How to Beat Inflation

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(Note: Stay tuned for the giveaway winners announcement at the end of the article)

Ahh inflation, the most terrifying arch-nemesis of early retirees. 

You’re no longer working, relying on your portfolio (which is dropping during a bear market), and then you get hit with a whopping 9% increase in spending? Yikes!

Is it time dust off the ol’ resume and go crawling back to your boss to beg for your job back? What happens to a FIRE person’s expenses when inflation runs hot? Do you get burned?

The interesting thing is, this whole time with inflation running at 9%+ and still rising, I’ve been looking at my spreadsheets, and our expenses STILL haven’t changed much. 

Let’s have a look-see, shall we?

Since the top 3 categories in any budget are housing, food, and transportation, getting a handle on them helps you beat inflation. No need to feel guilty about splurging on lattes or avocado toast (even if it is stupidly overpriced at $10 when you can make it yourself for $1).  

Let’s start with transportation. For us, transportation costs were $152 in July of 2021. This year, it’s at $158.16 in July, a minuscule 4% increase compared to the 60% increase in gas prices since the same time last year. This is because we take public transportation and since the subway is electric, it’s not affected by gas price increases. 

Grocery and alcohol costs actually went down, sitting at $369 in July 2022 compared to $402.86 last year. That’s a drop of 9%. I’ll explain how you can cut down significantly on grocery costs in a bit.   

And rent went down from $1700/month in July 2021 to $1500/month in July 2022 because we rode plummeting rental prices all the way down through the pandemic and then locked in before rents increased. That’s a drop of 13%. 

What gives?

Could an early retiree’s personal inflation rate be different from the CPI?

To answer that question, I had to first look at how CPI is measured. What’s in this so-called “basket of goods” used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics? 

Well, according to their website, the CPI is broken down into 4 top-level categories:

  1. Food
  2. Energy
  3. All Items Less Food and Energy
  4. Services Less Energy Services

That last one’s a bit weird, but they then refined into 18 sub-categories within those categories, as seen in this table:

Expenditure category12-month percent change, Jun. 2021–Jun. 2022Largest percent change before June 2022Month of previous largest percent change
All items9.1%9.6%Nov. 1981
Food10.410.5Feb. 1981
Food at home12.212.3Apr. 1979
Food away from home7.78.0Nov. 1981
Energy41.643.5Apr. 1980
Fuel oils and other fuels70.458.8Apr. 2022
Motor fuel (including gasoline, all types)60.268.2Mar. 1980
Electricity13.714.8Apr. 2006
Utility (piped) gas service38.445.3Oct. 2005
All items less food and energy5.95.5Dec. 2021
Household furnishings and supplies10.210.6Apr. 2022
Apparel5.25.4Apr. 2022
New vehicles11.411.1Nov. 2021
Used cars and trucks7.14.0Aug. 2020
Motor vehicle parts and equipment14.914.5Apr. 2022
Medical care commodities3.23.7Jul. 2017
Recreation commodities4.54.7Mar. 2022
Education and communication commodities-5.7-4.0Apr. 2022
Services less energy services5.55.5May-91
Shelter5.65.9Feb. 1991
Medical care services4.84.9Sep. 2020
Transportation services8.810.4Jun. 2021
Recreation services4.74.4Apr. 2022
Source: US Bureau of Labour Statistics

Looking at this in graph view:

We can see that the biggest increase is in the energy category—an increase of 41.2% compared to 12 months ago! We all know who to blame for that, so I won’t get into the details of why. 

The next highest increase is in the food category at of 10.4% compared to 12 months ago. 

Gas is gas, but I was curious about what’s included in the basket of groceries used to calculate the food category in the CPI. 

Here’s what I found:

  1. Cereals and bakery products 
  2. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
  3. Dairy and related products
  4. Fruits and vegetables
  5. Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials.

Of the 5 categories that’s used to determine food inflation, only 3 out of 5 applied to me, which explains why my personal food inflation was much lower than the national 9% inflation number.

It also made me acutely aware of how culturally-biased the food index is. 

For example, look at this article breakdown of “essentials” done by TheStar to analyze inflation and compare food prices across different major grocery store chains.

Source: Time to Switch to a discount supermarket? TheStar.com

More than 50% of the stuff on the list I’ve never bought. In fact, I’m allergic to most of it.

I don’t drink coffee, I have a wheat sensitivity, so I don’t eat bread, pasta, or cereal. I’m not big on potatoes and I don’t drink milk or use butter when I cook. I’m not lactose intolerant but my stomach tends to rebel from drinking it every now and then so it’s safer for me to avoid it.

So as far as basket of goods go, this is a very western diet. So, if the basket of goods don’t match my own basket of goods, does that mean personal inflation can be vastly different from the CPI? 

Should we be using a different set of criteria than the average, if our lifestyle choices are vastly different from the norm?

What if you’re financially independent and no longer need to work? Does the CPI apply to you at all?

I’d argue, no.

After all, if you don’t need to go into an office for work every day, you rarely need to drive. Gas prices don’t affect you. This is huge since the biggest increase in CPI is due to gas prices. 

If you no longer need to live in a big city where all the jobs are, rising rents and mortgages don’t affect you. You can move to a low-cost location. 

From commuting to expensive housing options, to eating out due to lack of time, you are PAYING to work. People are who financially independent are less susceptible to inflation because they have choices which lets them opt out of entire categories (like driving) that bumped up the CPI. 

And even if you’re not financially independent yet, you can still beat the CPI by strategically managing your personal inflation rate. 

Here Are Some Ways You Can Beat Inflation:

Go Electric 

If you can’t stop driving, switch to an electric car, or alternate driving days with biking days or public transportation days.  If your city has a good public transportation network, subways and trains are the best. Since they (generally) run on electricity, they’re not affected by spiking gas prices. Plus, it’s better for the environment. Since energy is the number one category driving inflation, if you can strategically reduce the amount of driving you need to do, that makes a huge difference in your personal inflation rate. 

Use the “Too Good to Go” app

I discovered this app from my Chautauquan friends, who showed me how much money they were saving while reducing food waste. 

Started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2015, TooGoodToGo helps you find surplus unsold food from restaurants and grocery stores for 1/3 of its original price.  

TooGoodToGo App Daily Recommendations

You can filter by the type of food you like, and the handy map feature will find restaurants and grocery stores within walking distance. It also shows you what time to pick up your “goodie bag.” Once you arrive, you simply tell the cashier or restaurant staff, they’ll hand you the produce and ask you to swipe on the app to show you’ve received it.

For example, I got this surplus bag of groceries for just $5.40 USD/$6.99 CAD:

A lot of the items I would’ve bought during my usual grocery store run anyway and just one of the organic salads would’ve cost $5.40 USD.  

Here are some meals my friends got that they’ve enjoyed for just $3.87 USD – $4.64 USD/$4.99-5.99 CAD

Sandwich and Inari sushi
Baked goods and Souvlaki with rice and potatoes

Given that 108 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year, this app will help you beat inflation and reduce food waste. Win win!

Shop at Chinese Grocery Stores:

Big supermarkets have been found to increase their prices above inflation (as much as 76% in some cases!) in order to maximize profits.

This keeps their shareholders happy but screws over their customers. 

So, what should you do in this case? Be a shareholder, not a consumer. By investing in the index, you make sure that those extra profits come back to you in the form of dividends and long-term capital appreciation, benefiting from the store profits.

When it comes to groceries, instead of buying overpriced goods at the major supermarket chains, shop at Chinese grocery stores. It’s the same fruits and vegetables but WAY cheaper. 

Here’s a comparison of the prices at a major grocery chain versus a Chinese grocery store. For the exact same item, the price is 30-100% more!

Sweet Peppers: $3.99/lb at the superstore. $1.99 at the Chinese grocery store.

Avocados: $6.49 for 4 at superstore, $4.99 for 5 at the Chinese grocery store

Organic Salad: $4.99 on sale at the superstore. 2 for $2 always at any time in the Chinese grocery store

Green beans: $4.99 for slightly less than 1 lb at superstore. $2.99/lb at Chinese grocery store.

Just remember that some Chinese grocery stores only take cash or debit. No credit cards. It’s more inconvenient but worth it to cut your grocery bill by half.

If you don’t have Chinese grocery stores near you, use the Flipp App to access electronic coupons for price matching at your local grocery store.

Strive for Location Independence

Of course, not everyone can do this, but for those who can, make your current job location independent or switch to a role that lets you work from home. Remember, if you must commute to work, you are PAYING to work. So, your REAL salary is much lower when you factor in the massive spike in gas prices. 

The more location independent you are, the less you are affected by inflation. 

Invest In Yourself

During times of high inflation, your skills become much more valuable because in a tight job market, you can demand a raise. Know your worth, switch jobs or get more training to make yourself indispensable. When prices are rising by 9%+, make sure your salary is keeping up, otherwise you’re losing money by working for the company.   

Buy Second Hand

Second hand items are better for the environment while not being subject to inflation. For example, when we had to get a long-term rental and furnish it during the pandemic, furniture costs had skyrocketed. And not only that, but supply chain issues also made it so that even throwing money at the problem didn’t help. I was trying to buy a new sofa bed for $1000 but had my order cancelled twice from two different online stores the week before delivery. They ran out of inventory and had no idea when they’d be able to get more. Even IKEA ran out of sofa beds!

So, I went to Facebook Marketplace and bought a used sofa-bed that was in good condition and included delivery for only $260. 

After I thoroughly cleaned it, it was as good as new. Plus, I don’t have to stress about spilling drinks or messing up a brand-new couch. 

Once I started buying second hand, I was able to furnish an entire apartment for $1200 rather than spending that much on just one couch. Considering that on average it costs $3500-$5800 to furnish an apartment, I saved thousands by buying used. 

When it comes to furniture, Facebook Marketplace is your friend.

Pay off Your Mortgage Faster

With interest rates spiking, now is the time to pay off debt. Don’t bother borrowing to invest if interest rates are spiking. Your returns in the market will not beat it. Our rule of thumb is invest only if interest rates are < 4%, otherwise pay off your debt. 

If you don’t have a fixed mortgage, throw as much money at your debt as possible to avoid being screwed by rising interest rates. 

Be Strategic About Rentals

If you’re renting, be strategic about the type of rental you pick and the landlord. We like purpose-built apartment buildings with rent control. We also prefer landlords who are older because they value their time more than money and would rather rent to trustworthy tenants at below market rate rather than high maintenance tenants for more money. They’ve also bought their property a long time ago so they’re not desperate to raise rents. Be a great tenant and your landlord will go out of their way to keep you.  

If you’re location independent, renting gives you the flexibility to move. During the pandemic, we moved around in Airbnbs because they were cheaper than long term rentals. Once that advantage went away and prices came back up, we found a long-term rental that is 20% below market rate.  

Stay Invested

Even though the stock market has been volatile this year and we’re technically in a bear market, with unemployment rates at historical lows, it looks like inflation is starting to peak. You’ll want to stay invested for the inevitable recovery. In times of inflation, the value of cash is being eroded every day, so don’t panic sell and move to cash. During times of inflation, corporations raise prices and pass it to consumers, so you’ll want to stay invested and to take advantage of those sweet sweet corporate profits. Be a shareholder, not a consumer. 

Conclusion

While you can’t deny that inflation is happening, the personal rate of inflation varies—especially if you have a unique lifestyle. So, in this case, being a misfit pays. 

Inflation does affect FIRE people, but not nearly as much as the CPI would lead you to believe. By not having to drive to work and with all the time in the world to optimize your expenses, you’re ahead of the curve. 

Does your personal inflation differ from the CPI? What are your tips for beating inflation?


I am pleased to announce the winners of our book giveaway! Although they were randomly picked, I thought it would be interesting to see their answers for the question “What is the best unnecessary thing you ever spent money on?”

top unnecessary purchase = scuba hoodie…in the summer…cause the ac is running 🙂 wOrtH iT!! 🙂

iamblasian

Well, that is a high degree of unnecessary. Hoodie, plus summer, plus blasting the AC. LOL. This comment made me laugh.

The best unnecessary thing I bought was a trip to Macchu Picchu. It was the best thing since that’s where we got engaged and now married.

Lynn

Aww, that’s a sweet one, isn’t it? Macchu Picchu is on our bucket list! Can’t wait to go!

Honestly, my wife’s breast augmentation she wanted for her birthday. She is more confident and daring.

Chad

This one is also sweet, but for a completely different reason. You got your wife a boob job for her birthday? You, sir, are the hero that America needs right now.

Congrats to all the winners! If you didn’t win, you can purchase Dr. Jordan Grumet’s book right here:


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48 thoughts on “How to Beat Inflation”

  1. A lot of creative thinking here. Location independence and lack of a commute really helps.

    I find I’m just altering behaviour slightly. Beer at home rather than microbrew sometimes. Work at home rather than drive to cafe. Etc etc. Do things more local.

    Inflation is very real, but we all DO HAVE AGENCY to react and adapt.

    1. “Beer at home rather than microbrew sometimes.”

      That was the switch we made way back in 2007 and it dropped Wanderer’s booze expenses from $400/month (our rent in college!) to $150/month.

      1. Your comment about choosing rent-controlled areas was intriguing. I want to clarify something, though. Doesn’t that only protect you for lease renewals, but not for the initial lease agreement…. Or am I missing something here?

  2. Agree with the commuting part. In fact, most Japanese companies pay for their employees transportation costs whether you are part-time or full-time. Being Chinese, I grew up shopping at Chinese or Asian grocery stores that are way cheaper than big box supermarkets. CPI definitely reflects a Western diet.

    1. Oh interesting. I had no idea most Japanese companies pay for transportation costs. Nice.

      Yeah, you see, Asian grocery stores are where it’s at. All the Asians get it 🙂

  3. My first summer engineering job was at a paper mill that had, at the time, the world’s best toilet paper machine. Imagine a roll of toilet paper 70 feet wide spinning at over 100 mph! Incredible! Anyway, I mentioned to my boss that this is the perfect business to be in during a recession because demand should be pretty…. regular. HAHAHAHA! DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

    Ok, now the point: he said no. We made the highest quality brands – Charmin, Marina – so when a recession happens people buy the cheap stuff and the paper company profits would go… down the toilet. Ha! I’m on FIRE!

    So what I learned is that all you have to do to beat much of inflation is just be more intentional about your spending – so, in regards to your wonderful article: can confirm.

    1. “this is the perfect business to be in during a recession because demand should be pretty…. regular. HAHAHAHA! DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?”

      Bwahahahaha. You are on FIRE 🙂

  4. Great post and I love considering myself a ‘Misfit’! I wish I could go electric with my car, but I live in a rural area which is just not conducive, i.e no charging stations, no vehicle service (if needed), etc.etc. But, I can fight inflation by growing some food, and canning/dehydrating. Thanks for posting!

    1. It may be worth looking again at EVs as I think you maybe have a couple of misconceptions there.

      Charging stations: almost all of my charging is done at home. The rest is far, far from home, when outside my home range. Chargers near home make no difference to me.

      Servicing: there is none. No oil and filters to change. Just new tyres, which can be done anywhere.

      Aside from any environmental side, my fuel cost is now a tenth of what it was before. I’m 3 years in and having a great time. You should do it.

    2. Nice! Yeah, sucks that you don’t have charging stations, but you do have the space to grow food and do some canning! That’s a rural advantage. Awesome!

  5. Inflation (or rather “Capitalistic Greed”, or “Inflation Hustle”) has peaked .

    I think I also mentioned that inflation will be backed down in the ~3% range by February 2023.

    Someone check me on that.

    1. Inflation measures what has already happened – going back down to 3% doesn’t wipe out the 10% rise already taken place.

      Minimalism for the win, obvs, but everyone needs food and utilities.

  6. I got rid of my car Dec 2019; here in a Montreal suburb public transit into the city is easy, affordable and convenient. Having said all that, I work from home where home is a low rent small apartment. Yes, I eat closer to that western diet and have seen prices go up, however, back in May I got a better job that gave me a 25% pay increase from my previous job, so for now I can swallow the food cost increase. Definitely some good tips in this article.

    1. “back in May I got a better job that gave me a 25% pay increase from my previous job”

      Nice! Congrats! Way to know your self worth!

  7. FI people don’t have to change any of their spending patterns during an inflation. They know how to make adjustments and sacrifice unnecessary pleasures and live within their means. Their mindset makes their way of life inflation proof.

  8. CPI reflects a Western Spending pattern because we live in the west. Now, that does not restrict one from making financially sound choices….regardless of one’s cultural background or where one lives.

    1. True. You can still make good choices either way. It’s about being intentional rather than just blindly following the CPI.

  9. I love your Frugal ideas about buying second hand furniture on Facebook marketplace. I’m definitely going to check that out. I left my job just as the markets were crashing and I haven’t felt much of a pinch. I haven’t had to put gas in my car since last may. Not that I am glib *grin*.

    I’m just mad that we have a senile president who closed off a gas line and created an unnecessary economic recession for the entire world.

    1. Yes, definitely try Facebook Market place. I love it way more than craigslist because it’s so easy to message people on FB and they respond pretty quickly.

      Just remember, everything is negotiable. I was able to negotiate another 20-30% off the price listed on FB Market place if I tell them I can pick it up right away.

  10. I’m really surprised that FIREcracker isn’t being affected by inflation, because travel costs are something that’s gone through the roof! With jet fuel having gone up in price, airlines trying to claw back their losses during the pandemic, and less competition because Chinese carriers are no longer serving the international market, I’ve been unable to find frequent flyer seats, I gave up and bought a ticket that cost 64% more than I paid in 2019 for the same route, on the same airline with the same inclusions and same advance booking period! I imagine that accommodation costs have gone up too because of demand, though I’m not sure what they were for my destinations before the pandemic.

    I’m still really looking forward to my trip though, a much needed 2 month break (it was meant to be 3, but I decided I can’t afford that) where I’ll also trial nomadic living – I won’t believe it’s possible to live nomadically on 40k/yr until I experience it!

    1. Yeah I find that odd as well. Take flight tickets for instance. It’s on average 3.5 times more than pre pandemic. One thing is what they say, another thing is the true

    2. I use points. When you say “you weren’t able to find frequent flyer seats”, how advanced did you book? Also which months were you travelling?

      It’s far easier if you travel during low or shoulder season and can pick any day of the week (advantage of being able to travel at any time rather than only on Sats or Sundays)

      “I won’t believe it’s possible to live nomadically on 40k/yr until I experience it!”

      This is true. My Toronto friend didn’t believe it either until I got them to live nomadically and work remotely with me in Portugal for over a month.

      You have to actually experience it to believe it. You also have to be strategic about WHEN you travel and which days for flights.

      As for accommodations, I got free travel accommodations by using Home Exchange. Wrote a post about it here:

      https://www.millennial-revolution.com/freedom/how-to-travel-for-free-with-home-exchange/

      1. Points? I have the infamous Chase Sapphire Preferred for 5 yrs and I was only able to book a domestic flight and the points were gone. Now unless you spend 50k+ a yr in your CC, there’s no way these guys use only points.

  11. Nice but how come your rent came down? Where do you live?
    I saw a stu*pid person on CNBC saying that if you’re sitting in cash and not in the market you’re losing 9% right now.
    Guess what, if you invested your cash in January, you’re losing 9%+15%=24% right now!

    1. Like I said, I went from Airbnb in Toronto to long term rent. My rent came down because I strategically found a place that’s below market with a great landlord.

  12. That’s a great article. Warren Buffett said the same thing 20 years ago. You reach essentially the same conclusions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C92C8lD0ek

    When you own shares of equity in a business or when you work, inflation is not too bad, because wages and profits in a business eventually goes up along with inflation.

    Inflation is worst for fixed income earners, like retirees (with a fixed pension) and bondholders. They lose on both sides because their income is not revised upward and their capital is also worth much less at maturity. This is particularly true in the very long term, like 20, 30 or 40 years…

    I think it’s more important to look at inflation with a more long term perspective. Prices are extremely volatile in the short term. And, like you said, we can adjust our basket of purchases.

    But in the long term, like 20, 30 or 40 years, even the cheapest Chinese grocery store or the most efficient public transportation network will have to raise prices. That’s just how the actual monetary system works (FIAT).

    Just like we could not imagine to buy stuff for prices that were in effect in the 1970s, it is hard to imagine what will be the prices in the 2070s.

    What about this good looking sweet pepper for only 1500$/lb ? Oh great, I’ll take 5lbs since it’s such a great discount !!

    As long as I still own my shares of Coca-Cola, they will also rise prices, and I should still be fine …

    1. “But in the long term, like 20, 30 or 40 years”

      In that time my portfolio will have doubled or tripled. That easily offsets inflation.

      1. Yeah the only problem is that we in the 50’s and 60s don’t have much ahead…long term for us is 10 yrs tops. I hardly think I will get to 70 w/ all heath issues I have

        1. Sad to hear about your health issues. I hope things will get better for you.

          On the financial side, the shorter the time horizon, the less inflation will be an issue. Like interest rates, inflation is compounding over the years, making it much more of an issue over very long periods of time, and less so over shorter time horizons.

          But I don’t know how you can “plan” to live shorter than average. Financially, you still need money if you get to 80 or 90. This would seem pretty risky to me to plan for only 10 years, and finally be healthier than thought with no money left.

          Maybe an annuity would work in this case. It could be costly to buy, but if you live much longer than the odds, it could be worth it. I’m very not familiar with these products however … so I don’t know if this is a good idea or not.

          Anyway, hope all will be well and that your health will get better !

      2. Humm… I hope our portfolios would at least decuple (increase by tenfold) over such a long period !

        Whether that offset inflation or not is hard to know in advance. But one thing is certain – offseting inflation won’t be easy ! It never has been in the past, and it won’t be easy in the future …

        I wish you good luck with that. I’m on the same boat. So I wish I will be ok as well ! 😀

  13. Wow thanks for the GREAT apps suggestions!

    I was very surprised you spent so little in groceries & alcohol for a couple. I spent around the same but I am single and shop at NoFrills/FreshCo (I go where its cheaper depending on the item, and get PC points from NoFrills).
    The apps and chinese grocery stores seem to be explaining the very low cost.

    I agree that apartment buildings with rent control are great! Can’t stand all these new condos in Downtown TO …

    1. Yup, the Chinese store is way cheaper than NoFills/FreshCo.

      I can’t stand condos in downtown TO either. Shoeboxes in the sky made of jiffy puff.

      Btw, if you want to save on booze, use Wine Butler to do the bottling yourself so you save on the taxes. LCBO sucks and charges way too much tax. If you bottle it yourself with Wine Butler, it’s 25% of the cost of LCBO per bottle.

      You can use this link to get $120 off your first order as a new customer: https://wbsms.winebutler.ca/orderentry.aspx

  14. If Trump was still in power, there would be no war in Ukraine, no tensions with China’s Taiwan and OPEC would be pumping more for us. Inflation would be half of what is it right now.
    I hope the stolen election was worth it for all the socialists out there.

  15. I have to add that going plant-based was a good idea, people saying the price of meat, bacon, milk, etc going up, but I still see chard for $2.49 and organic apples for $2.49/lb, haven’t noticed much of a change!

    I do notice that restaurant portions are slightly smaller, probably better for fitness anyway.

    Hopefully people start to become proponents of better train/multimodal transportation in their cities as it can save a ton.

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    1. Haha, The is the second time I am seeing review on this same Barrysanchez hcker group. I also have DUI and I am really considering/weighing my options because I heard it is some-worth expensive to use the services of hackers. But I will contact them this week.
      Thank you for sharing man.

  17. Hello, A simple question. Is working really that bad ? I mean instead of doing all this, why not just work and pay for the rest of the services. Please explain, since I do not understand this. I am in my 50s. I work as software engineer. I enjoy my job and don’t even feel like I am working. Of course, my employer does not unnecessarily hassle me. Why not to find your comfort zone (i.e. an employer who treats you decently) and just work and pay for all these services ?

    1. The goal is really not to quit at all costs.
      The goal is to reach Financial Independence in order to have more options in life (and at work therefore) etc…

      If one reaches FI and still wants to work, that’s great.
      If one reaches FI and would like to work part-time and volunteer part-time (give back to the community), that’s great too.
      If one reaches FI and would like to quit his current job to start a business or work in another industry (since they have the FI money to take that risk), that’s great as well.

      I work abroad and if I continue to work the “regular” way, I will continue to see my family/loved ones only a few weeks every year.
      Reaching FI will give me more options and will allow me to see my family/loved ones way more often.

      At the end of the day that’s why we work and live, right? to spend time with our family/loved ones.

      Paying less for groceries does not take much time anyway. Why would someone want to pay more if they can easily pay less?

  18. With the costs of transportation going sky high, I took the window of opportunity at my company to switch to telecommuting.
    When it comes to the cost of food, fortunately, we’re a vegetarian family. Produce is getting more expensive too, but we’re doubling down on the garden this year to help offset that a bit.
    The other way to shake your fist at inflation? Keep living small. Small house, small vacation, small plates even!

  19. Ok…I don’t shop at a CHinese store often…the one I go to (national chain) is quite far and I bike 45 km. round trip to do shopping occasionally spring to late fall. I know since I’ve lived in Toronto and VAncouver, so I know exactly what you’re talking about.

    Sigh our prairie Chinatown, the stores here are small and don’t have enough choice and freshness.

    However the strongest message your article is: shop at some ethnic stores.

    I was nearly shocked going into a Middle Eastern large supermarket here: huge bags and choice of different couscous, tea, tahini, etc. I go to a Middle Eastern bakery that is attached to its factory which supplies all of Western Canada: it’s mostly ethnics buying up for their little local businesses or for family/self. I see very few long-time 3rd, 4th generation folks over the past decade. Or Caucasians and very little East Asians. Same biz supplies all the local grocery chains their products.

    There are several Italian local grocers and their imports from Italy, very select German brands, are highly competitive against national grocery chains. Cheap pasta of all shapes/brands, tomato paste, gnocchi, proscuitto, speck, buffalo mozzarella cheese, etc.

    I don’t drive/ have a car. So much is done via walking and cycling. I actually don’t use transit much since live close to services.

  20. The most optimal strategy to beat inflation at any times, in any economies and at everywhere around the world is…

    “be flexible and creatives with all your needs and wants”.

    There are many and many financial-sound solutions close to you that can be substitutions for your needs and wants;

    only if you have developed a solid management of your habitual consuming behaviors overtime.

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