Working people have told Rishi Sunak “don’t forget about us” as they count their pennies to put food on the table.
Brits say they are giving up their favourite dinners, relying on tinned food and “snacking” through the week in an effort to save money on meals.
The Mirror spoke to people on the streets of Stockport, Greater Manchester, and Liverpool, Merseyside, to see how the price hikes in their weekly shop have affected them.
Retired prison officer, Bob Wood, 80, and his wife, Mavis, 78, a retired school secretary, said they can’t afford to have a roast dinner anymore.
Bob, from Stockport, said: “Little things to start with like yoghurt, which we buy from Aldi, once was 79p. Now it’s £1.19.
“Other items have got smaller, like the chocolate we buy for the grandchildren. We bought some kit kats the other day and we thought we were dreaming. “
He added: “We don’t have a roast dinner any more, we don’t buy as much bacon, and we try and see what we can economise on.
“We’re more savvy about the prices than we ever were because every time you go in there’s another 10p rise on each item. Rishi Sunak has got to get us back to where we were before.”
Trish Worthington, 58, a retired bank worker from Liverpool, said: “You definitely notice the price difference when you get to the check out.
“It’s everything across the board, it’s every single item that you go for.
“Aldi is the hit for me at the minute, I don’t go to Sainsbury’s. What were once big trips to the shops are now just little trips. The luxuries are the first thing to go.
“My niece works in a school and they’re giving parcels to the children to take home so they don’t go hungry over half term. In this day and age it doesn’t feel right.
“The Prime Minister needs to look after the working people, we feel as though we’re forgotten about, we’re getting left behind.”
Donovan Taylor, 23, a student in international sport management from Liverpool, added: “I’ve had to pick up extra hours and we have to plan in advance more for the meals that we have.
“We do one shop a week and plan our meals so we get the most out of that. We do know other students that are struggling with the prices of things. They’re not able to get as many hours in their jobs because the businesses are struggling too or letting people go.”
“When I go shopping I have a calculator on my phone adding the price of all the shopping up so that I don’t go over my budget,” added Stacey Cogley, 36, a single mum and barista from Liverpool said.
“It’s tough being a single mum. I have friends, other mums who are really struggling. We all have to look after each other, we take it in turns to pay for things. Thankfully I’m not at the point where I’m skipping meals yet but I am scared for the future. I know eventually something is going to give.”
Meanwhile, Fesia Denisia, 29, a student in engineering from Liverpool said: “The prices are constantly rising every time you go to the shops.
“The cost of everything has gone but there’s nothing that we can stop buying to cut down the bill because we need it to feed us. We don’t have any treats. It puts a pinch on everything else because all your other bills like your gas and electric need to go out too.”
Kayley Towle, 42, a trade manager from Stockport, said: “The difference is obvious. It’s not just a few pence here and there, it’s a shock every time.
“I’ve already gone through my stockpile of tinned items in the back of the cupboard in an effort to save money. I’ve just been out to buy hot water bottle teddies for the kids because we haven’t turned the heating on yet.
“You try to save wherever you can and you can’t afford to splurge anymore.”
And Abigail Warriner, 19, a jeweller from Stockport, added: “I live with my mum, she does the shopping online and every time she’s doing it she can’t believe the increase in prices. It goes up every single time.
“There’s lots of meals we don’t make any more because it’s too expensive, like salmon and veg. And we don’t go out to eat in restaurants really any more either.”
James Kavanagh, 60, a bank manager from Stockport, said: “You do notice the price difference on long lasting goods like pasta and rice.
“There’s lots of advice about ways to save money like putting your washing machine on at night and stuff but you worry about the neighbours.
Rachel Sinclair, 31, a hairdresser from Stockport, said: “Even just in Aldi a pack of pasta might have been 50 or 60p but now it’s over a pound. You go down the pub and it’s empty because the price of a pint is so expensive.
“You look at the prices and think well I could buy a crate of beers for that now and I think people just don’t bother.”
David Wallworth, 65, Retired Union branch official from Stockport, said: “The whole thing is a mess. We used to shop once a week and we can’t do that now, we shop once a fortnight.
“We go to Lidl and even their prices have increased.
“We stretch the same amount of food over those two weeks. We just buy snacks and eat things like sandwiches, maybe once a week we’ll make a shepherd’s pie or something hot but we only have one proper meal a week.”
Jake Wilson, 27, a warehouse manager from Hyde, Manchester, said: “It’s mostly bread, rice, pasta, staple foods and meat especially that I’ve seen the price rise in.
“Milk and cheese too, everyday essentials really. I used to go for main brands but now I go for the essentials ranges.
“I’ve treated myself today and bought a chicken but it’s not something that should be a treat it should be standard.
“I live by myself so I make my meals in bulk and freeze what I don’t eat to save money.”
Graham Stewart, 76, retired taxi driver from Liverpool, said: ”Everyone has noticed the difference in their pocket. In a lot of cases products have doubled in price. You have to change your habits.
“You have to shop around more for better deals, you don’t have a choice. Rishi Sunak needs to get a grip, not just on the economy, but on everything. It’s a difficult job but everyday people have been struggling for a while. The last two or three years, the cost of everything has been creeping up.”
Retired school admin worker, Deborah Grisenthwaite, 61, and her husband William, 69, a retired insurance broker said they are already thinking about scaling back their spending on Christmas food.
Deborah from Liverpool said: “We’re buying the supermarket’s own range now to save money, it’s half the cost for the same amount. We have an advantage because we’re both vegetarian but at Christmas we normally buy a corn roast and it’s normally about £1.50-odd but now it’s £2.75.
“The price hikes are hitting everybody. We will be scaling back for Christmas and probably saying to the adults ‘let’s not be ridiculous and just buy little token gifts’.”