Inflation in the country has hit an 18 year high, the consumer price index increased 4.4 percent last month and things are getting more expensive for just about everything these days. From gas to cooking oil, bacon, meat, and more, Canadians are feeling the hike in costs and are having to make those choices now about what they might be able to afford and what they need to put off because of the rising costs.
What does this mean for Canadians?
They are going to be paying higher prices in the market. This year it is estimated that gas prices are up more than 32%, food is up 4%, meat up 9%, cooking oil has increased more than 27% since Jan, and there are rising costs in other areas as well.
Earlier this year it was reported that meat, bakery items, and vegetables were driving higher prices for food items. And it has long been talked about that Canadians should anticipate higher food prices in 2021. It is a struggle to keep up for millions, especially those living in regions like Vancouver or Toronto which are some of the most expensive regions to live in around the world.
People of all income levels are worried
The more that prices rise for the cost of goods like food and gas, more will be turning to get help and that means increased pressure on charity organizations like the food bank. During the holidays is when there are many families and individuals who turn to them and rely on them in the community to help them to get by.
There are some projects like the Rescued Food Market in Vancouver as well which allows people to come in and pay what they can for what they would like to take from the market. This gives Canadians a chance to try and save a little more on their food and they can sure use those savings. The cost of living continues to place pressure on millions who are already struggling just to keep food in the fridge and a roof over their head.
This is especially hitting those Canadians the hardest who are on fixed incomes, seniors are among the most vulnerable to food inflation and rising costs of living. This inflation is impacting Canadians all around the country and contributes directly to a decreased standard of living for people in the country by further limiting what they can get for their dollars.
How much do Canadians spend on food?
Several years ago in 2017 it was reported that Canadians were spending about $200 on average for their food per month, with some areas having obviously higher averages per monthly food spending than others around the country. In Toronto at that time you would spend a little more than $200 for example. The average family in Canada is now spending about $700 more in 2021 on food because of those rising costs according to an annual Food Price Report.
The uncertainty continues as Canadians wonder when things might get better or if they are only going to see things get more expensive and their standard of living decline along with the rising costs of everything from gas to bread and potatoes.
50% of Canadians cannot afford meat
Canadians are already changing their spending habits because of what they cannot afford. One recent study from the Dalhousie University in Halifax found that about 50% of Canadians say they aren’t buying meat products because they cannot afford them at these prices. With the holidays fast approaching it is going to be a difficult season for many who are struggling with these changes in prices rising.
It’s estimated that one in seven Canadians experienced food insecurity during the pandemic and these rising prices are worsening the problem for those who are struggling to afford the food that they need.