Regina woman hosts Facebook group to share grocery cost-saving tips

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Big increase predicted for food prices in 2022'
Consumer Matters: Big increase predicted for food prices in 2022
Expect to get more sticker shock next year at your favourite supermarket. Food experts are forecasting that several provinces, including B.C., are expected to see higher than average food inflation rates in 2022. Anne Drewa reports – Dec 9, 2021

A Regina woman estimates she’s cut her monthly grocery bill in half through price matching and coupon collecting.

Raiza Ocampo started couponing and price matching back in 2018.

“I’ve always been kind of thrifty, trying to save money here and there — especially being an immigrant in Canada. We kind of start small,” Ocampo told Global News.

Ocampo was invited to a Facebook group that taught members how to price match and compare fliers to find good deals.

As time went on, Ocampo decided to try it herself.

“I started showing the cashier the cheaper price and then they would knock it down by 50 per cent, sometimes even 75 per cent,” she said.

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Ocampo realized she could do this on every grocery trip and cut down significantly on her costs.

“The more you do it, the faster you are. It doesn’t take that much time. It’s kind of like practice makes perfect.”

Ocampo started her own Facebook page — YQR Couponbae — which has attracted over 9,700 followers.

Ocampo shares tips and tricks on her social media to help followers save money. She said a lot of people have messaged her to say thank you.

“I don’t share them because sometimes their stories are very personal. It usually has to do with single mothers and with job loss, especially during COVID.”

For those looking to start cutting back on their grocery bill, Ocampo suggests starting with price matching.

“While you’re making your grocery list on your paper or your digital grocery list…you would go on your Flipp app and find the cheapest price and then write it down,” Ocampo said.

From there, Ocampo suggests moving on to coupon collecting, cashback apps, and loyalty programs.

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Along with her Facebook and YouTube page, Ocampo said there are many others sharing tips on social media that people can learn more from.

Angus Reid poll shows Canadians struggling

A recent study from Angus Reid Institute found that 3 in 5 or 57 per cent Canadians say it is currently difficult to feed their household.

In response to the same question in 2019, 36 per cent said this part of their finances was causing them difficulty.

Angus Reid Institute president Shachi Kurl said the study shows Canadians are “much more pessimistic” about both their current and future financial situation as inflation reaches a 30-year high.

The study found 2 in 5 or nearly 40 per cent of Canadians say they are worse off now than they were last year, and about 30 per cent believe they will be doing worse a year from now.

“That speaks to a two-year window of some amount of financial deterioration,” Kurl said.

Click to play video: 'O’Toole takes aim at Canada’s economic update, rising inflation costs'
O’Toole takes aim at Canada’s economic update, rising inflation costs

“We’re seeing almost 3 in 5 Canadians telling us that they’re having trouble meeting their regular grocery bill — that feeding the family is getting more difficult. We’re hearing that the cost of living just in terms of cost of housing is also a stressor for them.”

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Kurl added that previous data shows that how Canadians are feeling is not so much related to the unemployment rate or job security, but rather income not increasing at a pace to meet higher costs.

“There’s another factor here, which is really important, is that not everyone is experiencing this in the same way or equally,” Kurl added.

Kurl explained those who have a lower income and are in their middle years, who are more likely to be raising kids, feeding a family, and trying to pay a mortgage are “trying to just keep it all together. Those are folks who are taking the worst of it.”

On the other hand, there are people who perhaps came into the pandemic with a decent number of assets like owning a home, having a higher household income, or money in investment markets.

“Even though everyone’s paying more and everyone notices that they’re paying more, some people are far better equipped to absorb those costs than others,” Kurl said.

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