I skip lunch and drink tea to stay full so I can afford to feed my daughter

As Ellen Auckland sipped on her fifth cup of tea of ​​the day, she felt her stomach growl.

The 25-year-old, from Barnsley, had skipped breakfast – part of her and fiancé Adam Gibbens’ new routine to try to cut their household bills.

Ellen Auckland and her fiancé Adam Gibbens have reduced their meals to save money


Ellen Auckland and her fiancé Adam Gibbens have reduced their meals to save moneyCredit: ELLEN AUCKLAND
Ellen sacrifices her own food so her daughter has enough to eat


Ellen sacrifices her own food so her daughter has enough to eatCredit: Ellen Auckland

This week Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey issued a somber warning that the UK was facing “apocalyptic” food price hikes and fuel bill shocks.

Brits like Ellen are already struggling with the rising cost of living. Last month we revealed that shoppers are paying up to 60 percent more for groceries due to the economic crisis.

Speaking to The Sun, Ellen, a part-time service advisor at a dealership, says she and Adam already live on one meal a day.

“I now skip breakfast every morning and skip lunch when I can and drink lots of tea instead – colleagues at my work have commented on my gurgling stomach and asked if I’m hungry and I say ‘Yes!'” , she explains.

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“Last year we spent £50 a week on food without really thinking about the cost, but in recent weeks that bill has climbed to almost £100 so we’ve had to make big changes.

“We used to get a bottle of fresh orange juice for 99p and that’s now £1.40 so we can’t afford it.

“A kg of rice has gone from 30p to 70p – the list goes on and it’s definitely adding up.

“If anything, the rate increases are well above inflation, but neither Adam nor I had a raise this year.”

The couple moved into their home in 2019, at which point their expenses accounted for around 50 percent of their income. Now they just manage to break even.

Ellen says they now only shop every two weeks, spend about £60 and make sure they eat less at dinner so they have leftovers for the second week.

“We used to buy a chicken to roast and make two meals out of it. Now we know we have to make three or four meals out of it,” she says.

“I always try to go to Tesco in the evenings to get the discounted groceries with yellow stickers. So often it’s food that’s absolutely fine, but you can buy it for pennies.

“We always make sure Lily, our one-year-old daughter, gets the food she needs – she’s our top priority. We offer our food for them.

We always make sure Lily, our one year old daughter, gets the food she needs – she is our top priority. We offer our food for them

Ellen Auckland

“Having a small toddler and feeling hungry all the time is really tough, but I know it’s harder for others.”

The only expense they could lower is their car.

Ellen explains: “I had a diesel Ford Cougar that I sold last year when used car prices were high and got an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

“I don’t pay road tax and charge it for free when I go to Tesco to do my fortnightly shopping, so at least that’s something.”

No more luxury

The couple forego luxuries they used to enjoy to reduce stress and reduce their energy use at home.

Ellen says: “We used to have takeout once a week, but that’s gone now.

“We wash less laundry and load up the washing machine to minimize electricity consumption.

“Our permanent contract ended in October. Previously when paying a direct debit of £70 we ended up in credit.

“Now we pay £140 a month and already have £120 in debit!

“I just can’t see how we’re going to survive when gas and electricity prices go up again in October. We haven’t had our radiators on since mid-March when prices went up.”

Ellen and Adam no longer get takeaways


Ellen and Adam no longer get takeawaysCredit: Ellen Auckland

Over the past year, the prices of essential groceries, including fish, fruit, pasta and bread, have risen so dramatically that fights erupt in the aisles over discounted groceries and desperate families can’t even afford to eat their food because of rising energy costs Cook .

Earlier this month, it emerged that one in seven adults lives in homes where people have skipped meals, eaten smaller meals, or gone hungry because they can’t afford or access food.

The UK economy fell 0.1% amid growing fears the country is heading into recession amid the crippling cost-of-living crisis.

Boris Johnson has said there will be “more support” to help families hit by crippling price hikes but warned he will stop writing checks burdening Britain with staggering debt.


welfare system

Brits can apply for much-needed cash and vouchers for groceries, furniture, bills and more through the welfare system – and you can get up to £1,000 in cash.

It’s something of a zip code lottery when it comes to what help they can get, as some communities aren’t as generous when it comes to offering help.

And others have no scheme at all.

council tax reduction

Many people who pay council tax may not know that they can reduce their bill.

Discounts are available for those on low incomes, those who use certain services, those who care for others, and other circumstances.

The amount by which your bill is reduced can range from 25% to 100%, which means you pay nothing at all for that bill.

Contact your local authority to apply for a discount.

Discount on the electricity bill

Later in the year households will deduct £200 from their energy bills.

The discount will be applied automatically, but not until October.

But the money has to be paid back – in the form of £40 added to annual bills over five years from next year.

This month, however, many households have already started seeing £150 of land in their bank accounts thanks to the council tax refund, which was part of the same support scheme.

Energy bill subsidies

If you can’t wait until October to get the rebate help, it might be worth contacting your supplier for help from one of their grants.

For example, British Gas customers can apply for a grant of £750 to help fund their energy bills.

However, the amount may vary depending on your supplier and your circumstances.

Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are having trouble paying the rent, you can apply for voluntary housing benefit.

However, it is awarded on a case-by-case basis and how much you can receive depends on your personal circumstances.

You must apply for help from your local authority. I skip lunch and drink tea to stay full so I can afford to feed my daughter

Jessica MacLeish

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