Canadians are putting off summer vacations and new car purchases, and are becoming stricter with budgets so they can better handle higher gas and food prices and reduce their debts, a Royal Bank survey suggests.

The Canadian Consumer Outlook Index says Canadians are looking for ways to save as they grapple with gas prices that rose 29.5 per cent in May alone and food prices that grew 4.2 per cent that month.

“Canadians are continuing to focus on managing their debts — a very good sign as we enter the second half of the year,” said Richard Goyder, RBC’s vice-president of personal lending.

RBC said 55 per cent of Canadians are doing more comparison shopping for food, 48 per cent are cutting back on impulse buys and 30 per cent are more likely to delay vacation plans until 2012.

It also found 31 per cent are putting off a new vehicle purchase and making do with their current one.

Others reported they are using their vehicles less, making fewer trips and using public transit more.

RBC says Canadians carry an average of $13,058 in personal debt, not including mortgages, and fewer respondents feel confident they’re managing their debts well, compared with the previous survey three months ago.