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Weekly grocery shopping has shifted from a pleasant routine to a stressful outing, and rising food prices are to blame.

Weekly grocery shopping has shifted from a pleasant routine to a stressful outing, and rising food prices are to blame. Those ubiquitous, plastic-wrapped English cucumbers, usually around $1 each, can now cost as much as $2.50. Meat, cheese and eggs are all more expensive. Even reliably affordable staples such as beans have increased – try finding a can of chickpeas for under 99 cents.

In January 2023, Canadian grocery prices saw a year-over-year jump of slightly more than 11 per cent. Canada’s Food Price Report expects a further bump of 5 per cent to 7 per cent for 2023. In dollar terms that’s an average of $1,065 more for the year.

No matter what factors have swirled together to cause the situation (supply chain shortfalls, an ingredient suddenly trending on TikTok – yes, really), the solution feels as out of reach as weekly filet mignon.

Where many see disappointment every time they head to the grocery store, SkipTheDishes and its rapid grocery and convenience delivery service, Skip Express Lane, recognized a unique opportunity to help Canadian shoppers and home cooks.

Partnering with Dentsu Creative Canada, Skip Express Lane is introducing an interactive Inflation Cookbook, designed to help Canadians maximize their grocery budgets and take inflation out of their shopping carts.

The Cookbook is reflective of Skip Express Lane’s mission to conveniently deliver fresh, healthy produce and other top grocery items in 25 minutes or less, and increase access to food for all Canadians.

Skip and Dentsu Creative Canada also teamed up with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, who shared insights about why food prices go up and down, and when.

The Inflation Cookbook should not be confused with your local store’s weekly deals flyer or offers. Instead of looking at sales and specials, this cookbook tracks real-time data and monitors pricing trends to spot which ingredients are seeing drops in price, including in-demand items such as fresh vegetables, grains, dairy and more.

Wouldn’t you love to know that salmon is cheaper this week than last week? Or that you might want to swap your usual Boston lettuce for spinach?

The Inflation Cookbook (accessible through a mobile-friendly web browser) identifies the most value-packed and versatile ingredients by tracking a custom algorithm of more than 400 popular items. Every week, the top 10 buys are highlighted, as are the foods that are experiencing increases, and each one is turned into a recipe card, with suggestions for using that particular product.

It’s not just about getting a good deal. The recipes also have to be tasty and nutritious. That’s where a mix of AI and human input comes in.

The starting point of a recipe comes courtesy of the AI chatbot. Once AI generates a recipe (along with an image) based on the hero ingredient, the recipe gets polished up with the help of a chef and a nutritionist to make sure it’s delicious and balanced.

That’s also why most of the ingredients you’ll find week-to-week will come from the fresh produce aisle. “Often, the things that are cheaper are not necessarily good for you,” says Jordan Doucette, Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu Creative Canada. “That’s why this cookbook exists, to help you identify which ingredients are on the downward trend [in price] and how to turn them into healthy meals.”

Think about that suddenly affordable salmon you found, and how it could be served on a bed of wholesome herbed brown rice, or about a hearty, veggie-packed ragu made from eggplants on special this week.

You can curate and customize your Inflation Cookbook based on your household size, grocery budget and geographic location. It will offer further substitutions to maximize savings (like swapping meat for lentils, for example) or account for dietary restrictions.

We could all use an ally at the grocery store – someone or something to help us find affordable, nutritious food. That’s exactly what the Inflation Cookbook aims to be. Combined with the support of Skip Express Lane to efficiently pick up any last-minute grocery needs, this is the winning combo that Canadians are looking for.

Alongside introducing the Inflation Cookbook, Skip announced it is evolving its long-standing partnership with Food Banks Canada to address the ongoing concern of food insecurity in this cost of living crisis. In addition to its continuing financial support to Food Banks Canada, all unsold food from its 23 Skip Express Lane fulfillment centres will be donated to local food banks to provide fresh food in communities across the country.

“According to Food Banks Canada, we’re currently seeing the highest food bank use in Canadian history and it’s clear that rising food prices have presented a challenge for just about everyone,” says Steve Puchala, Interim Chief Executive Officer, SkipTheDishes.

“At this critical time, Skip is committed to helping all Canadians and has developed the Inflation Cookbook that can be used as a tool to better source well-priced, healthy food,” says Puchala. Skip is also expanding its partnership with Food Banks Canada, continuing its commitment to fighting food insecurity by supporting those that need it most right now.”

Looking to try a recipe? Start below!

Quinoa Salad with Tahini-Avocado Dressing



1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1/4 cup tahini

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 tbsp olive oil1 tsp paprika

1 cup quinoa

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 orange, peeled and segmented

1/4 cup chopped cashews

Nutritional Value:

Per serving:

Calories: 620

Protein: 34

Fat: 36

Carbohydrates: 49

Fiber: 12

Sugar: 16

Please note that this is an estimate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and any substitutions made. Additionally, the nutritional information may change if any additional sauces or toppings are added.

Cost Per Serving:

Approximately $5.00-$6.00


  1. Make the dressing by combining the avocado, tahini, lemon juice, honey, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
  2. Spread the butternut on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Rub the squash to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and reserve.
  3. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and add it to a medium-sized pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, diced red bell pepper, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, and shredded rotisserie chicken. Pour the avocado-tahini dressing over the top and toss to coat.
  5. Divide the salad among four plates or bowls and top with citrus segments and roasted squash. Sprinkle chopped cashews over the top.Batching: Easy to batch up

Substitutions: For a meatless version substitute a hard-boiled egg in for the chicken.

Want to see more recipes? Check out

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Dentsu Creative Agency and Skip the Dishes. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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