Toronto, ON, May 12, 2022 – Canadians are employing a wide variety of tactics in order to save money and protect their household finances against an inflation rate approaching 7%, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. The most common strategies that Canadians report employing in 2022 in order to deal with the higher cost of living include: cutting back on dining out (54%), looking at flyers for sales (51%), putting off new purchases like clothing (47%), cutting back on entertainment (46%) and using a couponing or sale app to save money (31%).
Other ways that Canadians are trimming their household budget include: cutting back on both international (33%) and domestic travel (31%) – no doubt grudgingly given many haven’t travelled in more than two years, switching their regular grocery store for one they think is cheaper (26%), eating less meat (24%), buying fewer fresh fruits and vegetables (22%), and carpooling more or taking fewer car trips (18%) in order to save on gas.
Some are resorting to even more drastic measures in order to make ends meet. One in eight (13%) have started using money that they were setting aside for retirement, and one in twelve (8%) have delayed or did not renew a medical prescription, rising to 14% among those aged 18-34.
Parents with children in their household have also had to scale back the amount of money they spend on their children:
- One in three (32%) say they’re telling their kids “no” more often
- Nearly two in ten (17%) have had to cut back on organized sports for their kids
- Parents (34%) are more likely than those without kids in the household (24%) to have switched grocers and to have delayed or not filled a prescription (12% of parents vs. 7% of those without kids).
Overall, just 14% of Canadians have not employed any of these tactics and have continued to spend their money as they did prior to these inflationary times.
The data also reveal that certain groups of people are more likely to be cutting back on different things:
- Those in Alberta (41%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (41%) are considerably more likely than the national average (33%) to be cutting back on international travel, while Albertans (44%) are much more likely to be cutting back on domestic travel than the average Canadian (31%).
- Ontarians (32%) are more likely than the average Canadian (26%) to have switched their regular grocery store for one that they believe is cheaper, and they’re also more likely to be using a couponing or sale app to save money (37% in Ontario; 31% national average). They’re also the most likely in Canada to be putting off purchases (52% in Ontario vs. 47% national average)
- Atlantic Canadians (30%), Albertans (28%), and those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (28%) are more likely to be buying fewer fresh fruits and vegetables than the average Canadian (22%).
Perhaps not surprisingly, Canadians in the lowest income threshold studied – those whose household earns less than $40K per year, are more likely than the average Canadian to be cutting back in a number of ways, including on dining out (60% of those under $40K vs. 54% national average), looking at flyers for sales (57% vs. 51%), eating less meat (31% vs. 24%), eating fewer fresh fruits and vegetables (27% vs. 22%), and putting of purchases like clothing (56% vs. 47%).
Women are also more likely than men to have changed their behaviour amidst rising inflation, including switching grocery stores (30% vs. 22%), looking at flyers for sales (55% vs. 46%), eating less meat (27% vs. 21%), eating less fresh fruit and vegetables (25% vs. 18%), and putting off purchases like new clothing (52% vs. 41%).
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 14 to 19, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Senior Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
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