By Orville Williams
Residents are being encouraged to adopt a more disciplined approach to spending amid widespread inflation that is affecting several countries around the world.
Due to issues like the supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, rising energy costs and the increasing cost of raw materials, the prices of countless consumer products have also soared.
This has understandably sparked concerns across the country, with persons worried about being able to afford products that they need and dealing with the uncertainty of knowing when things might ‘get back to normal’.
Spokesperson for the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division, Jo-Ann Peters, is assuring residents that they are not alone in facing this challenge, as millions of consumers across the globe are also feeling the pressure.
“What we have noticed is that a lot of major consumer product suppliers – Proctor & Gamble, Dove and Magnum [for example] – are all reporting low revenues and challenges, and with these challenges come increasing prices.
“Because we have a rise in prices globally, we are seeing rises in prices locally…it is literally tightening the squeeze on the consumer’s pocket,” she explained.
Considering the fact that the remedy to these issues is essentially out of our hands, Peters urged everyone to try to save money by spending more carefully and ensuring they get the most bang for their buck.
“During this period, consumers need to shop differently by reprioritising what is essential. Now is the time consumers need to be tracking and paying close attention to all their spending.
“Consumers may have to do what we call frugal living, meaning they’re going to be very intentional about their spending. We have to ensure every cent we spend is done properly, we have to prioritise the things that we need and not the things that we want – wants can wait for a later date when we have more to spend.
“There is a saying that goes, ‘some have [and] some have not, what matters is what you do with what you’ve got’. We want consumers to be informed and we want you to be able to make wise spending choices,” Peters added.
The Prices and Consumer Affairs Division published a brochure on Tuesday which provides residents with tips for fighting the rising food prices.
These tips include preparing a food budget, comparing prices, buying in bulk, and utilising reward programmes and store discounts where possible.