No Frills vs. Amazon vs. Loblaws – the Toronto guide to optimizing your grocery shopping

Optimizing your grocery spend could mean trips to various grocery stores/retailers.  Here we provide the guide of when to shop discount stores, regular stores or online

First of all, here is how stores are categorized

Discounters No Frills, Food Basics, Freshco
Mid market/Premium Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Whole Foods
Online Amazon.ca, walmart.ca

Here’s where to go for your groceries

Best place to buy?

Household goods

Toilet paper Winner?

Online – amazon.ca

For the same price as the other stores, have these bulky and heavy items delivered to your doorstep

Cleaning supplies
Soap
Paper towels
Tissues
Liquids and condiments
Gatorade
Cereal
Canned Soup
Ketchup
Jams and spreads

Staples

Coffee beans Winner?

Online – amazon.ca

For the same price as the other stores, have these bulky and heavy items delivered to your doorstep

Pasta
Pasta Sauce
Potato chips
Juice
Cereal
Canned Soup
Rice

Baby

diapers Winner?

Online – amazon.ca

For the same price as the other stores, have these bulky and heavy items delivered to your doorstep

formula

Dairy

Yogurt Winner?

Discount – The best price is typically at No Frills, Food Basics, Freshco

Milk
Eggs
Cheese  Winner?

Premium – Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys

For real cheese (not the mass produced stuff), Loblaws and Whole foods have nice selections

Ice Cream

Frozen foods

Vegetables Winner?

Discount – The best price for the same items are typically at No Frills, Food Basics, Freshco.

Prepared foods
Meats

Produce

Bananas Winner?

Discount – The best price is typically at No Frills, Food Basics, Freshco

The quality on these basic produce items is simple to the mid market premium stores

Apples
Grapes
Soft Fruits – Peaches, Nectarines Winner?

Premium – Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys

The quality on these produce items is superior to what you would get at the discounters.  You’ll also have to pay a premium however.

Spinach
Broccoli
Kale
Tomatoes
Onions

Meats

Beef Winner?

Premium – Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys

The quality on these produce items is superior to what you would get at the discounters.  You’ll also have to pay a premium however.

Chicken
Pork
Fish
Lamb

Bakery

Mass produce breads and pastries Winner?

Discount – The best price for the same items are typically at No Frills, Food Basics, Freshco.  

Mass produced cakes and desserts
Artisan cakes and desserts Winner?

Premium – Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys

The quality on these produce items is superior to what you would get at the discounters.  You’ll also have to pay a premium however.

Artisan breads and pastries

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