How to beat inflation’s squeeze at the grocery checkout

March 17, 2022

With inflation now hitting the five per cent level for the first time since the pre-Internet, pre-home computer days, Save with SPP decided to seek out a few ways to try and save on the good old grocery bill.

Inflation is definitely taking a bite out of our food budgets, reports Burnaby Now. Citing recent research from Angus Reid, the newspaper reports 62 per cent of Canucks are “eating out less” and “are buying less produce to save on the grocery bill.”

More than 50 per cent of those living in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, B.C., Ontario and Atlantic Canada say it is “difficult to feed their households.” The article notes many shoppers are switching to “cheaper, lower-quality brands to compensate for lower food costs.”

OK, less fresh produce, generic brands – what else are folks doing?

A story in the St. Catharines Standard notes that shoppers are “trading down” from more expensive meats, like beef, to “pork or chicken.”

An article in Yahoo! Finance offers more than a dozen solid ideas on how to get more bang for the buck. Watch, the article advises, for “manager markdowns,” or specials, on pricey meats, poultry and fish that are nearing their expiry date – and be sure to have those for dinner that day.

Other ideas from Yahoo! include watching for sale flyers and using coupons, the use of grocery savings apps, and taking part in loyalty programs at your local grocery store. An interesting tip from the article is to avoid shopping “at eye level,” because it is typically the most expensive items that are placed where the eye falls. Who knew?

Other advice includes buying in bulk, as well as purchasing holiday items AFTER the holiday is over, so you get them at a discount and are set for next year.

The WebMD site offers up some additional classic grocery-saving tips.  Plan ahead, the site suggests. “Take inventory of what you have on hand so you don’t overbuy,” states Katharine Tallmadge, RD, in the article. Your list should be based on what you actually need, and should take into account how you plan to use up leftovers, the article adds.

Healthier foods, the article continues, are often cheaper. Swap your pop for cheaper flavoured water, the article advises. Other tips include buying produce in season, to “think frozen, canned or dried” to save, swapping vegetable sources of protein for more expensive meat, and the time-honoured concept of “waste not, want not.”

This last one is worth remembering. Our mothers made sure everything got used up, grocery wise, but these days, “Americans generate roughly 30 million tons of food waste each year,” WebMD reports. Don’t buy more than you need, the article concludes.

If you are able to shave a few dollars off your grocery bill, consider perhaps redirecting those loonies and toonies towards a longer-term goal – retirement! The Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers a one-stop shop for your retirement; the SPP can invest your dollars, grow them over time, and then pay them out to you as retirement income in various ways, including the option of a lifetime monthly annuity.

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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