‘You don’t get two-for-one deals on fruit’

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Guardian: Food crisis, part 3, Scottish couple discuss weekly struggle to feed family on a tight budget

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Story Transcript

Courtesy: The Guardian

KAREN: Hi. I’m Karen. This is my husband James. We have four children, and we live in Peterhead, up in Aberdeenshire. Andrew is ten, Stuart is eight, Jessica is three, and Sophie is one.

JAMES: ‘Cause of the four children, basically, in and out of the supermarket on pretty much a daily basis–nutties, khuskhus, biscotti–I work offshore. I do two weeks away, and then I’m just home for two weeks. Unfortunately, Sharon can’t drive, so I end up filling the cupboards and freezers up before I go away. And then the first job I’ve got to do as soon as I get back is do it all again.

KAREN: It’s a top-up shop that we’re doing today.

JAMES: [inaudible] home on Monday, and I did £170 worth of shopping. The prices are fairly [inaudible] simply gone up just recently. And bread and milk are classic examples. Say, six months ago, this was 74 p. I think it was. And then it’s now up to 95.

KAREN: Yeah, I had [inaudible] cheese yesterday. So.

JAMES: If we all sit down as a family and all have a sandwich that is whole loaf of bread gone. So that’s almost 25 p. a day after having sandwiches every day.

KAREN: And we liked giving the kids the seedy bread and things like that, the really healthy options. But now that’s just impossible.

JAMES: I personally like to buy the free-range eggs, but the cost difference between, you know, like, the barn eggs and the free-range eggs compared to the battery eggs, and when you’ve got all the kids—. Strawberry milk, ’cause Jessica’ll never forgive me. We’ve runned around and we’ve had a look at all the deals in the stores always seems to be, you know, the sort of cakes, crisps, fizzy juices*

KAREN: *[inaudible] Coke is always on deal, whereas the more expensive kind of extra-special juices are healthier for the kids if you actually look at the labels, but they’re much more expensive to buy.

JAMES: The things that aren’t too good for you, you know, say for cookies, cakes. You don’t get that sort of deal on fruit.

KAREN: You get bagfuls of tomatoes, make chili. We get the bag, and the paper bag [inaudible] box. And he’ll sit and eat the whole bag of tomatoes in one go if I let him. There are things I’ve cut back on over the last kind of 12 months. I buy less clothes, my less personal things. I don’t get my nails done or anything like that; I’ll just do that myself. The children are quite young, and they’re going to get older and older and eat more and more. And because I don’t work, I don’t bring any money in, I do feel bad. And, you know, I hate going to the supermarket and picking out nice foods now, because I feel, well, you know, I just can’t justify it. [inaudible] when are we going to be able to afford to buy nice food again, rather than kind of having to make sacrifices?

JAMES: [inaudible] I can guarantee that there’ll be something. As soon as I get home, we’re [inaudible] done with this.

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