As inflation continues to impact Canadians and groceries become more difficult for individuals and families to afford, Innisifil residents Anna and Jelmer Stegink wanted to do something to help.
The couple asked members of over 50 local Facebook groups across Simcoe County, York Region, and Toronto to share their best tips, tricks and hacks to save money on groceries in today’s challenging shopping environment.
Over 500 people shared their advice with the Stegink’s and the couple used the most popular and impactful tips to create a crowdsourced grocery-saving guide.
The idea came from Anna, who through her job, sees everyday the struggles people are dealing with when it comes to groceries.
“I run a surplus and imperfect grocery delivery service that helps people save money and fight food waste,” she said. “Through many conversations with customers I learned how increasing food prices, and cost of living overall, are impacting families across our community.
“Eating healthy is getting harder to afford, and I figured there must be something more we can do to help people stretch their grocery budget.”
The idea of coming up with a grocery-saving guide crowdsourced by communities across Ontario made sense to the Stegink’s because inflation affects everyone.
“Increasing grocery prices is a problem that impacts all of us,” Anna said. “Instead of trying to solve the problem by ourselves I figured it might make sense to ask the community to share their best grocery saving tips to help everyone shop smarter and save.
“I posted in a couple local Facebook groups to test if people would be willing to share their advice and the response was incredible.”
Now that the guide is available online for free, the Stegink’s are optimistic the people who helped build it will use it to save money where they can.
“I hope the guide will help people find new ways to save money and eat better,” said Anna. “Shopping on a budget can be stressful, but using the right tactics, apps and services can help people stretch their dollars and get better value.”
According to Canada’s Food Price Report for 2023, food bills are projected to increase by $1,065.60 this year, but the Stegink’s food guide offers information on how to “ace the basics” to help relieve some of that pressure.
“Grocery shopping is getting much more expensive quickly,” said Anna. “The annual food cost for the average Canadian family has increased from $12,666 in 2020 to $16,228 in 2023—that is a 28 per cent increase in just three years. This means many of us have had to change the way we shop and eat to make ends meet.”
A link to the crowdsourced food guide can be found here. The Stegink’s encourage people to continue to submit tips and plan to continue updating the guide.