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Russian-Ukraine War: Germans told to drink tap-water as prices surge

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German news magazine Focus has advised readers to change their spending and lifestyle habits in order to save money amid skyrocketing prices.

According to the publication, Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the economic sanctions placed on Moscow have resulted in additional problems in supply chains and have driven up energy prices. This, in turn, has affected the product range and prices across German supermarket chains.

Prices for basic products such as pasta and sunflower oil, for instance, have soared by 40% and 100% respectively. Detergents, mineral water, dairy products, coffee, and toilet paper are also more expensive. Popular supermarket chain Aldi raised prices on 140 different items last week, and other supermarkets are likely to follow suit, according to Focus.

However, the publication has come up with a number of measures to help consumers save money. To start with, readers are advised to drink tap water instead of buying bottled water. The publication even lists a number of firms producing water filtration systems in Germany which could help improve the taste of tap water.

It also says shoppers should buy seasonal fruits and vegetables because they are always much cheaper due to the low costs regarding logistics.

Additionally, the publication recommends that customers choose local and unadvertised brands instead of popular ones. Almost every supermarket chain has its own line of cheaper products. As they are always backed by larger producers, the products are almost the same or just slightly different, but the prices can be up to 60% lower.

Finally, the magazine says readers should keep close track of sales and discounts, and stock up on large packs of products which have a long shelf life.

On average, consumer prices were 5.5% higher in Germany last month than in February 2021, figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) show. And analysts say things will only get worse if the situation in Ukraine is not resolved. According to the German Economic Institute, the crisis itself, as well as related Western sanctions and Moscow’s counter-sanctions, could drive inflation as high as 6.1% in the coming months.