How are Canadians saving on groceries ahead of next interest rate decision

As food costs remain high across Canada, some people are looking for new ways to save money.

Ahead of Wednesday’s interest rate announcement from the central bank, CityNews is trying to find out how people may be cutting down on expensive groceries.

Overall, everyone we spoke to on the streets of Vancouver admitted they were struggling and trying to be creative when it comes to keeping food on the table.

“Generally, staying away from processed foods can be cheaper, although it can be harder depending on how busy your schedule is,” said Charles, who added that a good idea is to sign up for whatever rewards card your go-to store has to offer.

“Every week, you have double the points or something like that, so if you cash in 50,000 points and you get like $30 off, so that can make a huge difference.”

Others say they’re increasingly shopping at discount retailers.

“I go to different locations, depending on what I’m looking to purchase,” said Gary, who’s from Australia. “It has become more expensive, but that’s everywhere in the world. The prices in Australia, it’s so expensive there as well. I think you just need to budget yourself.”

Some people we spoke to also alluded to the ongoing Loblaw boycott, where customers are purposefully not shopping at stores owned by the company as it rakes in high profits.

One man made a heartbreaking admission, which was echoed by others CityNews heard from.

“I have reduced the amount that I eat. I have lower energy, but it’s just what we got to do.”

Mary says it may be good to consider going to smaller stands and shops, as opposed to bigger retailers.

“Some of the markets that sell, specifically that sell produce, can be cheaper than your typical grocery store, so that’s a tip.”

Michelle says she’s leaning on a parent for help. “I live with my Mom, so that’s currently how I’m saving money. I kind of feel like a teenager again. I’ll help pitch in with groceries but living back at home with Mom.”

She says she’s skipping out on buying herself things she really wants.

“I’m training myself to not buy the extra unnecessary foods, like treats. It’s kind of sad, but that’s what I’ve learned to deal with — just buy what is necessary. Being a vegetarian also helps.”

Clinton thinks buying groceries is the way to save money.

“I would rather spend a couple of extra dollars at No Frills because I’m eating in and that’s going to last me multiple days and then not eat out and not drive to Steveston or other places where we might go to have these cool experiences.”

Another woman says living in Metro Vancouver is becoming completely out of reach for many people.

“I have a very tight budget. It’s totally unaffordable to live here. Prices are crazy. I think they’re taking way too much advantage of the prices here. They inflate the prices and there’s no concern for the people.”

Lynn lives in a senior’s home and explains grocery prices don’t really affect her, however, she says she feels bad for today’s younger generation.

“I just feel so sorry for you young people. I just don’t know how you guys do it. It’s really tough and the housing and everything, it’s very difficult.”

Some said they’ve cut down on sugary foods and kicked smoking to curb their grocery bill. Others admitted they will go without an item they want until it’s on sale.

Some other suggestions include using a money-saving grocery app, checking out weekly flyers, and price matching from store to store.

The Bank of Canada is expected to keep its key rate steady, and a cut is not expected until June.

CityNews will bring you live coverage of this event online on Wednesday. You can watch CityNews 24/7 live or listen live to CityNews 1130 to keep up to date with this developing story. You can also subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

With files from David Nadalini