The drought, rising energy costs and high rents, coupled with prices hiking due to Christmas, are just some factors that are pushing residents to breaking point.
Experts are advising people to stick to their budgets and look at more affordable substitutes during the festive season.
Christmas is just seven weeks away and prices on produce, such as ham, have already increased at local butchers.
This is largely due to the drought crisis and the soaring grain prices, which pigs are fed on, leaving farmers with less profitability as a result.
Australian Pork Limited marketing general manager Peter Haydon said there are about five per cent fewer pigs than last year, which has forced prices to rise.
"We recommend that people get in early and buy good Australian ham on the bone as it is fine to keep in the fridge for two to three months," Mr Haydon said.
The APL GM said the African Swine Fever is not having an impact on Australian ham prices and it is more a domestic drought issue.
He said there are a number of ways people can save, while still supporting Australian farmers.
"Maybe people could choose to have a pork roast instead," he said.
"Retailers have a variety of sizes: half leg, quarter leg; obviously choosing the right size for your family is another way to be cost-effective."
South Wagga Butchery owner Liam Hanigan said he has noticed prices increasing over the last few months by up to 15 to 20 per cent.
"Farmers have been put out of business so there is a massive shortage, but I'm confident I'll be able to produce what I've been doing for my clients for 13 years," Mr Hanigan said.
"Christmas is normally pretty solid for us, despite global events and the drought.
"People are still buying hams, even if it's $1 to $2 a kilogram more."
Mr Hanigan said for those seeking alternatives to the Christmas ham, people could turn towards seafood, like prawns, and also barbecued meats.
The butcher said he is more concerned after Christmas when people tighten up their finances.
Peter Burgess, president of Vinnies Wagga Central, said the biggest tip for saving is understanding personal finances.
"How much is coming in and how much you can afford to spend?," Mr Burgess asked.
"There's no shame in budgeting over Christmas and only spending what you can spare.
"For some people, especially those on very low incomes and on Newstart, no amount of careful budgeting will relieve the stress of poverty .. it's OK to reach out for help."
Mr Burgess said buying second-hand is also a cost-effective method for presents this Christmas.
"When you buy from us, you can feel good with the knowledge your money will be supporting people in need," he said.
"Second-hand isn't second-best, and recycling quality goods means that less waste goes to landfill.
"You're helping other people as well as the environment."
Vinnies Wagga has supported more than 2000 residents over the past few months.
"More than 60 per cent of the people coming to us needed help just to afford food," Mr Burgess said.
"Putting food on the table can become harder at Christmas as other costs mount, and there are often relatives to cater for.
"We've just launched our annual Vinnies Christmas Appeal, and desperately need donations to ensure no child goes hungry at this special time of year."
Those who donate to the Christmas appeal, will be providing food hampers and vouchers as well as assistance with rent, bills and utilities, and clothing and household items.