Travel

UK expenses: From grocery shopping and travel to days out

by Madaline Dunn

When it comes to day-to-day expenses, prices can vary widely depending on where you’re located in the UK. The North-South price divide is indeed true, too, and the further you go up North, typically, the cheaper things get.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through the sort of prices you can expect to pay across the country at supermarkets, restaurants and pubs and where you can go for a cheap day out. We’ll cover:

  • A comparison of UK supermarket prices
  • Dining out across the UK
  • Price differences for activities
  • Travel costs contrasts

The UK Supermarket comparison

Across the UK, the price of your groceries will change depending on which supermarket you decide to shop at. There’s a pretty wide range to choose from, too.

Nimblefins analysis of ONS data also reveals that, on average, a UK household spends £3,312 on groceries a year, but where can you find the cheapest trolley?

Which? found Lidl is the cheapest supermarket in the UK. For 23 essential items, a Lidl shopping trolley comes in at £24.11, while not far behind, an Aldi trolley comes in at £24.54. The location with the most Lidls is London, which has a whopping 72 supermarkets. Elsewhere, Sheffield, London, Cardiff and Liverpool are the cities with the most Aldi stores.

Meanwhile, Asda sits at third place, with a trolley of 23 essential items costing £25.22. Fourth is Morrisons, where 23 essential items cost £27.14.

That said, a new supermarket chain, Mere, is set to launch in the UK, and founders claim that it could be up to 30% cheaper than competitors Lidl and Aldi.

Contrastingly, the most expensive supermarket in the UK is Waitrose, where a trolley with 23 items is priced at £32.20, over £8 more expensive than Lidl. Ocado, the online supermarket, is the second most costly at £30.33.

London is also home to the most Waitrose stores in the UK, with a total of 54 stores.

Dining out and drinks across the UK

In the UK, the average household spends £1,716 on restaurants and takeaways each year. That said, UK inflation recently saw its biggest increase on record in August 2021, meaning food and drink are getting even pricier. So, where can you find the cheapest places to eat out and buy drinks?

Sheffield is the most affordable city to buy a pint, according to research from Numbeo, costing £3.36. Liverpool and Leicester offer similar prices, with a pint costing £3.47 and £3.66 respectively.

Unsurprisingly, some of the most expensive pints can be found in London, where a pint will see you part with nearly £6 (£5.60). Meanwhile, Bristol pints cost £4.76 on average, and you’ll pay around £4.72 a pint in Norwich.

If you’re looking for a cheap bite to eat, on average, the most affordable place to buy a 12’’ Margherita pizza is Belfast, costing just £5.99. London, again, is the most expensive place comparatively, costing £10.99.

Meanwhile, for those looking to taste the finer things in life on a budget, the Michelin Cornerstone in Hackney, London, will set you back just £21.50 pp, and outside of London, the Coach in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which cost you £23 pp.

Dundee offers the cheapest night out for those hitting the town, costing around just £25.35 on average. Cardiff and Swansea are also cheap options at just £27.33 and £27.35 per night, respectively. London and Oxford are much more expensive, ​​at £49.66 and £42.30 on average a night.

The cost of activities

It may be confusing to understand why there’s such a difference in price for activities like going to the cinema or joining a gym depending on where you live, but typically these price differences are due to rent and running costs varying regionally.

If you’re a fitness enthusiast trying to review where the cheapest places to workout are, up north in Newcastle, you can find a gym membership for just £16. This jumps up considerably the further you move down south.

Cinema prices vary widely, too. In Bradford, an adult ticket costs just £6.74, but this doubles if you move further south. In Wandsworth, for example, an adult ticket soars to £13.74.

Travel expenses

Travelling across the UK can be pretty expensive, especially if you choose to travel by train. These days, choosing the train costs 50% more than flying by plane!

According to Nimblefins, on average, a UK household spends around £1,100 a year (£94 a month) on public transport.

Here, London again tops the list of the most expensive places regarding public transport. Deutsche Bank’s 2019 survey found that transportation costs £150 a month for a travel card for zones 1-3. However, London prices are lower for buses, and a single hopper ticket will cost just £1.55. Elsewhere in the UK, a single ticket for a 20-minute journey from Middleton to Manchester city centre will set you back £4.50.

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 Consumer Goods, Economy No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

Travel insurance tips this summer

by Madaline Dunn

As the summer goes on and more places open up, the prospect of finally going on holiday is incredibly exciting. That said, with policies around travel changing all the time, it’s also understandable to feel concerned that things might not go according to plan.

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll make sure that you’re all clued up when it comes to travel insurance this summer so that you can take a vacation stress-free.

This article will walk you through:

  • What should you look for when choosing travel insurance?
  • What situations are not covered by travel insurance?
  • What happens if you catch Covid?
  • What happens if the NHS app pings you?

What to look for when choosing travel insurance

Luckily, more providers are now offering covid-related travel insurance after initially distancing themselves. Now, there’s a wide range of providers to choose from, but there are a few different aspects to look out for when making your decision.

When searching for travel insurance, ask yourself:

  • Does the provider offer coverage if I test positive for Covid?
  • Does the provider offer curtailment cover?
  • Does the provider offer coverage if I lose a loved one due to Covid?
  • Does the provider offer coverage if I miss my flight because my required Covid test has not returned results in time for my getaway?
  • Does the provider offer medical cover if I fall ill with Covid?
  • Does the provider offer protection from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice changes?

Equally, to ensure that covid doesn’t catch you out, it’s best to keep updated with any rule changes and travel guidance. So, before booking a holiday, it’s wise to check in with the UK’s traffic light system.

It’s also important to remember that just because a country is on the UK’s green list, you may not be allowed entry as a holidaymaker. Checking the Foreign Office website and checking in with a country’s UK embassy website will keep you in the loop.

When am I not covered?

There are some situations where your travel insurance won’t offer coverage. If the FCDO changes its travel advice to warn against all travel, holiday providers will likely cancel and refund your trip. That said, while policy providers covered cancellation based on FCDO advice before the pandemic, now fewer policy providers are doing so. This will vary depending on your provider, so it’s important to check the details.

Also, be wary of accepting vouchers or Refund Credit Notes (RCN) from airline and holiday companies for cancellations. If you do, you can’t claim from your travel insurance cover as this is viewed as a double claim.

Additionally, you won’t be covered for ‘disinclination to travel’, which essentially means you have personally made the decision not to travel. So, for example, if you’re due to travel but hear that pandemic cases are rising in the area you are staying, you no longer wish to travel and cancel your holiday, you won’t be covered. Equally, if your hotel informs you that some of its facilities will be closed due to Covid, and as a result, you no longer wish to travel and cancel your holiday, you won’t be covered here either.

Am I covered if I catch Covid?

While coverage will vary from provider to provider, there are quite a few out there that offer Coronavirus trip cancellation cover. So, if you or a household member falls ill with Covid within 14 days of your holiday, and you have to cancel, you will be covered.

Some providers offering this coverage include:

  • Co-op
  • Asda
  • Nationwide
  • JustTravelCover
  • Staysure

Likewise, if you have booked activities for when you are on holiday, and they are disrupted due to Covid, there is Coronavirus excursions cancellation coverage.

What happens if I’m pinged

Recently, more and more people are being ‘pinged’ by the NHS app. So much so, the phenomenon has been dubbed the ‘Pingdemic,’ with record numbers reaching 689,313 in one day at the end of July.

So, it’s understandable to be concerned that your holiday may be jeopardised by coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

If you do find yourself pinged before you set out on holiday, you should identify whether or not the Test and Trace service is instructing you to isolate. While you do not legally have to isolate yourself if you have not received instruction, it is advised to do so. Subsequently, most providers will offer cover for ‘advised’ isolation. Staysure, for example, offers cancellation cover if you are unable to travel due to receiving contact from Test and Trace.

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Friday, August 13th, 2021 Insurance No Comments

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