Shoppers Turn to Dollarama for Budget-Friendly Alternatives Amid Rising Food Prices


Amid ascending food prices, consumers are fervently searching for cost-effective shopping options. Dollarama is one such destination, where regular customer Amy Simpson frequently uncovers substantial savings.

“To me, it’s about buying the same quality of food at nearly half the price,” Simpson asserts, highlighting her budget-friendly experience at the value retailer. She further articulates her inability to align her budget with the food prices at Loblaws, saying, “Fine, I have a penchant for chips. But am I willing to pay extravagant prices for them? Absolutely not. I’d rather go to Dollarama, where I can buy all the snacking indulgences without paying a high premium.” The difference between the two retail establishments is noticeable, and a single shopping spree at Loblaws can make one’s wallet significantly lighter, with select items costing double that at Dollarama.

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Lynn Leclerc, another Loblaws shopper, doesn’t shy away from the idea of discovering budget saving retail options. “Yes, I’m a regular at Giant Tiger and Walmart, but I wouldn’t mind trying Dollarama. If it promises to be better on my budget, why not?” she enthuses.

In a bid to validate these claims, a unique experiment comparing identical items available at both stores was undertaken.

“Today I purchased six identical items from both Loblaws and Dollarama, with the intention of comparing their respective prices,” disclosed Dave Charbonneau, one of the proactive shoppers involved in this experiment.

Here’s a glance at the subsequent price variances:

  • Chunky Soup: Loblaws $3.29 vs. Dollarama $3.00
  • Salad Dressing: Loblaws $4.49 vs. Dollarama $3.00
  • Tomato Sauce: Loblaws $2.49 vs. Dollarama $2.00
  • Rice: Loblaws $2.49 vs. Dollarama $1.75
  • Gatorade: Loblaws $2.49 vs. Dollarama $1.25
  • 1L bottle of Diet Pepsi: Loblaws $1.99 vs. Dollarama $1.00

The final bill at Loblaws was calculated at $17.82, while Dollarama billed a mere $12.19. This noticeable contrast in shopping outlay allows customers to keep an additional $5.53 in their pockets. By this metric, Dollarama is roughly 31% cheaper than Loblaws for these particular items.

On the flip side, it’s critical to acknowledge that discount stores such as Dollarama may not cater to everyone’s needs. Janet Marshall, another Loblaws patron, emphasizes this saying, “A significant chunk of our shopping list comprises perishables. We generally opt for fresh produce.” Given that Dollarama doesn’t provide fresh produce or meats, it may not be the perfect match for consumers with similar buying preferences.

Loblaws patron Graham Jardine voices his anguish concerning the swell in grocery spendings. “I live alone and yet my grocery bill today was a whopping $241. The same items last year would have cost me $135. It’s getting difficult,” he bemoans.

Despite such dilemmas, frugal shopper Amy Simpson remains committed to maximizing her savings. “In the grocery store, I can’t seem to exit without spending a minimum of $80. However, at the dollar store, I usually manage to fill my baskets with just $20 to $30,” she concludes, underscoring the merits of budget-conscious grocery hunting.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.