A WOMAN has revealed she is living off 85p frozen meals and taking a two-hour bus to work as she struggles with the cost of living crisis.
A year ago, Rachel Dorricott and her husband, in a typical week, would go out for dinner, or visit the cinema. Now, all of that has had to stop.
Due to the rising cost of living, the Dorricotts, who live in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London, have been forced to cut back on their food and their social life.
Rachel, 26, a writer who works 10 miles away in Acton, would hop on the bus and then take the Overground to get to work, which would take her around 45 minutes.
Now, when money is getting particularly tight, she takes two buses instead, even though it takes her almost two hours to get there.
Rachel said: "We have been struggling to pay for things…I’m planning on boiling this summer without fans, living off 85p frozen dinners, taking cheaper routes on my commute to work even though it takes over an hour longer."
Travel is not the only thing affecting the Dorricotts' finances – as with many people in the UK, the rising cost of food has been a big issue.
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The rising cost of food has been a particular concern for Rachel as she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), meaning she has special dietary requirements. Gluten-free food is often more expensive.
Rachel said: "It has been getting harder and harder, especially since electricity prices have gone up. It's horrible knowing that I can't take better care of myself and my health."
Just recently, she experienced stomach problems that kept her off work for nine days, adding:
Rachel, originally from Philadelphia, USA, said: "Part of that was due to me taking less care of my diet."
Regardless, Rachel and her husband have resorted to splitting their week into two – in the first week, they will eat almost exclusively frozen ready meals from Tesco.
In the second half of the week, they will treat themselves to slightly more expensive foods in pasta and rice dishes.
It comes as the boss of one of Britain's biggest energy companies has warned the cost-of-living crisis could endure for more than a year and a half.
Eon CEO Michael Lewis gave a dire warning that millions of customers will be in fuel poverty when the price cap rises again in October.
And he called for the Government to intervene urgently amid the "unprecedented" hardships faced by Brits.
In an interview on the BBC, he said: "In my 30 years in energy, I have never seen prices increase at this rate."
He blamed most of the problems on the war in Ukraine – and said the situation will worsen in the months to come.
"We don't know what's going to happen in October," he said.
"I think for the next 18 months we're likely to see higher prices.
"That's already baked in, certainly in October and probably into next year as well.
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"I think the longer-term development depends on what happens in the war in Ukraine, what happens with Mr Putin. I have no idea how that will develop."
By the autumn, 40 per cent of Eon's eight million customers will be in fuel poverty, meaning more than 10 per cent of their disposable income will go on fuel bills, he said.
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