Did you see the articles published recently in The Citizen that highlighted the findings of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Annual Report on Canadians’ Health? This report revealed substantial discrepancies between basic healthy food items within our provinces and across the county. For example, while 6 applies might cost you $5.49 in Dryden, Ontario, you would only pay $0.90 in Peterborough. I appreciate why apples (or any perishable food for that matter) cost $7.64 in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, but please explain why 1 kg of lean ground beef averages $13.21 in Ottawa while it only cost $11.99 in Rankin Inlet? The report goes on to suggest that these price discrepancies help explain why almost half of Canadian adults and 70% of Canadian children (yikes!) don’t eat the minimum recommended servings of fruits and vegetables and one third of Canadian children aren’t drinking enough milk. See more from this report at:
As I am now go out in search of the best food bargains for my family, I’m beginning to take note of some price discrepancies within my own community. I have kept my food shopping to the following stores (all within walking distance or an easy 15 minute drive of my home): Your Independent Grocer, Loeb, Sobey’s and Giant Tiger (Farm Boy and Food Basics to a lesser extent). Weekly pickings are pretty good from these. There is also a Loblaws not far away, though few bargains there.
Without giving any consideration to advertised sale items, I found it interesting that Red Delicious apples were 1.69/kg at Loeb while $3.28/kg at The Independent. However lean ground beef put me back 8.80/kg at Loeb but would have only cost 8.13/kg at the Independent. $7.99 is what a 2kg of indispensable peanut butter cost at Loeb while only $6.99 at The Independent. The one that always gets me: 4 litres of 2% milk cost 3.97 at Giant Tiger, 3.95 at Cosco but 4.69 pretty much every where else I shop. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but on 8 litres of milk a week, I’m out roughly $75 a year on milk alone.
As I flip the calendar to April, I’m relieved we’re entering the home stretch to Easter now. I’m also relieved I successfully stretched our food budget through the end of March. I can head to the store tomorrow with my $102.62 for another week’s worth of food.