I eat one meal a day to fight the cost of living crisis

I eat one meal a day to fight the cost of living crisis

I eat one meal a day to fight the cost of living crisis

A teaching assistant said she was “reduced to one meal a day” due to the cost of living crisis.

The PA news agency reached out to those most affected by the cost of living crisis, including Helen Somers, 52, of Bingley, West Yorkshire, who is a teaching assistant.

Ms Somers has myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and said a forecast on her energy bill says she could pay more than £ 500 in January for gas and electricity.

Helen Somers teaching assistant

Teaching assistant Helen Somers (Helen Somers)

How has the cost of living crisis changed your life?

“Dramatically, enormously. We have always lived for the day. I have four children, I raised them alone. Now I just have my youngest son living with me. He is 18 years old, he made his A levels this year. We basically live on his tax credits and family allowances. I come home with about 840 pounds a month.

“I am currently receiving a working tax credit, but that will stop when Charlie is classified as no longer a student.

“Do I pay the water bill or do I pay the community tax? Whatever I pay, I will be indebted to someone. “

When did you first notice an increase in costs and how much have they increased?

“I had noticed that the food shopping was going up and you would put it down, like, when I go shopping with my son, he would throw other bits and pieces because he likes to cook a little. But then you would notice that the prices of things were going up. And he wasn’t going up 5p, 10p, he was going up 30p for things and 50p. It might be from March (this year).

“I thought beans on toast, eggs, stuff like that was a cheap meal. Omelettes with cheese, a quick and cheap meal, but it’s gone.

“I entered my meter readings and it gave me a forecast of how much (my energy bill) will increase. I am currently paying £ 197.45 per month for gas and electricity. Last year I was paying £ 70 a month for both of them. By October, he tells me it will be £ 293.67 per month. November, he is saying that I should pay £ 380.72 per month. December, £ 459.57 to keep up. January, £ 511.98.

What changes have you made to cope?

“I work in a school, so we get a discounted school dinner, so sometimes I eat a school dinner and then I don’t have tea. So this is what we do, we are reduced to one meal a day. My son no, he’s fine, but I’ll only eat one meal a day just to cut back.

“I’ll get up and have a coffee, go to work and have dinner. Maybe I’ll have an apple or something when I get home. Maybe I’ll take cereal, cereal is a good filler. Sometimes I’m in bed for seven. As long as the pets are being fed and Charlie is being fed, you are doing your job well, aren’t you? “

How did this situation make you feel?

“I honestly didn’t think getting older I’d be worse than before. I didn’t think I was going to be worse now than when I first became a single parent. I had four children and we could afford to go out, we could afford to do things. While it’s school holidays now and I can’t afford to go anywhere.

“I’m really disgusted, I am. I’m really short of things. Every day I check my bank to see if I have anything in it. You are looking at every penny spent, you are looking at the gasoline in the car before you go somewhere. It’s ridiculous. I shouldn’t do this at my age. I love the fact that all my children earn more than me, but I shouldn’t feel that way at my age. “

What do you hope will be done to help you?

“We need someone who understands the cost of living. Someone who knows how much things cost. Not someone who makes false promises to us, someone who will actually do something. We don’t want handouts, we all work hard.

“It will grow before it gets better. This is the hardest thing, there is no end in sight, there is no light at the end of the tunnel on this, is there? “

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