Since the onset of the pandemic, a whopping 62% of Canadian eat out less often
In March of 2021, Ontario reported having the highest cost of food sitting at $217.07 per individual
In 2021, the average Canadian family dished out $936.40 per month on their grocery bills
In recent years, the cost of living has gone up, including the average grocery cost in Canada. Paying for everyday living expenses, such as gas, food, and electricity, has become increasingly difficult as prices have skyrocketed, particularly after the hit that many Canadians took during the pandemic.
According to Statistics Canada, the platform where the government reports yearly statistics, 9.6% of Canadians experienced food insecurity during the autumn of 2020 (at the height of the pandemic). An uptick in grocery prices in the following years has proven difficult to manage for some of the population.
Statistics Canada also reports that the average cost of groceries has risen by an average of 10.8% in 2022, which is the fastest that food price growth has occurred since 1981. Furthermore, certain foods have become even more expensive than the average, with fresh fruit prices rising by 13.2% and bakery product prices jumping by 15.4%.
If you feel as though grocery prices are astronomically high, you are not alone. Today the experts at Insurdinary want to break down why groceries have become so expensive and present some tips to help you save money on your monthly living expenses.
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Statistics Canada attributes the cost of living crisis mostly to several factors, including:
Higher input costs
Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Supply chain disruptions
All of these factors have conglomerated to produce the current dilemma that our country faces.
These events have caused some prices to skyrocket due to creating a now-limited resource. For example, Russia used to provide a significant amount of the supply of natural gas that Europe uses. Without this supply, Europe must dip into the same supply that the rest of the world uses, making gas more limited for everyone, even the population of Canada.
Other events, such as severe weather, factory closures, and new restrictions on trade, have caused major supply chain delays, leading to inflated grocery prices. With fewer products available, demand has risen, causing prices to increase. Despite what may seem like a pessimistic situation, there is good news. The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.3% in August, which is the largest monthly decrease since the beginning of the pandemic. This indicates that the rate at which prices accelerate has begun to slow down, though we are a long way from stabilization.
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What is the Average Grocery Cost for One Person in Canada?
According to the Canada Food Price Report, the average cost of monthly groceries for one person in 2021 was $200.51. However, the experts that compile data on the Canada Food Price Report expect the cost of food for one person to increase by 5-7%.
In 2021, Canadian families reported that their monthly grocery bills cost $936.40 per month. The average grocery cost in Canada fluctuates greatly depending on the size of a family, whether they live in a city or rural area, their lifestyle choices, and the province that they live in.
For example, based on the same 2021 Canada Food Price Report, a single person in the province of Ontario can expect to pay $17 more than the national average in food costs per month. Likewise, in Quebec, a single person pays an average of $10 more per month, and in Alberta, they pay an average of $5 more per month.
The bottom line is that food prices are high and expected to increase more before stabilizing.
How Much is the Cost of Groceries Expected to Rise in 2023?
This is a huge question that is top of mind for the majority of Canadians and the good news, is that prices are expected to level off by Spring of 2023. Winter months in Canada require farmers to heat their barns adding additional production costs to their operations. So until Spring, expect to see your dairy and meat products rise by another 2.2%. According to the Canadian Press.
Simple Tips to Save Money On Groceries Each Month
While you can't change global factors like supply chain disruptions or increased demand, there are a few ways to save on groceries. There are some ways to save money on your grocery bill despite the high average grocery cost in Canada. Here are some tips on how to save money on living expenses every month.
Write Down Your Grocery List Before You Leave the House
To avoid buying unnecessary products when you go to the grocery store, write down a shopping list before you leave the house. You should use this time to plan out your weekly meals and stick to the food that is essential during the week. If possible, avoid going to the store hungry, as this can also encourage impulse buying.
Buy in Bulk When Possible
Even if you don't have a large family to feed, buying in bulk is a great way to save money. You can always stock up on non-perishable, dry, and canned foods, as these will keep for a long time without spoiling. You could also consider meal prepping and freezing your food if you plan to buy perishable items in bulk.
Look for Sales
Stick to buying foods that are on sale rather than looking for what you want to eat. Certain shops may have special deals depending on the week as well, meaning that you should check which stores have the best deals and head to the one where you will save the most money rather than always sticking to a particular shop.
Many shops offer customers coupons and rewards programs. Always browse weekly catalogues and "cut" coupons (whether physically or online) to help you save money on your groceries.
Look for Rewards or Cashback Programs
Certain credit cards have fantastic cashback programs for their users. For example, the Neo Card has partnered with over 7,000 retailers in the country to offer users an average of 5% cash back on purchases. By using a credit card (and responsibly paying it off every month), you can put cash back into your pocket.
There are also some apps and shop-specific programs that can earn you cashback or rewards with a particular business, and even discounts on gas, providing double the savings.
Take Advantage of Free or Reduced-Price Events
Keep an eye out for opportunities to take advantage of free or reduced-price events in your local area. For example, if you want to see a movie, check and see if your local cinema offers discounted tickets on a certain day or at a certain time rather than going when it is full price.
Sometimes museums and other establishments offer free admission with the donation of a food item, and other times they offer free admission on certain days of the week or holidays. You can also always go take a walk, ride a bike, or read a book outside when it's sunny instead of paying for leisure activities.
Search for Cheaper Insurance Premiums
If you pay home, auto, private health, or dental insurance every month, your company may not provide you with the cheapest rates. One of the best ways to save money is to search for lower premiums, which can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
The best way to find affordable insurance is to work with an insurance broker. Insurance brokers are experts in finding affordable plans that meet your needs. They will survey and research hundreds of insurance companies throughout Canada to ensure that you receive the best rates from a trustworthy provider. Researching companies on your own is not only exhausting but may cause you to lose money. Using one of the biggest insurance companies in Canada may cost you more money than if you trusted a smaller and lesser-known company. An insurance broker can research all of these potential issues for you and match you with the perfect provider.
The Cost of Raising a Child In Canada Is Also Increasing
With the high average grocery cost in Canada, you might find it difficult to save more than a few dollars on your weekly grocery bill. But you could potentially lower your monthly insurance premium and save yourself hundreds of dollars each year. At Insurdinary, we make it easy to compare insurance companies and find the right coverage at the best price. We research insurance companies for you and provide three to five options so that you can pay the lowest premium possible. Contact us today or fill out our quote form to get started.