How to cut down on your outgoings and battle rampant inflation in 1982

INFLATION is at its highest since the dark days of 1982. So how would you have coped with the spiralling cost of living 40 years ago?

Reviewing your media subscriptions  

Now you can get rid of streaming services you never watch, but in 1982 the only choice was either keeping the TV or throwing it out. Not really an option because it was your only access to Terry and June and the set was leased from Granada who’d want it back. You could save a bit of cash not upgrading to a colour telly, though.

Choosing your utility suppliers 

These days there are hundreds of colourful startups with names like Fuzzplug and ChatPony, so you might find a better deal. In 1982 you had one choice of supplier for each service. British Gas made you shovel your last pennies into a despotic meter and BT could send round the heavies to rip the phone from the wall if you couldn’t pay up. Buzby kept quiet about that.

The chance of a life-changing windfall

Your current ‘plan’ is to win EuroMillions and move to the Maldives. Back in the day your best hope was the Football Pools, a gambling game involving a surprising amount of drudgery. Not only would any small chance of guessing which 12 football matches would result in a score draw be crushed by Mansfield getting a late, muddy winner at Darlington, if you did win 40 quid you were obliged to give your coupon to a sinister ‘collector’ first. Suddenly shitty, debt-inducing Bet365 games look like good wholesome fun.

Rail Refunds 

Fares now may be batshit insane, but at least when the trains are late you can go online and claim a sizeable refund. In the 80s if your train was only 15 minutes late and it wasn’t pretty dirty, you were probably the Queen on her way to Balmoral. 

Price comparison sites 

If you think you’re paying too much for broadband, use that same broadband to find someone who might provide it for less. In the wasteland of the early 80s price comparison meant shuffling up and down the shopping precinct looking for the best deal on brown paint. And trying to switch banks resulted in a humiliating dressing down by a psychotic, chain-smoking manager who looked like Jack Regan from The Sweeney.

Going to the Falklands 

The Falklands in 1982 did indeed distract people from rampant inflation and public spending cuts, as Thatcher calculated. But why not go there now? Inflation will be a distant memory and you’ll probably save a fortune by sitting on a gusty rock with four pubs and only penguins for mates. Plus you’ve got the bonus of not being shot by an ‘Argie’ these days. Yes, it’s our new fantasy, too.

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Cling film and other seemingly simple inventions they still manage to f**k up

MANKIND can travel into space and cure cancer, so how come so many straightforward minor inventions are useless and annoying? Like these…

Cling film

Used for all manner of household tasks, from covering plates of food to dangerous sex games. That’s if you can find the f**king start of it then somehow peel it back in one piece. Instead it tears halfway, leaving you trying to wrap your sandwich in a two-inch strip which is already sticking to its bloody self. How’s your blood pressure, by the way?

Fray Bentos pies

A meat pie in a tin that keeps it fresh for years. Genius! So long as you have an engineering degree to get into the f**ker in the first place. Eventually you prise half the lid open but a load falls on the floor and it’s taken so long you’ve lost your appetite anyway. Which is no bad thing because they taste and smell like shit anyway.

Squeezy mayonnaise bottles

Ideal if you like throwing away half of what you’ve bought because it’s stuck in the bottle. You’ll end up taking the top off and fishing around inside with a butter knife to salvage mayo from all the gunk stuck to the sides. We’ve invented Teflon so surely it’s piss-easy to give it a non-stick lining? Certainly compared to building an atom bomb?

Egg cartons

Eggs are the most delicate thing on the planet, and prone to crack if you just look at them sternly. So what better receptacle then than a flimsy cardboard container with no real ability to prevent crushing by tins of beans and beer bottles? They’re not sealable and cardboard is porous so they’ll also helpfully leak raw egg over your bag of salad.

Waterproof plasters

Waterproof plasters are indeed 100 per cent water resistant – right up to the point of getting wet. After you’ve performed the arduous task of successfully peeling the backing off and applying it while your cut finger drips blood, you can’t face doing it again so can’t wash your hands. Even if you’ve been for a shit. Don’t mention that to anyone.

Disposable barbecues

Easily mankind’s most f**ked-up invention ever. They’re so tiny they’re useless unless you’re a very sad bastard having a barbecue for one. Even then you’ve only got a three-minute window between it being fully ablaze and the meagre amount of charcoal fizzling out and going cold. At least the ‘disposable’ bit is dead right. Chuck it straight in the bin and save yourself the hassle of using it.