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.
The three stores were located in the west-end of Toronto within six kilometers of one another.
Here’s what we found:
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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