Us vs inflation

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When they told us the sky is the limit, they did not specify that ‘sky’ meant living costs. Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

Life has changed in response to the rising costs of living

by katlyn richardson, contributor

Inflation and rising living costs are hardly anything new at this point. I don’t think I know anyone that isn’t struggling with rising gas and food prices. I had thought that this year might be the year things get a little more comfortable for me, as I have a job instead of living solely on student loans and I was able to utilize my deep freeze more. But, as I am getting to the point where I need to stock up on things, my wallet is being hit harder each time I go to the store.

I now have a part-time job which I didn’t have before the rise in costs. But despite being paid well, I feel like I am in the same boat as I was before. I even purchased meat and vegetables to put in my freezer to help cut costs later, but this hasn’t helped that much. I am fortunate my landlord gives us a significant discount on our rent, and I get a student discount on my internet bill, but everything else costs more than it used to. My usual box of frozen chicken breasts jumped over $10 in 3 months, and now has less chicken than before. My fiancé and I even paid rent as many months in advance as we could and knew it would help us keep our monthly costs lower. It did help, and thank God my landlord hasn’t raised rent just because he can.

I have ADHD, which means I do tend to forget about things that I cannot see, like food in my fridge. With the rate food prices have skyrocketed, I cannot afford to be forgetting about fruits and vegetables in my fridge, so I am relying on what can be frozen or bought frozen. I never thought I would see things get this bad until earlier this year when I saw speculation online about how much the prices of everything would rise.

Another thing that I would like to highlight is what I have seen at work. I work at a non-profit that provides food security programming, such as free pantries in the community. I started in May and saw the needs of people around us increase steadily since then. In May, we could get to the pantries, fill them, and they would be empty in about 20 minutes. Now, we are lucky if we can even make it to the pantries without people stopping us on the way, asking if we have bread, milk, or even just a simple little pastry.

People are also getting a bit more aggressive and have shoved us around just to get what we were putting in the pantries, which is a sign of how desperate people are getting for the smallest bits of food. I live across the street from Trinity Lutheran Church and a few steps away from Carmichael Outreach. It’s becoming a normal sight to see people lined up around the block just waiting for a meal. We also have people constantly asking us for food at our doors, and it’s not uncommon for them to be parents. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the URSU pantry program is seeing an influx of students and that the fridge is being heavily utilized.

In my previous article, I wrote about the $500 that Scott Moe is giving every Saskatchewan resident over the age of 18. This amount will be helpful for helping make ends meet for however long that amount lasts and, let’s be honest, that will probably allow a family a single trip to the grocery store with some money left over to buy new winter gear. The nearly $500 million could also be used to help offset the impact of inflation on Saskatchewan residents. Still, we all know what battle Scott Moe would rather have than help a majority of Saskatchewanians. The reality is that inflation is a major issue we are facing right now, but the longer corporate greed is left unchecked, the longer we all suffer for it. Unfortunately, right now, corporations have their hands so deep in government pockets that we will continue to suffer for it.

  • My father lived during the 80s, which was the last time that inflation was even close to this severe. Now, not all tips helped, but I will share what has reduced the impact that inflation has had on my life:
  • Buy what you can that will freeze (vegetables, fruit, meat or meat alternatives).
  • Learn how to bake (also a great stress release during midterms and finals; beating out doughs is a delicious way to let out that stress).
  • Stock up on non-perishables when you can. Costco delivers through Instacart if needed.
  • Apps like Flashfood offer a discount on food that might not be wanted and is used by the community fridges. A lot of the baked goods here, like bread and cakes, can be frozen for later.
  • Use receipt reward apps. I use ReceiptHog as I was able to gain my rewards fast and could then use the rewards to purchase a Visa gift card that can be used for ordering groceries online or just to have as a backup.
  • Meal prep as much as possible, even if it is just taking leftover chicken strips from the night before and using it as meat for a salad the next day.
  • Use as many coupons as you can. Stores like Superstore have them as you enter the store, and some companies make their coupons available on their website.
  • See if your friends need the same products as you during sales where you can buy multiples and split them. Stores like Coop use those prices for determining product prices, so if something is 5 for $5, each will only cost $1.
  • Do not hesitate to access the food bank if you begin thinking you need to access it. They are there to be used by those in need.
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