Yes! Yes yes, definitely, groceries are more inexpensive in the USA than in Canada. Certainly there are some exceptions, and a lot of things are pretty similarly priced, but by and large they’re cheaper in the US - especially staple items and even more especially dairy items! The short answer as to why is differences in farm subsidies and population size - keep in mind that approximately 10x fewer people live in Canada even though it’s even larger in land size than the US, so this also adds the issue of transportation costs and, really, just supply and demand to a certain extent.
I took a picture of one big example…now this doesn’t really affect me much because I really don’t buy milk, but I think we can all agree it’s about as basic a staple as you can get!
2.99 for a gallon of conventional milk at Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, WA
4L (just barely over 1 gallon) of conventional milk for $4.69 at a no-name el cheapo grocery store in Vancouver, BC. Even the organic milk was only around $3.49 whereas here organic milk is often $7-8 for 4L (with the exception of the Whole Foods 365 brand which is only around $5…people, if you don’t know about 365 brand stuff, you have to check it out!)
CHEESE! I didn’t take note of any specific examples, but cheese is SO CHEAP in the USA! Now a lot of people here argue that the cheapest American cheese is lower in quality to what you get here, but I dunno…if I just want a block of orange cheddar (which is maybe “American cheese”? I haven’t quite figured out what that is) it’s about the same.
Produce prices aren’t really that far off our prices…they are a little cheaper in some cases only because a lot of our produce is shipped in from the US anyway which adds a little to the price. Example: a bunch of cilantro at our local Whole Foods store is $2.49 and it was $1.99 in Lynnwood, WA. I mean, they’re small amounts, but it adds up!
Other SUPER bonus? The gas prices. I drive a Honda Civic with a 40L gas tank (around 10.5 gallons). At home in Vancouver it costs me around $55 to fill up, but I filled up from empty in Washington yesterday for $39!
(This doesn’t even bring into question liquor! Beer and wine, which you can bring back over the border in small quantities, are just…so much insanely cheaper in the USA. Now that’s because our provincial government taxes liquor up the wazoo. The biggest differences are in hard liquor which unfortunately they charge duty for if you bring it over the border without having stayed over 24 hours in the US. Example: a 1.14L bottle of Smirnoff Red Label vodka here is $37 and I saw a 1L bottle in the US for $14.99. Tito’s Vodka is around $45 here, $19.99 down south!)
We’re allowed to bring $200/person in groceries back without duty being charged, so there’s no penalty for shopping in the USA other than a little bit of personal guilt I have for not supporting my own economy. It doesn’t really make sense to do it unless you’re planning on a big shopping trip, but you save on dairy, and all sorts of basic pantry items (chicken stock, oils, vinegars, nuts!), plus you guys get all sorts of neat stuff that we don’t have up here (mostly for labeling issues: all our products have to be in English and French and for many US companies it’s just more cost than it’s worth to make alternate labeling)!
edited to add: I forgot meat! I got a family pack of 9 enormous specialty chicken thighs for $10! At Whole Foods! Shit, this would have been at the very least $18 up here.