Pensioner cutting back on the basics

By Kiri Gillespie


Parkvale pensioner Joy Paul does not bake any more.

"It's too expensive," she said.

Mrs Paul has cut back on key things in her typical grocery shop simply because she is no longer able to afford it. Gone are the fresh fruit and vegetables. And forget about using the oven. That pushes the power bill up too much to be used regularly, she said.

Mrs Paul said she was not alone.

"Most of my friends, younger ones as well, they are finding it difficult.

"By the time I pay a few bills, basically there's not much for the rest."

Mrs Paul said she noticed the increase in the price of basics such as bread, milk and butter over the years. Recently she had been keeping an eye on fruit and vegetable prices too, she said.

The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables was recorded as going up by 6 per cent overall last year, including kumara going up by 109 per cent and avocado up by 107 per cent.

"When I go in and see tomatoes for $2.99 a kilo, that's $3 kilo. I do find that frozen vegetables give you everything you need."

Mrs Paul said she no longer baked because using the oven was too expensive.

When she did cook, she made enough in batches to cover four dinners, she said.

Other nights were different.

"Some nights I have baked beans or spaghetti for tea."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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