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There’s no doubt most Canadians have felt the pinch of rising consumer prices in one way or another. The latest Statistics Canada data show inflation jumped 4.7 per cent in October on an annualized basis, with all eight major sub categories posting increases.
BNN Bloomberg asked Canadians how they’ve changed their spending habits and shopping patterns to fight rising prices. Here are their top ideas:
Antonio from Hamilton, Ont.
By using credit cards that offer points on each dollar spent, I am able to use these points to purchase gift cards (which occasionally go on sale) to grocery stores and/or gas stations. Saving about $500 per year.
Ross in Burlington, Ont.
Focus on efficiency, and understand that inflation decreases the efficiency of the income you earn. Make it a game of trying to save as much of your paycheck as possible. If you can save 30 per cent by freezing on-sale hamburgers - do it. If you can share internet with a neighbour - do it. If your Aunt has Netflix, trade her your Disney account. It's just a game, make it fun!
Christine in Aurora, Ont.
Several years ago, I discovered consignment stories - Varage Sale and now Facebook Marketplace. Love to take the "re-re" path to “recycle-reuse-regift-refresh” and take the BET path (borrow/exchange/trade). They say "one man's garbage is another man's treasure." Mother nature offers many alternatives that are much more cost effective and easier on the wallet.
Alim in Vancouver, B.C.
Here are some practical tips that I’ve encountered from my [financial planning] clients lately with regard to staying ahead of inflation…1) Evaluate your personal budget to see where inflation has impacted you the most, and try to reduce spending in those areas. 2) Consider assuming more risk (i.e. growth assets) in your portfolio rather than investing in vehicles that won’t keep pace with inflation after tax. 3) Invest in yourself through acquiring new skills and upgrading your education, which will give you the potential to earn more and stay ahead of inflation.
Steve in Calgary, Alta.
Learn to cook and learn to use leftovers! I make my own bread. A 20-kilogram sack of bread flour at Costco has increased almost 15 per cent from $14 to over $16 in the past year, but let’s put that in perspective. My sourdough has gone from $0.42 to $0.50 per loaf, even after feeding the starter. Buying the same quality of loaf in a bakery would cost me $8. I count any vegetable or fruit as “free” if it’s going a bit soft and will end up in the composter if not used immediately. They can often be used with other leftovers to make meals, and if used for stock or in casseroles the “softness” doesn’t matter. We use the leftover meat with some onions and red pepper and cheese to make chicken quesadillas on night two (and get 2 meals out of it), and on night 3 we make risotto from the fresh stock, and get 2 meals out of that.
Will in Toronto, Ont.
A way to hedge against future inflation is to buy now to lock in the savings. Buying a new fridge now to replace the 15-year-old one can make sense and offer decent savings, rather than waiting another 1-2 years. There's also some resignation that luxuries like vacations might no longer happen as previously imagined.
Some answers have been edited and/or condensed for brevity.