The price of groceries is top of mind for a lot of us, with everything rising a bit.
A few weeks ago I did a comparison of Sobeys, Superstore, No Frills and Walmart, which came, in that order, from most to least expensive for the same cart.
However, there are alternatives for purchasing groceries.
There is Costco, but the volumes of things may not be practical for some.
Retailers like Giant Tiger have a selection of fresh, frozen and packaged food, often cheaper than traditional grocers.
There are deals under many pharmacy banners, but Loblaws and Sobeys are in that sector, too.
Then there is the local angle. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in international grocers around the Halifax region.
Five years ago, if you asked me where to get Indian food I would have sent you to Indian Grocery on Robie Street, as it was the only option.
When it comes to Desi food there are locations of Brothers Indian Grocery Store in Fairview and Dartmouth, Bombay Spices in Rockingham and Dartmouth, Red Chillies Bazaar in Bedford and Khan’s in Spryfield. There are others in Clayton Park, Bayers Lake and Burnside Park.
Some lean toward Arabic foods, like Nova Mart on the Bedford Highway, Syriana Market on Strawberry Hill and Mid-East Food Centre on North Street.
There is an explosion of Asian grocers. Some of my favourites are Union Foodmart on Wyse Road in Dartmouth, Tian Phat on the Bedford Highway, Oco Mart on Quinpool Road and Ca-Hoa on Queen Street. There are so many, there is likely one near you. Often the prices at specialty ethnic shops are cheaper than the mass-market retailers.
When it comes to savings, residents of Dartmouth have known for a while to travel up Main Street and visit Dave’s Fruits and Vegetables, with a large selection of produce, deli items, dairy and store-made meals. A kilometre or so away is Gateway Meat Market, offering cuts of beef, pork and chicken. They also have deli items, frozen goods, basic produce and random overstock items.
On Hammonds Plains Road, the Kingswood Market has some deals you would find at Gateway combined with a traditional grocery offering.
Don’t forget farmers markets and roadside stands that, especially in season, can save you a ton on fresh local produce.
Some folks use technology to shrink their bills, with couponing or sale groups on Facebook like Savings with Gail. Using apps like Flipp can help by searching all the flyers for particular items, but I still enjoy reading paper flyers.
Checkout 51 lets you scan your receipt to get rebates on certain items after purchase. There is also the Flashfood app; most Loblaws-bannered stores have a fridge with items getting close to expiry you can browse from the app and pick up at a discount.
To save on many items you have to travel all over town, which may not be practical for folks without a car. Another thing that saves money is offers based on purchasing multiples but, again, those deals put those with lower incomes at a disadvantage when they may not have the budget or space for four of something.
Here are more retail happenings:
- Munchies Convenience has opened on the Bedford Highway, where Stirlings was. You can also find them on Vernon Street, between Quinpool and Jubilee roads.
- T. Kettle is open in Mic Mac Mall, where David’s Tea used to be. Similar concept, different company.
- Marriott is bringing its Moxy brand to Halifax. It’s as if a large chain hotel was designed for Instagram, complete with the main desk being the bar. It will be located at Cogswell and Brunswick streets.
- Asian-inspired dessert chain Sugar Marmalade is coming to Halifax, in the new building at Clyde and Brenton streets.
- Popeyes on Hogan Court in Bedford opens March 30. Across the parking lot, A&W has opened its fourth Bedford location.
- The charming Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique is on the move to South Park Street in June.
- The former EB Games on Young Street is going to be more Dollarama, as it expands from next door.
- Grichi, offering flame-grilled chicken, opened beside Sobeys/Westside in Clayton Park.
- Do you live in Grecoville? You will if you live near 2172 Gottingen St. in Halifax.
- The Mahone Bay Shoe Company has closed its Bayers Lake store, meaning it’s down to one shop, the original in Mahone Bay.
- Fiends on Portland Street has closed its storefront and is operating online.
- The Drala shop that was at 59 Portland St. in Dartmouth has closed. The Halifax store remains open.
- The Narrows Public House on Gottingen Street is open evenings.
- The Suzy Shier and Bluenotes in Bayers Lake have closed. Both units at 201 Chain Lake Dr. are going to be Asian grocers.
- Brewsters at Mill Cove is now BB Bar and Grill.
- The Park Lane location of women’s accessory chain Bizou has closed.
- Shadia’s Pizza on Gottingen Street has been sold and will reopen soon as a new pizza shop.
Arthur Gaudreau is a retail enthusiast and publisher of a blog on retail comings and goings.