Because of the energy crisis and high inflation, 65% of Flemish people spend less on shopping. This is evidenced by a study conducted by the entrepreneurship organization Unizo and the trade union Comeos. That was also evident on Saturday at Meir in Antwerp. It was fairly busy, maybe because it was the weekend for customers, but a lot of people still kept an eye on their spending.
Before the crisis, I used to go to Meir every week. Now only once a month,” said taxi driver Changiz Haenareh (37 years old). “So I am here today, but I watch the prices in every store. For example, spend much less money on luxury products, such as perfumes. These days I go to Aldi or Lidl, and never go back to Carrefour. Low prices are now more important than high quality. I should really pay attention, even though I have a job and I am from the middle class. We don’t know what the future will bring. Perhaps this is just the beginning of the crisis.”
Changis hears customers complain about the crunch in his taxi every day, he says. Ilona Van Shayk (40 years old) works as a hairdresser, and every day she is also told how much her clients have to pay for their energy. “But to be honest: I don’t pay much attention to my money myself. I’m not in the economy mode,” she says. “During Corona, yes. Then my barbershop, Tiptop in the Dutch municipality of Schijndel, had to close for several months. I had no salary and so had to make big savings. Now my hair salon is open, so I don’t feel like the situation The current one is a crisis. Maybe that will come. But I enjoy shopping as long as I can.”
No more going to the supermarket
It is clear that the families we spoke to in Meir have a culture of savings. “Since the crisis, we no longer go to the supermarket,” says Brenda van Mazek, 49, who has been on the road with her husband Marco and daughter Celine. “We have it all delivered in-house, so we don’t make reckless purchases. Less chips, fewer cookies, less candy. As a mom, I’d rather spend an extra year with my old coat than buy a new one. There are also upsides to this crisis: I’ve Our son stopped smoking. Despite these savings, it is still more difficult than it used to be, even though we belong to the middle class. And no one can say how long this crisis will last. The future is a big question mark. “
Mama Inge Erden, 44, and daughter Elaine Pope, 11, from Prashat are also taking extra care of their finances these days. “We spend less time in the bathroom and better keep our interior doors closed, so we don’t have to overheat,” Inge says. “And since the crisis, I only go to the store with a menu. What’s not on it, don’t go in the cart. For the rest we go to a restaurant much less. We’ve been going every week. Now at most twice a month. I don’t think it will get any better. All that We can do is look forward to indexing wages in January.”
Today, Angie’s mom allowed her daughter to make a small exception. “I did something she didn’t like very much, and that required a reward,” Angie says. “So we went to Primark to get a facial roller. But we really don’t do it every week anymore.”