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What’s the impact of inflation on your food spend at the supermarket? The recipe for a financially lean grocery list is well-known: It usually includes changes such as swapping meat for legumes and trading some fresh produce for the frozen kind. But while those substitutions will lower your overall grocery bill, they won’t necessarily protect you from price increases.

Live updates: September inflation numbers to be released today

That’s because food inflation can hit inexpensive staples. For example, global disruptions to the supply of wheat can cause price hikes for products such as bread and pasta. If you’re looking for more ways to shield your grocery cart from inflation, it pays to look at how prices for different product types have changed in recent years.

In the fresh produce aisle, for example, you’ll find that the prices of many fruits and vegetables regularly see wild swings, while bananas have a remarkably steady track record. This calculator will help you spot more ways to squeeze inflation out of your bill.

The Globe and Mail would like to thank The Measure of a Plan, a Canadian financial literacy website, for inspiring and helping with the creation of this tool. Head over to TMP for more ways to analyze your food spend and find ways to save.

Looking to minimize inflation on your grocery bill? Try buying prawns instead of pasta


This calculator uses Statistics Canada data that tracks the average retail prices of a range of products commonly purchased by Canadian consumers. The average prices are calculated with scanner data obtained directly from the retailers. Due to factors including product rotation, quality and quantity changes and shifting consumer preferences, using average retail prices for comparisons over time has limitations. For a precise measure of price changes over time, please refer to StatsCan’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.

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