SHOP prices are rising at the fastest rate in 11 years, with the cost of some household essentials soaring.
The latest research shows that shop prices were up 2.7% in April, the sharpest hike in more than a decade.
Food price growth accelerated to 3.5%, up from 3.3% in March – the highest rate of inflation since March 2013.
Fresh food price inflation slowed during the month but the cost of store cupboard essentials spiked, according to the data from the British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ.
Non-food products also soared in price, rocketing 2.2% last month – the biggest increase since records began in 2006.
Some essential household product prices are rising faster than others, including cooking oil and cereal.
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Certain supermarkets are rationing the sale of cooking oil due to a shortage caused by the Russian war in Ukraine.
Iceland and Morrisons both put limits on how much sunflower oil customers could buy last month.
According to the British Retail Consortium, furniture, electricals and books are among the non-food items soaring in price.
Trade disruption caused by Shanghai's recent Covid lockdown has contributed to the rise.
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Retail experts have warned shoppers to brace themselves for further price hikes.
Helen Dickenson, chief executive of the BRC, said: "Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down and deliver value for their customers by limiting price rises and expanding their value ranges, but this will put pressure on them to find cost-savings elsewhere.
"Unfortunately, customers should brace themselves for further price rises and a bumpy road ahead.”
But several grocers including Morrisons and Asda are cutting the price of hundreds of products to help struggling customers.
How can I save money on my food shopping?
If you're worried about rising food shopping bills, there are steps you can take to cut costs.
We spoke to an expert who shared her tips on reducing your supermarket spend.
Creating a shopping list throughout the week can keep you up to date on what you really need to buy.
If you make a monthly meal plan, rather than weekly, you can buy in bulk to save money.
A Sun investigation found that you can halve your shopping bill by doing this.
Choose which supermarket you go to carefully, and weigh up its food prices compared to the cost of travelling there.
You could also check whether it would be cheaper to shop online.
If you're able to bag a £1 delivery slot, for example, it might be cheaper than driving to the shop.
It's not just supermarkets you should be going to for your food shopping.
Bargain stores like B&M and Farmfoods can be worth a visit for cheap food deals.
When you're shopping you should check the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers on food so you’re making a like for like decision.
The Sun revealed that supermarkets use six sneaky tricks to try and coax shoppers into spending more money.
So make sure you only buy what's on your list when you go to the shop, unless you spot something you really need.
If money is really tight, there is support available to help you pay for food.
You could apply for the Household Support Fund, as many councils are offering vouchers or cash for food.
Get in touch with your local authority to find out what's on offer in your area and how to apply.
It's worth doing a benefits check to make sure you're getting all the help you're entitled to.
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You can use a free online benefits calculator to work out if you're missing out on any money.
Food banks are also available to help households who are struggling – you can find your nearest Trussell Trust site and information on how to access support here.
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