GEORGE TOWN: With the rising cost of living, Latty Syazwani Ismail has been restricted to home-cooked meals these days.

The 34-year-old homemaker said she had to be careful as prices of goods were increasing.

“Having to stretch the ringgit, eating out has become rare and a luxury. A plate of fried rice can be RM8, which is too much to spend on one meal.

“The other day, we ordered a piece of chicken and rice, and it came up to RM10. As prices of essentials go up, eateries will hike their prices as well. So I just cook at home,” she said when met at a supermarket in Bayan Baru yesterday.

Latty Syazwani, who has five children aged between six months and 10 years, said times have changed.

“I can barely buy anything with RM50. Two or three years ago, we could get quite a lot of stuff.

“Now, a full chicken and rice almost cost me that amount, without much change left,” she said.

Latty Syazwani said even the price of flour has gone up, with kuih becoming expensive.

“As buying a whole chicken has become too expensive, we opt for fish and other meat. Before, a kg of chicken was only priced between RM5.90 and RM7.90. But it costs about RM11 per kg now. It’s the same for baby formula,” she added.

Retired factory worker H.K. Gan, 63, said hawker food was no longer cheap and eating at home was the only way to stick to their monthly budget.

“Cooking oil has a major impact on other items. As a retiree, my wife and I have been struggling,” he added.

Gan said they preferred bottled cooking oil, but would buy oil in polybags if available as it was much cheaper.