BUSINESS REPORT: Expect to pay more to fill your belly next year

Most grocers indicated they had no desire to open a store in downtown Saskatoon because the current population is not sufficient to support one.
Food prices are climbing across the board, but Canadians who eat at home frequently will see less impact. File / Global News

For many Canadians, a full belly will mean an emptier pocketbook in 2018.

With grocery wars heating up, your food bill will likely only climb marginally if you eat at home.

However, Canadians on the whole eat out about 30 per cent of the time.

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If you fall into that category, expect your bill for groceries and dining out to rise to about $348 per person, to almost $12,000 a year for the average family of four.

About $208 of that $348 hike will come from the higher cost of eating out and choosing more prepared food.

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British Columbia is expected to see larger increases due to inflation, whereas increased competition in Alberta and Ontario should lead to lower prices.

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Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are expected to remain fairly steady.

Costs for dairy, baked goods, meats and seafood are forecast to rise by about two percent, with the largest increase in prices for fresh vegetables, up between four to six percent.