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Brits ‘change behaviour’ amid cost of living with saving on food but splurging on gardens

However, a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 49 percent of adults were buying less food because of rising prices. Half of shoppers also reported that they were having to spend more than usual to get what they usually buy.

According to the ONS, the quantity of food being purchased started falling last summer and is now 3 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

They said: “Rising prices have led to changes in behaviour. In recent months, people have cut back on food shopping as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.”

However, they also added that the amount households are spending on “sports equipment, games and toys” remains higher than before the pandemic.

This is also the case with “gardening items, such as flowers, plants, seeds, and fertiliser.”

According to the research, spending in these two categories was 14 and 13 percent higher than in 2019.

The figures suggest Britons are continuing to stick with hobbies and pastimes they adopted during the covid lockdowns.

During the lockdowns many people took up gardening and played games or sports in order to pass the time.

The research also revealed that high street retailers are slowly recovering from the devastating impact of the pandemic. 

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They said: “Although online shopping has been a growing behaviour over several years, the pandemic appears to have accelerated the trend.

“However, in recent months, we have started shifting back towards shopping in stores, although spending online remains high.”

According to the figures around 9.5 percent of supermarket shopping takes place online.

The ONS research also shows the extent to which prices have risen over the past two years.

In May, retail spending was 13 percent higher compared to February 2020 but retail volumes were only up to 2.6 percent.

According to the ONS, consumers were putting off bigger purchases due to the economic uncertainty.

They said: “Delayable spending, that is, clothing and footwear, vehicle purchases and household goods, has dipped in the most recent month; but it was already well below what it was in February 2020.”



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