Cost of living squeeze driving staying-in plans for King's Coronation

King's Coronation dining in party plans - Barclays analysis. Pexels/ AP
Just 8% of Brits said they planned to spend money on drinks in a bar or pub during the festivities. Credit: Pexels/ AP

Cash-conscious consumers are planning for nights in over the King's Coronation weekend amid to the cost of living crisis, new figures show.

UK households have been cutting back on food shopping and eating out in March, according to Barclays' latest analysis.

Consumers' card spending grew 4% year-on-year in March - a figure less than half the latest Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate, the bank's latest report said.

Just over a third of Brits (35%) are planning on spending on activities for the King's Coronation bank holiday weekend.

At least 11% plan to buy food and drink to host friends or family instead, with just 8% planning to spend money on drinks in a bar or pub, Barclays added.

Home improvement and DIY stores however, enjoyed a seasonal boost, while spending on digital content and subscriptions was up 4.1% – its highest year-on-year rise in five months.

Spending on groceries increased 7.1%, well below the latest Office for National Statistics food price inflation rate of 18.2%, as 88% of shoppers say they were concerned about rising food prices and 62% reported finding ways to reduce the cost of their weekly shop.

More than half of those seeking savings (53%) said they were cutting down on luxuries or one-off treats for themselves while 38% said they were planning meals in advance to avoid wasting food or using vouchers to get money off their grocery bill.

Spending on utilities was up 39.3% on last year as cold weather persisted into March and households kept their heating on.

Household bills have continued to rise. Credit: PA

As household bills continued to rise, 54% of consumers said they were cutting down on discretionary spending, especially eating out at restaurants (62%) and buying new clothes and accessories (63%).

Esme Harwood, director at Barclays, said: “The below-inflation rise in grocery spending shows that Brits are still trying their hardest to shave money off their weekly shop, as energy bills continue to rise.

“Cutbacks are also impacting restaurants, with a number of cash-strapped consumers even avoiding social plans that involve meals out.

“Hospitality and leisure businesses will be hoping that the busy bank holiday period provides a boost to counteract consumers’ everyday cost-savings.

“While predictions for the Coronation weekend are lacklustre, the results from Mother’s Day are more encouraging, demonstrating that Brits are still taking advantage of one-off moments to go out and celebrate.”

Opinium surveyed 2,000 respondents between March 24-28.

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