Cost of Living in Canada – Where to Get Cheaper Grocery Food Items

My main goal in this post is to see the cost of living in Canada under the food category. Since food is still a broad category, I decided to focus on food items found in groceries. If you want to know how much some of them are priced, read on…

Pinterest graphic for the blog post entitled Cost of Living in Canada: Where to Get Cheaper Grocery Items. Image showing a wooden figurine holding a shopping cart with box inside the cart labelled BIG PERCENT (%) SALE.

Just to give you an idea, we are a small family composed of 2 adults and a baby. We spend roughly 400-800 CAD a month for groceries. That range of amount includes food bought from physical grocery stores, online stores, local bakery, and local butcher. 

My family and I live in Greater Toronto Area and we have lived in 3 different cities for the past few years so we have been and seen a variety of grocery stores around us. And since my husband loves cooking and trying out recipes found on YouTube, we usually buy a number of spices and ingredients that cannot be bought in singles but only in bulk, which makes the cost unexpectedly pricier. 

What we usually do before going into grocery is decide what are the list of meals that we are planning to cook for the whole week. We like buying meat and poultry in Asian groceries as they are lower in prices most of the time. For example, you can get $0.79/lb of chicken drumsticks from an Asian grocery store, while it is priced at ($6.72 – 8.52/kg) $3.05 – 3.87 per lb in a large North American retailer. There are chicken wings sold for $1.99/lb but sometimes you see them $0.99/lb. It really depends on what the store are putting up on discounted price, so if you will use the strategy of buying only the discounted products, you could really save a lot!


Let’s see other items and compare their prices in Asian VS North American grocery store!

The format will be: “Item – Price in Asian grocery (will include regular price if listed is discounted price) VS Price in North American grocery”. 

Pork Belly Boneless – CAD 3.29/lb (Reg: 4.59/lb)    VS    CAD 6/lb

Boneless beef – CAD 4.99/lb (Reg: 6.99/lb)     VS     AAA Angus beef in pack CAD10 (CAD 6.65/lb)

Milkfish – CAD 2.99/lb (Reg: 3.99/lb)     

Shrimp head on – CAD 5.99/lb (Reg: 6.99/lb)     VS     without head – CAD 15.6/lb  

Cauliflower head – CAD 2.88/ea (Reg: 3.99 ea)     VS     CAD 4.47 ea

Sardines – CAD 0.98 ea (Reg: 1.39 ea)     VS     CAD 0.88/ea

Tilapia 3lbs – CAD 4.99 (Reg: 6.99)     VS     Tilapia fillets in packs CAD 6.05/lb

Bokchoy – CAD $0.88/lb (Reg: 1.59)

Oriental Yam – CAD 1.28/lb (Reg: 1.99)     VS     Yellow yam CAD 2.49/lb



Halal Boneless Chicken Breast – CAD 3.97/lb (Reg: 5.49)

Halal Ground Beef – CAD 3.97/lb (Reg: 6.99)

Halal Veal Ribs – CAD 1.79/LB (Reg: 4.49/lb)

Halal Lamb Leg – CAD 6.99/lb (Reg: 9.99/lb)

With those pricelist on hand, I’m pretty sure you can estimate numbers in your mind on how much will it cost you per item for your family. Let’s say I wanted to buy all of the listed items here in minimum of 1lb each (except Halal products) in a single visit and they are all in discounted prices, it will cost me a total of CAD 30.05+tax only!! That’s 2 lbs of chicken, 1 lb of pork, 1lb of beef, 4 lbs of fish, and 1 lb of shrimp, plus a can of sardines, a veggie and a yam! These can last the whole week already! I will just have to put them in the freezer and take them out the night before cooking them.

But of course, you also have to buy onions and garlic, cooking oil, salt and pepper, and the likes. But hey, those are items that you buy once and last for a couple of weeks, or maybe even a month if you buy pantry items in bulk.


So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as I enjoyed selecting food items to compare them from one grocery to another. I think this could help somehow in figuring out the cost of living in Canada in terms of food.

How about in your place? I wonder if the items listed here are almost the same range of prices in other parts of the world.

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