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Why saving money on food is ‘definitely a challenge’ for millennials

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When Leslie Hacker began taking a closer look at her finances recently, she noticed she was spending about $1,000 on food each month.

« It seems like a lot, but when I did the math, that’s about 35 dollars a day, which doesn’t seem that crazy anymore to be honest, » she says.

Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up.

« It’s definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food. »

At 28, Hacker is a millennial, defined as anyone born between 1980 and 2000. Saving money is a problem for her generation and experts say a big reason is how much millennials spend on eating out and ordering in.

Hacker works in social media marketing, which makes it even harder, she says, to save on food.

« All day I’m seeing these food pictures online and I’m like, ‘I want to try this and I want to try that!' » she tells CBC Toronto.

Leslie Hacker, a millennial foodie living in Toronto, says besides convenience, food apps like UberEats and SkipTheDishes allow her to try a wide range dishes from many great restaurants in the city. (Kelda Yuen/ CBC News)

In the age of smartphones, access is easier than ever with popular food apps like UberEats and SkipTheDishes bringing a hot meal to your door in minutes.  But the convenience comes at a cost.

« There’s the delivery fee — $5.00 to $7.50, I find, is the usual delivery charge. And then you have to tip the drivers. »

Despite that, Hacker says she still uses the apps at least a few times a week because « as a single person, it’s harder to cook, I find. There’s less motivation. Maybe when I have a family, things will be different. »

Paycheque to paycheque

Jessica Moorhouse, a Toronto-based millennial money expert is noticing many of her well-paid millennial clients are living from paycheque to paycheque because they are overspending on food.

Some, like Hacker, are spending  $500 to $1,000 dollars a month.

« Most of the time when I’m talking to clients, I’m like, ‘So you’re spending $500 on eating out every month, are you happy with that?’ and most of the time they are like, ‘No! I wish I could use that money towards my emergency fund, paying off debt, or go on an amazing trip! »‘

She says the first thing she tells her clients is to track their spending for three months to identify patterns and problem areas, then they can « start taking steps to fix it. »

Moorhouse says there is no « right or wrong answer » when it comes to how much you should be spending on food, but « 10 to 20 per cent of your gross income… is a good starting point. »

Millennial money expert Jessica Moorhouse says many of her clients opt for the more expensive options of ordering in or dining out because they don’t have time to go grocery shopping and cook. (John Grierson/ CBC News)

A millennial herself, Moorhouse, 32, says she definitely notices her generation is spending more money on food than their parents, but she understands why.

« I think it’s because our lifestyles are very different. A lot of us are working full time and we have a side hustle, or we’re busy on the weekends, » she said. 

« We’re just go, go, go all the time. We’re in that crunch time in our lives whereas Gen Xers and baby boomers, the kids may be out of the house (and) they’ve got a little bit more time. »

No time to cook

« I feel like I’m always worried about not having time to cook, » 21-year-old Parnian Dolati said.

As a full-time student, Dolati says she’s often too busy for the kitchen. 

« I should be spending the money on making my own food but I don’t. »

Richard Banyard, 32, is a millennial who does cook, and says it saves him a lot of money.

He told CBC Toronto he spends about $20 to $30 on food each week, which adds up to between $80 and $120 a month.

« It’s the value of knowing how to make simple meals. I know people who don’t even know how to cook an egg. [They] don’t cook at all, so they spend most of their money on take-out. »

Finding a middle ground

For time-starved millennials who don’t have time to grocery shop or prepare food, Moorhouse suggests meal-kits as a good option to cut costs.

« That’s where those kind of delivery service meal kits come in… They do the hard lifting for you. They have all the ingredients and all you have to do is put it together. If you have 15 or 30 minutes, which everyone does, you’ll have time to make your own meal. »

And the cost?

« It’s way cheaper. For instance, with Chef’s Plate (an Etobicoke-based meal kit company), a kit starts at $8.99 (including delivery). It’s really good in terms of being a middle ground if you’re looking for something to help you with your budget, eat healthy, and help you with those time constraints. »

Hacker says she can’t see herself deleting food apps as Moorhouse suggests. But she is looking for ways to save money, such as cooking more often and dining in or ordering from less expensive restaurants. (John Grierson/ CBC News)

Hacker says she opts for the meal kit option once in a while.

 « I don’t use it every week, but I find it helps. »

She also says she is trying to cook something every other day in order to save money.

For those who really want to save though, Moorhouse suggests going cold turkey.

« Seriously, if you want to save money, delete those apps. »



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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