The inflation crisis is well into its second year, and there is only the dimmest of lights at the end of the tunnel for UK families. Wages have not caught up to inflation, but supermarket prices are trying their best – leading to a real discrepancy between living costs and affordability for a great many people. We’ve all heard the same tips on keeping to a budget and counting pennies, but what if there were some more drastic ways to approach the cost-of-living crisis, and ideas for beating inflation?
Growing Your Own Produce
Who here remembers ‘The Good Life’? The earnest efforts of Tom and Barbara Good might have been light relief for 1970s prime-time television, but their self-sufficient lifestyle could well be the model for beating inflation today. In converting your lawn into arable land, you could grow your own fruit and vegetables and cut out the middleman. Polytunnels along the garden make for great pest control, while trellises allow you to grow climbing plants with ease.
Of course, not all of us are green-fingered enough to make a serious go of an at-home allotment. It is also true that there’s a time delay between initial investment and yield – which doesn’t do much to help with the cost of living in the super short term. But (relatively) fresh food could still be well within reach, and at practically no cost at all.
It is common knowledge that our age of consumption yields significant waste, and that a great deal of this waste is altogether unnecessary. But not all waste is ‘ruined’ – as you’ll discover on your first trip into the bins behind your nearest supermarket.
Dumpster diving for ‘junk’ surplus food might not sound too appetising, but between the liberal ‘best before’ dates of many products and the quality of their packaging, it can be a reliable way to source a great many staples. Cafes, food banks and non-profits across the country have leant into reducing food waste this way, and so could you!
When it comes to ideas for beating inflation, some costs are less easy to avoid, such as those associated with the running of your car. Fossil fuels are not so easily found in the bins of your nearest petrol station, after all! While there are many ways to think about reducing costs such as insurance and maintenance, your fuel costs are the most regular and accessible costs to reduce. But how can you do this?
The practice of going to extreme lengths to improve your fuel economy has attained a name across the pond: hypermiling. On the one hand, a hypermiler might weigh up the benefits of driving over alternative transport options for short trips, such as to the local supermarket. On the other, the hypermiler might employ new driving techniques to maximise fuel efficiency when driving is unavoidable. This might involve coasting downhill and around corners, or changing gears low so as to avoid taxing the engine.
Like these ideas for beating inflation? See some more of my finance-related posts