Various economic factors over the past few months have had a significant impact on the price of your groceries1. Compared to last spring, the prices for certain products, such as pasta, have risen almost 20%.
“The significant rise in grain prices was driven by Russia's invasion of Ukraine," says our Chief Strategist and Senior Economist Sébastien Mc Mahon. “Both countries are major exporters of grain products, which has put considerable pressure on the market.”
It’s also highly unlikely that prices will fall again, at least in the short term. “Because food prices are a global market, rising inflation could become more persistent for goods that are crucial for everyone,” he says. “As food is a basic need, it’s difficult to take action against this trend.”
But, now that summer has arrived, it is possible to make your grocery cart more nutritious and still make ends meet. Locally grown food is a great way to do this.
“We have lots of great producers offering a wider variety of products every year,” says Denis Courcy, Assistant Manager, Food Services. “We can be proud of the food expertise we’ve developed here: from our huge range of fruits and vegetables to our famous maple syrup, cheeses, wines… and even spirits! These are products that are not only excellent quality and affordable, but actually fresher as well, as they don’t have to be transported as far. They even keep better, which prevents waste.”
Reducing waste through variations on the same theme
It’s a fact: one of the best ways to save money on groceries is to reduce waste. Recovering unused portions for your next-day lunch or snack is a simple way to save time and money. Taking part in cooking or self-picking activities with friends or buying large quantities of fruit and veg at the market to share with others also helps you save on the unit cost of food items. And this bulk-purchase strategy saves you from having to eat the same food, meal after meal and day after day!
Of course, the same old tricks are even more useful during times of inflation. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, look for sales during the week and make a list to help you save money. However, be careful not to over-plan your meals every day. Every week will have its share of surprises, and some days you might not have time to cook what you planned, which can lead to fresh food spoiling and going to waste. It’s better to build in some flexibility and plan for some “fridge-clearing” days. Some go-to “clean-out-the-fridge” recipes are a great solution.
Buying local: a good way to support your local economy
Fuel-price hikes obviously affect transport costs, which, in turn, push up the checkout prices of the goods we consume. As a result, buying produce grown close to home becomes even more attractive, especially as it supports the regional economy. To find out more, please read our article, “The benefits of local food”.
Enjoy smart grocery shopping and reward both your taste buds and pocketbook!1 Statistics Canada