Average Monthly Household Grocery Bill

Find out how much Canadian spend on grocery each month.

About three months ago, I posted an article on Average Monthly Grocery Bill. I was hoping people would comment on that article, sharing how much they spend on grocery with me and the readers. Sadly, people in Canada don’t like to share their thoughts, I suppose. :( I know a lot of people come to my site for this info, but are unwilling to share. :(

So, I decided to find this information on my own, and certainly I found it. So should I share it here??? :shock:

The data include average annual household expenses for all provinces & territories in Canada: Yukon (YT), British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Saskatchewan (SK), Manitoba (MB), Northwest Territories (NWT), Nunavut (NU), Ontario (ON), Québec (QC), Nova Scotia (NS), Prince Edward Island (PEI), New Brunswick (NB), Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).

The average annual food expesne for family in Canada ranges $6000 to $7000 (monthly $500 to $600). :) The statistics does not indicate how many people in each household, but my guess would be for a family of 2.5 persons. According to StatCan, the average number of persons per private household in year 2006, 2007, and 2008 is 2.5 persons. So, you can calculate the expense for families of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, so on. My monthly grocery bill for me alone (I’m single still) is around $200; however, I include personal care and some health care as part of my grocery expesnes. So I guess I’m doing alright.

Example for the average Canadian:
$7305 ÷ 12months ÷ 2.5 persons = $244 per month per person

See how much Canadian pay for the government (tax) in relation to food/shelter!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

National Average Annual Household Expenses Year 2007

To read more on Monthly Grocery Expense for Year 2009,
click and comment.
Total expenditures 55,007 55,574 59,987 58,205 57,308 76,654 73,747
Total current consumption 40,332 40,922 44,145 42,285 41,100 53,938 54,400
  Food 6,463 6,629 6,640 6,602 7,321 7,383 14,057
  Shelter 8,985 10,137 10,815 10,031 10,167 16,341 11,547
  Household operation 2,968 3,097 3,304 2,945 2,601 3,666 3,445
  Household furnishings & equipment 1,719 1,424 1,784 1,567 1,543 2,136 2,082
  Clothing 2,588 2,112 2,412 2,312 2,368 3,420 3,345
  Transportation 8,392 8,039 8,820 9,137 7,542 9,600 5,456
  Health care 1,582 1,994 1,868 1,817 2,067 1,721 874
  Personal care 1,008 1,027 1,048 1,000 1,089 1,239 1,123
  Recreation 3,305 3,019 3,329 3,215 3,055 4,133 6,855
  Reading materials & printed matter 179 250 249 234 245 281 201
  Education 579 797 1,055 1,005 633 1,220 N/A
  Tobacco & alcoholic beverages 1,636 1,474 1,628 1,426 1,354 1,459 3,506
  Games of chance (net amount) 247 195 253 191 178 283 465
  Miscellaneous 681 727 939 804 936 1,055 1,144
Personal income taxes 10,466 9,504 10,585 10,610 11,739 16,403 13,312
Personal insurance payments and pension contributions 3,171 3,694 3,550 3,811 3,595 4,177 4,742
Gifts of money and contributions 1,038 1,454 1,708 1,499 874 2,137 1,293
To read more on Monthly Grocery Expense for Year 2009,
click and comment.
Total expenditures 63,303 63,944 85,912 72,621 76,997 89,075 69,946
Total current consumption 44,701 46,089 59,288 53,394 53,929 63,369 49,766
  Food 6,518 6,073 7,491 7,745 7,078 9,096 7,305
  Shelter 10,852 10,711 14,955 15,056 14,058 18,249 13,643
  Household operation 3,063 3,161 3,768 3,357 3,831 4,110 3,287
  Household furnishings & equipment 1,715 1,873 2,608 2,036 2,707 2,466 1,964
  Clothing 2,482 2,434 3,548 2,818 2,915 3,844 2,948
  Transportation 9,651 10,412 12,678 9,896 10,775 11,439 9,395
  Health care 1,786 1,738 2,259 2,177 1,603 1,306 1,932
  Personal care 1,102 1,082 1,288 1,135 1,193 1,351 1,167
  Recreation 3,607 4,387 5,387 4,577 4,860 6,132 3,976
  Reading materials & printed matter 267 218 291 233 415 312 260
  Education 869 804 1,176 1,215 739 503 1,017
  Tobacco & alcoholic beverages 1,441 1,615 2,124 1,624 2,236 2,792 1,536
  Games of chance (net amount) 311 286 340 223 308 653 251
  Miscellaneous 1,037 1,293 1,374 1,303 1,212 1,116 1,081
Personal income taxes 12,411 12,215 19,766 13,297 16,437 17,751 14,447
Personal insurance payments and pension contributions 4,003 3,923 4,331 3,850 4,961 6,228 3,946
Gifts of money and contributions 2,188 1,716 2,527 2,080 1,670 1,727 1,788

Reference: Statistics Canada

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87 Responses to Average Monthly Household Grocery Bill

  1. DJ on 2014/07/23 at 9:03 pm

    Southern BC, our budget is $700 a month, including all cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry and dish detergents, batteries and home office supplies. We are a family of four big eaters. If we eat out, it is once a month, which is rare. We grow our own produce (fruit, vegies and nut trees) I bake and cook a lot. I am now into canning. We are now discovering wine making. We would like to get our own chickens. I do live in the kitchen. It is nice a web page like this exists. Sites like this motivate budgeting and saving money. I am now motivated to cut my amount to $650. Thank you to everyone who opened up and shared a very personal stat.

  2. Cory on 2014/07/20 at 3:42 pm

    $200 a month? What do you eat? That is like 50 a week? I just bought groceries for this weeks breakfast and spend almost $50.

    • Ryan A. Smith on 2014/07/22 at 1:10 am

      I don’t go to restaurant or fast foods very often.

      For just me:

      Breakfast: cereal ($6 jumbo box 1.3kg of mini-wheat for 1 to 2 weeks)

      Lunch: bagel/toast ($4 biweekly) with cheese ($3 biweekly), yogurt ($5 for 16 x 100g biweekly), fruit, coffee

      Dinner is soup (easier to make for one person)
      —meat (beef stew, chicken breast, fish, etc), buy bulk and freeze it in smaller portions in sandwich bags; cost about $10-$15 per week (?)

      —frozen veggies ($4 for 2kg bag of carrot, broccoli, cauliflower that lasts about 1 to 2 weeks)

      —spinach ($6 for 2kg bag that can last more than 2 weeks, so freeze the rest and it won’t go bad)

      —noodle or pasta in the soup. Sometimes add egg.

      Snacks: chips, cookies, trail mix, etc.

    • kathryn on 2014/07/22 at 11:50 am

      That’s what my husband and I spend on average too.The other day as we were walking around checking out specials/discounts at the grocery store, and I noticed 2 steaks on the shelf..for $25!!! My first thought was “who would pay that???” Obviously someone does….certainly not us.

      Our breakfasts are varied, but generally home made pancakes,waffles,oatmeal or cream of wheat porridge, cereal, eggs,toast or bagels…usually served with fresh fruit too.

      Lunch is usually a salad, sandwich, or leftovers.
      Dinner is usually a potato (baked, mashed) 2 vegetables, and a meat.

      We buy a lot of whole chickens, and that meat will last for several meals. Then we take the carcass, and make a delicious soup. Ground beef for meatloaf,meatballs, burgers,casseroles.Steaks for stews, stroganoffs, stir frys.
      Snacks are usually almonds, yoghurt, puddings,salsa/tortillas, occassionally a cookie.

      • Ryan A. Smith on 2014/07/23 at 1:50 am

        Beef is getting more expensive these days, but $25 is not the most expensive. The ridiculous beef is Wagyu Beef at $200!!! It’s very famous in Japan. Recently Loblaws introduces this beef on its self. Better be delicious for that $200 steak!

        Fish and chicken seem cheaper more often, I found.

  3. md on 2014/06/24 at 3:22 pm

    We are family of 4 with 2 kids 12 & 10 We spend about $1500 per month including Groceries, fast food and resturants. We try to buy Oraganic produce and meat from farmers market whenever possible.
    We dont buy any canned produce or meat and 80% of the time eat home prepared meals.

  4. sen on 2014/06/06 at 2:29 pm

    i am a university student in ottawa and i spend 100 weakly on food only i buy mostly fruits and veggies and eat very healthy i do buy some packaged foods but a lot of the money goes to buy over priced fruits and veggies eg: 4 small eggplants 4.99 (that is one meal for me put in the price of rice and onion total 7 dollers for a nutritious home cooked meal produce should be cheaper!!!!!!!!!! 7 times 4 meals a day (i am a tall male) times 7 days in a weak is 196 preposterous i even try hard to eat cheap

    • kathryn on 2014/06/07 at 1:30 am

      I would suggest you start checking out other places to buy your produce.Most people get into a rut, and shop at the same places.
      For a while it might seem like you are running all over the place, but it will probably be worthwhile.
      Consider adjusting your meals to eating ‘in season’ or at least choosing foods when on sale or they have been reduced.
      Take advantage of all points/incentives that stores offer.

  5. Cindy on 2014/04/18 at 5:09 pm

    We are a family of six. Mom, Dad, and kids are 21, 15, 13 and 8. We have 2 pets(cat and a dog). We average $1600 monthly give or take. We live in southern Ontario and shop at Fortinos but get all of our meat at Lococo’s to save money. I collect pc points at Fortinos and cut coupons. I cook homemade meals daily and BBQ alot. We try to eat healthy things like salads and breakfast smoothies. If we were to go out(which we never do) our bill would definitely go up. I find a healthy meal at home costs way less. For us to go out to a place like a family diner, we would spend over a hundred dollars easily. How do people afford to go out and why?

  6. hsmith on 2014/02/06 at 9:06 pm

    We are a family of five, living in Mb. Living on one income.( $38,000) Kids ages 1-6. I spend $600 a month on groceries, including all household products and clothes and diapers, bathroom stuff… we grow and can our own veggies and butcher locally bought meat. We buy eggs, milk and honey locally and eat only homemade from scratch food. We are anti processed and gmo based foods. We are blessed to have these options and hope to be fully self sustainable within five years.

  7. Karen on 2013/12/30 at 1:52 am

    Family of 4, South Central BC, now all adults (2 do outdoor physical work) plus one cat. Average is $525/mo. Toilet paper is the only paper product I buy, cloth handkerchiefs, cleaning cloths etc., personal care items – soap, shampoo, razor blades – bought in large quantities at usually annual exceptional prices. Fem hyg. is Diva Cup. Deodorant is crystal type – Walmart, SDM, etc., has them for about double the price of conventional, but they last years. Use Country Save laundry det., vinegar rinse, hang dry outside in summer, inside in winter. Buy dishwasher det, plus dish liquid bulk, vinegar as rinse agent. Use vinegar, baking soda, etc plus microfiber for cleaning.

    Small veg garden, 2 small freezers. Meats, some organic, but almost always discounted (go early and often), stockpiled in one freezer. Buy whole chickens, not boneless skinless breasts, make stock (and use it) from bones, pay attention to portion sizes. Produce frequently marked down, some organic, only in season. Buy garlic in bulk or grow it, separate cloves, bag and freeze. Peels fall off frozen cloves. Thaw about 10 seconds to crush. Always use butter, never marg, stick to basic, real food. Dress it up yourself when you can afford extras. Lots of home canning/freezing/dehydrating. Make my own greek style yogurt (2.5L/$3.91) from discounted milk (SDM, 55+) Cook from scratch. Next to no processed foods. It’s all just a cheaply made and inferior copy of something you can make better at home for less. Some eggs are pastured, most conventional. Rice, oatmeal in 20# or more bulk purchases. Bake bread etc yourself. Baked goods are very expensive to buy, but not to make.

    Most important – Make a price book!!! Google it. Sweat the small change – it adds up fast. Took about 3 years of slowly stockpiling at best prices, now only ever have to buy at lowest price. 75% weekly budget is for stocking up at low prices, 25% for fresh produce/dairy (could live on about $30/week for several months if needed). Rarely eat out, budgeted as entertainment. Yes, I am a SAHM. Used to have a “well paying” job. After deducting job related expenses and dividing salary by hours involved in work related activities, we’re much further ahead, healthier and happier now.

  8. R on 2013/11/17 at 1:43 am

    Our family of six spends about $900/month on food and other stuff you get at the grocery store such as laundry liquid, toothpaste, paper towels, bathroom tissue, etc. We cook most meals from scratch and buy some organic food.

  9. Tim on 2013/08/30 at 6:50 pm

    I don’t know how those stats are calcuated. Family of five in Southern Ontario. One income. We try to buy healthy food but with two teenagers and an eight year old, groceries are, by far, my biggest expense. 1200 – 1400 a month. For me groceries is everything, so food, soap, toothpaste….whatever you buy to keep the house going. That does not include going out (which we can’t afford anyway) or alcohol (we don’t drink and couldn’t afford it anyway).

  10. Morgan on 2013/08/09 at 7:59 am

    We live in western BC, and have been carefully tracking our expenses for the last 8 months. Our family is 2 adults and two picky elementary school aged kids. We tend to eat a lot of processed foods and meats, but shop very carefully for prices. We eat out 2-3 times per month, ranging from Mcdonalds to Red Robin, and get Tim Hortons coffee and timbits 2-3 times per month also. When I average everything out, we spend $197 per week on food (nothing but stuff we can consume…) I work hard to keep under $200 a week, and thought we were doing well, until I read some of these posts…must be all of the prepared food we eat. While our food isn’t organic, there’s plenty of it, and everyone in the house is in reasonable physical condition.

    There you have it…Lazy (food prep) but thrifty family of 4 on the west coast, eating for $200/week. Hope this helps someone.

    • BB on 2013/09/12 at 3:44 pm

      At $200 a week, you are filling your kids with pesticides and hormones…..better rethink you ‘real’ value

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