A lot of people are jumping onto the budget eating bandwagon who obviously haven’t checked a supermarket price tag in their life
A press release from What Consumer? passed on by a food writer friend draws up a list of Ten Top Money Saving Tips for Food Shopping. "You will see how much the inclusion of meat in any dish drives up the price" reads tip no. 4 "Experiment with cheaper substitutes such as oyster mushrooms instead of chicken and pancetta instead of bacon." Hello! Quite apart from the fact that pancetta isn’t a non-meat substitute for bacon it’s more expensive. As are oyster mushrooms, weight for weight, than cheaper chicken cuts.
At the same time Ocado co-founder Jason Gissing is apparently telling us that sales of mince are "rocketing" as people cook more at home while little treats such as doughnuts and smoothies are “plunging”. I’m sorry, Jason, I just don’t buy that either. Most people who shop frugally include mince regularly in their repertoire already and are unlikely to double or treble their consumption. And if the economic climate is getting you down I would have thought that you were MORE likely not less, to buy a doughnut.
What planet are these people living on?
Another silly story designed to grab the headlines is Norwich Union's assertion that by 2018, we could be paying £5.35 for a pint of milk. Well, I guess it’s hypothetically possible, but it’s not very likely and if Norwich Union genuinely thinks we’re all going to rush off to stuff our savings in their low-paying accounts simply to be able to pay the milkman in 10 years time they’ve got another think coming. As the author of the piece on the MSN Money Channel points out, the amount we spend on food has actually fallen in the last 50 years. We spend just 15% of our earnings on it compared to a third just after the war.
PRs seem to have got it into their heads that any story with the words ‘frugal’ or ‘credit crunch’ in it will automatically hit the headlines. Which I suppose is good for the book and this blog so I shouldn’t complain but it does seem mildly ridiculous.