Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 22:08 UK

The living standards quiz

The cost of living in 2008

What are the items you couldn't live without? The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has asked different family groups what they need to achieve an acceptable living standard in the UK. From chocolate to computers, cars to carpets - take this test to find out more...

shopping basket

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Couples with children listed one continental food item on their weekly shopping list - not including a baguette. What was it?

composite of salami etc
  1. Swiss cheese
  2. French croissants
  3. Belgian waffles
  4. Italian salami

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Which sweet treat did single parents say they would include in their shopping basket at least once a month?

chocolate bars
  1. Kit-Kat
  2. Twix
  3. Mars Bar
  4. Milky Way

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Which item did all groups say they could do without and still achieve a socially acceptable living standard?

composite bike,car etc
  1. Bottle of wine
  2. Bicycle
  3. Car
  4. Barbecue

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Pensioners listed one of the following items of kitchen equipment as essential. Was it...

  1. Knife sharpener
  2. Blender
  3. Yorkshire pudding tins

5.) Multiple Choice Question

What three electronic items did ALL four groups include as a "must-have"?

electronic goods in shop
  1. Computer, microwave, DVD
  2. Landline phone, washing machine, digital camera
  3. Mobile phone, DVD, microwave

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Which group said they would definitely want to set aside some cash each year to give to charity?

coins in a wallet
  1. Single parents
  2. Single working men
  3. Pensioner couple
  4. Couple with two children


  1. They chose French croissants, at a weekly cost of £1.68, as part of their supermarket shop.
  2. It was a packet of Twix. They would make a packet of Kit-Kats last about nine weeks.
  3. Everyone decided they could live without a car. Most groups listed a bicycle as an essential and couples with two children set aside £40 a month for taxi-rides.
  4. It was Yorkshire pudding tins. At a cost of £1.79, a set of tins would last about 10 years.
  5. All groups listed a mobile phone, DVD and microwave as essential. Only families with young children included a computer and single people saw no need for a digital camera.
  6. Only the pensioners would give regularly to charity. They set aside £10 a year - or 19p a week.

Your Score

0 - 1 : Bare minimum

2 - 3 : Standard

4 - 6 : Luxury item!

The quiz questions are based on the detailed responses of four different groups: single working-age man, single parent with one child, couple with two children and pensioner couples.

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