Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

CTV News Toronto went to three grocery stores with a list of essential items in hand to find out which one offers the cheapest prices.

We visited No Frills, Food Basics, and Sobeys to compare the cost of bread, bananas, milk, eggs, butter, chicken breast, cheese, spaghetti, peanut butter, and tuna.

The three stores were located in the west-end of Toronto within six kilometers of one another.

Here’s what we found:

Bread

A white loaf of bread (675g) was the first item on the grocery list. No Frills set the bar high with a low price on their No Name white loaf of bread, tagged with an “in-store feature” label totalling $1.99.

Food Basics and Sobeys offered significantly higher, and comparable, prices. A white Dempster loaf at Food Basics costs $3.39 (or, two loaves for $6), as part of a “locked down” price at the grocer.

Sobeys’ identical Dempster loaf costs $3 (or, two loaves for $6) but the sale item ends on Wednesday, which will hike the cost up $1.19.

No Frills – $1.99

Food Basics – $3.39

Sobeys – $3.00

Bananas

Bananas were priced at less than a dollar per pound across the board.

No Frills and Food Basics had matching price tags set at $0.59 cents while Sobeys was ten cents more expensive at $0.69 cents.

No Frills – $0.59

Food Basics – $0.59

Sobeys – $0.69

Milk

Cartons of milk (2L) boasted identical price tags across the board.

Each store offered a different brand of milk – Neilson at No Frills, Beatrice at Food Basics and Sealtest at Sobeys – yet each carton cost $5.19.

No Frills – $5.19

Food Basics – $5.19

Sobeys – $5.19

Eggs

A 12-pack of large eggs similarly fell within a comparable price range at the three stores.

No Frills’ No Name eggs and Food Basics’ Selection eggs offered the cheapest options, both priced at $3.69, while Sobeys’ Compliments’ carton was ten cents higher at $3.79.

No Frills – $3.69

Food Basics – $3.69

Sobeys – $3.79

Butter

Aluminum foiled bricks of salted butter (454g) were the cheapest at No Frills, costing $5.99.

Meanwhile, butter at Food Basics came to $6.49 alongside a matching price tag at Sobeys, also at $6.49.

No Frills – $5.99

Food Basics – $6.49

Sobeys – $6.49

Chicken breast

Unsurprisingly, chicken breast was the priciest item at each store.

After a comprehensive price scan of each plastic-sealed pack of boneless, skinless chicken breast on display, Food Basics appeared to offer the lowest cost of poultry at $15.34 for 1.025 kg.

The closest weight comparison at No Frills was a 1.028 kg pack of chicken breast, slapped with a price tag of $16.97.

At Sobeys, the most comparable packages of chicken breast were 1.054 kg for $20.89 or 0.928 kg for $18.39.

No Frills – $16.97

Food Basics – $15.34

Sobeys – $18.39

Cheese

Ringing up a block of old cheddar cheese (400g) was most expensive at Sobeys, where it cost $6.99.

At No Frills, the identical purchase was priced at $5.99 while Food Basics had a special feature that took the cake (or in this case, cheese). This week only, their Black Diamond block of old cheddar costs $4.88.

No Frills – $5.99

Food Basics – $4.88

Sobeys – $6.99

Spaghetti

It’s the foundation of one of the simplest meals to make – and at Sobeys, it’s also one of the cheapest to purchase.

Spaghetti (900g) costs $0.99 at Sobeys – the cheapest of the three shops.

Spaghetti at Food Basics is nearly a dollar more expensive than at Sobeys, priced at $1.79 while No Frills topped the charts in the pasta aisle, with the same quantity of spaghetti costing $2.29.

No Frills – $2.29

Food Basics – $1.79

Sobeys – $0.99

Peanut butter

A one kilogram jar of smooth or crunchy peanut butter was nearly on par at No Frills and Food Basics.

At No Frills, the breakfast condiment costs $4.79 while the identical product at Food Basics costs $4.44.

Sobeys’ peanut butter was more than a dollar more expensive, totalling $5.99.

No Frills – $4.79

Food Basics – $4.44

Sobeys – $5.99

Tuna

The same brand of white tuna was sold at all three stores, at three different prices.

No Frills and Food Basics offered comparable price points for a can (120g) of tuna — at No Frills, it cost $1.39 while at Food Basics it cost $1.99.

Meanwhile, at Sobeys, the cost difference was significant. A can of tuna cost $4.99.

No Frills – $1.39

Food Basics – $1.99

Sobeys – $4.99

Which one was the cheapest?

The grocery bill was the cheapest at No Frills, totalling $48.88.

At an extremely close second, with a difference of only two cents, the groceries at Food Basics came to $48.90.

The total tab at Sobeys was by far the most expensive, surpassing the $50 mark, ringing up to $56.51.

No Frills – $48.88

Food Basics – $48.90

Sobeys – $56.51   

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