With veggie prices up, where's the best deal?

Grocery store

Last month Stats Canada published data confirming what many consumers have been grumbling about at the grocery store: fresh vegetables cost more compared to last year.

To be exact, the June report found prices were up 17 per cent compared to the year before, with widespread gains across the entire produce aisle. Potatoes cost 16 per cent more, tomatoes, on average, are up 14 per cent. The price of celery, one of the most expensive, hit $6 in Quebec and as much as $9 per stalk in some parts of the country.

Experts say the increase is likely caused by the challenging weather conditions and supply shortages in many major growing areas.

Overall, food prices crept up by 3.5 per cent over the same period.

With prices going up, where can Quebecers go to get the best deal?

According to the latest Protégez-Vous consumer group survey, to get the most for your dollar you'll need to do a bit of running around.

The group found overall, 93 of the items price checked at Costco, Walmart, Maxi and Super C, 43 were cheaper at Costco for an overall savings of near 12 per cent. The group noted that with the $60 annual membership, the savings don't add up until you've passed $500 worth of groceries.

While the warehouse store may be cheaper overall, it pays to shop around. Protégez-Vous found on average the cheapest fruits and vegetables were found at Maxi and Walmart had the best deals on household products and diapers and wipes.