Growing inflationary pressure on the Chinese mainland, led by rising food prices, is driving mainland buyers to Hong Kong to fill their shopping carts. More and more residents in Guangdong province, especially Shenzhen, have in the past few weeks been queuing to cross the border into Hong Kong to buy sugar, salt, soybean sauce and even tissue paper in bulk to cushion increasing pressure from rising food prices at home.
While prices are rising so fast, many people are worrying out ways to cut down their expenditures.
Du Zhenqi, an 80-year-old resident in Beijing`s Chaoyang district, expressed his sympathy for the people who took away his towel gourds without permission.
Every year Du plants towel gourds in the community yard for ornament. But this year, before they turned ripe, they were all picked by his neighbors for food.
"The prices of many kinds of vegetables, not only the towel gourds, have gone up dramatically," said Du. "So I understand those people and it pleased me to offer my help to them."
The food price surge in China has made residents with low incomes feel serious financial pressure and forced them to spend wisely.
An online collection of practical money-saving hints is thus becoming increasingly popular among Chinese netizens. If you search "money-saving strategies" in Baidu, China`s most popular search engine, you will find 4.27 million entries in 0.19 seconds.
The collection provides tips such as choosing local and seasonal products, avoiding buying vegetables on rainy or snowy days when higher transport costs increase prices, using e-commerce websites for purchases, and planting vegetables on the balcony.
Some netizens consider buying in bulk to stay within a tight budget.
Fei Yuqin, who lives in Jiading district in Shanghai, frequently hurries to a farmers` market before 6 am to buy large amounts of vegetables for her family and neighbors. "Instead of buying small amounts, I buy large amounts of vegetables at the market and get a 50-percent discount."
With these online tips, many people have become experts in cutting household expenses. However, financial pressure caused by the current round of price hikes still afflicts many Chinese people, just like the situation described in a popular song called China`s Price.
"A student surnamed Guo spent 60,000 yuan ($8,996) for college education. He earned 1,000 yuan per month after graduation. No house and no car, let alone get married."
cross the border 跨境