The price of milk went up last week, leaving some Maritimers struggling to save at the grocery store more than they already were.
As of Feb. 1, milk is up 8.6 cents per litre on average across Nova Scotia, and 10 cents a litre across New Brunswick.
And though it may only be a dime more, that adds up for families in the checkout line.
“Over the course of a year that’s a couple hundred dollars,” says consumer-conscious blogger Ruth Ann Swansburg.
“It comes back to: what can I give up to make the difference? Because milk is not going to be given up.”
Swansburg, once known as “The Moncton Coupon Lady”, devotes her days to helping others find ways to save through her blog, Everything Unscripted.
That’s something she says seems to be getting harder for families every day.
The big question on the minds of many in the dairy aisle is likely to be ‘why?’
Why are Canadians paying for milk in the first place?
Researcher Sylvain Charlebois says our fate rest in the hands of the Canadian Dairy Commission — or the other CDC.
“The argument that they’re making is that it’s costing more to feed livestock, which is actually true,” he says.
Charlebois, senior director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, says once a year the CDC surveys dairy farmers nationwide to determine the demanded increase.
He says that survey is optional — and that finding out who took part and what they said is harder than you might expect.
“We’ve actually made a request to the Canadian Dairy Commission to have access to the data,” says Charlebois.
“Our request was denied.”
The higher cost of milk will no doubt impact the price of cheese and other milk byproducts, in turn impacting how your favourite restaurant does things.
Charlebois warns some pizzerias may end up closing or using less cheese on their pizzas.
Some consumers who weren’t already looking at switching to almond milk or other dairy-free alternatives are more likely to make the switch now.
However, as Swansburg points out, that’s not always an option when you’re buying for kids.
“I think the majority of households, the people that are drinking the milk are the most picky,” she says.
Swansburg says saving at the supermarket is still possible if you plan ahead.
She advises flipping through flyers and making a grocery list and not forgetting it at home.