Inflation once again reached new heights and the hunt for bargains for many Quebecers intensified. Some still manage to pay twice as much for their food by avoiding supermarket chains.
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February’s price increase was 5.4% in Quebec. In Canada as a whole, the increase is 5.7%, indicated Statistics Canada yesterday. This is the largest increase since August 1991.
This is the 11th month in a row that inflation has exceeded the 3% target set by the Bank of Canada. It is also the second month in a row where the 5% inflation mark has been crossed.
Everything is more expensive
“It’s not just an impression, everything is really getting more expensive,” said managing director and head of macroeconomic strategy for Desjardins, Royce Mendes, yesterday.
In fact, if we remove gasoline, the consumer price index (CPI) still rose 4.7% year over year in February, exceeding the increase recorded in January 2022. (+4.3%).
Food is the other big culprit, with an increase of 7.4% between February 2021 and February 2022.
In Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in Montérégie, customers of the Les Escomptes St-Jean grocery store feel a little more sheltered from increases than others.
Yesterday, at the passage of Newspaper around noon, the parking lot and the store were full to bursting, a sign of the popularity of the place.
The owner, Yves Dubé, manages to offer unbeatable prices on bread and a host of other foods – as much fruits and vegetables as meat – thanks to his long-standing relationships with many suppliers, which he guards jealously. secrets.
“I sell wholesale, but we sell to everyone too,” he says in front of “one of the 12 palettes” of Caprice des Dieux cheese he has just received.
This cheese, sold for $5.79 elsewhere, retails for $1 here.
“Yes, they are closer to the best before date, but they freeze very well,” says the owner.
This is nothing to prevent Catherine Turcot and Jean-François Bellino, two long-time customers, from getting some.
“We watch the arrivals on the Facebook page and we can come three times a week,” says the customer, whose spouse is carrying their second child.
Bread and cheese are two “essentials”. They also come to buy ribs, fish and seafood, “which are really cheap”.
In all, the daycare educator and the manager in the private sector estimate that they save a few thousand dollars a year by shopping at Les Escomptes St-Jean.
Another customer, Christopher Galleau, comes to buy what he needs for the restaurant where he works.
“It’s easily twice as expensive as elsewhere,” he says before blowing that Yves Dubé often offers him prices that his suppliers are unable to match.
Butcher at smiling prices
Some 50 km further south, at Ange-Gardien, it is rather meat that is found at a good price. “Every time I come, I stock up,” says Sylvie Grondin, who lives in Lac-Brome, about the meats from the F. Ménard butcher shop.
His spouse, Roger Bachand, lives closer to him. “I’ve only bought my meat here for 16 years, except when there are big specials elsewhere,” he says.
Not only are the products of better quality, they are also less expensive, assures the loyal customer, because customers “don’t pay for the rating what does the supermarket do?
He’s not wrong. At F. Ménard, fresh pork tenderloin sold yesterday at $14.31 per kilo compared to $18.72 at a large chain – a difference of 31%. The pork back rib was $14.41 a kilo, compared to $19.82 at the same large chain (a 38% spread).
With the price of meat jumping 11.7% in February, these price differences are not insignificant.
The explosion in the cost of living in a few figures
5.7% Inflation in Canada from February 2021 to February 2022 (biggest increase since August 1991)
5.4% Inflation in Quebec from February 2021 to February 2022
7.4% Increase in the price of store-bought foodfrom February 2021 to February 2022, more than the 6.5% increase recorded in January and the largest increase since May 2009
32.3% Increase in the price of gasoline at the pump in Canada from February 2021 to February 2022
6.6% Rising cost of housing for all Canadians from February 2021 to February 2022, the largest increase since August 1983
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