Saturday, 13 July 2024

Self-Help Or Helpless?

CAMERON AND CLEGG seem to take a perverse delight in attacking ordinary hard working families. In the last couple of years, their Austerity Agenda has seen the slashing of education and NHS budgets, allowed ATOS to bully disabled folks and the introduction of the hated bedroom tax.

The National Liberal Party is starting to organise resistance to this Con-Dem Austerity Agenda – at the moment we’re concentrating on supporting local shops, small businesses and the self-employed – but we need to do much more.

Fighting the cuts, the cruelty of ATOS and the bedroom tax will be a long-term political struggle. It will be a struggle waged by organised groups like the NLP. However, individuals and families can also take non-political forms of action to help them weather Cameron and Clegg’s attacks on their standard of living.

In this article, Barrhead-based Robert Byng – provides advice to those struggling to make ends meet.

Self-Help Or Helpless?

THE ECONOMY is suffering and the majority of us are feeling it – with food prices and the cost of living, with the high rate of VAT and inflation, are pushing more and more families under the breadline. Here are a few helpful tips as part of a series that the National Liberty Party are providing to help struggling families and citizens to help keep costs down.

1. Eat as a household – may seem like a simple idea however eating as a family can dramatically reduce the cost of food bills; by bulk buying items such as rice, pasta and metal, the price can be reduced.

2. Freeze not fridge – the freezing is excellent for creating meals and planning in advance; family favourites such as mince, spaghetti, meats, fish, pasta, stew and even bread can be frozen.

Cameron and Clegg's Austerity Agenda attacks ordinary hard working families

3. Plan at least 2 weeks in advance – plan your meals in advance; buy in ingredients instead of ready meals and create bulk portions and freeze left overs. Planning in advance can help to reduce the food bills by allowing more time to search for the best price instead of sporadic buying.

4. DIY take away – learn to create family favourites such as curry, Chinese and even Fish & Chips! You’d be surprised how learning to create your own take away and buying the raw ingredients can reduce the monthly food price. A £30 take away can go to £6 if you do it yourself!

5. Packed lunch – having worked for an office with a café around the corner, I am aware of the attraction of hot food. Try to make your own at home, finding the best prices and even helping your resolutions by being much healthier!

6. Skip bought dog food – consult the breed of your dog with a Vet before doing this: butchers have many cuts and organs that dogs absolutely love! It’s healthy, natural and sometimes even free. Butchers often have to pay to have this meat removed so will be happy to give it to you for free or cheap! Having raised huskies, I can say that the real meat is much better than tinned!

7. Shop as a community – apply business tactics. Gather your street, town or even close family and contact a local producer; attempt to buy food as a group rather than a person. Cheaper to buy in bulk!

8. Don’t rely on supermarkets – many local fish mongers, vegetable stockers and butchers will have much cheaper options than supermarkets; your local butcher isn’t a millionaire for a reason! Support your community shops, and support yourself!

9. Give up treats – it may seem harsh but try and give up the name brands. Try cheaper alternatives to items such as alcohol, sweets, bread, milk and pop.

10. Get a better deal on services – the NLP can’t nationalise services just yet, but in the meantime why not try and get a better deal for services such as internet, power and gas? Call your provider and try to haggle!

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