27 Ways To Save Money On Groceries, Gas, Property & More If You're Broke AF In 2022

Some tips to help you combat inflation. 💰

A grocery store in Toronto. Right: A gas station.

A grocery store in Toronto. Right: A gas station.

Inflation in Canada has been at a 30-year high for two months in a row. And with the rising inflation rate comes the rising cost of all essentials. So, if you're looking for ways to save money on things like food, gas, housing and more — you're probably not the only one.

As a matter of fact, the cost of groceries alone has increased by 7.4% in February 2022 in comparison with the previous year — the highest yearly increase in this category since May 2009.

The incredibly high inflation rate has even reached a point where the Bank of Canada, in an effort to slow it down, has raised the national interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5%.

Unsurprisingly, all of this has meant a major hit to wallets across the country.

And so, to help you save a little cash where possible, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks to help make your dollars go further when it comes to essentials (and some not-so-essentials).


A grocery store produce section.

A grocery store produce section.

Jackbluee | Dreamstime

If you've noticed your grocery bill getting higher and higher, you're not the only one. However, there are some simple ways to cut costs on the essentials.

For example, you can save money on food the old-fashioned way. Check your mail or sign up for online promotions and see what savings and discounts are active. You can find yourself saving a surprising amount of cash thanks to the magic of coupons.

Buying food from the grocery store that is discounted because of upcoming expiry dates by finding "enjoy tonight" stickers is another surefire way to cut costs on expensive items like meat .

Meat and dairy continue to be some of the most pricy items at the grocery store. So, some Canadians are buying less of these products and considering more affordable alternatives.


A Canadian gas pump.

A Canadian gas pump.

Melinda Fawver | Dreamstime

Many Canadian drivers will have noticed that the price of gas in Canada just keeps on climbing, but there are some ways to save at the pumps .

Slamming on the accelerator or on the brakes is a surefire way to expend more gas than needed, according to CAA. Gradually accelerate and allow your car to coast to a stop when safe and you'll start seeing better gas mileage.

CAA also suggests planning your route before you go. Doing so avoids unnecessary driving back and forth. Think of your intended route and figure out the most efficient ways to get there.

What's more, the experts say that premium gasoline is not needed for most cars. Don't worry about these little extras and just get that classic regular. It gets the job done!


A residential street in Vancouver.

A residential street in Vancouver.

Ibrester | Dreamstime

Buying a home in Canada is always a big deal, no matter the inflation rate, so these tips are good for anyone hoping to save some money when taking that plunge.

The federal government's Home Buyers' Plan is a great way for you to save some cash when buying a house . It basically allows first-time homebuyers to borrow from their RRSP to help make that down payment on a house.

There's also the home buyers' amount , which offers first-time homebuyers up to $5,000 back on their taxes.

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive could also help, as it offers the chance to share a part of the costs of buying with the Canadian government. By doing so, you can greatly lower your mortgage payment costs.


An Air Canada airplane.

An Air Canada airplane.

Richair | Dreamstime

As travel restrictions loosen in Canada, vacations are becoming increasingly popular again. Experts have shared some great tips to help you figure out your next trip.

When planning a holiday, it helps to have more flexible departure and arrival times. This allows you to compare different days and gives you more of a chance to find the cheapest days to travel.

As COVID-19 rules begin to lift, there are a whole lot of international destinations with deals and incentives aimed at getting tourism back up and running in the country.

Like anything, setting a limit is a great way to save cash when travelling. Figure out how much you want to spend on what, and then stick to it! It's also important to do your research and find out how much is enough to budget for your destination.

Going out for drinks

People with beers at a concert.

People with beers at a concert.

Mary Katherine Wynn | Dreamstime

As the price of essentials goes up, the costs of other parts of our life also increase. Luckily Save The Student has distilled some perfect ways to drink on a budget.

You can save cash when you drink by taking advantage of specials. Lots of bars, restaurants and clubs have daily deals or happy hour discounts that can save you some money on your booze.

While it's fun to come back to your table of friends with a tray of drinks in hand, rounds can easily get expensive. Not everyone ends up paying their share as the night goes on and it's never fun to feel like you were the bank for everyone's night out.

And lastly, don't drink as much! Alcohol can be expensive, so it's sometimes a better idea to alternate with a soft drink or even just get a glass of water. Your next-morning self will thank you for it.

Eating out

Local Public Eatery in Vancouver.

Local Public Eatery in Vancouver.

Svetlana Day | Dreamstime

Along with drinks comes food! And there are actually a lot of great ways to not break the bank when going out to eat, per The Penny Hoarder .

If you're eating out, a lot of the time it's a good idea to skip things like appetizers and desserts. They're often unnecessary add-ons that could end up costing you more than they're worth.

Going out to eat on your birthday can be a great way to save, too. Lots and lots of restaurants in Canada offer special deals for people on their special day , from desserts and mains to other goodies.

And, much like in the previous category, keep your eye out for daily discounts. Especially during the week, there are tons of deals and promos happening at food spots that can get you good grub at a great price.


Shoppers in Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.

Shoppers in Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.

Bsenic | Dreamstime

If you're after some of the latest and greatest items, Investopedia has the lowdown to help you find the best deals when out shopping.

One suggestion is to always keep your eye out for end-of-season sales. Tons of popular stores will have a big blowout sale on older stock, all with some great prices for items that just a few weeks earlier would have been super expensive.

Before you buy that beautiful sweater, think for a moment if there's a cheaper option elsewhere. Places like Kijiji, eBay and Facebook Marketplace can surprise you with the options they have. Even places like Winners and Marshalls could have exactly what you're after at a rock-bottom price.

Additionally, don't be afraid to ask for a discount when warranted. If the item you want to buy has a rip, a dent or some other type of damage, you could get a nice little chunk of change off it.


A bus in Saint John.

A bus in Saint John.

Jiawangkun | Dreamstime

If those eye-watering gas prices have scared you, there are still a whole bunch of ways for you to get around on the cheap without having to buy your own vehicle, per You Can Deal With It .

The most affordable way to get around, if you're able to, is to walk. Just be sure to give yourself the extra time needed. Additionally, you can grab yourself a secondhand bike and whizz around on that.

A lot of folks have also made a care share or rental service their main way of getting around. This works well if you don't need to drive on a daily basis. A lot of cities have car share and rental services, so look into what's local to you.

That old standby! Taking the bus or train is a cheap and easy way to get around cities and can often cost less than $4 for a trip. Just be sure to leave early in case of delays.


A movie theatre in Laval, QC.

A movie theatre in Laval, QC.

Meunierd | Dreamstime

Finally, what's life without entertainment? While, yes, it's probably cheapest to sit and stare at a wall at home, it's not the most fun.

If you're a big fan of watching sports but don't want to spend the big bucks, there are likely some entertaining and fun-to-watch amateur sports leagues in your area that may have cheap or even free tickets.

From books to movies to music, the library has tons of free options and resources to check out too, and all you need to do is to sign up for a library card.

Depending on what you enjoy, whether it be music, film, art, performance or something else, there's a good chance there are cheap or local shows happening near you. Do some research and look around. Not only are you getting a good deal, but even just by showing up you're supporting local artists!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.