PRICES of household essentials are rocketing, leaving shoppers feeling the pinch.
Inflation hit 10.1% in September and is back to a 40-year high, meaning the price of things you need to stock up on are rising.
This makes everything much harder to afford.
The ONS said rising food prices were the major factor which drove up inflation between August and September.
Plus, energy bills are soaring with price hikes hitting the most hard-up households – leaving many people facing the choice between heating and eating.
New data released by the ONS has revealed how the prices of the lowest-cost products for 30 everyday items have changed since September 2021.
It collected 1.5 million prices over the last year to track changes to the cheapest available items on a supermarketâs website.
The number crunchers at the ONS found that all food items had increased in cost by around 17% over the 12 months to September.
This includes items included in most people’s weekly shop – including vegetable oil, baked beans, fish fingers and bread.
As the cost of living crisis continues, we round up the cupboard essentials that have increased the most and those that have decreased.
Which items have increased the most?
The latest ONS food data shows that the price of vegetable oil increase the most in the last year.
It has gone up by 80p on average in the last year, with one litre now costing around Â£2.58 – an increase of 65.2%.
Some supermarkets such as Tesco, Iceland and Morrisons started rationing vegetable oil earlier this year due to shortages sparked by the Ukraine and Russia conflict.
The price of chips has gone up by around 38.7% – up 27 pence to Â£1.37 for 1.5kg.
While four pints of milk will now set you back an average of Â£1.52.
Other essentials such as crisps, instant coffee, sausages and onions rose by around 20%.
Which items have decreased in price?
For four of the 30 items, the lowest prices fell on average during the same period.
The largest price decrease measured was for fruit orange juice with a 9% fall in price, followed by beef mince which saw a 7% decrease.
The price of granulated sugar also fell, but by just 0.3%.
Rice also decreased in price by an average of 0.2%.
Full list of price changes in the last 12 months
- Vegetable oil: 65.2%
- Pasta: 59.9%
- Tea: 46%
- Chips: 38.7%
- Bread: 37.6%
- Biscuits: 34.4%
- Mixed frozen vegetables: 31.9%
- Milk: 29.4%
- Crisps: 23.7%
- Tomatoes: 19.3%
- Instant coffee: 18.8%
- Sausages: 18.3%
- Onions: 18%
- Apples: 17.2%
- Baked beans: 16.2%
- Potatoes: 13.2%
- Fish Fingers: 13.1%
- Tomato ketchup: 12.1%
- Breakfast cereal: 10.6%
- Cheese: 10.4%
- Chicken breast: 10.1%
- Ham: 9.9%
- Bananas: 7%
- Fruit squash: 6.7%
- Yoghurt: 6.6%
- Pizza: 3.2%
- Rice: -0.2%
- Granulated sugar: -0.3%
- Beef mince: -7.4%
- Fruit juice orange: -8.9%
How can I find the best deals in the supermarket?
Get a loyalty card
Signing up for a supermarket loyalty card can often help you to get cheaper prices on essentials.
If you have a loyalty card, you may find you can get extra points or discounts, particularly if you buy petrol from the same supermarket.
The Sun recently compared the best supermarket loyalty cards in this handy guide.
But it’s worth comparing loyalty schemes – and remember you don’t have to stay loyal, despite the name.
Known when to shop
Heading to the shops when products are marked down and bright yellow discount stickers are applied can save you serious dough.
If you shop in the evening, you are more likely to find goods that have been marked down.
We’ve put together a handy guide to what time supermarkets including Aldi, Asda, Tesco and Lidl reduce their prices.
Make a list
One of the most common mistakes shoppers make is going out underprepared.
Making a list will help to stay focused on getting the items you really need, rather than being drawn into impulse purchases.
Another tip is to choose a smaller trolley – or a basket, if possible – to shop with.
A bigger trolley will look emptier even after you’ve finished trawling the aisles, and can encourage you to pick up more items.
Swap to own brand
Ditching items with labels like “finest” in favour of “own” or “value” can be worthwhile.
The Sun regularly tests supermarket own-brand products to see if they can beat the big brands.
Lidl’s own brand Freeway Cola costing 47p beat other supermarkets’ own brands to be crowned the best by The Sun.
While the budget supermarket’s own brand orange juice was also found to be the best alternative to Tropicana.
The brand’s Smooth Orange Juice costs Â£2.75 compared to Lidl’s Simply Orange Juice, which is just 55p.
You can also try checking frozen alternatives to fresh fruit and vegetables, and looking on the lower shelves where customers are known to find better deals.
Meanwhile, we found out from a supermarket expert how you can get your weekly shop cheaper in every aisle.
We also revealed the UK’s cheapest supermarket for a big shop – and you could save up to Â£41.