There are several large grocery store chains in Toronto. Many of these chains are owned by the same mega-company, National Grocers. Because of this the prices at these stores are often quite similar. Grocery stores are scattered throughout the city and are quite easy to find in any commercial area. The following are some of the more common grocery store chains:
|A&P / Dominion / Ultra Food & Drug / The Barn||A&P is generally a smaller store often located in small communities. The other stores are larger and tend to be found in more urban areas.|
|Fortinos / Loblaws / No Frills / Real Canadian Superstore / Your Independent Grocer / Zehrs||These large stores not only carry groceries, but also a range of products such as clothing and pharmaceuticals. The exception is No Frills, which keeps prices low by charging for bags and limiting the variety of products.|
|IGA / Foodland / Price Choppers / Sobeys||IGA is a small town grocery store while Foodland and Sobeys are larger. While these stores are similar to those found in the first section, they generally stick to groceries and do not stock other products. Price Choppers is a low-cost option similar to No Frills.|
|Food Basics||This store keeps prices low by buying in bulk and selling their own store brand. There may be less variety available, depending on the location.|
There are also a variety of independent grocery stores throughout the city. Most of these are fairly small, but carry more ethnic foods. Prices on non-ethnic products may be higher, so many people only buy specialty products at these grocery stores, purchasing the rest of their groceries at the chain stores.
If you have a big family to feed or are shopping for a large gathering, you may want to consider getting groceries at a “club” store such as Costco (http://www.costco.ca). At these stores you pay a flat membership fee once a year, which entitles you to shop in their store. Many of the products are sold in large quantities, often at better prices than at regular grocery stores. Club stores offer a wide range of products, not just food. Many companies hold a Costco membership and their employees can get a discounted membership through their work.