Cost of Buying Food in Canada

Cost of Buying Food in Canada By Province

As the saying goes, “a hungry man is an angry man,” this goes to show that the importance of food cannot be overemphasized. As a necessity in every man’s life, it must be duly budgeted for. The cost of buying food in Canada is relatively cheap depending on your province, the outlet you are buying from, if you are buying in bulk (wholesale) or not (retail).

Food in Canada

Food is a global commodity that is consumed by every being on earth. Most foods are made from fresh farm produce (plants) and animals, while others are processed. As humans, we are privileged to have a wide variety of food to choose from depending on your location. Some foods are specific to a particular region, this is due to varying climatic conditions, among many other reasons.

With the variety of food available to us as humans, we have developed, are developing and would still develop different dishes, cuisines and diet plans that suit our individual and collective nutritional needs.

There are currently several options of foods to pick from depending on you, options ranging from: whole grains, tubers, legumes, herbs, spices, fruits, processed food to animal-source food (meat, fish, milk, honey, etc.).

Food Category

Over time, food has been categorized based on several criteria. Foods are categorized together because they provide the same amount of nutrients to the body. Some food category includes:

  • Vegetables and legumes/beans
  • Grain/high cereal fibre/whole grain/cereal
  • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, tofu, seeds
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese

Grocery Shopping in Canada

When it comes to grocery shopping in Canada, consumers have several stores to purchase from. In Canada, food items can be purchased in supermarkets, grocery stores and public markets (farmer’s markets). Ontario and Quebec currently rank top when it comes to having the highest numbers of food and beverage stores in Canada.

The list of stores one can purchase food items in Canada is limitless, some of them include:

  • Buy-Low Foods
  • PriceSmart Foods
  • Atlantic Cash and Carry
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Loblaws
  • Food Basics
  • FreshCo
  • Lawtons
  • Foodland
  • Thrifty Food
  • Costco
  • HMart
  • Walmart Canada
  • Food City
  • M$M Food market.
  • Farm Boy
  • Foodex
  • Valufoods

Walmart Canada is currently the most popular grocery store in Canada. There are also some farmers markets in Canada where consumers can purchase fresh farm produce. Some of these markets are:

  • Halifax Seaport Market (Halifax)
  • Le Grande Marché (Quebec)
  • Granville Island (Vancouver)
  • St. Lawrence Market (Toronto)
  • Hamilton Farmer’s Market (Southern Ontario)

Cost of Buying Food in Canada

According to a 2020 projection, the cost of buying food in Canada is expected to increase by 2-4%, especially for vegetables, fruits, meat and seafood. With the projection, an average family of four is expected to pay CA$487 and above for food. The projected increment is illustrated below:


Food Category

Projected Increment (%)

Bakery

1-3

Dairy

1.5-3.5

Fruits

4-6

Meats

2-4

Restaurants

2-4

Seafood

2-4

Vegetables

2-4

Others

2-4

Total

2-4

There are some factors that influence the cost of food, some of them are:

  • Taste
  • Convenience
  • Cost
  • Weight management
  • Culture
  • Religion

According to a survey by Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends about CA$200 per person monthly on Food bought from stores. However, this figure varies per provinces in Canada.

Cost of Buying Food in Canada By Province

Below are prices of food items in some provinces in Canada, and the average cost generally. Note that these prices are not constant and can change at any time.


Food Item

British Columbia
(CAD)

Saskatchewan
(CAD)

Ontario
(CAD)

Quebec
(CAD)

Newfoundland and Labrador
(CAD)

Prince Edward Island
(CAD)

Manitoba
(CAD)

New Brunswick
(CAD)

Alberta
(CAD)

Nova Scotia
(CAD)

Average Price (CAD

Milk

2.41

2.29

2.53

2.38

3.45

2.95

1.69

2.88

2.53

2.53

2.5

A loaf of Fresh White Bread

3.32

2.93

2.87

3.46

3.13

3.20

2.45

2.87

2.61

3.31

2.91

White Rice (1kg)

4.47

4.75

3.87

3.06

5.88

5.69

3.77

6.17

2.99

5.65

3.80

Local cheese (1kg)

20.05

11.25

12.01

16.72

8.00

10.80

10.53

11.22

13.97

12.40

12.78

Regular Eggs (12 pieces)

3.95

3.55

3.26

3.33

3.60

3.64

3.03

3.58

3.38

3.64

3.43

Chicken fillet (1kg)

16.43

11.23

13.28

14.30

11.50

14.40

13.33

14.75

13.28

14.94

13.23

Beef round (1kg)

21.51

11.13

16.56

17.30

13.00

14.41

15.19

14.31

15.21

15.52

15.07

Apples (1kg)

4.03

4.26

4.08

3.86

4.88

4.72

3.86

6.30

4.20

6.16

4.14

Bananas

1.93

2.00

1.45

1.96

3.38

1.93

1.89

1.84

1.85

2.19

1.75

Oranges

3.80

4.28

4.29

4.19

5.62

4.25

3.72

4.59

3.95

4.76

4.12

Tomatoes

4.36

3.57

3.73

4.60

5.25

5.14

4.81

3.59

4.23

4.60

4.04

Potatoes

3.03

2.25

2.18

2.35

5.25

2.90

2.61

2.50

2.88

4.92

4.12

Onions (1kg)

3.24

2.25

1.95

2.52

4.00

1.30

2.72

3.75

2.30

3.98

2.92

Lettuce (1 head)

2.75

3.75

2.45

2.49

4.65

2.70

2.52

3.44

2.55

3.66

2.54

Water (1.5-litre bottle)

2.46

4.28

1.72

2.05

3.12

2.75

2.09

2.88

2.23

2.40

2.23

Bottle of wine (mid-range)

20.00

20.00

15.00

15.00

21.50

15.00

15.00

15.00

17.00

20.00

15.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 litres)

3.60

3.71

2.47

2.73

2.52

5.14

3.40

2.89

3.91

4.40

3.03

Imported Beer (0.33 litres)

4.36

4.80

3.00

3.32

4.42

6.42

3.94

5.67

4.61

5.80

3.67

Cigarettes

15.10

16.00

15.00

12.32

13.00

17.00

17.75

14.90

17.00

18.00

15.00

As stated above, the cost of buying food depends on your province in Canada. And as seen from the table above, some food items are cheaper in some provinces than others.

Tips

To cut cost, below are some tips to reduce your shopping budget:

  • Change where you shop
  • Buy on sale
  • Use coupons
  • Buy in bulk
  • Avoid buying on impulse

Some food items are cheaper in certain provinces than in others while some are more expensive in certain provinces than in others. However, here are some of the cheapest stores you can shop your food from:

  • No Frills
  • Food Basics
  • Walmart Canada
  • Fresh Co
  • Save on Food
  • Thrifty Food
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Coop
  • Extra Foods
  • Giant Tiger
  • Costco

The cost of buying food in Canada may or may not leave a hole in your pocket if you make the right choices and consider factors that may influence how much you spend on food.

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