Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 08:19 UK

'The price of fuel is pivotal'

Stuart Chandler, 46, is unemployed and lives with his two sons in Clydebank.

Stuart kept a diary of his weekly spending across a week as part of a panel letting us know their views on the cost of living.

Stuart Chandler

Being unemployed I currently have the luxury of time and this week I have shopped around with a view to saving money.

It is possible to make significant savings by going to discount supermarkets and Clydebank has its fair share.

I actually bought a chicken this week but had to body swerve the bacon!

The poor guy with the reduced price tickets was being stalked in Asda by under cover pensioners..!!

This is the week that saw some supermarkets "slash" the price of fuel by 4p. What a bargain! Only £1.26 a litre of diesel?

In my opinion it's the price of fuel which is pivotal to our deepening economic crisis.

The credit crunch is undoubtedly also having an impact, however I believe it's not so much the availability of new credit that is causing the problem.

No longer can we juggle our credit cards and pay our consolidation loan - let's get all our wee debts and pay them off with one big monster debt that will hang around for 25 years!

The simple fact is there are lots of people out there sharing the country's £trillion+ of consumer debt and the banks want it back, which is a shame really!

See Stuart's diary of living costs

On average I would estimate that a typical family with a car within the last year is now having to fork out around a staggering £350.00 extra a month for fuel, utility bills and food.

This is what is making everyone feel the pinch. And gas went up again this week…!!!

On the upside - TVs, clothes and furniture are ridiculously cheap.

This is good as I can now buy a cheap leather chair to sit in and a warm coat to wear while I watch "can't cook, can't afford to cook" on my big TV…

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