Some of the UK's biggest retailers have agreed to slash checkout costs as part of a new Help for Households campaign to help Brits cope with the cost of living.
What is Help For Households?
Agreed with the government’s cost of living business tsar David Buttress, these deals are designed to reduce costs at the checkout, help provide entertainment and ensure access to necessary services for families during the summer holidays and beyond.
What deals are included?
Discounts include "feed your family for a fiver" by Sainsbury's which is made up of budget-friendly meal ideas to feed a family of four for less than £5.
Asda has also extended its scheme to allow children under 16 to buy a meal for £1 at any time of day in Asda Cafes across the UK.
London theatres will also let children see a West End show for free in August with a fee-paying adult, with half price tickets for two additional children in the same group.
Children can get a free meal at Morrisons cafes and Vodafone (VOD.L) is promoting a mobile social tariff of £10 a month.
Hollywood Bowl (BOWL.L) and Puttstars are offering 25% off ten-pin bowling and mini-golf games before 11am throughout the school summer holidays.
Along with new initiatives, some deals are a continuation of other support schemes which businesses are already running.
These include Amazon’s new "help for households" page that will provide access to free entertainment such as Freevee and Amazon Music, as well as educational resources for school-aged children and low-price essential groceries.
Meanwhile, Virgin Media O2 has expanded its list of services that can be accessed without eating into mobile data allowances, adding fuel poverty, debt advice and financial support organisations as part of a wide range of measures targeted at those struggling most in the cost of living crisis.
Customers of both O2 and Virgin Mobile will be able to access the National Debtline, Business Debtline, Turn2us, Debt Advice Foundation and National Energy Action without using any of their mobile data.
Will there be more help?
The campaign will also provide new discounts when kids go back-to-school this autumn and when energy bills are expected to increase even further, as well as around Christmas. Deals secured will show on the government’s new Help for Households website so that people can find them in one place.
These deals build on the £37bn package of Help for Households already being provided by government — including tax cuts and help towards energy, childcare and transport costs.
The government’s online cost of living support pages have been visited over 2.2 million times as UK households struggle to make ends meet.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics figures revealed inflation has hit 9.4%. Rates are now at the highest level since 1982, putting even more financial pressure onto households.
Experts have warned inflation will only keep rising, as the Bank of England said it could hit 11% this year.
Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: “Millions of people will be struggling to make ends meet in the coming months, so it's right that the government is working with businesses to ensure consumers can get value for money when the cost of so many everyday essentials is increasing at an alarming rate.
“Businesses in essential sectors such as supermarkets, energy and telecoms have a particularly important role to play in ensuring help reaches the most financially vulnerable, and making sure the best value deals are easy to access.
"Across the board, transparency of pricing will prove key - so supermarkets should introduce clear unit pricing so that shoppers can easily compare items and find the best value option for them. Similarly, social tariffs should be better advertised, as within the broadband sector less than two per cent of eligible customers are currently enrolled on social tariffs, which is nowhere near good enough."