Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

July 26, 2022 - 12:00am

Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

Some ways mitigate inflation in your shopping basket

Inflation had been threatening to explode ever since the Bank of England started Quantitative Easing after the financial crisis in 2008. Whilst this was deemed necessary at the time many economic experts have argued that it was a scattergun approach rather than specifically targeted. The Covid pandemic response only added fuel to the future fire which we are now engulfed in. Given it's a worldwide problem but some economies are handling it better than we, and most of Europe, are.

Anyway, we are where we are and hopefully the Bank of England and the Government (when we get the next leader) will unleash the fiscal tools before it causes too much long term structural and personal damage.

In the meantime, what choice do consumers have as their pound is being inflated away?

I do most of the shopping and cooking in our household, so my eyes have become attuned to what to look for and where to pick up the most cost-effective items. Here is a small list that I carry around in my head to assist me. Some may seem obvious, but they are still worthwhile reiterating:

- I always try to have a little extra money to spend on each shop so if I see something non-perishable in bulk, I buy it as usually the more there is, the better the price.

- Always check the price per kilo/pound in small print on price labels. Bigger isn’t always better.

- Check to see who manufactures what - often time own brands are white labelled by major manufacturers and sometimes some own brands are better than the major manufacturers

- Goods at eye level tend to be premium stock that the supermarkets want you to buy.

- Best-by doesn’t mean use by. Canned and dried goods can have a much longer shelf life than indicated.

- Buy One One Get One Free (BOGOF) offers are still available even though there were supposed to have been outlawed by now.

- Form a buyer's club with friends or neighbours.

Of course, many of these “principles” can apply to businesses as well.

John O'Neill is the Commercial Manager at the Chamber. He is also the Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) Manager.