Today’s news story, found here, relates to the ever rising cost of food. The gist of this article, is that the federal government is supposedly underestimating inflation in Canada by how they track the cost of groceries.
The federal government determines their average cost for specific products based on information received from three national grocery chains on a regular basis and compares it to previous data reported from the same chains. Melanie Morrison of Better Cart Analytics in Saskatoon, Sask. is saying that this is not as effective as the system that her company uses. Better Cart Analytics tracks product at thousands of chains and independents across the country.
Since most people do their shopping at larger chain outlets, I am not sure how including pricing from smaller, independent outlets or specialty shops would be any more accurate. The only thing this article seems to show is that the large national chains are not being as affected by inflation as the independent outlets – based on their rate of inflation.
One thing that does seem to be obvious, is that the cost of groceries are increasing and that is not good news for a lot of people.
Food cost is a major part of every household budget. Fortunately, it is also one of the most flexible. There is room for improvement in almost everyone’s shopping habits. Here are a few tips for grocery shopping that we have found to help keep our food budget in line.
- Compare pricing for products sold in bulk and/or smaller packaging. We have at least one chain here that often sells larger size (bulk) packages at a higher price per unit than the price per unit of smaller packages. (Especially meat but other products as well).
- Compare displays of same product. This same chain will often have a large display of chicken breasts, thighs or wings at a high price. Follow the path that most shoppers take and you will find another display – exactly the same packaging and best before date – at a much lower price
- Check discount pricing compared to regular pricing. I have seen slightly damaged goods go on sale for higher than the same regular priced goods. (Not just at food stores)
- Do the math Two for $5.00 instead of One for $2.00 is never a good deal but stores will offer it.
- Check package weights Some chains sell entire displays of product (especially cheese) at so much per package. The weight is shown on the package and can vary substantially. I don’t check every package, but I no longer grab the first one I see.
- Note the price of products (Dan is much better at this than I am) and make sure it rings in at the correct price. Most stores have a generous policy if an item rings in higher than it should – and it happens frequently!
- Check product for damage – especially, fruit, vegetables, and eggs. There is no point in spending top dollar on poor quality product.
Of course, there are countless other ways to save money when it comes to food costs – watching sales fliers for good deals, buying ‘in season’, avoiding wasteful food habits, cooking tasty and cost conscious soups, casseroles, and stews, and avoiding impulse buying.
I know it is really hard to revise one’s shopping habits when one is working, raising a family, or just dealing with life’s issues. But, even small changes can make a big difference to one’s food budget. After a while, the only thing you notice is the money you save.
That is it for today! On a personal note …
Take care and have a great evening! 💞