Grocery Shopping in Kingston

weekly poll, grocery stores, grocery shopping, Kingston, OntarioIt’s been all over the news of late: grocery prices are going up.  The drop in the loonie is having serious effects on our grocery bills and climate change is also being blamed for the fluctuations we’re seeing in the produce aisles.   A study by the Food Institute at The University of Guelph showed that Canadians spent an extra $325 on groceries in 2015 and they are projecting that number to rise an additional $345 in 2016.

In addition to the rising prices, there are other factors to consider when we decide where we’ll go for our weekly shopping trip.  I was a regular at Loblaws for years until I realized I could get many of the same products at No Frills, where prices are significantly lower.  In exchange for lower prices, No Frills does mean tighter aisles, coin operated shopping carts and longer line ups. They have also recently informed their customers that they will no longer be accepting Visa as of February 2016, which might be a deal breaker for this No Frills regular. Metro on the other hand, is unofficially known as the most expensive grocery store in town – at least that has been the word on the street for as long as I can remember, and dating back to its days as A&P.  The high prices are likely a result of the convenience of it being available to us 24/7, as well as its close proximity to Queen’s.  Food Basics and Fresh Co. fall somewhere in the middle with what some might consider a nicer shopping experience than No Frills but the same low prices, and certainly a wider variety when it comes to ethnic options and more obscure produce.  Then there are the specialty stores like Farm Boy and Costco.  Both offer a varied assortment of items but for a price.  While Costco is all about savings, you do have to pay for a membership and buying in bulk doesn’t make sense for everyone.  Of course, we also have our locally owned options such as John’s Deli and Bearances.  While I am a frequenter of these local businesses, it’s difficult to complete an entire shopping trip at either one.

Whether you go for the savings, the product or the convenience, this week we want to know:

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Why do you shop where you shop?  Is price the primary determining factor when deciding where to buy your groceries?  Some folks shop at different places each week depending on the deals in the flyer.  Is this you or are you loyal to one store no matter what? Customer service is certainly a valid reason to stay put in one place, regardless of the high prices.  Drop off a comment below and tell us where you choose to spend your grocery budget and why.

Thanks to Thomas Hawk for today’s photo.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

3 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping in Kingston

  • Sadly, I am a total creature of habit. I know that Loblaws has higher prices, but it's so convenient, I've been going there for years, I know where everything is and I have my favourite products that I buy without thinking about it. The produce is usually good quality so I'm not picking through shriveled sop. I know I can save money by shopping elsewhere – I do know this. But then I drive out my driveway and just magically end up at Loblaws again. Total habit.

  • Having gone car free, I find having ordering online and having Walmart deliver non persishables increasingly attractive.

  • I shop at a variety of stores, trying to support local (ie. John's and Bob's) but I also shop Loblaws, Farm Boy, Freshco, Metro, Shoppers and Food Basics. I also get produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), from a local farm on Howe Island 3 seasons of the year. I do not shop at Walmart. Ever.

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