Author Topic: Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?  (Read 1712 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?
« on: March 03, 2018, 05:36:36 PM »
I donít think itís any secret that food prices up here are way more expensive than in the US. Iím from Ontario, currently in Hamilton, but lived in Denver for 2 years and was blown away by how much cheaper my grocery bill was down there. We are a household of 2 adults who eat keto/low-carb which is of course a more expensive way of eating. Also, we are in an apartment which makes huge bulk purchases and a chest freezer difficult.

My current ways of trying to cut costs are:
Shopping at discount stores vs the local Metro
Buying non food items at Wal Mart (seems cheaper than Loblaws and other food centric chains)
Using my PC World Elite MasterCard for everything to get points to use at Shoppers and Loblaws chains
Using Flipp app to shop flyers

What are your tips? And has anyone found a reliable source of cilantro? Everything north of the border is like 4x as expensive and already starting to turn, not cool!!


  • Stubble
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Re: Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 06:21:00 PM »
We almost always shop at NoFrills, Costco, and a couple of Indian grocers. We love Costco and we buy things like: low cost butter, cake, ciabatta buns, large pineapples, limes, organic milk, chips, ketchup, laundry detergent, gas, toilet tissues, and more.

We also make sure to finish what we buy and we only buy what we really need/like and go by a list, very occasionally drifting to experiment.

We are vegetarians.

Indian grocers, by the way, are the most reliable source of cilantro year round.

Our average grocery bill here in Etobicoke, for two, is 150$. 


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 10:39:08 PM »
For a high protein diet, in Canada, you need a chest freezer to reduce costs, buy bulk buying during sales.   I used to own a terrific 24" x 24" (small square) chest freezer that took up half of a normal size closet, with room for shelves over it. We lived in an apartment and this was the perfect size for two to three people.

You can freeze cheese, too, as well as some of your own vegetables or premake dinners in bulk and freeze those for a fast meal later on.

Look on CL for something like this:


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 09:43:54 AM »
I don't know how true it is that prices up here are much worse. Certainly not in Ontario. I was surprised how expensive stuff was at various supermarkets in Florida, Vermont, Washington...

Buy on sale. Buy in bulk (at least get the large packets). Do the Air Miles promos for 'free' groceries. Check redflagdeals for stacking craziness now and then. If it makes sense, buy stuff at Shoppers on 20x points day (=30% discount, basically).

No Frills (and Food Basics) are SO much better than Metro et al. You just have to look at prices per unit.

Cilantro? Grow it! Get little window boxes wherever there is good light. If you use a lot, it'll certainly be worth it. A packet of seeds is $2.

Only buy cheese, toilet roll, peanut butter on sale. Oh, try Giant Tiger if there is one near you; they often have 2-3 things cheaper than anywhere else.

I find that GT + Shoppers + No Frills + Metro you'll usually be able to get what you need on sale.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Canadians - how do you control your grocery bill?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 11:38:55 AM »
I don't like to run around to many stores to get my shopping done. We spend $300-$400 a month on groceries for two plus lots of entertaining friends.

We buy our dry goods and some meat from Costco (coffee beans, cleaning supplies, nuts/seeds/flour/oats, toilet paper, ground beef, cheese, Greek yogurt, socks/underwear). The rest is almost completely from Walmart.

We tend to go to Walmart about once a week and Costco around once every month or two. We also go to the Indian store about once or twice a year for spices.

We also don't have a chest freezer, so we buy very little frozen stuff. Suits us fine though as I tend to only buy and cook with fresh ingredients. Our freezer is usually filled with homemade pizza/pasta sauce, fruit, ground meat, juice concentrate for friends' kids, ice cubes, and occasional other leftovers.