UAE fuel price hike: How residents are cutting down on expenses

Households have already started creating new budgets to balance out the hike



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 3 Jun 2022, 8:44 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Jun 2022, 10:25 PM

Households in the UAE are becoming financially savvy and have already started creating a new monthly budget or are busy refreshing their existing one.

This comes after the recent hike in fuel prices that are likely to have an impact on other commodities. Some have even suggested shifting homes and moving closer to their children's schools and offices to cut down on petrol costs.

When Khaleej Times spoke to a cross-section of people in the UAE, they said they were tweaking their grocery shopping routines. They also said they were now becoming more mindful about their overall household budget, tracking down every little cost that the monthly expenditures entail.

Malaysian expat Adiltul explains how her family thought it was prudent to shift home in light of the recent fuel hike.

"As there has been a hike in fuel prices over the past few months, we decided to shift homes. Earlier, we used to live in Khalifa City; now we've moved closer to my husband's office and child's school in Al Bateen. This was a conscious move bearing in mind the increase in petrol prices. This certainly helps us save money on petrol, and we don't have to pay the toll tax anymore."

"As for me, the surge in fuel prices may not have a huge impact on my monthly grocery bill as my son has recently moved to Canada to pursue his higher studies. My husband is, anyway, an expert shopper, and he is very good at economizing things and eliminating unnecessary purchases. He buys things in bulk online when offers are available. But we all certainly need to be more mindful of our expenditures."

Adilatlul and his family
Adilatlul and his family

Egyptian expat Mostafa Shaarawy says, "With the increase in fuel prices, the prices of all other commodities is bound to increase. So, to keep the grocery bill in check, which is a major expenditure every month, planning ahead becomes critical now. Additionally, I think I'll have to now become savvier with discount coupons and promo codes. Earlier, I didn't care for these things as much. Grocery stores usually mark down a lot of items as they get close to their sell-by date, so availing those would be a good idea too."

Mostafa Shaarawy
Mostafa Shaarawy

Residents suggest switching to smaller fuel-efficient cars

Many residents suggest switching to more fuel-efficient, small-sized cars, minimizing the use of their SUVs, or even buying electric vehicles.

Pakistani expat Munir Asghar said, "Cutting back on the household grocery list of items does not seem like a viable option to me. That's because we are used to ordering certain things in, which seems difficult to curtail. But yes, we'll be focusing more on discounts now and will try to maximize our purchases during those periods when promotions and sales begin."

"However, I feel, as a family, what we'll do to cut costs is to probably switch to small cars instead of using the SUV that I currently drive. Shifting to electric cars is another good option in the light of the recent fuel hike."

A few families say cutting back on eating out and entertainment expenses and using air fryers as opposed to traditional gas or electric stoves are also some options to cut back on daily and weekly expenses.

A Filipino expat in Dubai says, "We must develop a budget every month and stick to it. Budget for rent, budget for going out and eating at restaurants. We as a family love watching movies. But when we hit the cap, we stop doing it for that month. So, the idea is to track down every little cost that the monthly expenditure may entail. This kind of budget also helps to determine if we've overshot the stipulated limit."

He adds, "In the grocery list also we'll have to eliminate all non-essential items that we tend to buy unnecessarily, especially when it's on offer thinking that you might need it in the future at some point. Also, to cut down on our cooking gas usage, as gas delivery suppliers have now started factoring in transportation costs and hence charge more in the overall bill, we as a family have started using the air fryer more as it is faster than oven cooking, healthier and safe."

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Another UAE expat Jade Louise sheds light on how other lifestyle changes can help one save more money.

"Growing fuel price is a major concern for the world at this point of time. As an individual, I am trying my best to make alterations to my lifestyle to be able to live with this. To beat this, I started a subscription with a car rental company called Selfdrive, as this not only saves me the cost for maintenance and insurance, but also gives me the joy to change my car as and when I need. Also, I can choose from a small to a big car based on my need at any given point, which is super convenient," she says.

"In addition to that, I pick up groceries on my own, rather than opting for ordering online. Though most delivery apps state that there's no charge involved, there is always a minimal charge attached for the deliveries, which can make a huge difference when one accounts for it at the end of the month."


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