Fuel costs are rising, food costs are rising, taxes are rising, interest rates are rising, plus the rising rate of inflation is hitting the headlines. This is having a real impact, particularly on retired people living in park homes, with limited income. We investigate the cost of living crisis and offer some advice to help those who are struggling…

A bit like the calm before the storm, the Covid pandemic of the last two years saw prices drop for things like petrol and gas, as global demand decreased due to all the lock-downs. Move forward to 2022 and, with demand picking up, prices are shooting up, causing a storm of financial difficulties for many people, and pushing inflation figures to the sort of heights we haven’t seen since the last century.

The rapid post-Covid increase in demand for goods and services has also caused problems, with supply chains not able to keep up and prices increasing as a result. There have even been many cases where used cars are selling for more than their brand new equivalent, just because new ones aren’t available. Most economists think that things will slowly get back to normal during 2022, but how likely is this, especially with war in Ukraine breaking out just as this article went to press? In this feature we’re going to examine all the issues and see if there are any practical steps we can take to help survive the crisis.


Why are food costs increasing? Cooking oil up 16 per cent, pasta up 15 per cent and margarine prices up by a massive 37 per cent; these are the year-on-year price increases recorded in January this 2022. They are just a small sample of the increase in food prices that we are seeing across the board.

You know it’s serious when the boss of supermarket Tesco, which prides itself on low prices, says that things are only going to get worse. John Allan, Tesco chairman, has said that supermarket prices could increase by as much as five per cent this spring. He put some of the increase down to the fact that suppliers face increased energy and fuel costs, which have to be passed on to customers. However, Mr Allan also said that it wasn’t all bad, with some prices decreasing, saying that the cheapest tin of baked beans in Tesco was still cheaper than it was five years ago. He explained that the company had 2,100 products on its lowest prices to compete with discount retailers like Aldi and Lidl. Without getting too political, there’s also a Brexit angle to the food price increases, which could be temporary or might have a long-term impact. In some cases, farmers can’t get the European labourers they need to produce and pick crops. There have even been labour shortage problems when it comes to farming animals, with many being unnecessarily slaughtered, adding to an increase in meat prices.

What can I do?
Despite the food price increases, all the usual tips still apply when it comes to saving money on food, such as changing to a discount brand rather than a premium one, looking out for vouchers or special offers such as ‘three for the price of two’, and even looking for online food bargains. There’s even a new app called Olio, which is designed to help both retail and individuals give away any excess food or other products. You could find anything from posh loaves of bread to pots of yogurt that are close to their expiry date, all being offered for free. You just need to request the item via the app and then arrange to pick it up. On a park home site, perhaps one person could check the app daily and get food for other people on the site as well? Check out www.olioex.com to find out more.


Read the full story in the April 2022 issue of Park Home & Holiday Caravan