Increasing food prices are causing hardship for many Canadians. With overall costs recently soaring, it’s no surprise that individuals are becoming more conscious of their spending habits. This is especially true in the case of food. Canadians adore their food, and we don’t skimp on either quality or quantity. Many households struggle to create an effective monthly shopping budget. Whether you’re shopping for one, a couple, or an entire family, having a clear plan is essential, especially if you’re attempting to decrease food costs.
So, how much does the average Canadian grocery bill cost?
A family of four will spend $16,288.41 on food this year ($1,357.37 a month), up $1,065.60 from 2022, according to Canada’s Food Price Report for 2023. Yet, how much each individual Canadian actually wi spend for groceries will depend on each individual spending habits. Not every store has the same prices and not every “budget” or bulk grocery store is the cheapest choice!
To solve the puzzle and to debunk some of old myths about cheaper bulk and budget grocery stores, we have compared food prices from major Canadian grocery stores, like Metro, Loblaws, Fortinos, Longos, NoFrills, Food Basics, Dollar stores and even bulk sellers like Costco. So, let’s get started.
Cheapest groceries in Canada
Comparing all groceries from all Canadian grocery stores would be an impossible mission, knowing this, we have reduced our list to basic groceries every Canadian buys on monthly basis. We all buy pasta, rice, flower, oil, milk and butter for instance, cost for these basic groceries impact Canadians the most as we buy them on regular basis so let’s take a look what we have found out.
Many consumers believe that budget grocery stores like Food Basic, NoFrills or bulk reseller like Costco would be the ultimate winning solution, yet, we have found that this is not the case generally speaking. In contrary, budget grocery stores and bulk stores in many instances are not the cheaper solution and therefor not the budget friendliest options for Canadians.
Price of Pasta
Many stores have their own brand of Pasta; Loblaws, Fortinos and NoFrills have NoName brand that is most inexpensive option for there shelf. Metro and Food Basics on the other hand have their Irresistible or Selection Brand that is the most inexpensive choice there. Longos has Compliment and Longo’s brand for instance. Middle prices Brand here is same or similar pasta brand that is found in most of the stores across Canada and Top Brand pasta would be same or similar pasta brand that can be found in most stores as well.
Prices shown above are regular prices. Keep in mind that all stores have weekly flyers and have different products reduced bellow regular prices.
Reduced prices vs. Regular Prices
Flagship stores like Metro, Loblaws and Fortinos could have cheaper articles when reduced rather than their budget friendly stores. This weeks flyer from Metro shows middle priced pasta brand at $0.14 per 100 g which is priced lower that cheapest brand at any other stores including Dollar Store. Also this weeks flyer from Food Basics shows middle priced brand butter to be reduced to $1.09 per 100 g which is cheaper than any bother cheapest brand in any other stores. NoFrills this week has Margarine on special for $0.55 per 100 g for middle priced brand, again cheaper than any other cheapest brand in any other stores.
While we can see the pattern on regular priced items in Canadian grocery stores and make conscious decision where to shop, it also makes perfect sense to look over weekly flyers for even more savings.
The best way to save on your grocery bill each month would be to make up your grocery list, compare prices and buy those articles from each store when they offer best price per gramm or milliliter.
Keep in mind that prices and sales indicated in this article are from the GTA, your local prices could be slitely different. More local stores like Sobeys, WalMart, Freshco or Zehrs could potentially have prices bellow above grocers.