"I've quit drinking coffee": Canadians are making sacrifices to keep up with the cost of living in 2023

Jan 20 2023, 7:19 pm

Canadians are making creative sacrifices to make life affordable this year.

Things have been getting more expensive for Canadians, from housing to higher food costs, which has led to increased theft at grocery stores.

From Reddit to TikTok, social media users are sharing their stories and ideas to help other Canadians save a few bucks, and we’ve compiled a few of the best ideas here.

Skip the Uber Eats

sacrifices canadians affordable


As one Redditor said, they’re “tryna stop ubereats-ing myself into poverty…”

This is a sentiment most Canadians probably understand too well. It’s easy to jump to your favourite food-delivery app and get a quick meal sent to your home, but it’s also pricey. Most food is more expensive to have delivered than to go in and pick it up.

The cheapest option is to avoid your favourite app altogether and make a meal at home. However, this is easier said than done for many people for various reasons.

“Whenever I make a delivery order I get to the payment screen and after fees, delivery and tip I can’t bring myself to hit place order so I go to the fridge and cry while eating leftover pasta for the 3rd day in a row,” said another Redditor. We hear you, Taylor_Spliff_13.

Another Reddit user said they try to be mindful of groceries and food waste. Someone else suggested they avoid gig services altogether.

“Some people I know use them all of the time and then wonder why they don’t have money.”

According to one Redditor, “meal planning helps cut food waste.”

One user even suggested that eating vegetarian and vegan meals is a way to save money, with meat prices going up.

Entertainment and recreation

sacrifices canadians affordable

Treacle creative/Shutterstock

Some Canadians have cancelled their cable subscriptions, favouring cheaper options like IP TV. There’s also the newly announced free service Pluto TV. If you need to pinch pennies, services like Tubi allow free streaming of popular movies and shows with ads.

If you’re not under a contract, switching to a cheaper phone provider might be an excellent way to save money. You’d be surprised at the coverage and features you can get with brands like Freedom Mobile or the smaller counterparts of the larger telecoms like Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile.

There are also many options for cheaper high-speed internet for your home, compared to the more prominent brands.

This idea might be tough for some to swallow, but less alcohol is a sure way to save some bucks. If you consume cannabis, someone suggested buying weed in bulk. However, the costs can add up quite quickly if you visit dispensaries often to purchase pre-rolls or small amounts of cannabis often.

Coffee is another expensive habit you can alleviate by making it at home, even if it doesn’t taste as good as an expensive latte.

“I’ve quit drinking coffee and alcohol and weed and am living in Mexico for the winter,” said one Redditor.


Africa Studio/Shutterstock

This option isn’t the easiest, but it is a choice many Canadians have had to make.

The cost of living in certain provinces is much higher than in others. This is why many have decided to move from places like BC to Alberta, where shelter costs are astronomically cheaper.

It’s a sad reality that you can rent two places in Edmonton for the cost of one in Vancouver. You can find similar trends in Ontario versus other provinces.

As one person moving from Ontario said, “insurance alone is $2,500 a year cheaper where I’m going.”

Track your purchases and other financial tips

Homemade coffee for the win (DedMityay/Shutterstock)

A few people suggested creating a spreadsheet, which can help make you aware of your spending and where most of your money is going.

One good piece of advice was to put some money into an emergency account until you have around three months of income. With layoffs happening weekly, you never know when you’ll need an emergency fund.

With high food costs being top of mind for people, a little shopping around could do you some good. Also, keep an eye out for coupons and other deals in flyers.

@livingonaloonie Looking to save money in 2023? Try couponing! Reach out to your favourite brands and ask if they have any coupons they will mail you. Worst they can do is say no. I have compiled a list at the end of companies who said yes last year. #livingonaloonie #canadiancouponer #couponingincanada #canadianfinances ♬ original sound – livingonaloonie

While some may be averse to shopping for vintage clothing, you can find surprisingly nice clothes by thrifting if you need some new digs.

Are you making any sacrifices like these Canadians to make life more affordable in 2023? Give us your life hacks in the comments.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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