Buy the bigger pack so it’s not considered a snack

We all know shrinkflation is causing us to pay more for less, but here’s a helpful hack for the snack aisle—you might not pay tax on the bigger size.

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, you don’t have to pay tax on groceries, but you do have to pay for snacks. But what’s the difference between “groceries” and “snacks?” It’s actually kind of complex.

  • It defines snacks as individually portioned items that are packaged in a particular way. How the product is labelled and its ingredients are also significant factors. 

Ice cream is considered a snack if it’s a 500 mL container or smaller since it’s considered a “single serving,” a.k.a a snack. The same goes for individually wrapped ice cream bars, cones or sandwiches.

  • But if you were to buy a two-litre tub, it’s “zero-rated,” meaning not taxed.

Here are some other vexing taxations to remember when you’re wandering the aisles:

  • Plain nuts are not taxable—seasoned nuts (even salted) are.
  • Granola products that aren’t cereal are taxable.
  • Cakes, cookies, muffins and tarts are taxable when you buy less than six

We don’t have the space in this newsletter to review all the nuances, but we highly recommend you do. Pull out your last big grocery haul bill and look for ways you might be able to save by buying a bigger size next time.