To fight the rising cost of living, experts share ‘inflation hacks’ for the grocery store

Canadians are hurting from the steep rise in food prices. But what do you do when everything simply costs more? How do you pay your bills and still live your life?

“You gotta be a little more picky and choosy about the things you get, what you pick up – what is a luxury and what is a need,” Jesse Crowley a shopper exiting the grocery store said.

“Chocolate milk used to be like $5 now it’s almost $8, it’s crazy,” Theresa Minaker, another shopper said.

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Here are some inflation hacks that you can use at the grocery store right now.

Raiza Ocampo is famously known as YQR coupon bae. She did a grocery haul worth $58 at the Canadian Superstore but instead of paying $58, she actually made $10 on the whole purchase and everything she bought ended up being free.

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Grocery haul done by Raia Ocampo at $58 that ended up being free with discounts and price matching apps.

She says the first step to take is to download the Flipp app to price match your items and the Checkout 51 app for cash back.

“My first item is Purex – retail value at Superstore is $8.99, so utilizing my resources just on my phone when I showed the cashier the Flipp app and when I showed her that at No Frills this is on sale for $4.99, just making sure its the right size and item and she just brings it down already 50 per cent,” Ocampo said.

She went on to use a similar process for other products like coffee, orange juice, cucumbers and more. She encourages using price matching to bring the retail price down and then, if you have coupons, using those for more discounts. Finally, she said, upload your receipt for cashback on Checkout 51.

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As for her moneymaker items, she bought hygiene products that were $6.99 each but got cash back from Checkout 51 and stacked it with PC Optimum points for more discounts, which made Ocampo a total of $1.67 each time she bought one of those hygiene products.

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Sylvain Charlebois, director at Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, says people are finding their own ways to get the bang for their buck.

“People are actually investing the time to strategize before they even leave the house. They’ll look on the internet and make sure they know what the fair value of a product is on their list,” Charlebois said.

He added that people are also looking for more dollar stores, where food sales are up significantly, he said. “People are moving around way more than not visiting like two or three stores a week. But they’re looking at a portfolio of two or three stores over two or three weeks.”

Click to play video: 'Experts say food prices will continue to rise in 2023'

Experts say food prices will continue to rise in 2023

Charlebois said that Canadians are now being pushed to question their best-before-date policy–a lot of people are wondering whether or not they can afford to buy a product on the day of the best-before date.

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“They are using the sniff test, for example, you can save a lot of money, sometimes 75 per cent. It’s actually the incentive there for people to take on more food safety risks, if you will. So before, food safety was a non-issue and Canada has a very strong food safety culture but now people are having second thoughts.”

He said that the people suffering the most are those with a fixed income. “About 25 per cent of Canadians are hostages really. They don’t have a whole lot of options because they don’t have a car or they don’t have the time. They have two or three jobs and so it’s been very difficult for them.”

“Just take your time and go on the internet and get get get knowledgeable about the marketplace, prices will change regularly. You want to know exactly how much you’re paying for certain products before you even leave the house.

“When you go to the store, if prices are too high based on what you saw, then just don’t buy it. Wait until next week when you visit another store.”

Shoppers are also using something known as the Flashfood app which allows you to grab items from a special refrigerator at stores that have frozen items that are about to expire available at half price.

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