On Average Canadians spent 10% of their income on food - If that is true then our family is not average. On average we spend approx 27% of our household income on groceries and the weekly bill keeps rising. As a single income household in the Greater Vancouver area, it isn't easy to make ends meet at the best of times, but with the cost of essentials: food, gas, & housing, rising it is even harder.
In order to make ends meet I've started making our bread because store prices are just too expensive. We've stopped purchasing granola bars, processed foods, lunch snacks, and I've started baking as much as possible. I've been comparison shopping between Costco, Walmart, Safeway, and Save On just to make sure I'm spending the least amount possible on items. I've even started over the border shopping into Bellingham, WA where dairy, chicken, and some gas prices are lower than in Canada. I don't like to take my shopping support into the States but what am I to do when the difference is over 50% less for the same items? I've even become a butcher as large bulk roasts from Costco are cheaper than the ones already cut.
We are lucky because by cutting back we are able to make ends meet and hopefully I'll find employment soon and then our household income will nearly double. However, in most of the world this is not the case. Where people spend 80% of their household income on food, rising food prices will only make it harder to survive starvation.
In Canada we choose to ignore those that are starving and continue to live our lives consuming. After all, the one with the most toys wins - right. I am just as guilty as anyone else, whenever we have a few extra hundred dollars we buy something for our kids, our house, or ourselves. Our kid's birthday present could have fed a family in a third world country for years. Sometimes I wonder what are we teaching our children. Can our children afford to be bigger consumers than us? Will they end up in worse debt? or will they become generous giving individuals who are thankful for what they have and give to those with less?
What are some ideas to help teach our children to be more thoughtful, less selfish, and smaller consumers?
How are you cutting your grocery bill to save money?
This post was originally written in 2011 and the cost of living has only gone up and up and up, while my ability to pay for it has gone down, down, down.
Shannon Peel is an author, marketer, and content creator. Check out her Business Stories site.