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July 02, 2021

Are rising food prices having an impact on your budget?

The average Canadian family makes about $68,000 a year after-tax and, judging from all the talk of bulging debt loads, spends about 15 to 20% more than that. But where does it all go?  

Last year, The Atlantic took a look at how Americans earn and spend money, noting that while housing costs have gone through the roof, the amount of money most people spend on food has dropped sharply over the years, even when you include eating out.

But recent Canadian data tells a different story. A Statscan report this week showed the five-year cumulative food price inflation between 2007 and 2012 is one of the highest in 20 years, led by big jumps in staples such meat, bread and eggs.


While the price of the items, excluding food, went up by a cumulative 10.7 per cent during that time period, food prices went up 19 per cent. Meat saw an 18-per-cent increase over the five years, the cost of eggs rose 25.8 per cent, while coffee and tea grew by 26.8 per cent.

So it's not surprising to hear that the majority of Canadians are tightening their belts and making smarter decisions when purchasing food. In a recent survey, 57 per cent say they're doing more comparison shopping than they have before.

At the same time, 41 per cent describe themselves as being more budget conscious or less likely to make impulse purchases.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...