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Young Australians are being forced to give up essential items like fresh food and prescription medications as the cost of living has them pinching every penny.

Inflation has forced people to cut back and save wherever they can, with products like fresh fruit now becoming a luxury. University students in particular are being hit the hardest.

One psychology university student has used TikTok to share what things she’s had to give up in an effort to save money.

“The first thing that I have given up is fresh fruit. So you won’t really catch me buying fresh fruit — unless it’s like the occasional banana,” the young woman under the username @aussiepsychstudent said.

“It’s just too expensive. I used to buy mixed berries but they were more expensive than just the frozen strawberries or the cheapest [frozen] berries that you can get from Aldi. So I just get a bag of those for one kilo and they last me such a long time.”

She’s also cut out shampoo as a way to minimise the hair product and stretch it out longer.

“It sounds really gross but I think this applies to most of my beauty products where I’ve been trying it minimise it because continuously replacing them is just way too expensive for me,” she said.

“So instead, I just use conditioner and don’t wash my hair as frequently so I can make stuff stretch out a bit longer.”

Another young woman stitched the video, adding in that she’s had to go down to two meals a day, cut down therapy and giving up some her essential prescription medication.

“Medicines that I’ve been prescribed for my chronic illnesses for my disabling health conditions. It is no longer possible for me to afford all of them. So some of them had to get cut,” she said.

“[For therapy] I used to go every fortnight to do like EMDR and stuff to treat my PTSD.

“We’re also starting to figure out how I learn to live in the world now that I know that I’m autistic, and that I have all these sensory needs and other stuff but I can’t afford that anymore. Even with the Medicare rebate.”

Hearing what others are giving up due to the high cost of living has come to no surprise for 22-year-old Sarah Cupitt, whose also chosen to skip a meal to keep her costs down.

“Skipping meals and delaying medical treatment seems like the norm now for those who don’t have the privilege of living at home,” she told news.com.au.

“As someone who moved out at 18 and has always been frugal with money, I didn’t think I’d have to liven even further beneath my means. At least at 18, I could justify buying blueberry yoghurt and meat products.

“Now five years later, I eat mostly beige foods because I’d rather have some extra in my savings in case rent goes up again.”

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By Rahul

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