Malaysia vs. Canada: Family compares cost of a week’s worth of groceries

With the cost of living skyrocketing, one Canadian couple is planning to relocate to Malaysia for a more affordable lifestyle — and that includes cheaper groceries.

Married couple Sana, 32, and Muhammad William Saleh, 37, are social media content creators who manage the YouTube channel Saleh Family, which has 1.3 million subscribers. They’re also business owners who run Lala Hijabs, a company that sells hand-dyed and colourful hijabs. Sana and Muhammad were born in Canada and grew up in Okanagan, BC, then moved to Ontario once they had kids.

The family, currently in Malaysia, plans to move there permanently this fall, and they’ve been taking their viewers along on their journey.

The Saleh family (@sanasalehofficial/Instagram)

In one video, they head to Village Grocer, a local supermarket, which Sana says is “comparable to the stores we shop at in Canada.”

However, there are some differences.

“We find dairy and beef to be quite expensive here. All of it is imported, even butter,” Sana told Daily Hive. “We notice things are smaller in size than in Canada, but the quality is pretty good. Some items are not the best, though, like chips.”

While supermarkets might be lacking in the quality of snacks, it’s easier to find halal products.

“In Canada, we barely find anything that we can eat without having to read ingredients first and the selection for meat is very little,” said Sana. “We can go to any restaurant or any grocery store here and be confident that it is all halal and Muslim friendly.”

Watch the video below:

She said their food costs have dropped significantly since they’ve been eating out more.

“To give you an example, a family meal for all of us is generally over $100 back in Canada, and that’s not exaggerating,” said Sana in a video where they detail the differences in the cost of living. “You can get by on, like, $20 to $30 and get a lot of food for the whole family to eat.”

We wanted to compare the prices of groceries in Malaysia and Canada, so we decided to go with Walmart Canada for consistency.

Here’s how a weekly shopping trip in Malaysia stacks up against Walmart Canada.


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 5.57 ringgit/6 pieces ($1.59)

Canada: $1.80/6 pieces


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 10.90 ringgit/125 g ($3.12)

Canada: $5.97/277 g ($2.15/100 g)

Gala apples

Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 11.20 ringgit/6 pieces ($3.21)

Canada: $4.74 for 6 (79 cents each)


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 13.47 ringgit/3.37 kg ($3.86)

Canada: $8.97/5.98 kg


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 7.35 ringgit per dozen ($2.10)

Canada: $3.87 per dozen

Chicken breast

Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 11.29 ringgit/0.45kg ($3.23)

Canada: $14/4 pieces ($1.51/100g)

Plain yogurt

Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 18.70 ringgit ($5.36)

Canada: $3.28


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 15.95 ringgit/500 g ($4.57)

Canada: $7.28/454 g


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 16.20 ringgit/2L ($4.64)

Canada: $5.38/2L

Orange juice

Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 11.90 ringgit/2L ($3.41)

Canada: $7.79/2.63L


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 8.20 ringgit/6L ($2.35)

Canada: $1.24/4L

Whole wheat bread

Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 4.65 ringgit ($1.33)

Canada: $3.97


Saleh Family/YouTube |

Malaysia: 49 ringgit/44 pieces ($14.05)

Canada: $19.97/64 pieces

Although Village Grocer is pricier by local standards, the supermarket sells many imported items. During this shopping trip, a week’s worth of groceries cost the Salehs 473.71 ringgit ($135.85) — still cheaper than their average weekly grocery bill of $200 in Canada.

Sana said that for those who want to cut food costs, Malaysia has wet markets and other grocery stores where food is significantly cheaper.

“So it totally depends on your preference,” she said. “For us, we always shop at grocery stores like we have in the West, where it is all easy to shop.”