Spending calculator: See which prices have gone up or down

Spending calculator: See which prices have gone up or down
  • PublishedDecember 22, 2023

Inflation fell dramatically in November to a more than a two-year low, although prices have recently been rising at historically rapid rates. How has your spending been affected? Use our calculator to see how much your groceries, clothing and leisure activities have increased in cost.

Prices have increased over the past 12 months by 3.9% on average, putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.

Inflation fell in November with the biggest downward pressure coming from fuel.

Despite the fall in the overall inflation rate, the price of food is 7.7% higher than this time last year on average.

How much has your individual spending gone up? Use our calculator to see how much prices are rising on the groceries, clothing and leisure activities you pay for.

Which prices are increasing fastest?

Olive oil (500ml to 1L) costs 54% more than it did last year, with prices rising from £4.69 to £7.22 in just 12 months. Granulated white sugar (per kg) has increased in price by 40%, now costing £1.18 (up from 84p last November).

Food products are responsible for 18 of the 25 highest increases since last year.

Aside from food, children’s clothing and footwear have seen some of the most significant price jumps. As well as infants’ jumpers (23%), children’s trainers have also risen by 23% and their pyjamas (3-13yo) 17% more than last year – a rise from £11.82 to £13.77.

Top five price rises:

• Olive oil (500ml-1 litre): up 53%, £4.69 to £7.22
• Granulated white sugar (per kg): up 40%, 84p to £1.18
• Hot chocolate drink (250-400g): up 27%, £2.48 to £3.15
• Onions (per kg): up 25%, 86p to £1.08
• Infant’s jumper: up 23%, £9.04 to £11.16

Only 14 of the 152 types of food tracked by the ONS have become cheaper since last year and these were mostly dairy items like milk and butter.

Overall, 64 out of the 442 products in our database are cheaper than they were this time last year.

Top food price decreases:

• Dry spaghetti or pasta (500g): down 15%, £1.08 to 92p
• Spreadable butter (500g): down 8%, £4.27 to £3.92
• Whole milk (4 pints): down 7%, £1.63 to £1.51
• Butter (250g): down 7%, £2.26 to £2.11
• Semi skimmed milk (2 pints): down 4%, £1.29 to £1.24

Of non-supermarket items, a primary school meal and Kerosene (1,000 litres) saw the biggest decreases of 25% and 20%, respectively.

Is it more expensive to live a healthy lifestyle?

Alcoholic drinks have gone up by 10%. Soft drinks are just behind by a percentage point at a rate of 9%.

Fresh vegetables have become 10% more expensive in the last year on average, while fruit is up 4%. The price of uncooked meat has risen by 10%.

There is some good news for active types, however. The cost of an adult bike is down slightly, from £452.41 to £422.93.

What is the effect of long-term inflation?

The price changes described above compare the cost of items to where they were a year ago.

However, inflation has now been at high levels for an extended period of time.

The war in Ukraine, COVID, Brexit, and other supply chain pressures have all contributed to spiralling costs in recent years.

Inflation was 10.7% in November 2022, which was down by 0.4 percentage points from a 40-year high of 11.1% in October 2022.

While the headline inflation figure is finally starting to come down, any amount of inflation means that prices are still rising, and are building on already inflated costs.

We’ve compared the costs of shopping items to what they were three years ago to see what the cumulative impact of inflation has been.

The biggest price rise for groceries over that time has been for olive oil (500ml-1 litre) which has doubled, from £3.61 to £7.22 in the past three years.

And although the cost of kerosene was one of the biggest price decreases over the past 12 months, when looking back over three years it has had the biggest increase.

The price of kerosene more than doubled from £326.49 to £761.86 for 1,000L.

A can of dog food (385-400g) is also up by 65% from 65p in 2020 to November £1.07 now.

Use our calculator to see how much prices in your shopping basket have risen in total since three years ago.

Who is worst affected?

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, says: “It’s the least affluent households that are going to see much higher rates of inflation as they spend more of their income on food and energy.”

We’ll continue to update our spending calculator over the coming months so you can see how you’ll be affected.

Methodology

The ONS collects these prices by visiting thousands of shops across the country and noting down the prices of specific items. There are upwards of 100,000 prices published every month, from more than 600 products.

The items that form the “official shopping basket” change each year to reflect how the purchasing habits of the population have changed. For example in March 2021, after a year of the pandemic, hand gel, loungewear bottoms and dumbbells were added, while canteen-bought sandwiches were among the items removed.

Where there aren’t the exact equivalent items available at a survey shop, ONS officials pick the best alternative and note that they’ve done this so it’s weighted correctly when the averages are worked out.

Shops are weighted as well, so the price in a major chain supermarket will have a greater impact on the average than an independent corner shop.

We will be updating these figures each month while the cost of living crisis continues.

During the pandemic, more of the survey was carried out over the phone and work is ongoing to digitise the system to be able to take in more price points by getting data from supermarket receipts, rather than making personal visits.

SOURCE: SKYNEWS

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