Oh look a list - cost of living crisis

things which have surprised you as to how expensive they have become:

1. toothpaste

Guy I was just about to add fish and chips based on last night's

2 large cod and 1 large chips £20, and the chips were crap (unusually so from this venue) and binned.

Was yours one portion of each? In which case we are both paying broadly the same, but this used to be about £15.

Take aways in general. They used to be a midweek £20-30 option when you couldn’t be bothered to cook. Now they are £40 minimum and usually pretty rubbish quality. Hardly bother anymore.

agree all takeaways have gone up but fish and chips disproportionately so - fish and chips used to be the cheap option compared to an indian or a chinese say, they are now at least as if not more expensive.

So why have some things gone up a lot and others not at all?  I mean mostly everything has gone up but some drastically so.  Is it the supermarkets taking the P or?

What really got me in London over the summer was the radical difference in pricing for similar quality goods/services that has opened up. Some places are obviously trying very hard to stay close to 2021 pricing while others are just letting rip. There are two very, very similar Italian restaurants near my house within 50m of each of other but one is now a solid 30 to 40%% more expensive than the other (and so is now essentially just overflow when the cheaper one is full as far as I can see/is never full). 

Anywhere with a premises is paying probably 4x what they used to for utilities at least. They have to get that alone back somewhere, and will mark up cheap stuff (like Coke) further as well as passing on direct ingredient price rises

Also food prices are up for various reasons - transport costs, Brexit, weather (spud prices are apparently through the roof right now) and that before you get to servicing debt etc the cost of which has also risen massively. 

Truth is competition drove food prices very low in the UK (which means low profit margins for supermarkets) I think they have been using rising prices generally as cover to increase their margins.

Lurpak 

pet food used to be £70, last order 102, 97 and 92 respectively so going up by £5 per order 

barely anything feels like good value and Ofc with streets littered with shit and well litter it’s all grim af 

Cat litter 

I got a cat flap for my two new kittens when I got them and I literally can't believe I spent £12 a go on bags of sand for the privilege of picking their sh1t out of a tray every day.  

Some birthday cards now cost over £4...

It's taken me 44 years, but I have now convinced everyone I know that I really really don't want a fvcking birthday card so please don't buy me one.  The world would be a better place if the whole birthday card industry died tomorrow.

On event tat - I have some lovely (if you're into rainbow colours) re-usable birthday decorations from Amazon, suitable for children. They go back into their cardboard wallet every time ready for the next birthday. Lots of similar available though. They've done 5 parties so far.

 https://amzn.eu/d/6RBYoxN

 

Chewing gum

 

Basically everything though except wine.  We've started shopping at Aldi now (the horror, the horror) after the Ocado was costing us about £200 a week

My niece (nearly two) absolutely LOVES stickers.

I am sure that when I was a child we had fuzzy felt.  I wonder whethr she would like that just as much and endless reusable.

I used to buy broccoli for £1.79 a kilo.  Now its £50/per 15g sachet.
 

I would never pay this for broccoli. Super-broccoli produced by scientists in laboratory conditions to reverse ageing? Now that’s a different matter.

 everything though except wine

Yes, HMG decided that wine wasn't contributing enough to the spiralling cost of living so they upped the duty on it with effect from the beginning of last month. C unts.

Dog food. The cost of a 24 tin pack of Gwendog's food went up from £16 to £27 within about 6 months. It wasn't easy to find so I stocked up. Then she decided she didn't like it anymore, leaving me with around a hundred quids worth to donate to the local dog shelter 

I used to love Pizza Express as a cheapo/ quick dinner place ie before the theatre or cinema. Remember voucher codes? And all the voucher sites? You'd go for a two course dinner for a tenner. Now the portions are tiny, it's expensive and not very good quality.

 

The more interesting/worrying thing is the decline in prices of things where retailers were clearly gouging e.g. bags of cement back down to £7 after getting up to £10. Halfords are giving you 25% off their bikes if you trade in a 5 year old Halfords one. Endless BA sale. 

Also convenience store pricing is unbelievable. A tin of coconut milk in a Coop was £2.20 for own brand. 

Minimum wage goes up every year, alongside NI and pension. That's a massive fixed cost increase every April for all retailers.

And then you need to pay more to get staff anyway. Or simply cut staffing numbers and let your customers pick and scan their own goods.

Coop are daylight robbers - they lure you in with reasonable prices for some things while randomly having stuff at double what you would expect to pay elsewhere.

Oddly, M&S is one place where the level of price inflation seems lower than its competitors. I read that M&S's financial results have improved. I wonder if there is a connection.

I blame the media for the state of Pret. The Eat takeover should have got some criticism as just a way for Pret to buy out a competitor and increase prices - which is what has happened. Pret talked a lot of bullshit about having lots of Veggie Prets etc.  All those Veggie Prets are now closed and the vegetarian/vegan options in regular Prets are no better than four or five years ago. 

lots of people have said M&S is no longer much more expensive as prices elsewhere have gone up.   Personally not keen because the put too much emphasis on ready meals which  I dont tend to eat and dont have a huge range of ingredients.  Good for a picnic or finger food party though.

its a well known metaphor meaning something massively overpriced Davos, it is not meant to be taken literally, there are lots of phrases in English like this, perhaps you have come across some others?

Luckily I have an ooni

(1) Nobody ever look up Ooni on the internet.  You will be stalked by Ooni adverts FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER.  Whoever they use for cookies / tracking must be very good, but their marketing bods who think that having adverts follow you everywhere you go will eventually lead to you caving and getting one are stupid

(2) How many nice takeaway pizzas could you get for the price of an Ooni?  I'd bet 90% of Oonis ever sold never break even on that analysis.

Nice pizza is probably 15 quid, we are a family of four. So min 60 quid a pop. Reckon I have made around 70 pizzas, 60 of them miles better than anything you can buy.

Each pizza probbaly costs 3 quid a go. I'm definitely ahead plus we love it. 100% worth it

The car tyre must have been a re-tread. 

I think M&S have been clever at attracting more custom through maintenance of quality (as well as now being the Ocado "guest" supermarket). They benefit from people trading down from eating out to something nice at home as well, and I expect their "core" are locked in (fogies with boomer cash to burn and rich time poor workers). 

Rob makes a good point re. Pret. This is the Starbucks approach - loss lead to wipe out the competition then jack the price. This is what supermarket convenience stores have done as well. "Oh it's Tesco, Coop, Sainsbury's", buying quantities of things that don't make you think "fook that's expensive". 

The British Retail Consortium's latest figures showed non-food sales down/flat, with food sales going up 8% for the quarter: Confident consumers boost retail sales (brc.org.uk). None of that will be people buying more food - just price jacking. We have a food vendor oligopoly with the participants highly skilled in outwitting regulators so no surprise we are in this position. 

surely £15 pizzas are for sharing?  Unless you are paying the heinous delivery charges that pizza companies charge by offering a huge discount for collection...

I think the supermarket meal deals work because the jack up the individaul prices to make a deal look good - for example an 2l bottle of coke in my local supermaket is £1,75.   A 500ml bottle which is eligible to  be part of the meal deal is £1.80.   So it looks like a great discount when you get as part of the meal deal but in reality you are only getting about 45p worth of coke which supermarkets probably buy for 25p - see also crisps.

Agreed on M&S not seeming as spenny as other places anymore. Their fresh fruit and veg is spenny but lots of things like tea bags, canned things are cheaper than Waitorse/ Sburys. Also their own brand stuff is great so it can feel better value than cheaper things elsewhere.

I am just totally shocked by this cost of living crisis too - the cost of mooring my superyacht in Monaco for the summer now costs nearly twice what it did a few years ago. Frightful stuff!