Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Amid the elevated cost of living as food prices climb, Canadians are opting for cheaper options in the candy aisle, getting creative with costumes for their children, and putting up fewer decorations for this spooky season.

Although Canada’s annual inflation rate fell to 3.8 per cent in September, the elevated cost of living remains a concern for many Canadians. In a callout, Canadians told CTVNews.ca how they’re adjusting their Halloween plans while tightening their belts.

Cheryl Mark of Calgary said Halloween has taken a back seat for a few years now in her home, as a grandparent of nine kids.

“It’s gotten to be a really big cultural event with elaborate costumes so again not so much the kids but the adult generation. So there’s just so much cost and what is just a lot of waste,” said Mark in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

Mark also pointed to the younger generation being more conscious about the health impacts of treats.

A survey by Maru Public Opinion said 50 per cent of Candaian households will be participating in Halloween this year with costume dressing or handing out treats. The provinces with the least Halloween spirit were Quebec, with 38 per cent, and British Columbia, with 48 per cent of residents rising to the occasion according to the survey, while Atlantic Canada had 71 per cent celebrating the haunted season.

Cathy Bowen of Orillia, Ont. said there will be no Halloween plans this year as a 61-year-old working 30 hours a week.

“Cost of food, cost of gas, inflation, it never ends,” said Bowen in an phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

Bowen said Halloween is the least of her worries but her grandkids are still looking forward to going trick or treating.

 Many families are noticing the size of their candy shrinking, a phenomenon known as “shrinkflation.”

The Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University found that sugar prices have reached their highest levels since 2011, while cocoa prices are at a 44-year high due to factors such as droughts, pests and broader market forces.

Both “shrinkflation” and inflation have force some families to find cheaper alternatives to their favourite treats, like Ella Gladstone of Oshawa, Ont.

Gladstone said her family has purchased fewer treats this year and changed up their selection. In previous years, Gladstone said typically they purchase flavoured chip and a variety of mini chocolate bars. After finding an inexpensive alternative, rice krispy squares — which was the same quantity as a bag of chips for less — and sour candies, Gladstone said they are going to give it a try.

“We have no idea how it’s going to be this year for how many kids are going to come? It’s a Tuesday, the weather, COVID — we’re hoping we’re not going be one of those people that have to turn off our lights this year,” said Gladstone in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

“I always had candy going door to door and I’m always going to make sure that the kids in my neighbourhood are going to have candy but now I have to take stuff away from the fridge that’s going to cost me $60 where it typically costs $25,” said Eric Normandeau, a father of three in a single-income household in Moncton, N.B in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

After refusing to buy candies he saw a couple of days ago, Normandeau said he knows he’s going to have to go back and make that purchase with a grumble.

Normandeau said he didn’t buy costumes for his kids this year instead they made their own. He said every year they go to Spirit of Halloween, a Halloween store, but this year was a pass. because of the rising costs.

“I want my kids to have fun, but at the same time, it’s super frustrating because I’m having a hard time paying my bills,” he said.

“I usually hand out Mars bars and chips. But this year, it’s depending on what’s on sale,” said Normandeau.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Tara De Boer and Jennifer Ferreira

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