While the internet has been preoccupied by inflation, so has our economy.
Numbers and nuances
With prices steadily increasing in the past year, it's no secret that household essentials such as butter is becoming harder to acquire. Brands such as Lurpak have seen a price increase of 36.7% from February 2022 to March 2023 and are showing no sign of decreasing anytime soon.
The increase in the cost of living has also impacted farmers that help produce these everyday essentials, with a reported 3% of dairy producers closing in the South West over the last six months.
"Unfortunately, our farmers are facing a similar situation with prices for the feed, fertiliser and fuel they need to produce milk, all rising significantly in recent months.
Increased butter prices help to compensate the cost to churn out these products, however due to the demand to keep up with the current economy and staggering inflation levels, this results in an endless loop where neither party is benefiting in the long run. It's the equivalent of sweeping dust under a rug, on the surface it looks plausible but the overall problem is not being directly addressed.
So, what can we do about it?
While there is no direct way for the average person to combat inflation, organisations such as The Bread and Butter Thing help by providing affordable food in order to feed communities that are struggling. They're also helping to combat food waste and food surplus.
Buying produce directly from farmers is also a good way to support them as it cuts costs from distributors, thus giving them the maximum amount of profit. You can find your local farmer's market here.
You can also do your part by donating to local food banks and community centres. Some sites that can help you find food banks in your area include:
Leeds Food Aid Network (only applies within the Leeds area)
If you would like to do more after donating, you can also volunteer at food banks. Helping out in a community kitchen is a great way to give back to your community while working alongside other people. In my experience, cooking together in a communal kitchen is a very special form of bonding that brings people from different backgrounds together.
Some people will buy the ingredients, and others will be in charge of the cooking. But what if you're struggling to find affordable butter for the kitchen?
Butter by the number
Here are some cheaper, buttery alternatives that will melt your taste buds and be kind on your wallets.
Lidl Danpak - Known as the cheapest brand of butter at the moment with a price of £2.19, however consumers have reported that the taste was unremarkable.
"Sadly for me, the taste was unremarkable, you could tell it was butter, but it didn't have the same stand-out savoury flavour that the two previous butters did.
Aldi Nordpak - For only 10p more than Lidl Danpak at £2.29, this brand is sure to provide buttery goodness with how easy it is to spread and melt on a warm piece of toast.
"Taste-wise, it tastes like butter, not quite as strong as Lurpak tastes, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The savoury spread complimented the toast, rather than overpowering it, something I wouldn't have noticed about Lurpak if I hadn't tasted it first.
You can check the full list of alternative butter brands here.
Whether you're volunteering at your local food bank or buying from farmers locally, just know that it's not over yet. Each little bit of our efforts helps.