Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Frills or Full Service Grocery Stores? Who Can Save a Student More Money?

As a University student it is hard to find the money out of your budget to purchase good and healthy food without blowing the bank. To save money on your grocery bill I’m sure you have even switch supermarkets from the grocery store with all the bells and whistles to the bargain no-frills type of grocery stores to save a buck. Your new grocery-shopping tactic might actually not be saving you money, you could be paying more for your groceries and you don’t even know it!

A couple of weeks ago a segment aired on City News Toronto, where reporter, Jee-Yun Lee, along with savvy shopper Kimberley Clancy of Frugal Shopper, set out to three grocery stores to see which would have the lowest bill. Lee and Clancy went to The Real Canadian Super Store, Wal-Mart and Food Basics where they purchased the same basic food items like bread, muffins, orange juice, fruit, meat and milk to test the overall price.

To my surprise, they discovered that The Real Canadian Super Store was the cheapest grocery store for everyday items with a total bill of $63.61, Wal-Mart bill was $66.88 and biggest upset was the no frills store, Food Basics who racked up a bill of $76.40 on every day items. That is a difference of $13 between the Real Canadian Super Store and Food Basics order totals. That difference in money can really add up over time, especially for starving students.

Next time you are out grocery shopping make sure you think about where you are going and look at the prices of your food. Also, look in the flyer for more food saving ideas.

Finally a few quick tips I use before going to the grocery store:
§  Eat First. The food will look less appealing when you are full and you will resist impulse buying of food that just  “looks good”
§  Use coupons. I don’t sit through the flyer section of the paper and clip every coupon, but on the way into the store I take a look at the flyer board and if I see something I am buying this week, I will take the coupons.

      Until next week,

      xo xo, your how to girl!


  1. This is really interesting, the grocery stores are different in Ontario compared to back home. I have always been curious which place is cheaper, everyone has a different opinion. Usually I go to the closest place, or now the places that have student discount

  2. I can't believe Food Basics was the most expensive! I always thought it was suppose to be cheaper than other grocery stores. Also, your tip about eating before shopping is brilliant! If I'm hungry while I shop for food, I buy almost everything in sight.

  3. I use never eat before I went to the grocery store and my bills use to be insanely expensive and I had so much food that I didn't need. My mom mentioned the tip and now my grocery bills are normal and I have all the food I need!

  4. That is a great tip and I am a proud practicer! I was shocked though to hear that food basics was more expensive, but when I really think about it I guess stores that guarantee the lowest prices or they will lower their price to a competitors would end up being cheaper in the long run.

  5. One thing I also learned that saved me a A LOT of money while grocery shopping is to take advantage of the local farmer's market whenever possible. We were fortunate to have a loaded farmer's market in Guelph, a place that starving students gravitated to every Saturday morning (regardless of their hangovers!)

    The food was fresher than the grocery store, cheaper than the grocery store and gave you the satisfaction of knowing that you were supporting a local farmer as opposed to some big box CEO.

  6. I worked at the Real Canadian Superstore as a cashier for three years, and I can say through experience that the majority of people that shop there are students. I am not suprised that the Superstore came out on top. Like the name suggests, you can buy anything from groceries to furniture to clothes, all at reasonable prices.