Price check: Grocery bill pain has forced many Canadians to change their food buying habits

More Canadians are changing up their menu to deal with rising food costs

With soaring food prices putting a squeeze on household budgets, data from the Angus Reid Institute is showing that four in five Canadians have changed what they’re serving at the table to ease the impact on their wallet.

The survey found 21 per cent of respondents said they are buying fewer fruits and vegetables, while 35 per cent said there is less meat going into their cart, and 62 per cent have decided less dining out adds up to savings. Nearly half said they are switching to cheaper brands, and one-quarter are drinking less alcohol.

But inflation is not the only factor at play.

Canada’s system of supply management is also pushing prices upwards as new, higher prices for farmers for their milk and butter came into effect on Feb. 1.

The grocery bill pain is really taking a bite out of those in lower-income households, who say it is difficult to keep everyone fed. Two-thirds (64%) in the lowest income bracket say it is difficult to feed their household, but for households earning $100,000 or more annually, at least two-thirds say ensuring their families get fed is easy.

In January, the Bank of Canada said food costs would likely continue to outpace overall inflation.