Grocery Shop Comparison: Calgary

Back in August, 2009 I wrote a post about the price of groceries in Calgary that referred back to some local consumer reporting on CTV.  While it's hard to believe it was that long ago, our increased spending in groceries as of late had me reflecting on it.

The comparison is done by a home economist as part of an ongoing series on price checks. Once a month, CTV creates a grocery list (which seems to average about 40 items) and compares prices at major Calgary stores. If a store has a particular coupon or sale, that is included in the calculation of the prices.

Here is my summary of their reports for the last twelve months, I've highlighted the maximums for each month as that seems to fluctuate.  The minimum cost for the same groceries, is always at Superstore - a constant from 2009.

The last time I had a look at this, Safeway seemed to be a bit better priced then it is now - it is tied for second with Co-Op in terms of how often they are the most expensive.  Another big change is that Co-Op has become more market competitive, it is no longer the most expensive grocery store in the report.  Sobeys now takes on that honor.

Jordan and I shop primarily at Safeway - so 3/12, we're choosing the most expensive place.  Now that we moved, the closest store is actually the Superstore.  It's somewhere where I beleive you have to be careful, because you can buy a lot more than just groceries, but it might be worth trying to focus our grocery shopping their to reap some savings.

Here is a breakdown of our grocery spending for the last 7 months.  In November and December, we were preparing to move, and eating out pantry - in January and February, we've been re-stocking that pantry.   Over the next couple of months we'll be watching this category pretty closely to try to get it back down a ways.

Here are a few suggestions on how to curb your spending on groceries, other than switching stores:

  • Check out store websites for the most up to date savings
  • Plan your meals based on the best prices
  • Make sure you know what you already have
  • Buy whole fruit, vegetables, cheese, instead of the already washed/cut/packaged stuff
  • Ask yourself how important labels are to you and your family
How much do you folks spend on your groceries, and how big is your family?  I'd love to know what stores you shop at too.



  1. I spend about $150 on groceries per month for my self a lone. I shop primarily at Save-On-Foods because it's closest to my house -- and it isn't on that list =( lol

    Sometimes I also go to Sobey's. I used to be a Safeway shopper but it's too far away now, as is Superstore.

  2. For my family of 5 (2 adults, children 12, 10, 6), we spend $1000 per month on food, personal care and household. If I exclude the personal/household it comes down to $875 per month for food alone.

    I shop primarily at Food Basics, which is our budget grocery store. The things that aren't stocked at FB, I buy at Superstore. I also go to Shopper's Drug Mart for milk and sales. Broken down, Food Basics -60%, Superstore -35%, Shopper's - 5%.

  3. Around $900 a month for two active working adults, however that is high as we buy primarily organic vegetables and fruit and or free range meat, as well as replacing the high fat/sodium/sugar items with healthier choices


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