What rising inflation rates look like on your grocery bill

Feb 19, 2016 at 2:10 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images/Betsie Van Der Meer

Everyone's talking about the weak Canadian dollar these days, which is hovering right now at around USD $0.73, and now we're seeing evidence of the hurting dollar on our grocery bills. While you may not notice an increase of a few cents here and there, it adds up.

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Last month the weakened Canadian dollar continued to cause our food prices to surge, driving up Canada's inflation rates to 2 per cent, according to the latest Consumer Price Index from Statistics Canada. Exactly how does the weakened dollar affect the price tags you see in grocery aisles?

"For every cent drop in the dollar over a short period of time, currency-exposed food categories like vegetables, fruits and nuts are likely to increase by more than 1%," explain researchers from the University of Guelph in their 2016 Food Price Report.

Food prices climbed 4 per cent in the past year, but expect to see the biggest price increase in fresh produce. Prices on fresh veggies climbed a whopping 18.2 per cent (between January 2015 and January 2016) — these prices increased by 13.3 per cent in December alone, according to Statistics Canada.

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Looking at food prices that have increased between January 2015 and January 2016:

Effect of inflation on produce
Image: SheKnows

And Statistics Canada says lettuce prices are a whopping 18 per cent more expensive in 2016.

Price increases on other food items have probably been hurting your wallet this year too:
Effect of inflation on food
Image: SheKnows

But it's not all bad news. In fact, some prices have lowered or stayed the same:

Effect of inflation on produce
Image: SheKnows

Also, a litre of partly skimmed milk is actually a couple of cents cheaper in 2016, costing $2.32 in January of this year..

Curious about other price changes you'll see on shelves this year? Check Statistics Canada's data on average retail prices for food and other items for more information.

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