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Smart shopping

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It looks as though 2020 will be a hit to our bank accounts, with everything from groceries to house prices to pension contributions expected to increase.

Canada’s Food Price Report 2020 is forecasting a two to four per cent increase to food prices for Canadian families, equating to annual food costs for the average family of $12,667 – a $487 increase over 2019.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s Housing Market Outlook forecasts the average price of a home to be in the range of $506,200 to $531,000 in 2020 – up from the $479,300 to $497,200 projected in 2019.

You’ll also be paying more into the Canada Pension Plan in 2020 – 5.25 per cent for non-self-employed workers (up from 5.1 per cent in 2019) and 10.5 per cent for self-employed individuals (up from 10.2 per cent).

What can we do to make our hard-earned dollars stretch?

One way to earn money while you shop is cash-back rewards such as Rakuten (formerly Ebates) or Checkout51. With as much as 30 per cent cash-back earnings, you could receive a hefty chunk of change when employing these apps.

Embrace price-matching programs, where retailers agree to match or beat the price of a competitor.

Crack price-tag codes used by retailers use to show if an item has been marked down, if it will be marked down again or if it’s a final markdown.

While we all adjust to the rising cost of living, smart shopping might just be the key to keeping your bank balance in check.