Arts

The Fulcrum investigates whether it’s worth it to bus the extra mile to save a dime

Map: Reine Tejares

As all broke students know, sometimes it’s worth it to put in the effort to keep within budget. Whether it’s scrolling through hundreds of posts on the “Textbook exchange” groups on Facebook to avoid spending $100 on a new textbook, or standing in line for over an hour to get a free Beavertail in the middle of winter, the little bit of extra time can ensure that we don’t run out of our OSAP money before the end of the semester.

One of student’s largest expenses is food. With Metro and Loblaws on Rideau being only 15-20 minutes away on foot, students in Sandy Hill rarely question whether it could be cheaper to venture outside of Rideau Street area.

Lucky for you, we decided to look into it. We went to four grocery stores around the city, all within a 20 minute trip or less by bus from the Fulcrum office (631 King Edward Avenue), to see if it’s worth it to put in the little bit of extra effort to save a few dollars every month.

We priced five staple items at these four stores and compared them to the Loblaws on Rideau. Check out our map above to see if using your U-Pass to bus around the city is worth it.

Store 1: Loblaws, 363 Rideau Street.

This one is the classic favourite among U of O students.

Trip time: 11 minute walk.

  1. Bananas: $0.79/lb
  2. 1L carton of Neilson 2% milk: $3.19
  3. Wonder 100 % whole wheat bread: $3.39
  4. Honey Nut Cheerios (460 g): $4.99
  5. 12 large-size eggs (store brand): $2.79

Store 2: FreshCo, 320 McArthur Avenue, Vanier.

This store is a bit outside of the downtown core, but worth the trip to save on every item on our list. Warning: you have to leave your backpack at the door in a cubby, so remember to leave your laptop at home unless you want to carry it with you the whole time.

Trip time: 20 minutes. Take the 14 towards St-Laurent from Rideau/King Edward and get off at McArthur/Lafontaine. The bus stop is at the entrance to the store parking lot.

  1. Bananas: $0.57/lb
  2. 1L carton of Sealtest 2% milk: $2.49
  3. Dempster’s 100% whole wheat bread: $2.89
  4. Honey Nut Cheerios (460 g): $3.99
  5. 12 large-size eggs (store brand): $2.64

Total saved: $2.57

Store 3: Sobeys 193, Metcalfe Street.

Sobeys opened earlier this year on Metcalfe and the outside structure is still under construction, but the interior is stunning. Although not all of the items are cheaper, more than half are, so we vote “yes” on checking out this store.

Trip time: 12 minutes. Take the 5 towards Billings Bridge from Laurier/King Edward and get off at Elgin/Nepean, turn right on Nepean Street, turn left onto Metcalfe St. The store is at the corner of Metcalfe St. and Lisgar St.

  1. Bananas: $0.79/lb
  2. 1L carton of Sealtest 2% milk: $2.47
  3. Dempster’s 100% whole wheat bread: $3.19
  4. Honey Nut Cheerios (460 g): $4.99
  5. 12 large-size eggs (store brand): $2.69

Total saved: $1.02

Store 4: Your Independent Grocer, 296 Bank Street.

Possibly due to the fact that it’s owned by the same parent company as Loblaws, this grocer has almost the exact same prices as the Loblaws on Rideau, even being more expensive when it comes to eggs and milk. These prices make the Your Independent Grocer a “no-go” on our list.

Trip time: 14 minutes. Take the 16 towards Britannia from King Edward/Osgoode and get off at Albert/Bank, walk down Albert Street towards Bank St., turn left onto Bank St. The store is at the corner of Bank St. and Somerset St. W.

  1. Bananas: $0.79/lb
  2. 1L carton of Neilson 2% milk: $3.39
  3. Wonder 100 % whole wheat bread: $3.39
  4. Honey Nut Cheerios (460 g): $4.99
  5. 12 large-size eggs (store brand): $2.99

Total saved: $-0.40

Store 5: Walmart, 450 Terminal Avenue.

Our final stop was the Walmart on Terminal Ave. This store is definitely worth checking out, with substantial savings on every item on our list.

Trip time: 20 minutes. Take the 86 towards Elmvale or the 8 towards Billings Bridge from Campus 1A and get off at Terminal/Sandford Fleming, walk down Terminal Ave. towards Sanford Fleming Ave.

  1. Bananas: $0.57/lb
  2. 1L carton of Neilson 2% milk: $2.27
  3. Wonder 100 % whole wheat bread: $2.88
  4. Honey Nut Cheerios (460 g): $4.00
  5. 12 large-size eggs (store brand): $2.64

Total saved: $2.79