How To Battle A Food Price Increase

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Eventually, it was going to happen that Canadians would see a significant food price increase.

Today I want to discuss the ability to control price increases on food and the importance of understanding your finances.

Food Budget 2012 vs. 2022

I thought it would be interesting to see how our grocery budget has changed over the years.

Luckily I have everything documented on the blog under the monthly budget tab.

Data is King.

You can see that our grocery budget has changed from 2018 until current 2022.

I’m not shocked as prices have increased and our child is growing up, which is the third mouth to feed.

Though, with his Autism, he is a picky eater due to texture and taste.

Our son is eight and doesn’t eat much, although we consider a picky eaters class for him.

  • 2012 – Grocery- $190.00 Spent $71.02
  • 2013 – Grocery- $235
  • 2014 – Grocery – $235 $20 Stockpile (new baby)
  • 2015 – Grocery – $235 $25 Stockpile
  • 2016 – Grocery – $235 $25 Stockpile
  • 2017 – Grocery – $265 $25 Stockpile
  • 2018 – Grocery – $300 $25 Stockpile
  • 2019 – Grocery – $500 $25 Stockpile
  • 2020 – Grocery – $500 $25 Stockpile
  • 2021 – Grocery – $650 $25 Stockpile
  • 2022 – Grocery – $700 $25 Stockpile

What do you think about our grocery budget price increase from 2012-2022?

Another thing to consider is that we bought a Costco Membership, and once a month, we shop there.

Since we buy in bulk, the items we will use last us longer, which cuts down on expenses if we buy them at the grocery store.

An item I can think of is laundry detergent, cream, eggs, peanut butter and nuts.

How To Fight A Food Price Increase

There is a way to fight a food price increase, especially when your budget becomes lopsided. Get ahead of the food war using these tactics.

Food prices are one section of the budgeting wheel that suffers the most because it’s often the last on the list.

I think it’s at the bottom of the list instead of food topping the budgeting wheel.

Services such as the food bank and other community assistance programs are available.

Food is also a budget category that we can control based on our money and available products.

  • Housing
  • Debt
  • Bills
  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Food

Bury Me In The Back Garden

During a conversation over the weekend at an adult birthday party, a friend said, “A million dollars is worth nothing these days.”

I will agree with him because one million dollars is nothing like it used to be.

We are seeing real estate prices decreasing in our area, which could cause problems for homeowners who pay more for a house that is worth less.

One friend told us she would die in her house and bury herself in the back garden.

It sounded funny, but it’s not because she’s serious.

She waived inspection and paid $150,000 over asking to become a homeowner, and she’s already feeling the crunch.

During covid, buyers were paying astronomical amounts of money to win a bid on a house.

Writing sappy buyers’ letters to homeowners and bidding at the top of one’s budget was the only way to score a house.

As house prices start to dip and home inspections are back on the block, I’m unsure what to expect.

I know that we are not planning to move anytime soon and are happily renovating our home.

From the start, I told Mrs. CBB that something terrible was going to happen, and it has.

Food Price Increase

Canada’s Food Price Report 2022 predicts a 5% to 7% increase in food costs.This year’s report predicts that a family of four, including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18), and girl (age 9-13) will pay up to $14,767.36 for food, an increase of up to $966.08 from the total annual cost in 2021

Canada’s 2022 Food Price Report

Readers of CBB find speaking up about the cost of living has helped them know others are going through the same feelings.

Back in 2012, Mrs.CBB and I set goals for the year, and one of them was shocking.

  • Spend less on groceries, $190 a month (OMG, what? $190 for two people is crazy).
  • Save more money with a shop-free week each month and play our grocery game challenge.

If you’re new to CBB, you may not be familiar with the Grocery Game Challenge (GGC), which has since ended.

The GGC was a monthly challenge where readers would share their grocery expenses on this blog.

It was so much fun that it lasted for years, but something happened, and its popularity died.

There were times readers of this blog as me to bring the GGC back, and I didn’t feel CBB readers were showing enough interest.

Maybe that day will come again, but in the meantime, Canadians must pull out all the stops to keep expenses on track.

Price Increases With Coupons Made Food Costs Tolerable

When we bought our first house in 2009, Couponing was ramping up, garnering shoppers’ free or near-free products.

If there was a price increase on a product, there was often a coupon to go with it.

It was around this time when we learned about Canada’s Scanning Code of Practice.

Word spread fast about getting the product for free if the scanned price didn’t reflect the shelf price.

Coupon trading was massive in 2010-2012, and even today, it’s still a great way to save money.

That’s what we did, and after 12 years, we’re still working through what once was our massive stockpile.

Even the most expensive grocery stores in Canada worked hard to get return customers.

There were months when we shopped exclusively at Zehrs because the discounts were terrific.

Ten years later, we’re seeing changes in how Loblaws stores offer customers discounts.

Everything from online grocery shopping to PC Optimum points, coupons and reduced product stickers were and still are part of our savings plan.

We have noticed something different about Zehrs and how they reduce products.

What used to be 50% off reduced stickers are now 30%, and they know the marketing will work.

Canadians are struggling to put food on the table, so why offer them 50% off when they can still get the same sales at 30%?

Price Increase Vs FlashFood App Saving The Planet

Thankfully, the Flashfood App is still running with Loblaws stores offering up to 75% off products near expiry.

One product we don’t often see on the app is meat, poultry and fish products, but it’s still worth signing up for.

Beef prices are rising, and recently we’ve found a 3-pack of steak for 30% off.

The sticker price was $28- 30% = $19.60. See, it worked.

Isn’t it funny how that reduced sticker makes a difference to the way we grocery shop?

Although we don’t buy lots of meat when the store reduces the price, we purchase and freeze them.,

In particular, we don’t eat steak unless we buy it on sale using our stockpile budget, as it’s never on our grocery list.

Too many consumers hesitate to sign up for the Flashfood App, but it’s one of the most lucrative grocery savings programs next to Checkout51 and Shoppers Optimum.

The Flashfood App, together with Canadian shoppers using the app, has diverted over 50 million pounds of food to dinner tables instead of landfills.

FlashFood App Making A Difference For Our Planet
FlashFood App Making A Difference For Our Planet

Flashfood app Canada – Save 50% off food products close to expiry from participating Loblaws Stores

Sign up for the FlashFood app using my code MOCD28ZN4 to sign up and spend $10 using the app, and I’ll give you $8 back in rewards.

Grocery Store Modifies Reduced Product Discounts

Instead of offering products at 50% off, it made more sense for the store to provide 30%, yielding a more significant profit.

I’ve seen 30% off in smaller cities across Ontario but not in our town, which is considerable.

But, here we are at 30% off, which is still great, but we’ve been used to getting the 50% which is hard to let go of.

It would be best if you remembered to compare prices before shopping and factor in in-store reduced product stickers.

For example, lean minced beef is on sale at Zehrs for $2.99lb and the regular price at No Frills for $3.99.

There are 30% off stickers at No Frills on lean minced beef, which makes a 1lb pack of meat $3.99 – 30% = $2.80, cheaper than the sale at Zehrs per pound.

Creating a grocery list can make food shopping a mathematical nightmare and slow your shopping trip down.

The only problem is that we can’t sticker shop at grocery stores unless we go into them.

However, the FlashFood App can help, so I encourage you all to sign up for it.

We stick to the stockpiling budget for sticker prices or product stock-up, which helps us in this situation.

Lately, we don’t shop as much at Zehrs because it’s not worth it when Food Basics is cheaper.

Related: The Cheapest Grocery Stores In Canada To Shop At

Considering that reduced product that doesn’t sell ends up in the garbage, any profit is better than nothing.

That’s when I decided to pull the GGC and move on to the monthly budget challenge.

Housing Price Increase

What price increases can you think of when you think of your house or apartment?

I can tell you what prices have increased in our house, and it’s not pretty, yet expected.

  • Hydroelectricity and water costs
  • Gas prices to run the boiler and the furnace
  • Cable and home phone were two expenses we got rid of over a year ago. Best savings ever.
  • Property Taxes always go up, which again is expected

Housing price increases will differ depending on where you live but change our budget goals.

Gasoline Price Increase

Another hard-hit budget category is the gasoline price increase which has been massive.

Where I would spend around $120 a month to fill a tank of gas in my truck, and a large red gas can is now $300 or more.

For 2022 we only budgeted $250 a month, which is correct as I didn’t factor in filling the can.

In 2012 we budgeted Gasoline/Diesel (vehicle)$192.00. I spent $185.66, which was for two cars.

We had a small truck and a minivan, although we didn’t use the truck as much.

We now have a 2017 Dodge Ram, which holds more gasoline than my smaller truck.

Pricing Knowledge Is Power As Is Time

I know some people don’t care about how prices on everything are going up.

They may claim they are so busy with work and family life that they don’t have time.

Yet, they are the people who suffer the most significant losses in the end by overpaying, but that’s their problem.

Make time to budget because sleeping in a cozy bed is better than a cold sidewalk or tent.

I know some of you despise grocery shopping but if it helps reduce money stress, then do it.

Consider the people who would give anything to be where you are today and be their inspiration.

Price Increase Product Documentation

Grocery Price Book Canada Example
Example Excel Printable Grocery Price Book Canada

Overall, I’d suggest working with a grocery price book which you can download a free mobile app or use the paper and pencil method.

Related: 8 Costly Baking Products To Include On Your Flyer Watch List

You mark the current date, product name, weight or size of the product, price per pound, regular price, and sale price.

You might ask why you are having so much trouble saving a few dollars, but the overall savings brings the “wow” factor.

  • Grocery Store
  • Product
  • Regular Price
  • Sale Price
  • Weight/Size
  • Portions

A price book can document everything from utilities to everyday products, grocery prices, gasoline, etc.

I’m just giving you an example of the grocery product price book.

Stepping On The Accelerator

The only way to fight a price increase is to avoid the vicious pricing cycle.

In our case, we do this with coupon apps, coupons, rewards points, price comparison and reduced products.

Related: How To Calculate Your Monthly Grocery Costs

Make budgeting an integral part of your overall financial success, and you won’t regret it.

Remember to tackle a price increase on everything you buy by doing your research.

Discussion: What price increases have you noticed in 2022, and are they still worth buying?

Please leave me your comments below, and I’ll be sure to respond.

Thanks for stopping by,

Mr. CBB

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