Monday, February 4, 2008

Sticker Shock

[Lorraine writes] Well, the end of month tally is in, and the word is official. We are officially spending an OUTRAGEOUS amount of our salary on food. I knew food costs up here were expensive but this is ridiculous.

Total groceries for January for the two of us: $1215. (This is the point at which my 'real' mom Ella in Alberta and my 'honourary' mom Jack in Toronto gasp in horror while reading our blog and begin to compile the long lists of ideas for us to save $$.)

That included our one meal out all month (Chinese at the Navigator, yeah).

For all you frugal shoppers out there in the south, print off this list and see how it compares to what you are paying in your next grocery shop:

Milk: $7.35 for 2L carton
Butter: $6.99/lb
Flour: $10.49 for 2.5 kg (yes, mom #1 and mom #2, we ARE making our own bread)
Coffee: $11.99/kg
Shredded Wheat: $7.99/box
No Name Kleenex: $2.39.

We usually shop at the North Mart (the 'buy everything' store up here, where the skidoo aisle is five steps from the bread aisle). Here is our North Mart:

Sometimes we go to the other store in town, Arctic Ventures (see my Dec 19 post).

Occasionally, we bring in food by cargo or 'foodmail' (subsidized postal cargo rates for food basics). Last week, I faxed a food mail order to La Marche du Nord in Quebec, and they sent us $100 of food, which cost $89 to ship plus $6 for a taxi to carry it all). So, your basic grocery bill, doubled.

Any which way you cut it, our grocery bill is one big 'ouch'. Later this year, we'll go down to Ottawa and do a big shop for basics and have it shipped up on the annual sea lift, which will hopefully help cut costs somewhat.

But we'll still end up buying our tomatoes at $8.88/kg and apples at $8.99 for a 3 lb bag -- you can only live on dried veg and fruit so long ....


Maggie said...

I take it that this means that we should get together a care package for you to send up with some key indulgent snacks that you wouldn't otherwise get? The coffee price isn't that bad (but is that for maxwell house or kicking horse? I suspect the former)?
Miss you, as always. Congrats on your call to the Nunavut Bar.

Jackie S said...

Did you guys buy a lot of really heavy items?

I just did an order with 4L milk, a kg of cheese whiz...10lbs potatoes etc etc etc (aka not really light) and it only cost me 130 (something like 90 for groceries, and 40 for shipping.)

Just sounds a little off :S
(I do mine through

John and Lorraine (a.k.a. "Birdland") said...

Jackie - I was surprised at the cost, too. Hmmm. Maybe its Marche du Nord. I'll check out your supplier.

Mags, there is some Kicking Horse coffee beans up here: $18.99/lb. I really love my morning latte but the cost is killing me. (And there is only one place in town with an intermitently working espresso machine, and about a 50% chance of it being run by someone who knows how to use it). I bought a couple pounds of fantastic freshly roasted espresso beans in Vancouver in Dec, on a trip, but alas they are gone :-(