Kenya has recently seen its oil prices skyrocket 6% to Ksh134.00/litre, and it’s hitting Kenyans hard. Other than this being the highest in a decade, all this is happening in the wake of the Coronavirus economic/financial crisis that has strained everyone. Not to mention CBC!

Murphy’s law doesn’t stop there as the spike in oil prices carries rippling effects on the Kenyan economy. 

One of the major areas that will feel the pinch is the FMCG sector. Food prices will definitely go up as fuel prices are the main contributors to inflation. 3-litre cooking oil is now Ksh.650 from Ksh.400. Are you wondering how fuel prices affect food costs? Generally, the energy costs surrounding food production trigger this correlation, thus costing more to get the product from farm to consumer.

Last year in the wake of Covid, the Government banned retailers from hiking food prices, and  Kenyans swamped supermarkets and groceries to stock up on what was expected to be an economic crisis. This year, however, there wasn’t enough time and money because CBC put parents at a disadvantage by having to pay school fees 4 -5 times in 1 year! If this trend continues, Kenyans might just have to eat sandwiches for lunch and lose weight involuntarily.

What cost Ksh.50- Ksh.80 into CBD now plays in the range of Ksh.100, meaning employed Kenyans are parting with close to Ksh.350 – Ksh.400/day just to commute. Likewise, this will correlate to much higher travel costs coming Nov/Dec holidays for not just the ‘abiria’ but also car owners.

What to do to stay below the red line on your finances?

This is where saving tips come into play and hacks to ease the financial strain caused by the inflation of oil prices.

  1. Take advantage of sale items. However, be careful to not be duped as some sale BOGOF items aren’t really a ‘sale’. Check what’s on offer and compare the individual price tags to see if you can save up to Ksh.100. 
  2. Buy in bulk. When it comes to non-perishable goods, bulk purchases are your best friend—tissues, soaps, sanitary, spaghetti, spices.  Basically, the rule of thumb is to check what you use regularly and fill that cart!. Long-life milk, check. Bale of flour, check. Noodles, check check.

3. We hate to say it, but fast food has now become cheaper compared to preparing a full meal. With all these delivery apps offering significant discounts and offers, when the opportunity arises, take it. Chances are it will cost half of what you could have spent.

4. Loyalty points and coupons. The fall of the might Tuskys should prompt you to redeem your points today. Just like that, they fell, and you cannot redeem the accumulated points. So, if you are a heavy shopper, you must have close to 1000 points, and those are worth substantial shopping. ( combined with buying items on sale.)

In the latest by EPRA, the fuel price reduction in Kenya was just by Ksh.5. Barely a reprieve from the current state of affairs as it was raised by Ksh 7.

Kenyans must now face the outcomes of heavy borrowing from the countries ever-accumulating debt of 7.5 trillion as of 2021. That is 65% of the countries GDP. Worse still, the tax and oil inflation is just the tip of the iceberg as one of the requirements on IMF loans to Kenya is taxes to be increased.

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