Being affiliated with Toronto and U of T is cool as we all know. However, with a fun, interesting city like Toronto, there is a downside as the cost of living and schooling is pretty high compared to a lot of cities in Canada.As students, we already pay a lot in tuition and do not need to pay a lot for groceries.  Grocery shopping is one of those tasks that is either loved or hated, but still needs to be done because it can be quite overwhelming and stressful. However, by going to the right places and with the right plan, doing groceries can be stress free, fun and enjoyable without making a dent in our wallets.

Below are the places to get groceries downtown Toronto:

1. Bulk Barn

If you haven’t been to Bulk Barn you are missing out on great deals. I know in all the “save money on groceries” articles, everyone says to buy things in bulk which I am reiterating because it actually works. Believe me when I say Bulk Barn is the best place.

Don’t just go there to buy candy alone. Buy your pantry staples there as well at a cheaper price. If you are ever worried on how to store the groceries, it is time to get on the mason jar bandwagon and make your pantry look fancy AF#SpoonTip: Go to bulk barn on Wednesday and get 10% of your entire purchase with your student ID.

2. Chinatown

Take a break from studying and visit Chinatown. It extends along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue.

Not only do they have cheap groceries, there is also a plethora of Chinese restaurants that serve authentic Chinese cuisine. The best parts are the groceries are mostly tax free and bags are free.

3. Kensington Market

Explore downtown Toronto by doing grocery shopping at one of the historic sites in Canada. From butcher shops, to vegan cafes, fruit stands, organic food stores and artistic walls, Kensington really caters to everyone irrespective of dietary restriction for an affordable price.

#SpoonTip: Don’t forget to take an artsy picture while at it. You will thank me later.

4. Pai Market

vegetable, garlic
Janeththa Rajendran

Thai cuisine is currently an obsession of mine, so getting authentic Thai food in addition to being able to buy ingredients to create my favourite dishes in my kitchen? Sounds like a win-win situation to me. De-stress by visiting PAI restaurant to get THE overall Thai experience.

5. Farmers Markets

I know its fall and there aren’t a lot of farmers market available but some farmers market are still operating

Visiting the farmers market is a great way to buy fruits and veggies in season, which is considerably cheaper. Also it is a great way to try out new produce as well and expand our palette

#SpoonTip: To even get better deals, go to the farmers market towards its closing hours as farmers tend to lower their prices just so they can sell off all their produce of the day.

For days when you just feel like the good old grocery store, downloading apps like fipp and checkout 51 can help to save. They help with price matching from grocery stores around and to get cash back after shopping

#SpoonTip: Also going to the grocery store around 9pm is great because a lot of the popular chain stores tend to have discount off their baked goods and in house prepared meals.

Go forth and start saving on groceries U of T, your wallet will thank you.