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Budget-Friendly Grocery spots | Our recommendations for international students

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Adding water to an almost empty shampoo bottle, not ordering a drink when going out to eat with your friends… Most international students have used these hacks! That “I’m almost broke and I can barely survive” stage and it’s tiring 🥺 😢.

With that in mind, we have prepared for you this list of budget-friendly places where you can shop for your groceries! Check it out.


No Frills

There are plenty of supermarkets and grocery stores around Vancouver, but if you ask around for the one with the best prices, you most likely will hear the name “No Frills” more than a few times. With over 5 locations around Vancouver, No Frills is a great option for doing your groceries when you are concerned about your budget. With their price matching policy offered through their “Won’t be beat” program, No Frills is definitely worth your money!


Canadian Superstore

The Real Canadian Superstore is a local supermarket chain that could easily compare to a Walmart. The reason why is because their product range is the same as theirs! You can go to the Canadian Superstore to do your groceries and buy some basic supplies for your household, appliances, and clothing… They even have a BBQ and patio section for you to browse around! Besides, this supermarket chain happens to be owned by the same company that owns “No Frills,” so their prices are pretty similar 😉 The only disadvantage is their location. What they have in product variety they lack in locations around the city. If you happen to live near one of their stores, it should be your “must” go-to for grocery shopping.


The most popular dollar store around! If you are like us, you might be reading this from a country where dollar stores are not a thing! So first things first! What’s a dollar store?

A dollar store is a variety store that sells inexpensive items. They used to sell each product for one dollar or less, hence the name, although in the past few years, this has evolved and “dollar store” is now simply a synonym for “cheap” as not all their products go for $1 or less. It is a very popular concept throughout Canada, and the US since these stores usually sell everything from cleaning supplies and children’s toys to even food!

Now, it is not like you will do all of your groceries here! As they don’t offer some of the basics like milk or eggs. But they have plenty of ideal things for those with tight budgets 😬 Bread, canned foods, tuna, canned soup, and many snacks! We assure you that Dollarama will be a life saviour for you when saving money.


Sunrise Market

Located at the corner of Powell and Gore Avenue at Japantown, right next to Downtown Vancouver, the Sunrise Market is a family-owned and operated grocery store. It is frequently regarded as the best place for getting your fruits and veggies! They often have a great variety of fresh products that you can choose from, although we recommend you practice your “early bird” skills and get up as early as possible to get there first! Of course, the best quality products are the first to go!


So, if you have been living under a rock and you don’t know what Costco is, well… it’s simply one of the best stories ever!!! Costco is a members-only retail chain known for its warehouse stores, selling brand-name products in bulk and charging discounted prices. To gain access to Costco, customers must purchase a yearlong membership priced at $60 for the year for a standard membership, although other memberships are also available.

Now, this option might not be the best for you when it comes to buying food, as buying in bulk means having a loooot of food just for you, and it would be easy for you not to be able to consume or store whatever you purchased from this store before it expires 😒 But you can still go to get your house supplies from here at a lower price!

Besides, if you happen to be living with roommates, you can make a deal with them so that you all get some of your stuff from Costco and divide the cost for it.😉

Keep in mind that if you are already a Costco member from your home country, you can use that membership to access any Costco worldwide! So you wouldn’t need to pay the membership fee again once you arrive in this city.

*Tip: Most of these stores also have reward programs! So the more you purchase, the more points you can accumulate or the more discounts you have access to! Don’t forget to ask about these programs when you go to the stores 😉

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