True cost of living exposed: How much your weekly shop has soared by in just 12 months?

Inflation: Mansfield resident says we're 'living in fool's paradise'

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Surging food prices have contributed to rising living costs in the UK with some basic items found to have increased in value by more than 100 percent within the past 12 months. Consequently, some families are facing the prospect of being out-priced of a weekly food shop. But how much exactly have prices for some items increased in the last year?

On Wednesday it was revealed that inflation in the UK had grown to 5.4 percent over the past 12 months.

The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1 percent.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland said as a result of increased living costs that he was seeing an “alarming” rise in the use of food banks, adding that some people may face “a choice between heating or eating”.

He told BBC News: “Some of our customers only have £25 a week to spend on food, so they’re already struggling to make ends meet.”

On the back of the rise in inflation – announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he understood the pressures people were facing.

However, the Labour party have said working families faced an impending “triple whammy” of financial pressures.

The latest figures will increase pressure on the Government, who are already under fire over tax rises set to take effect in April.

They will also fuel calls for the Bank of England to raise interest rates in a bid to dampen consumer spending and bring inflation closer to its two percent target.

Between January 2021 and today a number of basic food items have been found to have increased significantly in price.

For instance in Asda – one of the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets – the price of the firm’s own tin of baked beans would have cost you 22p, 12 months ago. Today, it’s priced at 32p which represents a rise of 45 percent.

Canned spaghetti in January 2021 was valued at 13p, however, today its price is set at 35p, giving a growth rate of 169 percent.

In fact, a jar of the grocer’s own brand of curry sauce has increased by 196 percent in value since 12 months ago when it cost 30p. Today, the item is valued at 89p.

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What is the cost of living?

The cost of living is the amount of money required to cover necessary expenses to maintain a certain lifestyle standard in a particular place and time.

Expenses can include housing, food, taxes, health care, clothing, education, entertainment and transportation.

As the cost of living is linked to income it can be used to compare the livability of different cities.

How is it calculated?

Typically, the cost of living is calculated by comparing the prices of a range of goods and services on which consumers spend their money.

Costs are broken down by category. For example, health care, food and housing are weighted based on spending patterns and individual budgets.

You can determine the cost of living in one area compared to another as prices are gathered from different locations.

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