I Shopped At One Of Toronto's Cheapest Grocery Stores & Actually Saved So Much Money (VIDEO)
They've got every kind of snack you could want.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Ontario groceries are expensive right now. And I, like many people, have been doing way too much research into which stores I should shop at to reduce my bill.
I've tried buying food exclusively at Dollarama and snacking solely on Shoppers Drug Mart dupes, both worthwhile ventures. However, I decided to go all out this week and visit the Lucky Moose Food Mart in Toronto.
The Chinatown grocer, which I've been reading about since I moved to Toronto in 2014, is praised online for offering a wide selection of goods at low prices.
I've never lived close enough to justify shopping there, but since adventuring to find affordable produce is my new normal, I figured I'd give it a whirl.
Everything was cheaper
Patrick trying to read without his glasses.
After years of reading Google reviews on how cheap this place is, I finally gazed upon it last week and discovered the hype was, in fact, totally valid.
Immediately upon entering, I zoned in on a bag of Doritos selling for $4.99. Why? Because I am weak. It's not even a great price. I probably wouldn't have clocked it if I hadn't dodged the same snack at Loblaws a week earlier because it was selling for $5.49.
But, I wasn't expecting the Lucky Moose to take me back in time, just to shave a few cents and dollars off the current inflation madness, which it definitely did.
Collecting and chicken breasts don't really go together as words, but that's the only way I can describe what I was doing with them when I realized the mart was selling packs of them for $7.
In case you forgot, those bad boys were going for as much as $30 at the bigger brand grocers late last year.
So, I'm planning to sell half of mine to my friend Steve for $10 a pop, which should turn into a real good profit.
The prepared and frozen meals actually looked good
Checking out the frozen meals
I don't like cooking. But, if finally getting a girlfriend at the age of 27 has taught me anything, it's that my presence is best received by those who are well-fed and warm.
I'm always searching for cheap and delicious prepared meals, and the Lucky Moose definitely came through for me. I managed to grab a pack of ten spring rolls and a sizeable container of chicken curry for under $10.
I would've paid over $20 if I had ordered the same on Uber Eats.
When I got home, I popped the rolls and the curry in the oven for five minutes, and we called it dinner. It was bliss.
It's a lot bigger than it looks
The seafood section
I had a hard time finding the Lucky Moose at first. The store is tucked into a little corner on Dundas Street, steps from the AGO, and looks relatively small at first glance.
However, once inside, you see that what the grocery store lacks in width, it more than makes up for in length. In fact, its aisles stretch back so far that it's hard to see where they end when you first enter.
It wasn't until I did some exploring that I discovered a whole other floor which featured a vast fresh seafood area. If you want to experience what makes Chinatown a unique place to shop for groceries, I recommend checking it out.
They've got a huge snack selection
Patrick being overwhelmed by snacks
If you've got a sweet tooth and are always looking to bite into new snacks, then trust me when I say the Lucky Moose will hook you up.
Not only does the mart have all your usual North American favourites, chocolate bars, chips etc. It also has a wide selection of Chinese snacks that look equally, if not more tasty than their Canadian counterparts.
Many of the non-standard snacks are even priced cheaper. So, those who keep an open mind can score bargains.
It's crowded, but the deals are worth it
Pots and pans area
I won't lie to you. The Lucky Moose feels pretty cramped, and before you tell me about how every place can't be as big as a Walmart, let me assure you it's far from a deal breaker.
Still, I've frequented many Food Basics and No Frills over the years, which also offer little wiggle room compared to the big boys, and I'd argue the Moose is slightly more packed than either of them.
I didn't see a single person pushing a shopping cart around when I was there, probably because anyone who dared would become a human bulldozer.
Personally, I hardly noticed the frequent brushings of the elbows myself. I was too busy deciding if I was savvy enough to cook dumplings or not.
I ultimately decided yes! But, messed up royally.
The meat and produce are the big winners
Grabbing some cheap steaks
Remember when I said I was feverishly collecting chicken breasts? Well, now is the time to delve deeper into why.
If I could distill this whole experience down to a single point as to why you should go to the Lucky Moose, this would be it:
You'll save loads of money on most produce and meats.
My partner and I barely worked through the massive pieces of chicken we bought for $9, in the first two days.
Is that natural? Probably not, but we got four meals for less than ten bucks. And I don't know about you guys, but that kind of deal puts a pep in my spider-like steps.
I also saw plenty of affordable greens and fruits up for grabs, which anyone who's bought groceries in the province over the last couple of months will know hasn't been a thing lately.
The items I got from the Lucky Moose, which set me back $35 in total, were as follows:
- Two packs of chicken breasts
- A prepared meal
- Three boxes of snacks
- Frozen dumplings
Hopefully, this article will inspire you to expand where your shop for groceries. Or at least stop into the Lucky Moose the next time you pass through Chinatown. It's a gem!
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