d do a little audio and chat about the cost-of-living crisis and how it’s affecting me and my family. So, yeah, first of all, I’m absolutely sick of it. I’m sick of hearing about it. Every time you turn the telly on, you know, it doesn’t matter what channel someone’s talking about, discussing about it either, about the heating, the food, the strikes, the war, Brexit, you know, it’s coming from all angles. And to be quite honest with you, they’re all contradicting each other, you know. So, I try and I just switch over when I hear some expert in something, you know, giving his or her view. And when you do turn over you hear someone else, an expert in that, given their view and it contradicts. So, you know, what the other channel saying.

So, you know, I’ve been talking to my friends about it, and they just feel they’re confused with everything. And, you know, well, we’re not thick people, but, you know, we’re all saying, oh, well, he said that. And then we say, well, she said that, you know, so no-one… we can’t, you can’t trust anybody. And I’m not just talking about politicians. I’m talking about, you know how when something happens, they find these experts. I don’t know where they find them from, they must find them under a rock somewhere and drag them on the programme. And they’re an expert either in, you know, fuel or an expert in cooking. They’re an expert in saving food. They’re, you know, and you just think, it just loses… You just lose your confidence. So, I try and keep away from all that. Same with the radio, I try and keep away from that. The headlines on newspapers. I find that most of them are catastrophising. I’m not saying things aren’t bad, but you know, I don’t need to see a big headline on the newspaper telling me that it’s even worse than what I think it’s going to be. You know, so I’m just finding the whole thing is quite for one, it’s quite depressing. For another, it’s quite frightening. Not good. Not good for mine or a lot of people’s mental health, you know.

So, yeah, I’m trying to steer away from all that. Just concentrate on me and my little family, my little circle of friends, you know, and just see what I can do. So, first of all, I’ve changed the way that we shop, we normally we used to do a monthly shop. We’re doing… we basically shop daily. And I must admit it’s cutting down on waste, because that’s one thing I used to hate, you know, when we did a big shop and by the end of the month we throw stuff away that had either gone off or was out of date, and it would really go against me grain you know. So, I found that waste wastage has been cut down dramatically, which is good. That that’s a good thing that’s a positive thing.

We’re buying cheaper food, which to me isn’t a good thing. You know I’ve never, ever eaten extravagantly, you know? But, um, we just buy in cheap. We buy in… A supermarket own brand, which a lot of times, you know, there’s nothing wrong with them. But, you know, we’re looking out for own brands, buying stuff that’s reduced. So, we’re looking for anything with a yellow sticker on it. Freeze a lot more stuff. You know, if it’s nearly gone out of date, I’ll get it and I’ll freeze it, not use my oven, because I’ve been told that that uses a lot of energy. So, it’s hob… It’s all hob stuff or all microwave stuff. Um, things like fresh fish and decent meat, you know, I’ve not bought that for a long, long time. I haven’t got a chance of, of, you know, us eating something like that. Um, I suppose a lot of the time I’m making stews and corned beef hashes and stuff like that. So, you know, we’re eating well, but it’s all on a budget and it never used to be… the budget was never that tight, if that makes any sense.

We don’t have takeout… so I mean we maybe we used to have one every month or maybe even two a month, but that’s all gone, you know? So that’s a treat that’s gone. There’s no treats in the cupboards. I’ve never seen the cupboards looking so bare and it’s not we’re not starving by a long way. But, you know, there’s no there’s no treats in there. You know, when you’re just a bit hungry watching a movie, something like that at home, and well, you know, there’s a bit of chocolate in the cupboard or nice crisps or anything like that. They’ve all gone. We’ve just, you know, abandoned all that. So, so yeah, that’s changed a lot.

It’s changed because we’re trying to save money. And the main thing we’re trying to save our money for is to pay for the heating bill. You know, the direct debit, my direct debit, has gone up for gas and electric from £95 a month to £171 a month. And I believe it’s going to go up again, which is quite frightening. So, we’re not putting the heating on. I suffer with real chronic arthritis and the cold effects my arthritic pain. I have been in a lot more pain, so all I can do really is take more painkillers, which isn’t you know, it’s not ideal to do that. So, you know, I’ve gone out and done my bit and bought bed socks and dressing gowns and draft excluders that type of thing. So that’s all I can do at the moment. I’m cutting down meeting with friends, which isn’t ideal because, you know, we used to just go to the cafe and have a coffee and maybe a bit of lunch or something. Again, never extravagant, but we’re all we’re all trying to count, you know, save the pennies. So, we’ve cut down on that. And again, that’s not good for you. Mental health, you know, isolating and, you know, cutting down on your socialising with friends. It’s not ideal, but it has to be done, you know?

So, I’m going to leave it there. Um, I maybe do another one round about January-ish where, you know, we can have the real severe weather and I’ll let you know how I’m going on then. But in the meantime, thanks for listening. Thank you.

Written by Karen


I'm Karen from Manchester it's great to meet you all. I'm a recovering alcoholic,
I experienced a short time of homelessness many years ago, I'm a survivor of domestic abuse and I'm happy to say I've come through it all.
I volunteered at a local Alcohol and Substance Abuse centre where I qualified as a Peer Mentor.
I now care for my elderly dad who is housebound and I feel blessed to be able and well enough to do this.
I hope as part of this Community Reporting team our stories can contribute to making a difference to homelessness and health inequalities and shine a light on any other injustices we come across.
 

Read all of Karen's articles

Tags


Accommodation Physical Health Support and Relationships Women's Perspectives

One thought on “Cost of Living

  1. This is so true Karen, thanks for spelling it out. The other pernicious thing is the way all this has been normalised with media articles by so-called experts telling us how to save money by charging phones at work, only boiling a cup’s worth of water, turning off sockets at night, like any of these will make the slightest bit of difference. It’s become a national competition of what people can endure rather than a shameful, disgusting assault on the poorest from one of the richest nations on the planet led by the richest people in probably history (looking at you Richi)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *