8 Cheapest Places To Buy Groceries In Vancouver (2022)

Food prices are up by over 9% compared to the previous year. This, combined with the rising rental rates, fuel costs, and other necessities, has put many Canadians in a bit of a bind.

Groceries are more expensive than ever, even from historically cheap grocers like Walmart and Superstores.

That being said, there are still deals that you can find on food and groceries in Van City. You just have to do a bit of digging.

Below, I’ll show you the cheapest places to buy groceries in Vancouver so you can keep more money in your wallet the next time you’re shopping.

How To Find The Cheapest Groceries In Vancouver

Vancouver is known for being one of the more expensive cities in Canada. If you want to save money while living in the city, you’ll need to be smart about how you shop and spend your money.

The number one way to save money on groceries is to plan your shopping. There’s an old saying that goes something like, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Some of the details you should include in your grocery shopping plan are:

  • Your grocery list (broken down into necessities and wants)
  • A list of versatile meals you can make using the ingredients you buy (so you don’t waste any food)
  • A budget, so you can see how much money you can afford to spend
  • Coupons to your local grocery store

I also recommend checking the local flyers and newspapers to see the hottest deals on groceries.

SaleWhale is a great free-to-use site that automatically displays the latest grocery shopping flyers to you, based on your location.

Cheapest Places To Buy Groceries In Vancouver: Listed

The most important part of planning your grocery shopping trip is the store where you plan on buying your food at.

With that in mind, here are some of the cheapest places to buy groceries in Vancouver.

1. Marketplace IGA

Marketplace IGA Logo
  • Best For: Pantry foods, essentials like milk, bread, snacks
  • Bulk Food Available: No

Marketplace IGA is known for being a simple, reliable grocery store where you can buy all of the essentials you need.

It’s not quite as big of a grocery store as Walmart or Costco, so you won’t find as many options when it comes to specialty products and brand selection.

However, IGA has a number of its own generic brands that taste just as good as those sold by bigger brands. Marketplace IGA has great rates on everyday staples like:

  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Snacks
  • Frozen foods

The store even has a decent wine selection for those looking to have a glass with their meal.

I will say that meat prices at Marketplace IGA aren’t the lowest, but that’s because they don’t sell larger cuts or allow you to buy in as much bulk.

2. Costco

Costco
  • Best For: Paper products, produce, meat, frozen foods, condiments
  • Bulk Food Available: Yes

Costco is a wholesale grocery store that requires its members to pay an annual membership fee.

Unlike traditional grocery stores, where you’ll buy single small units, Costco specializes in selling bulk food products. Here, you can save on giant 24-packs of paper towels, 4-kilogram cuts of meat, and gallon-sized jugs of ketchup.

Costco is the perfect place to shop with your roommates or with your family, as you can all split essential items.

If you’re single and living by yourself, Costco may not be the best option, as you could end up with overstock that goes to waste.

However, it’s perfect for groups or stocking up on non-perishable items like canned food and cleaning products.

3. Superstore

Real Canadian Superstore Logo
  • Best For: Pantry foods, frozen food, meat, dairy, cleaning products
  • Bulk Food Available: No

Superstore is probably the closest Canadian competitor to Walmart. It’s known for being a cheap one-stop shop that sells everything from clothes to groceries and even electronics.

There are several Superstore locations in Vancouver, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one.

The lines can be a bit busy, but the overall low cost of groceries is worth it.

4. Walmart

Walmart logo
  • Best For: Pantry foods, condiments, meat, dairy, paper goods, pet supplies
  • Bulk Food Available: Some

Walmart may as well be synonymous with “cheap” at this point. That being said, Walmart’s Great Value brand has seen some surprising improvements in terms of quality.

Walmart-brand food used to be known for its poor taste in the past, but today the retail giant has a really solid product selection.

Walmart has consistently good deals on essentials like meat, dairy, frozen foods, and paper goods. They also offer some of the cheapest dog food I’ve seen for my pet owners out there.

Is Walmart The Cheapest Place To Buy Groceries?

In terms of overall cost, it’s hard to beat Walmart’s incredibly low prices. However, you can find even better deals on name-brand products by finding coupons to more expensive grocery stores like Save On Foods. It’s all about shopping for the best deals.

5. Safeway

Safeway Logo
  • Best For: Essentials, produce, dairy
  • Bulk Food Available: No

Safeway is known for being a bit more expensive than places like Walmart or Superstore.

However, they have a really good selection of specialty foods and meals made by the in-house deli department.

Whenever I’m in Vancouver, I’ll often stop by Safeway just to grab a quick, affordable, and healthy prepared lunch.

6. Save On Foods

Save On Foods Logo
  • Best For: Specialty foods, meat, dairy, produce
  • Bulk Food Available: No

Save On Foods is on par with Safeway as far as pricing goes. I will say that Save On Foods has a great selection of specialty foods and small-batch family brands.

Save On Foods also has some good deals on deli meals and bakery items. Plus, the associates here always seem to be in a good mood! Looking for coupons is still the best way to save here.

7. Vancouver Farmers Market

Vancouver Farmers Market logo
  • Best For: Produce
  • Bulk Food Available: Yes

The Vancouver Farmers Market is an organization that sets up around the city during different dates (usually weekends).

The organization is founded on the idea that locally grown food should be available to everybody, regardless of their income. As such, they give back to the community by connecting those in need with local farm-fresh food.

The Vancouver Farmers Market is a great place to find deals on fresh produce farmed right in British Columbia.

The food is less processed, more affordable, and supports the local community. The only downside is that it’s not open every day.

8. Famous Foods

Famous Foods logo
  • Best For: Meat and fresh produce
  • Bulk Food Available: No

Famous Foods is a small, locally-owned grocery store located in East Vancouver. It’s not the cheapest place to buy cleaning supplies and paper products, but I’ve found some really good deals on meat (nice, grass-fed meat) as well as fresh produce sourced from Canadian farms.

It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re trying to make a large dinner.

What’s The Cheapest Grocery Store In BC?

The overall cheapest grocery store in BC is Superstore. There are locations all over British Columbia, and you can always count on Superstore to have low prices, and plenty of food in stock.

How To Save Money On Groceries In Vancouver

To wrap things up, here are a few key tips to help you save money on groceries in Vancouver.

Use A Couponing App To See Local Coupons

You can use free apps like Flipp to browse local flyers for coupons to grocery stores. If you want to get started couponing, check out my guide to extreme couponing here!

Buy In Bulk From Costco

Buying in bulk is the best way to save money on groceries, especially if you have a large family.

Even if you’re single, you can always invite a couple of friends to go with you and chip in on groceries that you can split. Only one person needs to have their Costco membership card.

Use A Cashback Rewards Card

Using a cashback rewards card like the Koho prepaid cashback debit card allows you to earn a percentage of the money you spend back.

Cashback credit cards work the same way and allow you to build your credit while earning cashback at the same time.

Make A List Of Meals For The Week

Before you go shopping, make a list of meals that you plan on cooking for the week.

This will help prevent you from overspending on items that you don’t need and will ensure that you don’t end up wasting money on last-minute add-ons that will end up at the back of your fridge.

Final Tips

Cheapest Places To Buy Groceries In Vancouver

You can find cheap groceries in Vancouver if you’re willing to shop smart.

The trick is to use a good couponing app and make detailed grocery lists and budgets before shopping.

Want to find the best grocery coupons? Keep on reading to see my list of the best couponing apps in Canada!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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