The rapid and exponential rise of inflation in Canada has many Canadians struggling. According to Stats Canada, in January 2022, inflation surpassed 5% for the first time since 1991 up from 4.8% in December 2021 (Stats Canada)
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After almost two years of Covid Restrictions impacting not only Canadians day-to-day lives, but also their finances, this raise in the cost of living is having an impact.
So, you may be wondering, how can I save money when the cost of living keeps going up so quickly?
Here’s how I’m managing inflation in Canada:
By Saving Money:
The first way to survive inflation in 2022, is by simply reducing the amount of money that you spend! Obviously, this is easier said then done, but with these tips and tricks, you can find more money in your pocket to weather the storm!
I have been an avid couponer for well over a decade now. During the peak of Covid, many local stores were no longer accepting coupons and since I had shifted to grocery pickup more often than not, I found that I was really not taking advantage of these simple and practical money savers! Now that my grocery bill has gone through the roof, I have gone back to this time trusted money saving practice.
Not sure how to use coupons in Canada, or where to find them? Check out the ultimate guide to couponing in Canada here!
Use Cashback Sites
Along with using coupons to save money, I am setting aside a bit of time after each shopping trip to use upload receipts and ensuring that I click on cashback links whenever I shop online to get a percentage of my cost back. Sites and apps that offer cashback include:
Use Reward Programs
Piggybacking off of using coupons and cash back sites to save money, I am also making a more concerted effort to take advantage of reward programs. This is seriously one of the easiest ways to save! Most of the time, it simply involves downloading an app and then opening the app once a week to download special offers. There are many stores that offer reward programs, but the ones I use most often are:
Be sure to check and see if the stores you frequent the most have a rewards program, so you can swipe and save!
Pay with Discount Gift Cards
This is one of my favourite money saving hacks! I am always on the lookout for discounted gift cards. By pre-buying gift cards that you know you will use, you can save lots of money! These are automatic savings that often come right away, saving you money up front. You may think it’s tricky finding discount gift cards in Canada, but there are a few different ways to get great deals.
Watch for store specific sales and bonus offers
Look on Facebook Marketplace/Kijiji (watch out for scammers though!)
My Gift Cards Plus (access through Swagbucks)
This is also a great time to check your drawers for gift cards you may have bought or received in years prior, that can be used now to cut costs!
Every week I go through the flyers on the Flipp app, saving all of the good deals. For really great deals (especially those that can be paired up with a coupon and/or cashback offer) I stock up. This can get tricky if you’re short on space, but stocking up on items when they are at a fantastic price can save you lots of money in the long run. Not only are you taking advantage of a great price, but you are getting it a lower price than the increase creates with further inflation.
Honestly, meal planning has been such a helpful way to not only save money, but also time, energy and lessen some of the mental load I carry. Each week, after I go through the flyers on the Flipp app, I plan our family’s meals for the week. Not only do I save money by using items that are on sale for the week, but it also helps keep me from impulse ordering when I’m exhausted, worn out and have no mental energy left to think of something to make.
Fashion and style are pretty low on the list of my priorities and as such, I really don’t care about wearing clothes from years prior (I still have some clothes from my high school days, more than 20 years ago!) As such, when I need something new, I always head to the clearance rack first!
Not only do I buy my clothes on clearance, but also many household items and food. When I have time, I will take a walk through a store and look for marked down items, but I really love the Flash Food and Too Good Too Go apps, which post clearance food items to save you time!
Shop Second Hand
Scrolling through Facebook Marketplace really demonstrates the old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. There is so much great stuff that people no longer want and sell for some extra cash, which can lead you to some pretty great savings on things you may need (and even want)!
This is always a tough one for me. I am an incredibly impulsive person, and really don’t like to think about cutting things out of my life. However, taking a bit of time to evaluate where you are spending your money and even *gasp* creating a budget can open up instant savings and leave more money in your wallet at the end of the month. Consider how necessary some subscriptions are to your life and see what extras can be culled to leave you with more money to cover the rising price of necessities.
Do an Energy Audit
Winter is coming and with it, so are higher energy prices. CTV news recently reported that many Canadians will see their energy costs raise between 50-100 percent this winter! As such, finding ways to reduce energy expenditure will be key to reducing costs this winter. There are many simple ways to reduce energy costs including, but not limited to:
- Using energy efficient lightbulbs
- Lowering your thermostat and wearing layers/using blankets
- Sealing air leaks in windows and doors
- Getting your HVAC system cleaned
- Look for Energy Star products
- Use smarter power bars
- Unplug rarely used devices
If you want more money, sometimes you gotta just earn more money! Additional income or a higher income can really help offset rising prices and help you survive inflation. If you have any combination of the time, skills, abilities and energy to make extra money – now’s the time to do it!
Here’s how I’m making extra money to cope with inflation:
I’ve never been much of a gamer, but did love playing the Sims in my late teens and early twenties (along with the occasional round of Mario Kart with my brothers!) Nevertheless, one of my favourite ways to make some extra money is by playing various app games. Typically, the requirements to get paid are to reach a certain level or complete a certain task, so be sure to read the expectations carefully. While you certainly won’t get rich playing games, it’s a relaxing and fun way to make a bit of money to help cover some bills or expenses.
My favourite sites to get paid to play games on are:
Declutter and Sell
I have four kids and a whole lot of pets, which means I have way too much stuff. We planned on having a big family and as such, kept everything! Now that we are done with having babies, it’s been bitter sweet selling off things that the youngest has outgrown. Bitter that I’m saying goodbye to that stage of life, but sweet to have some extra money!
Get a Side Hustle
If you have the time/resources/knowledge/ability/energy to do some hustling – do it! There is a certain toxicity to the whole side hustle culture and notion that we need to keep going to survive, but when push comes to shove and you need some more money, this can be a quick and dirty way to get it. Often the most profitable side hustles are ones that offer services that make other people’s lives easier. This includes things like tutoring, babysitting, caretaking, lawn care, home renovations, cooking, delivering things, cleaning and picking up dog poop. Consider things you can do or skills you can offer that people will pay for and then start sharing your availability where those people are (i.e., Facebook/Kijiji/word of mouth).
This isn’t one of my favourite ways to make extra money, but is something I often do nevertheless. I find surveys incredibly boring and time consuming for how little they pay – however, when I’m stuck under a sleeping child, or watching tv, it can be something that offers a bit of extra money.
The sites I use for surveys include:
So, this is my plan to minimize the impact of rising costs and survive inflation in 2022 and into 2023. Be sure to check out my extra cash updates where I share how I earned and saved money each month!
What are you doing to save money as inflation increases and prices rise?