Victoria B on 27 November 2020
Q. What's happened to your spending since Covid hit?

Covid Realities, and their participation vouchers, help me a lot. They fund a takeaway each month that gives me a much needed night off cooking, or they go towards Christmas shopping. What made the biggest shift for me, spending wise, and enabled me to stop using the food bank, was a new fridge freezer, late in the summer. A friend of the family helped me get it, in combination with the Argos card, and the freezer space was twice what I had before. Meaning I could take advantage of Iceland 4for£10 on frozen meats and had more space for frozen veggies. Slowly reintroducing healthier meal options for my kids. Iceland also changed their bonus card options during lockdowns, used to be you could only add money to the bonus card in store, but when they made it online I was able to add money to the card in payday and relax knowing that later in the month, when money would be scarce, I'd still have the ability to buy food. That's our biggest expense now, food. We now spend less on crafts and school books, shifted online (and amazon prime helped with that) for a lot of things educational. We don't go anywhere now, mostly home or in garden or maybe walk on the street a bit (kids don't like that much cos lots of drug users and just creepy sorts around here, garden feels safer), so that saves on travel. But when we do need to travel its gone up, taxis are cheaper than bus these days. It's all pretty topsy tervy. I miss being on income support. I miss the low but steady and secure income. Funny how a hundred or two every week or two felt like so much more than the thousand and change once a month. I miss not having to worry about bills, not stressing over food.

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