Planning Your Way Through Inflation

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Teenage friends sit round a fire pit
Gathering for a meal doesn't mean skimping.

THUNDER BAY – Statistics Canada says that the Consumer Price Index is at 7.9%. Looking at prices in shops, many items have gone up a lot more.

From food to clothing prices have taken a big jump. Some are calling some of the price increases, greedflation as grocery stores jump prices and are in many cases reporting record profits.

Stats Canada reports that Transportation (+10.3%) and shelter (+6.6%) prices drove the deceleration in consumer prices in August. Moderating the slowing in prices were sustained higher prices for groceries, as prices for food purchased from stores (+10.8%) rose at the fastest pace since August 1981 (+11.9%).

However as any consumer will note in the stores, many prices are up far more than 11 per cent for a large number of grocery items.

That tin of coffee that was $15 is now $20. A case of pop has gone over the past few years from 3 for $10 to $6.77 each.

What is worse is that many prices have increased at the same time that the amount of product you get is less. Shrinkflation as it has been called is very noticeable.

That 10 per cent hike in groceries is putting real hardship on many people. Low income Canadians are especially feeling the pinch.

Some of the burden can be helped by careful budgeting.

Each week all of the grocery stores publish their sales flyers. Often with some planning, you can make your choices for meals.

For example, what is on sale this week? While choosing dinner options on the spur of the moment might be your habit, making a choice based on what is on sale can help you keep your budget moving forward.

Also making meals from scratch rather than ordering in can be a real cost savings, as well as a time for families to work together.

Homemade Pizza

Pizza night can be a fun way to get everyone into the kitchen putting together their own pizzas. Local shops like Donato’s Bakery on Court Street sell pizza dough and amazing sauce.

Instead of buying pre-grated cheese, do it yourself and save.

Same goes for toppings, almost every home has a cutting board and a knife. Slice your own mushrooms, pepperoni, and other family favourites.

Even if you hold for some of the sales, take that frozen pizza and add to it making it a meal.

Don’t you need a pizza oven?

Don’t have a pizza oven? Stop by a home improvement store and purchase some ceramic tiles. They make amazing pizza stones and cost usually less than $10 each.

Heating your home and Saving on Electricity

Over the course of the winter, it is going to cost more to heat your home. Keep in mind a sweater is cheaper than natural gas or electricity.

An extra blanket on the bed can help ward off the nighttime chillies.

Doing that made famous by mom, turn off the lights is another needed part of saving electricity.

The increases in prices are going to impact all of us this coming winter. For some it will mean a hard winter.

Remember the old sage advice, no one plans to fail, but some fail to plan.

Getting a plan together for your family to get through is almost becoming second nature to many. Likely it is an area here some enterprising group or agency will start budget planning sessions.

James Murray

 

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