◆ The lower the Engel coefficient, the higher the standard of living?
According to “Engel’s law” discovered by German statistician Engel in the 19th century, the ratio of food expenses to household consumption expenditure is called “Engel coefficient”, and the lower the Engel coefficient, the higher the standard of living. ..
[Calculation formula of Engel coefficient]
Engel coefficient (%) = “food cost” ÷ “consumption expenditure” x 100
In this era of diversifying lifestyles, it may be difficult to achieve a standard of living based solely on Engel’s coefficient, but I think many people do not want to spend as much as possible on food expenses. In such a case, it is a good idea to check how much Engel’s coefficient is in your home.
◇ Transition of Engel coefficient
Now, let’s check the average value of Engel’s coefficient.
As you can see in the graph, it remained almost flat from 2000 to 2013. However, since 2014, Engel’s coefficient has skyrocketed. It has been relatively flat since 2016, but the recent situation is that it is still on a high trend.
◆ What is the cause of the increase in Engel’s coefficient? Are prices rising?
When you’re tired of work and come home, you’ll want to eat out for dinner or rely on supermarket cooked delicacies. It is quite possible that the Engel coefficient will increase as the number of such households increases.
Another factor is the impact of rising prices for food as a whole. Have you ever felt that “food prices are high” when shopping at a supermarket?
So I looked up the consumer price index to see if prices were really rising. According to the index, food prices generally exceed the previous year’s ratio in many items. In other words, it seems true that food prices are rising overall.
Even if food prices are rising, it shouldn’t be a problem if your monthly salary is rising. However, it is said that the essential wages are often the same as before.
According to the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
the Engel coefficient “needs to consider two price fluctuations, the” food price “corresponding to the numerator and the” overall consumer price “corresponding to the denominator.” There is a description of. Another theory is that the number of double-income households, which has been increasing recently, may be one of them. There are various factors that can cause the increase in Engel’s coefficient, so it cannot be said that this is the case.
I understand that rising prices seem to affect the Engel’s coefficient of households, but even if I mourn there, it is not the reason why my Engel’s coefficient goes down. It seems that many people are losing their income due to the influence of corona. That’s why I want to know the points to keep food costs down and build a safe household budget.
* Source: Statistics Bureau website / Statistics Today No.129
◆ Countermeasure 1: Get leafy vegetables cheaply and reduce food costs
Vegetables are an indispensable ingredient in home cooking. However, vegetables, such as leafy vegetables, are easily affected by the weather, and the price often rises sharply when a typhoon or cold wave hits. In such a case, the place where you can buy even a little cheaper and play a role in lowering the Engel coefficient is the “vegetable direct sales office”.
Since local farmers bring their own vegetables directly to the vegetable sales office, they have the advantage of being able to buy fresh local vegetables at a low price. It may be mud or badly shaped, but it is a big attraction that you can buy it at a better price than a supermarket.
There may be an image that the direct sales office does not exist in the city so much, but if you look closely, it is surprisingly familiar.
JA (Farm Cooperative) Farmers Market is a typical direct sales office. If you search the Internet, you will find various information about local vegetable shops.
Also, if there are farmlands or fields in your neighborhood, please look for them. You may also find an unmanned direct sales office. Many of the vegetables you can buy there should be cheaper than supermarkets.
However, unmanned direct sales offices are often sold irregularly, so it is wise to check with the seller in advance when the vegetables will be lined up so that you do not miss the timing.
◆ Countermeasure 2: Utilization of ingredients with stable prices such as potatoes
Root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and carrots are typical ingredients whose prices are stable throughout the year.
Let’s actively utilize root vegetables at the time when leafy vegetables are soaring. For example, when lettuce is high, make sliced onion and carrot salad, or potato salad instead of lettuce salad.
In addition, mushrooms, radish sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and bean sprouts, which are mainly grown indoors, are also stable foods. Among them, bean sprouts have a very unique feature.
When cooking the bean sprouts, leave the roots and pour water into a clean container. If you put it in a well-ventilated place, the leaves will grow and you can eat it again. It’s economical, isn’t it?
Let’s lower the Engel coefficient by using ingredients that can replace leafy vegetables in this way.
◆ Countermeasure 3: Aim for products with the keyword “in translation” for saving food expenses
Do you know how to buy root vegetables cheaper on shopping sites?
Let’s search for “vegetables in translation” on Amazon or Rakuten. Then, a lot of so-called B-grade ingredients, mainly root vegetables, are displayed on the screen. It may be cracked or irregular in shape, but it is a recommended way to buy root vegetables at a reasonable price.
Some may say, “Vegetables in translation are mainly sold in boxes, and the amount is too large.” In such a case, talk to your mom friend and buy it together.
However, it is important to check the shipping fee before purchasing, as it may end up being expensive when combined with the shipping fee.
◆ Remedy 4: Use a lot of cheap chicken breast
Households with growing children should consume a lot of meat. Taking beef as an example, the price will increase depending on the type of meat, but be aware of lowering the Engel coefficient and use cheap chicken breast.
Chicken breast is an excellent ingredient with high protein and low calories while being reasonably priced. Not only fried and sautéed, but also minced with a food processor and hamburger steak can be eaten deliciously.
Let’s make use of it with the goal of lowering Engel’s coefficient.
Sentence = Minako Ozawa (Money Guide)