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Sunday 21.01.2018 | Name days: Agne, Agnese, Agnija

Families spending 15-20 lats more on food than last year

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

As the main reason for family’s welfare decline, Latvia’s inhabitants most frequently mention food price growth – 80% of the respondents hold such view, indicates the survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB).

Also, the estimates of Swedbank’s Private Finance Institute show that the average family in Latvia with two adults and two children monthly spend on food by 15-20 lats more than a year ago.

According to the CSB data, particularly the food product surcharge has mostly affected the inflation in 2010. As reported, in February, both on a monthly and yearly basis, food products reported the fastest price increases. Over the year, food prices rose by 9.8% and in one month’s time food products have become on average by 1.8% more expensive. The prices of several products have even doubled during the year.

For any family, the expenditure on food is one of the most important budget components. The data show that the average Latvian household’s budget expenses on food comprise 25–35% of the total spending.

In absolute terms, expenditure on food ranges from 30 to 200 lats per family member; however, on average 50-60 lats are spent monthly on food per person. Considering the food price surge, without changing shopping habits, families with two adults and two children are forced to spend monthly on food by 15-20 lats more than last year.

Of course, in such situations, inhabitants seek for ways to save at the expense of food. It is worrying that the biggest price rise has occurred particularly for fruits, vegetables, dairy and cereal products, which are the basis of a healthy diet. If families optimize their spending on food at the expense of these products, it can lead to undernourishment and health problems, Swedbank’s Private Financial Institute Deputy Director Diāna Krampe indicates.

The Institute’s survey in February found that 77% of consumers try to take advantage of grocery shopping discounts or sales campaigns. However, one in five respondents at least once a week finds that part of the food has spoiled and has to be thrown away, because it was impossible to eat all of the purchased products. Also, 39% of the inhabitants experience such situation approximately once a month.

The data suggest that many Latvian families could cut their expenses for food if they would more careful focus on planning food purchases, Krampe asserts. The first step in cost optimization is planning meals and accordingly making a shopping list. When the list of necessary food products is known, it is possible to critically assess the necessity of purchasing sales campaign products. There are various methods of how to control impulsive purchases – they are mainly related to self discipline and avoiding product purchases not included in the shopping list.

Swedbank Private Financial Institute’s experts believe that by carefully planning food purchases, the average family could save up to 10% of their expenditure on food and at least partially ease the family budget from the burden caused by food price surge.


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  1. Lady says:

    And there are more growing expenses…

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