The Cost of Food in Ottawa - How Much Does it Cost to Buy Groceries?

I have a belief when it comes to spending money ~ there are three basic expenses that make up a purchase ~ Time, Cost and Quality.

I think of it as a Triangle:

You can save Time and Cost - but lose Quality.

You can save Cost and Quality - but lose Time.

You can save Quality and Time - but lose Cost.

You can always have two out of three - some choices will have a larger impact than others and some choices will be forced into based on what is going on in your life situation.

When it comes to food, it is the largest disposable expense - and not something we can eliminate - we need food to survive.

But how we spend our Time and Dollars to acquire the basic need, is entirely up to us.

If you are willing to spend the Time - you can save Cost and get the best possible Quality.  It is all about what is important to you.

Ottawa Public Health came out with a report called the 2019 Nutritious Food Basket - The Cost of Eating Well in Ottawa.  You can read it HERE.  It focuses on Food Insecurity issues and its impact, but anyone interested in their grocery budgets could benefit!

It states that the average Family of Four - Two Adults and Two Children - require $901 per month.

Now with the minimum wage increase for 2018, if you've been paying attention, you have already seen the prices of food creeping up.

But what if I told you, that if you were willing to spend a little time, you can maximize you grocery dollars - and save at least 50% versus just walking into a Sobeys or Metro and randomly filling your shopping cart?

Everyone says I'm a Crazy Couponer, but in reality, I'm saving money by Price Matching, and yes, I do use coupons - would you not pick up a $5 bill lying on the ground?   But it does require a small investment of time - making the list, checking the prices.   I'm spending the Time to Save the Cost and gain Quality!

I've decided to start tracking my Groceries Spending - and Menu Plans - to see if $901 a month is realistic.  Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Food Bank believe that is is a very basic number and even a hard number for most families to achieve.

Follow along as I jump into publicly tracking my families food expenses and preparations, to see how $901 a month feeds my household here in Ottawa.


January 2020:
Value Total:  $955.74   /   Spending Total:  $568.05   /   Saving Total:  $387.69