“Although prices are going up higher and higher, pensions are decreasing. I will have to wait until the next bargain day to go to a supermarket.”

Michiko Kumagai, 78, a resident of Sapporo's Nishi Ward who works for a nonprofit organization, recently has been going shopping only on days when a supermarket in her neighborhood offers a 5% discount or on evenings when vegetables are sold at half price.

She makes efforts to save money by bulk buying komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) or cabbages, packing them in small portions and freezing them.