Once again, the people of the UK have spent an astronomical amount on food for the Christmas period. Following the trends of previous years, Christmas food costs continue to rise. Studies show that Brits spent a whopping £4.24 billion on food and drink for the festive season in 2018, which is a staggering £1 billion more than food and drink spending for the previous year.
Food is a significant part of the cost of Christmas for most people. Experian broke down these figures further by identifying how people spent their money and which regions of the United Kingdom spent the most and least on Christmas groceries.
The Highs and Lows of the Cost of Christmas
Leicester came out top as the biggest spenders on groceries for Christmas. People from this city were even willing to spend over £20 on a decent cheese board for the holiday period. At the other end of the scale, Bradford and Wakefield were the most budget-conscious cities and the cost of Christmas was much lower in these cities. The people of Bradford spent less on chocolate than people from any other city in the UK.
The Cost of Christmas Drinks
The people of Leicester were also the biggest spenders when it came to filling up their drinks cabinets. The average person in Leicester spent £65.19 on alcoholic beverages, with a fairly even split between their expenditure on wines and spirits. To the other extreme, those who live in Cardiff spent an average of a mere £43.68.
During the snow storms of the past week, people have flocked to the supermarkets to panic buy in preparation for the bad weather. This has left many supermarkets with empty shelves. In turn, this has led to some shocking behaviour from customers in supermarkets.
There have been multiple reports of people complaining about the lack of food available and becoming abusive with members of staff. In some cases, the frustrations of shoppers have led to them fighting with other customers over the few remaining items on the shelves.
A local Plymouth newspaper reported that there were ‘apocalyptic’scenes in some stores as the customers took out their anger and frustrations on each other. This is a situation reflected right across the country. The stores have spent the weekend trying to restock their shelves for the week ahead.
This news is not all that surprising as there are similar situations whenever the Brits experience a short spell of bad weather. There are countries across the globe that experience extreme weather on a regular basis and their residents barely raise an eyelid. In the UK, there is mass panic if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
It seems rather shocking that a few days of snow can bring out the worst in people’s personalities and lead to such appalling behaviour towards each other and the hardworking staff at the supermarkets.
Unbelievably, Brits have been warned to avoid cooking with snow. During the recent snow storms, various warnings and advice have been issued by weather experts, TV weather news broadcasts, and newspapers. It is not surprising that the heavy snowfall has led to advice with regards to travel, staying at home, and taking additional care if you must leave the house. However, it is a little surprising that it is deemed necessary to advise people to avoid using the snow for the purpose of cooking.
As a resident of the UK, there are plenty of things that I can think of to do when it snows. When I was younger, this involved building snowmen, having snowball fights and sledding on the golf course. As an adult, the snow is more likely to encourage me to stay at home with a hot chocolate or a hot toddy. Never, at any point in my life, have I felt the temptation to pop outside and find some snow with which I can create a family meal.
The reason for the advice is that the snow that falls in the UK is not as pure as in other parts of the world. The water from which the snow is formed is untreated and is potentially full of harmful things. It also contains particles of nano-pollution. Although eating a bit of snow won’t kill you, it is believed that it has the potential to make you ill.
So, if you live in the UK and you were thinking of popping outside and getting some snow to melt to boil your veg, then think again. Me? I will try and restrain myself from cooking with the contents of my kitchen and staying warm in the comfort of my home.