‘I wear gloves to keep bills down’ - Coping with cost of living squeeze

Norwich single-mum Roisin O’Reilly.

Norwich single-mum Roisin O’Reilly. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Energy, petrol, and shopping bills are all rising but how are people coping with feeling the pinch?

Amanda Elgood, who runs Quasar laser tag in Norwich and lives with her husband and daughter in Bracon Ash.

"Everything has gone up but we don’t want to put prices up too much because we don’t want to put people off after the lockdowns. We hope it doesn’t affect us with families not being able to afford to go out. 

"We have seen electricity double but we have heating oil so we don’t know what the impact of that is going to be. We filled up just before so I’m dreading it."

Amanda Elgood from Bracon Ash with daughter Ellen-Jayne.

Amanda Elgood from Bracon Ash with daughter Ellen-Jayne. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Single-mum Roisin O’Reilly, who lives in Norwich with two children aged seven and 10.

"We are still coping but only just about. Energy bills are ridiculous, food is through the roof, but benefits haven’t gone up. 

“It has affected things like what we can do in the school holidays. My dad very kindly sent some money so we’ve been able to do a couple of things but generally it’s a big struggle."

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Joy Lowe, from King’s Lynn

"I’m retired and on a pension so obviously the cost of gas and electricity is a big worry. But it’s other things going up as well. I go to the gym to play bowls and even that has gone up 18pc. 

"We’re on the new tariff now so we’ve gone down two degrees on the thermostat. One night I sat there with gloves on trying to keep the bills down."

Mike and Gaynor James from Great Plumstead.

Mike and Gaynor James from Great Plumstead. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Mike and Gaynor James, from Great Plumstead.

"We have been cutting back on shopping but there isn’t too much we can do about energy bills. We have oil central heating which has gone up a lot.

"We are doing things like switching lights off, not having the heating on so much, but we are fairly fortunate that we are not struggling too much. I feel for people that must be really feeling it."

Paul and Becky Pearson, from West Earlham.

"The bills have gone up by 65pc. I was making overpayments on the mortgage but I’ve stopped that to go towards it. I was very worried about my daughter with the energy prices going up.

"She has had to move into an all-bills inclusive rent. We definitely think twice about using the car now."

Gwen Dougan and Charles Chenery, from Thorpe St Andrew

Gwen Dougan and Charles Chenery from Thorpe St Andrew. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Gwen Dougan and Charles Chenery, from Thorpe St Andrew.

"Our gas and electric bills are pending but we think we'll be able to manage though it’ll be a bit tight, but if it goes up anymore we might not be able to.

"There are a lot of people who are going to find it hard. We have already downsized and have gone down from two cars to one."

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