07:30 Wednesday 8th February 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: Let’s talk business. Apparently we’re spending more of our cash on food Adam Curtley. Well we knew that, didn’t we?
ADAM KIRTLEY: Oh don’t we just. Food inflation has been horrible over the last couple of years hasn’t it? Although actually another piece of information out today says food inflation is down from an annual 4.2% in December to just 3.7% in January and falling quite fast. So that’s good news. But at the moment we are struggling, especially obviously people on very low incomes. And there’s some research done by Cranfield School of Management, on behalf of Morrisons the supermarket actually, and there are some tips on how to save at the supermarket, which is very nice of a supermarket to kind of like a turkey voting for Christmas. Anyway. It goes on to talk about people on lower incomes, and just how much of a percentage of their meagre earnings they’re spending on food. So a single parent family on an income of less than £237 a week is spending almost 16% of their total expenditure on food. That’s their take home pay, on food. A single pensioner on a state pension, and I guarantee there are millions of those across the country, many in the Peterborough area, they’re spending 18%, almost a fifth of their money, on food. Now you’ve got to heat your house. You’ve got to run your electricity. You’ve got to clothe yourself with the rest. So it’s a very high percentage to be spending on food Paul. Now what the research is saying is if you can get it down to the average 11%, you could, as a pensioner, save about £10.35 a week. And as a 4 person family on meagre income, about £15 a week, which may not sound a lot to those people earning quite a good salary, but if you’re on modest means, £15 a week can just get you through. It can be turning that heating up a degree or whatever it is.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. It is amazing, some of the prices at the supermarket, the way they’ve gone. Some goods, you go in you think, oh, that’s cheap. And then you look at the other little things, like tins of sweetcorn, or tins of soup, they’ve gone up phenomenal amounts.
ADAM KIRTLEY: I was astonished recently. I saw three leeks, wrapped in plastic. Now I always buy loose veg. But three leeks, wrapped in plastic. And it was something like £1.99. Three little leeks! Three leeks! It wasn’t even like the finest or whatever. It was a bog standard leek. £1.99!
PAUL STAINTON: Very very annoying. Food inflation is just hitting people so hard, isn’t it? It really really is.
ADAM KIRTLEY: It is coming down. It is coming down a little bit. And certain prices, like for example the basics that go into so much food. Things like coffee, down 14% on the year, wheat .. this isn’t from this report. This is another report that’s come out today. .. wheat, down 19%, sugar down 30%, cocoa down 31%. So there is an easing of food prices. But none the les, we are being squeezed. But it does go into telling you .. giving you some tips on how you can save.
PAUL STAINTON: Well go on then.
ADAM KIRTLEY: A couple of them. Always go .. I bet you don’t do this Paul, because I don’t. Always go with a shopping list.
PAUL STAINTON: I do actually. I’ve got a little list today.
ADAM KIRTLEY: And stick to it. Don’t think, oh, but I like that. Because that’s what they want you to do, don’t they?
PAUL STAINTON: Yes.
ADAM KIRTLEY: And they come on, you’re just doing your shopping and they come on with those wretched announcements. “Ladies and gentlemen. 20% off something you can’t afford. Just today.” And you think, I don’t want it. Don’t be tempted. And also, and this is one that really bugs me, which is why I buy loose veg. Go and look .. you go into a supermarket and you’ll get like a whole piece of broccoli, right? A whole broccoli head, wrapped in cellophane, with a big £1 sticker on it. And you think, well that’s reasonable. Only £1! Uh huh. Check what the loose broccoli is per kilo. Weigh it. I do it. I take that and I weigh it.
PAUL STAINTON: So do I.
ADAM KIRTLEY: And I think, OK, that’s so much a kilo. And then I go to the loose stuff, and it’s at least 20% cheaper.
PAUL STAINTON: I think a lot of us have changed the way we shop you know. A lot of it, I look at the price per kilogramme now. I check out the cheese. oh that’s not as cheap as it looks. Because it generally isn’t. Yes, I do shop in a very different way. But it does take a lot more time, doesn’t it? Adam Curtley, our Business Reporter, with the news that food inflation is still quite high, but some good tips. .. To be honest, buy their own. Buy their own brands. There’s nothing wrong with them. Nothing wrong with them.