Grocery Store Review: Westboro Superstore

After neglecting it for 2 weeks, I finally got up the energy to take the #2 bus down Somerset to the Westboro Superstore on Saturday. It was much needed, as we have been doing meals day-by-day instead of planning for the week, and spending much more than we should due to poor planning and shopping at Hartmann’s.

So my partner and I did the meal plan (which usually involves me saying “How bout this on Tuesday?” and him replying, “Uh, sure.” or, occasionally, him suggesting, “Why not this on Wednesday?” and me saying “Hmm . . . I don’t really want that.” And yet I claim to want his help with this process! To quote D.W., “Sometimes I crack myself up!”). Though our process might be flawed, I still think this is the cornerstone of not spending ridiculous amounts of money on food.

On Saturday afternoon, the store was pretty packed. In fact, this is my one complaint about the Westboro Superstore: it is frequently a total zoo. And the times when it is less of a zoo, like Sunday night, seem to be the times when the stock is really low.

But there are many positive things about this store too, especially its prices. As you can see on the Ottawa Grocery Price Book, the Westborough Superstore beats Hartmann’s by substantial amounts on almost everything (by the way, Ottawa readers please contribute to the price book! Just scroll all the way down to the bottom and click on “Edit this page”. The more people all over the city who add their purchases, the more info we all have. I’ve been using it as a personal reasource for weeks now and it really helps!)

It also has a really wide variety of high quality produce, including lots of organics, and even on the lowest-stocked days there have never been more than a couple things I couldn’t find from my list.

Another neat feature it has as a Real Canadian Superstore is that it “matches Costco” on some items. I’ve found multi-packs of ziplock baggies, for example, at a Costco price-point. They feature these deals in their flyer each week.

The damage at the end of the shopping trip was just under $80, which was for a week of meals for our little family of 3. This also included $7 worth of cat food, $8 for cat litter, and a giant $10 “family pack” of chicken drumsticks.

We’re no $30 a week family, but if we can keep our grocery budget at $100 a week, I feel we’re doing fine. And shopping at the Westboro Superstore makes it easier.

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7 thoughts on “Grocery Store Review: Westboro Superstore

  1. I am super jealous. I am all by myself (well, me and my cat) and I somehow manage to spend $150/week on groceries! Mind you, I can buy beer & wine at the grocery store here, but still! That is ridiculous. I am making a concerted effort to keep it under $100, and I was nearly successful on Saturday with a grand total of $103. I would have been way under budget, but beer was on sale, so I figured I should stock up! 🙂

    1. 😀 he he, I guess being pregnant (and not drinking) has its advantages! It’s funny that since beer is available at your grocery store, it gets included in the “grocery” budget! But if you have to go to a separate store, you can mark it as “entertainment”. Then again I count “cat litter” from the grocery store as “groceries” even though we don’t eat it.

      But where you live can have a lot to do with how much food costs. If we lived in Brooklyn, or even Toronto, I bet we could trim our budget even more. It’s all relative to the costs in your area, but my price book has certainly been helping me find the cheapest places in town to shop, without having to change my shopping habits that much.

  2. How have you found the quality of the food? Out here at our Superstores (in BC) I see a definite difference in the freshness of the meat and produce. It’s definitely cheaper than every other store, but I can’t stand to shop there for many reasons despite other extended family members (frugal ones!) prompting me. As well I’ve found that most of their produce is imported from the US, where most if not all of the items are plentifully available provincially (at least in summer). Some of the meat as well, or from Alberta. I do skip the stores that are most strict about local food because even then there’s still a big variety of imports, and the price difference is just too extreme. I know everything must be sourced differently in Ontario.

    I’m also terrible about menu planning because some (most) days I just don’t feel like cooking and end up whipping something together last-minute. I buy whatever’s on sale and build from that.

    I do go to Superstore for two things – The Keg teriyaki sauce (my favorite, and it comes in a giant bottle for much less than the other brands) and PC brand (I think) alphabet pretzels. My daughter loves those.

    1. It’s interesting to hear a perspective from the other side of the country.

      Good question about the meat and produce. I have found the produce to be quite decent, and right now at least I’d say most things are “Grown Close to Home” (the new Ontario Foodland slogan). During the colder months, this changes, but I haven’t found any real alternatives in grocery stores here.

      As for the meat, we don’t buy very much and I try to buy what I do at the farmer’s market so I haven’t looked too closely. But it doesn’t seem to be any worse than many of the other large grocery stores I go to.

      I’ll have to try that teriyaki sauce you mentioned!

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