Grocery Tracking Receipts and Data

-Written by Cel

A few months ago, we made a post about our grocery tracking results. This is our most popular post to date.

One thing that came up from several people was outright denial – allegations that we were making up our numbers, and demands to see the receipts. People claimed that $230ish a month for two people was impossible, and you couldn’t eat a healthy diet on that amount.

It’s true that many people spend $250, $300 or more just for one person. But that is just due to inefficient purchasing. We want people to know how easy it is to eat a healthy, tasty, and varied diet in Vancouver and elsewhere. So, we finally got around to taking pictures of all of them.

Link to the album of receipts.

(Some explanatory notes:

The “Raspberry” for $4.99 at Whole Foods is actually a 383 ml bottle of organic raspberry jam, not a box of raspberries

“NN 24 Roll BT” is 24 double rolls of toilet paper

“PC Org Unswt” (it’s hard to read) for $2.79 is six packets of applesauce

“PC BM Red Split” are red lentils.

“PC BM Meatls CHKN” is vegetarian chicken

It’s important to note that many of our purchases were not as efficient as possible. For instance, we bought produce at Independent Grocer, and a package of lasagna noodles from Nesters Market at $3.29. These could have been purchased at different stores for a better deal, but like most people we sometimes pay a little more so we can save time. However, if we were truly broke, then we could easily have cut down our bill.

Looking through the receipts, we definitely see some patterns. We bought a lot of items, particularly produce, on sale. Note that some stores (No Frills, Independent Grocer) do not indicate sales on the receipt, so there are more than what is shown on the receipt. This is not a coincidence of course. We deliberately buy things on sale and plan our meals around them.

Most of our spending is on “raw ingredients”, rather than processed, pre-packaged, ready to eat food. Raw ingredients are much healthier, and almost always cheaper, than ready-to-eat food like microwavable meals. Buying baking ingredients is far cheaper than buying ready-made baked goods, and are far tastier once you become a good baker.

We always brought our own bags – most stores will either charge for bags (No Frills) or give a discount/refund if you bring your own (Whole Foods). It may be a small amount, but every bit helps – and it’s more environmentally-friendly.

We hope that this helps inspire people to frugal grocery shopping!



  1. One suggestion … give Persia on Broadway (I believe they also have other locations) a try sometime. We discoverred them a couple of years ago and cannot believe how inexpensive their produce is! Great prices on tofu and other items too. It’s not as convenient as Choices or Whole Foods but the savings more than make up for the little excursion. πŸ™‚

  2. Anyone who doesn’t buy their fruit and veggies at Sunrise Market (Gore/East Cordova) is paying too much. Having said that, there is a buyer beware p.s. Sunrise is often near the edge of the best before spectrum so pick carefully. They don’t mind!

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