Supermarket prices have risen by an average of 6.8 percent over the past year. Eggs have gone up 17.5 percent; fish 18.1 percent; and milk powder up 17.3 percent. Although that last one makes sense, because why wouldn’t you want to make a quick buck off of mainlanders? But it’s getting harder and harder to live on a budget in Hong Kong. Prices are skyrocketing; the property bubble, we are constantly assured, is about to pop. Surely it’s only a matter of time before we win the Mark Six? In the meantime, we’ve come up with some cunning ways to beat the price-gougers at their own game. Haggle. This is a greatly underused tactic that pays dividends. The next time the cashier in ParknShop tells you “$316.75” get right up in their face and yell back “$150!” Increase your bid as necessary, but stick to round numbers and remember to set a price ceiling. If you’re not comfortable with how much you’re paying, walk away and try Wellcome. Gouge a bit yourself . Listen: nothing beats a price hike like hiking it right back. The next time you buy a 17.5-percent-increased egg, why not incubate it, hatch it into a chicken and then have it culled by the authorities? Then you can demand compensation and presto: you’re the real winner. Become a monk . Buddhism doesn’t just offer enlightenment as a perk. Monks rarely buy clothes and get believer-subsidized meals and accommodation. All you’d have to give up in exchange is your hair, years of your life, and… sex? Did we read that right? On second thought, just buy a monk’s robe and panhandle to white people in Central. Redefine your parameters . If you decide that from now on, “money” is a social construct that lacks meaning, then it doesn’t really matter how much stuff costs. Once we all realize that it’s only by mutual assumption that this capitalist system exists, the very idea of “prices” for “goods” can be relegated to the past. Two plates of your finest steak and foie gras, please, and we’ll be paying by BLOWING YOUR MIND. Take the long view. Fly to the US, get a green card, join the government and ascend through the ranks to the position of Treasury Secretary. At this point you can engineer massive deflation, making the pegged Hong Kong Dollar skyrocket in value, which will ultimately decrease profits and employment the world over. But hey, at least you’ll be able to afford a tin of tuna.