Said an NHS worker. I her mother nearly cried when she recharged the prepaid electricity meter, saying the two often eat cold dinners to lower their energy bills as the cost of living rises.
Katie Box, 33, a therapist from Hampshire, said rising energy bills forced her and her mother to lower their standard of living.
Ms Box said that before April she and her mother recharged the electricity meter with £20, which would be enough for most of the week, but now they are forced to pay for power more often.
“Last Friday they gained twenty pounds, but by Monday they were almost gone, so yesterday I put on another 10 pounds. This is happening every other day now instead of once a week,” she said. I.
To keep her energy bills as low as possible, Ms. Box said she opts for showers over baths.
“Also, we don’t use the dryer anymore because it was so expensive and we have a dryer inside,” she added.
Some nights he can’t afford hot meals and eats cold snacks instead to save costs, he said.
“Both my mom and I are trying to think about being creative with meals so we don’t rely too much on the oven and switch to private labels instead of more ‘luxury’ brands,” Ms. Box said. “I have noticed that my purchases have increased by £60 per month for the same food that I had previously purchased.”
Charity FoodCycle, which serves meals to those in need, said it saw a 341% increase in the number of new users between January and May 2022.
Andrew McIntyre, 57, a FoodCycle user in Walsall, West Midlands, said: “For me, the main aspect of the cost of living crisis that hits me is rising bills, especially gas and electricity. It made me more careful with my other pitches.”
Mr McIntyre allocates a budget of £14 a week for food, which he manages to meet with the help of the charity and by buying food from the reduced section.
“I just make sure I stay organized by shopping, finding discount food and cooking everything from scratch, as well as my weekly food on FoodCycle and any extra bags of takeout,” she said. “It’s not easy and it’s never enough, but it’s less worrying than other bills.”
Economic experts have warned that around 1.5 million British households will struggle to pay for food and energy over the next year.
Families with disabled children are among those disproportionately affected by rising energy bills.
Marie Cavalier, president of the support group Sturge Weber UK and mother of a 12-year-old girl with the vascular condition, must feed an epilepsy sensor mat at night.
Ms Cavalier, a married mother of three, was previously paying £197 a month for her electricity but was told it would rise to an estimated £364 from April 1.
“I switched my direct debit with an existing company, got it down to £265 and now I’m giving monthly meter readings so I can switch the difference,” he said.
Ms Cavalier said one member of the support group couldn’t afford to charge her electric wheelchair so she is “stuck at home” and another resorted to using a hair dryer to keep warm because she couldn’t afford to turn on the heating.
Research by the Contact charity found that 85% of families with disabled children use more energy because of their children’s condition.
Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact, said: “Families with disabled children have unimaginable options. The government must take more seriously the need for immediate support for disabled families.”
He added: “The problem cannot wait for long-term measures, the impact is now and this is not being properly recognized.”
A government spokesman said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices and while we cannot shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we are helping British families cope with the coming months with a package. support of 22 billion pounds.
“This includes the typical employee’s savings of more than £330 per year through a tax cut in July, allowing people with the Universal Credit Reduction rate to help people keep more of the money they earn. benefiting over a million households from around £1,000 a year, and providing millions of households with up to £350 each to help with rising energy bills”