Easy exchanges to beat inflation: margarine for butter, coffee for tea, and lamb for chicken. As prices rocket, let our guide ease the squeeze


The inflation rate has risen to its highest level in nearly a decade. Prices have climbed 4.2 percent in October over the past 12 months – up from 3.1 percent in September – and economists have warned that inflation could soon reach 5 percent.

But what does this mean for your pocket? From the rising cost of petrol to the downsizing of pizza, Money Mail has analyzed the reams of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to help you understand where you feel the pinch, so you know where to make the deduction. Pain.

Rebecca O’Connor, head of pensions and savings at Interactive Investor, says: ‘Prices are generally rising, but look closely and you will see that the increase from product to product varies significantly.

Prices rose 4.2 percent in October over the past 12 months – up from 3.1 percent in September – and economists warned that inflation could soon reach 5 percent.

‘That means keeping track of your bills and comparing what you paid for common items over the last month or even last week is more important than ever.’

Food & Beverage: Increased by 1.2%

Food prices have now risen by 1.3 per cent, while non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee and juice have increased by 0.7 per cent.

But supermarket bosses have warned that prices could rise 5 per cent before the end of the year as the industry struggles with supply issues.

The choices you make at the supermarket can help mitigate the impact of inflation. Whole milk prices are up 4.9 per cent, but low-fat milk is up just 2.1 per cent – so that could be a good swap.

Food struggle: But supermarket bosses warned that prices could rise 5% before year-end as industry struggles with supply issues

Food struggle: But supermarket bosses warned that prices could rise 5% before year-end as industry struggles with supply issues

Butter rose by 6.4 per cent, while margarine rose by 15.6 per cent. Bread now costs 1.6 per cent more, but flour is down 14 per cent after an increase during lockdown.

Meanwhile, chocolate is down 1.5 per cent, while ice cream is up 5.5 per cent. Yogurt is 9.7 percent more, but cheese is 0.3 percent cheaper.

Pizza and quiche are 2.7 percent cheaper and pasta is 1.2 percent cheaper. But rice is up 3 per cent.

Similarly, sheep and goat prices went up by 8.5 per cent, while poultry prices rose by only 1 per cent. Dry fruit and nut were up 4.8 per cent, while fresh fruit rose 1.9 per cent.

You can save by choosing tea (0.2 per cent cheaper) than coffee (4.2 per cent more expensive).

Alcohol and Tobacco: Increased by 1.8%

If you are an alcoholic or a smoker, you will most likely feel the pinch. Wine prices rose by 2.7 per cent, while beer prices rose by 1.0 per cent.

Fortified wines, such as Port, now cost 5.4 per cent more, while alcohol prices fell 0.2 per cent.

The price of cigars is up 6.9% and the price of cigarettes is up 2.9%

The price of cigars is up 6.9% and the price of cigarettes is up 2.9%

Tobacco prices rose 2.4 per cent, cigar prices rose 6.9 per cent and cigarette prices rose 2.9 per cent.

Clothing: 0.4% down

Buying a new wardrobe is a bit cheaper than it was a year ago. While men’s clothing prices are down 0.3 percent, women are paying 1.4 percent less. And men’s shoes are 2.9 percent more expensive, while women’s shoes are down 1.4 percent.

Children’s clothing is 1.9 percent more expensive, while all clothing accessories now cost 9.6 percent more.

This sets you back 8.6 percent for renting or repairing clothes, and cleaning prices up 3.1 percent.

House Bills: Increased by 6.8%

Energy rocketing prices are a key factor behind inflation. Gas prices are now up 28.1 percent, but electricity is 18.8 percent more expensive. Water costs 2.5 per cent more.

Even fewer bill payers can save utilities. Rising energy prices mean that suppliers are no longer offering discounted deals to those who switch suppliers.

Building materials for home repairs and renovation also increased by 13.6%.

Home appliances: 5.7% increase

This is not the cheapest time to decorate the interior of your home. The price of furniture, furniture and carpets has increased by more than 10 percent overall.

Curtains and fabrics are now up 2.1 percent, carpets and rugs are up 5.5 percent and bed linen is up 5.2 percent.

Home appliances are also more expensive than before. Refrigerator freezer is 12 percent more expensive, washing machine prices are up 7.2 percent and cookers cost 6pc more.

Home appliances included in the ONS data are cutlery and silverware, which is down 1.5 percent.

Healthcare: tablets and medical equipment are now slightly cheaper but healthcare costs are higher because dental services are now 3.8% higher and hospital prices are up 6.7%

Healthcare: tablets and medical equipment are now slightly cheaper but healthcare costs are higher because dental services are now 3.8% higher and hospital prices are up 6.7%

Healthcare costs: increased by 1.2%

Tablets and medical equipment are now slightly cheaper – prices are down 0.6 percent. Eyeglasses and contact lenses also fell 0.5 percent.

But healthcare costs are high, because dental services are now 3.8 percent more expensive, and hospital prices, including private surgery and nursing home fees, are up 6.7 percent.

Transport: Increases 9.9%

Rising transport costs, along with fuel prices, have contributed to the rise in UK inflation. And the cost of travel in the car has skyrocketed since last year.

Second hand car prices are now up 22.8 percent due to a shortage of new motors. Petrol prices are up by 22.5 per cent, while diesel is up by 20.5 per cent. New motorbikes are up 6 percent and bicycles are up 15.7 percent.

But inflation is not just about automobiles. The air travel rate was 16.2% higher and the train ticket rate increased by 3.2%.

Below: Women’s shoes are 1.4% less expensive than last year.  Children's clothing is 1.9% more expensive, while all clothing accessories now cost 9.6% more

Below: Women’s shoes are 1.4% less expensive than last year. Children’s clothing is 1.9% more expensive, while all clothing accessories now cost 9.6% more

Communication: 1.4%

The cost of sending cards to friends and family this Christmas is higher than ever, as postal service prices have risen 5.6 percent.

The good news is that mobile phone prices are down 4.2 percent and fixed phones are 1.9 percent cheaper than last year.

Internet access still costs 1.5pc more, and broadband and phone deals are worth 2.2 percent.

Leisure & Entertainment: 2.5%

The bad news before Christmas is that toys and games are now 3.8 percent more expensive.

Garden products are 9.2 percent more expensive, sports equipment is 4.7 percent more expensive, and vet services for pets are up 4 percent. Camping equipment is also more than 10 per cent of the price.

Yet the price of books is as low as 1.1%. And while cinema, theater and concert tickets are 9.5 percent more expensive, visiting a museum or zoo costs 4.9 percent less than last year.

Wardrobe: Men's clothes are down 0.3% in price but men's shoes are 2.9% more expensive

Wardrobe: Men’s clothes are down 0.3% in price but men’s shoes are 2.9% more expensive

Restaurants & Hotels: 6.3% up

Eating out now costs 5 percent more than last year. And you can’t escape the hike by ordering fast food and takeaways, as these will cost you 3.4 percent more.

The rise in food prices and the end of the VAT solution can be blamed for restaurants and cafes during the epidemic.

And you need to save a little more time before booking any holidays, because hotel stays will return you 14.7 percent and campsite costs are 16.9 percent higher.

B.Wilkinson @

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