Monthly Grocery Expenditure Gone Up By At Least $100 Since Before COVID, How To Cope?

Earlier this year, CNA published an article sharing about housewife Suria Saini who is feeling the stressed from the inflation. Before COVID, her family’s monthly expenditure for groceries and basic necessities were at $400. As of December last year, her monthly spending has gone up to over S$500 on the same list of items. Her husband earns $1200 a month, and they have children to raise too.

“I always go to the same shops, the same stalls in the market. There seems to be a 50 to 80 cent increase on most things like shampoo and detergent. Fish, mutton, chicken … Prices have gone up so much.” – Suria Saini

How is her family going to cope when prices increase further? What is worse, is that it feels like there is nothing we can do about this, whether we like it or not.

Price hike has not only affected households, businesses have also not been spared. Prices for manpower, rental, raw materials, water and electricity, petrol, freight service are all on the increase. A grim-looking business owner said in the same CNA article that his business cost had mounted, but profit margin was not much.

Sadly, there is no more choice for the people. Goods and services as well as resources are ever and ever getting more and more expensive. You either take it or leave it. Some say that it is no choice and have to accept the reality.

Some say things are more expensive because of covid. The hard truth is, even before covid, prices have already begun to go up progressively. Sadly, we cannot expect we are going to lead an easy life anymore.

Long gone are the days when life could be so much easier for everyone of us. Again, the government say they will be rolling out cash payout for the lower income families. Community Development Council vouchers were distributed. However, cash payout amounted from a range of $700 to $1,600 is to be disbursed sparingly over a span of five years, and the value of voucher is only $100.

NTUC FairPrice has launched ‘Stretch your dollar’ programme by which consumers can purchase discounted essential items like food, laundry and paper products. A further look into it, it can be seen that it is not a wide array. It is only for selected brands and the categorized items are so limited for one to choose from.

Not to forget too, the opportunistic vendors, suppliers, manufacturers and companies as they exploit the situation for their favourable profit gains!

Singapore is amongst the expensive countries in the world. We have to settle with the fact that the increasingly high cost of living here has rooted as part of our lives. More price hikes will come in the future continually. Regardless of whether we like it or not, this is our life we are eternally imprisoned in.

<A.S.S. Contributor>

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