Every May, dietitians from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health find the lowest price for 67 basic food items at eight grocery stores across both counties. These items make up what is called the Nutritious Food Basket. The items included meet recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide and do not include prepared foods or household non-food items such as toilet paper.
This data is used to calculate the cost of one week’s worth of healthy groceries for 22 different age and gender groups, and a standard family of four. In 2017, the monthly cost of groceries for a family of four in Hastings and Prince Edward was $839. A family of four must now spend 41.1% more in 2017 than they did for the same groceries in 2008.
Income is one of the best predictors of health. We know that when money is tight, healthy food is one of the first things to be cut in order to pay rent and other bills. In order to save money, people may skip meals, eat fewer vegetables and fruit, drink less milk, and fill-up on high-calorie low-nutrient foods because they are cheap.
Eating well helps you feel your best each day. Healthy eating can help to prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. See the following pages for cost effective ways to help stretch your grocery budget.