Was living in France cheaper ? 'The Font' produces the latest household budget showing our food and energy expenditures. For the last six months (compared with the comparable period the year before) our food expenditure is up 27% and energy costs up 168%. That 168% energy hike is a stunner as we've downsized into a house that is one sixth the size of the one in France ! The good news is that the big ticket items - house and car insurance - are about 40% cheaper. Sadly, wine is much more expensive here in the UK - probably 35% more for a comparable bottle. The same with fresh fruit. The fall in Sterling against the Euro, thanks to one or other of our inept governments, hasn't helped comparisons.