‘I never thought I’d be so poor’ Pensioner can only afford to cook once a week

Cost of living: Struggling 73-year old woman talks to Kay Burley

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Sandra from Rhyl in Wales said it’s like going back in time to the fifties when people, including her parents, were struggling to make ends meet after the Second World War. Although she never thought she would be “so poor” in retirement, she has shared the ways she makes savings to try and help others in a similar situation.

The pensioner from Rhyl has made these sacrifices to cut costs on her energy bills during the cost of living crisis.

Sandra told North Wales Live she learnt to be thrifty from her parents who struggled financially following the second world war.

She said: “For people of my generation, making do with what you’ve got is second nature because we’ve done it for so long.”

While Sandra remains positive, she said it’s like going back 70 years to the 1950s.

“You get up in the morning and the first thing you think about is what you can’t do in the house, whereas if you’ve got loads of money you can put the heating on, be warm, and do as you please,” she added.

“I think people are going to have to go back to the fifties and to how people lived then.

“You just have to get on with it, there’s nothing else you can do.”

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Because she can’t afford to use the oven too often, she only cooks once a week but does her whole week’s meals in one go.

She explained: “I only cook once a week, I fill the oven and then distribute it around my plastic dishes and freeze them, so I’ve got most of my week’s food done.

“If I’m boiling carrots and potatoes I’ll put them in the same pan and do two days’ worth so I don’t have to put the hob on again.

“You can think that it’s a shame to live like this, but that’s pointless.”

Sandra continued: “The only thing I can do is apply my knowledge to make those savings because even saving a pound in a week adds up and can make a difference in the end.”

“For me, I never had luxurious things, so I’m used to it, but children should be able to be warm and well-fed but now some children aren’t missing out on that.

“I never thought I’d be so poor in my old age.

“I’ve worked my whole life from when I was 15, and it is hard work sometimes not being able to use things in the house.”

The pensioner has some money saving tips for others including:

  • Checking for council tax discounts
  • Cooking pizzas at home instead of buying ready made
  • Asking for help with vet costs from the RSPCA
  • Doing the whole week’s cooking in one go

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