Rising cost of living raises concern among students

Jill Corrin is shocked by today’s prices at Save-On-Foods. (Amir Said)

Students in Regina aren’t sure whether they’re saving on foods at the grocery store these days. 

Jill Corrin, a third-year French Education student at the University of Regina, is one of many students alarmed by the rising cost of necessities such as food, gas and tuition. As a student who drives and works, she finds the current economic situation difficult. During a visit to Save-On-Foods, Corrin said the increased prices of food “really shocked [her].

“I actually find it really hard seeing as, now, anything more substantial than ramen noodles is not cheap, so I’m finding it hard to eat a balanced diet.” 

The rising cost of groceries continues to be apparent even after the fears surrounding the rapidly-increasing prices of lettuce and other produce. Since the publication of the article, heads of romaine lettuce sit at $4.99 each. While prices seem to have stabilized somewhat as seen through the affordable deals provided at locations like Save-On-Foods, the prices are nonetheless clearly higher than they once were. For students unable to work full-time or generate large income, these issues are of particular concern.

Outside of the grocery store, students are finding it hard to make ends meet. On-campus, students are feeling these struggles first-hand.

In the on-campus food court at the Riddell Centre, the restaurant Austin Grill was replaced with Grill & Co. in 2019. Many students have noted this restaurant offers lower portions at higher prices, which has been the subject of much controversy. 

Mason Hausermann, a history major, has been a U of R student for nearly five years. During his first year in January 2019, the price of gas in Regina was 109.9 cents; today, it sits at 136.9 cents, which reflects a substantial increase amid consistent fluctuations in gas prices over the past year. Hausermann does not drive, but has seen firsthand that prices have increased across the board.

 “I can’t afford barely any essential groceries and it’s really gotten worse,” said Hausermann.

At the on-campus restaurant and bar The Lazy Owl, prices have consistently been on the rise as the menu constantly changes and the organization’s financial deficit continues to remain unresolved.

Mason Hausermann (left) and Gurjinder Singh Lehal (right) discuss rising prices at The Lazy Owl. (Amir Said)

Gurjinder Singh Lehal, a member of the restaurant’s management team, said these rising prices are to be expected.

“We used to have to get those foods and raw materials from different suppliers, so because of staffing costs and union agreements going with operational costs, we have had to increase everything to keep up with the market and increasing rental rates,” said Singh Legal.

Singh Lehal remains optimistic about the future though, as he is a student and is “not really” concerned about the future of prices at The Lazy Owl.

“Being a restaurant, we have to keep up with the rising cost in Regina, but our goal is keeping up with students and realizing that most of our customers do not work full-time,” said Singh Lehal. “We feel that all our prices will be significantly lower, keeping in mind how students feel.”

Management at grocery store chains and the University of Regina Bookstore could not be reached for comment.

While some remain optimistic, others like Hausermann are concerned:

“Alls I know is groceries are increasing, tuition is increasing, and my hope? Decreasing!”

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