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Canadians: What do you spend on groceries each month? - Page 2

post #21 of 40

I posted in the other thread, forgot to say my $ amount is Canadian.


We spend about $750 a month for 5 people, 3 adults and two boys 9 and 7.  This include some household stuff and is about 30 - 40% organic.  Greater Vancouver area so I suppose it's on the HCOL side.  Though I think fresh produce are very reasonably priced here, if you buy them from produce stores.  We eat meat everyday.  Though none of us are big people so I think we probably don't eat as much as some families do.  I don't use coupons much, as most of them are for processed stuff we don't use.


We don't drink anything other than water and some milk, maybe an occasional teabag, so we save a lot of money on beverages.

Edited by Poddi - 11/21/10 at 3:26pm
post #22 of 40

Here's a link with average food prices in Canada.  Maybe you can compare to the list to see if what you pay is higher or lower than average.  I know I don't really pay higher than the listed prices for most of those items.  Maybe the cost of food here is not high, just about average.



post #23 of 40

We live in Toronto which is a HCOL area, but I find that food prices are not bad at all, its mostly housing that is expensive. Generally speaking, we spend roughly $600/month on groceries for 2 adults, a 6 year old, 5 year old and the baby is still nursing, no solids yet. We buy all gluten free for the oldest two children which can be costly. However, I found that ordering certain items online has really helped me to find the best deals possible.

We have A LOT of choices in Toronto regarding where you do your grocery shopping, there are the big box places like No Frills, RCSS, Metro (overpriced!!) etc. but we also have tons of smaller ethnic markets that are very reasonably priced and other markets, such as St. Lawrence Market.

We eat about 50% organic (mostly milk and meats) and eat very few processed foods.


ETA: This $600/month includes toiletries and cleaning supplies.

post #24 of 40

We spend about $1000 a month on food which we are trying to lower to $700.  That included soap, shampoo, laundry soap, TP etc


We buy mostly organic foods.  Things like non-organic apples, carrots and especially celery make my mouth numb so I have to eat those organic.   I buy organic beans and grains.  We try to buy local as much as possible but for some reason Ontario farmers are not growing organics and if they are they are shipping them elsewhere and not here.  Milk, eggs, meats and grains from local farmers for sure.  I bake, cook from scratch.  We eat meat about every other day.  Pretty much mostly ground beef at $3/lb grass fed.  Some whole chicken.  We eat a lot of fresh vegetables, I don't really like the taste of frozen and organic frozen isn't cheap around here.


We only have 1 grocery store in town so they charge whatever they want for foods.  Where is everyone shopping for their fresh produce.  Our farmers market is really small and disappointing.  I could drive 40 min to a much better one but I try not to drive as much as possible.


ETA:  4 people  - 2 adults, 2 kids (11 and 5)

post #25 of 40

We are a family of 7 (2 adults and 5 kids ranging from nearly 3 to 10).  We spend about $900 but I'd like to get it down to $600 since that's what we're budgeted for.  I'm finding it really tough though.  We cook mostly from scratch, as much organic as we can afford and what I feel is really important to purchase organically, and hardly any processed foods.  The only things I buy "processed" would be things like crackers, rice cakes, canned tomato products and pop (dh's and my one vice).  I don't buy fruit juice because it's too expensive.  My kids would guzzle a bottle of juice in 5 minutes flat.  They drink water or milk or I make homemade iced tea if they want something "juice-like".  We do purchase a side of grass fed beef every fall so our meat cost is on the lower side.  We eat meat daily.   The cost of toiletries isn't included in that.  I stock up on natural soaps at the Christmas craft fairs every year and check at Winners for natural shampoos and conditioners (half the cost there) and buy a bunch when they have them.  I can't use regular brands of shampoo because it gives me wicked eczema on my hands.  


It makes me sick though to go through the checkout with a cart full of groceries (mostly whole, healthy foods) and have it come to over $400.  We live in a fairly HCOL area, just outside of Vancouver.  I've done grocery shopping in the US and had it come to about 1/2 the cost for the same things.  And yeah, don't get me started on coupons.  I rarely come across any for stuff I actually buy. greensad.gif

post #26 of 40

Usually the only thing I end up using coupons for is toilet paper.  Sometimes laundry detergent or cleaning supplies.  Check save.ca

post #27 of 40
Originally Posted by Kyamo View Post

Usually the only thing I end up using coupons for is toilet paper.  Sometimes laundry detergent or cleaning supplies.  Check save.ca

I do get some coupons from Save.ca as well as gocoupons.ca and brandsaver.ca.  Mostly for laundry soap, paper towels, etc.  You do get the odd coupon for something good like whole grain pasta.  We don't buy a lot of toilet paper since we use family cloth here, toilet paper is only in the powder room on the main floor for guests.  I've also been making my own powdered laundry soap for our regular laundry and save the liquid laundry detergent for the diapers.  Our toiletry/cleaning supply expenses are relatively low compared to most. LOL

post #28 of 40

We spend around 600-700 a month for a family of four.  This includes paper products (we don't use a lot of paper products, but we do use some).  


We just moved to Canada from the US about a year ago.  We spent less each month in the US and it included a raw meat diet for our dog and beer.  Our grocery budget does not include beer now or dog food.  I can't afford to feed my dog raw here.  We haven't given up beer though!  But I just don't count it in the grocery budget.  Somehow that makes me feel better about spending $40 a case.

post #29 of 40

So nice to see a thread with numbers that I can relate to! 

We live in Vancouver, so ridiculously high cost of living, but the groceries are actually quite sane compared to when we lived in Pemberton, and only had two stores, both of which jacked up the prices as much as they could.  We were a family of 2 adults then, and spent about $600 a month.  Now we have a toddler girl who eats like a teenaged boy, and live down here, and spend about the same.  We cook everything from scratch, and don't buy any processed foods, but it still adds up! 

post #30 of 40

we spend $400 per month for 2 adults, a 9month old and a cat. i could probably do a lot better if i actually shopped around and went to our ethnic/budget stores for some produce, but i have a baby, so in and out is my goal! as it is, $400 is a bit of a challenge and we are generally scraping the bottom of the barrel by the end of the month.


we are vegan, and in quebec this does make things more expensive, as i find produce to be a bit more expensive than it was in ontario, and specialty items are way WAY more expensive too. we do eat mostly from scratch, but organic produce is completely out of our price range right now (if it's available at all, or in any decent shape). our $400 includes all toiletries and usually cat food as well which is high quality wet food. i think we do pretty well, but i do miss the variety of vegan items and wonderful produce we had access to in toronto and elsewhere in southern ontario.

post #31 of 40

I live in Newfoundland and some things are expensive. For our family with 2 adults and 3 kids I spend around $800 - $1000 per month. More than my mortgage. Since I live on an island, most things are shipped here.  For instance, regular price for a bag of apples is $5.99.  One of those big blocks of cheese are regular price of $8.99.  "Fresh" broccoli - 2.49 per head. Box of cereal - $4.99 or 5.49.  I do stock up when the sales hit though.  I think if I planned every meal I could maybe get it down to 750 or so but not much less than that.  

post #32 of 40

We spend $600/month for 6 of us.  2adults (and dh eats a ton), 4 kids (12, 9, 7, 3).  I make most things from scratch, shop sales, and it's still a struggle some months.  I shop at multiple stores over the month to get the best prices on most things.  Most stores I can walk to though, and the furthest is only 5km from home, so I'm not burning a ton of gas to shop around.  Dairy prices are where I really notice the difference in prices vs. the US (and even Ontario is noticeably less than Quebec).  Rural NB was expensive, but I assume most rural areas are compared to cities.

post #33 of 40

We live in a pretty LCOL area. For a family of 5 (and me pregnant), no pets, we usually spend about $600/month, including toiletries. That's with me cooking most everything from scratch, and buying mostly only things on sale. I don't buy much organic either. Milk here is $4.19 for 4 litres.

post #34 of 40

We are a family or 2-4 (I have my 2 kids every other week)

I don't know if Montreal is considered LCOL or HCOL (I live in the city of Montreal itself), but I typically spend $700-800 monthly on food items.  Going to the Jean Talon market or buying directly from a farm would be less expensive, but I have to factor in the time consideration (I work FT, am a PT student, plus have girls who are in competitive level sports).


I scope the weekly flyers either online or that are delivered to the house, and I usually plan my meals accordingly.  If chicken is on special we usually buy quite a lot, cook them up, then freeze them.  We do the same with most other types of meat. 

I try to avoid packaged foods as much as possible. 


In terms of fruits and veggies, I try to buy them fresh from Jean Talon market as often as I can (once a month or so), and I usually prefer buying 'locally' than 'organic' that can be bought in a supermarket.  Other than that, I buy from the supermarket, and try as much as I can to buy locally or Canadian. 


I'd like to shave $100-$200 off of my grocery expenses, but in Quebec it is a challenge.  Especially with the high cost of milk/dairy products (mind you, not as high as in the territories or farther north). 

I do live close to several ethnic shops (Pakistani, Algerian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Italian) which sell items cheaper than in the supermarket.  For example, at the Italian bakery down the street (which sells ready-made whole wheat pizza dough for 2 large pizzas for $2.50) they sell 400g of the REAL parmesan cheese still in its original state for $8.  In the grocery store it's $13-17.

post #35 of 40

We have the same family make-up type (2 adults, 1 small dog), but we live in a high-cost of living area within our medium-cost of living city.  Well medium-high... we are sorta North, so that can bring those veggie prices up to a pretty penny.


We spent approximately $400.00 a month.  We are thinking of joining a food co-op because this is just becoming insane!  I go to all of these frugal cooking websites, and what supposedly will cost them $10.00 to make, costs me $20!


Granted... I am only a part-time coupon clipper, but I do keep an eye on sales.

post #36 of 40

I haven't been tracking very well lately, but I spend somewhere around $1000-$1100/month. That includes non-food items, such as toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc. There are six of us, including a teenaged boy, who takes "conditioning" (intensive PE) and gymnastics and eats a LOT.


We do eat meat. We buy a little organic, but not as much as we should. I mostly cook from scratch (although this last few months have been bad, as we've all been sick and tired and doing more "convenience" food than usual). I do keep a few packaged items around, such as grandola bars and dried fruit bars (mostly for the car, but also for my teenager, who forgets to eat a lot).


I'll spend less when dd2 is a little older. I always fall apart on all the household management stuff when I have a new baby, and it's taking me a long time to bounce back this time. But, yeah - it's expensive here. Sometimes, I read the US threads and just want to weep over how cheap the food is.

post #37 of 40

This thread has made me feel so much better. I'm sure we're between 800 and 1000 including household items and the occasional bottle of wine.

post #38 of 40

This thread makes me think we should be more creative!!!  We feed a family of four (2 adults, kids ages 15 and 12) for approximately $800/month and we live in Ottawa.  This includes all toiletries and things like toilet paper, cleaners, light bulbs, etc.  When we first adopted our kids three years ago, we worked on a budget of $500-$650/month.  Simply switching grocery stores from the L*oblaws to F*ood Basics, saves us close to $50-$75 each week!  I've found that the cost of food has gone up so much over the past 3 years - meat, veggies, dairy.  We shop at small stores as well.  We make most of our food from scratch, but we're a bit of a foodie family and like to eat really good foodie-inspired food.  We rarely eat out - maybe once a month, if that - and that comes from another budget.

post #39 of 40

In a national-Canadian context, I guess we're mid-to-high-COL; we live in Toronto.  It took me a while to get used to the cost difference; I grew up/lived in the states until 4+ years ago, and fed myself and two roommates very well on $100-$150/month.  (I like grocery shopping and cooking, so that was 'my job.' :) )


The last really accurate number I have is $270/month - that's close to 3 years ago, When it was DH and I plusa part-time 10/11-year old.


Now the 11YO DS is 14, we have an almost-2-year-old, and I've been  pregnant or BFing (or both!) for over 2.5 years, which has affected my food intake!


Between rising prices and the growing up/expanding family, we're around $350-375/month now, I'd say.  Part of that, in the past 6 months or so, has been a little more reliance on convenience foods as I've moved through various stages of fatigue w/ the current pregnancy.  On a reeaallly good (inexpensive)month, I'd say we're still under $300...and a stock-up month might have us spending $500, so the above number really is just an average.  For COL food ocmparison, non-org milk can be had here for $4.27/gallon, and Organic apples in season are often under $2.00/lb.  (Sometimes they're the same price as non-org!)  I  buy apples and most leafy greens organic, and other dirty dozen produce when possible, FWIW.

post #40 of 40

We are a family of four- 2 adults (one of whom is pregnant), a 5.5yo boy & 3yo girl and one kitten. We are in Toronto, so HCOL I guess.


 I budget $600/month but don't always spend all of that. Actual spending is probably more like $450. That includes all food, toiletries, vitamins. I buy as much as I can on sale, I shop at cheap stores. I make a lot from scratch, don't buy a lot of packaged foods. I don't buy a lot of organic stuff- apples usually, grapes & potatoes sometimes. And I get free eggs from my mom who has a farm with more chickens than she knows what to do with :)

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