Rachel Dorricott and husband used to for dinner or watch a film at the cinema. These luxuries, however, have had to stop because of the crisis of rising energy, food and fuel prices
Image: Rachel Dorricott)
A couple are living on 85p frozen meals and taking two buses to work because of the cost of living crisis.
Previously Rachel Dorricott and her husband would go out for a fancy dinner or go to watch a film at the cinema.
These luxuries, however, have had to stop because of a crisis of rising energy, food and fuel prices, reports MyLondon.
The couple say they have also had to cut back on food and socializing as everything has risen in price.
Rachel, a writer from west London, used to take 45 minutes to get to work using the bus and Overground.
Now she takes two buses instead which takes her almost two hours.
The 26-year-old said: “We have been struggling to pay for things…I’m planning on boiling this summer without fans, living off 85p frozen dinners, taking cheaper routes on my commute to work even though it takes over an hour longer.”
Travel is not the only thing affecting the Dorricotts’ finances – as with many people in the UK, the rising cost of food has been a big issue.
According to a study carried out by PayPal, the cost-of-living crisis is currently the leading cause of anxiety for one in four young people. Of those, 43% said food had hit their purses the hardest.
The rising cost of food has been a particular concern for Rachel as she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), meaning she has special dietary requirements.
That includes gluten-free food, which is often more expensive.
She said: “It has been getting harder and harder, especially since electricity prices have gone up. It’s horrible knowing that I can’t take better care of myself and my health.”
She recently experienced stomach problems that kept her off work for nine days, adding: “Part of that was due to me taking less care of my diet.”
Rachel and her husband have resorted to splitting their week into two – in the first week, they will eat almost exclusively frozen ready meals from Tesco.
In the second half of the week, they will treat themselves to slightly more expensive foods in pasta and rice dishes.
Rachel estimates that she used to spend over £50 each week on food between the two of them.
Now, the pair rarely go over £20. Though its been hard, it has certainly helped.
So has the government, though she doesn’t think it has gone far enough.
She said: “I feel like the energy bill rebate was a good start, but that being a one-off is wildly unhelpful – it wasn’t enough for people. I feel like if they were to do that quarterly it would be better. “
The government has said that it stands ready to help people if more is needed.
Though there have been energy and council tax rebates, the help has stopped there.
That’s after prices rose at their fastest rate in more than 40 years in the 12 months to April as inflation hit 9%.
The cost of living is an issue seemingly impacting Londoners the hardest.
Almost a quarter of a million households in the capital face a choice between heating and eating, according to research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
In the capital, that represents about one family in 15, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the UK.
That means for now, people like the Dorricotts across the capital will be cutting back costs for the foreseeable future.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.