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10 Cheapest Places to Live in Alberta

10 Cheapest Places to Live in Alberta

Whether you’re a student, young professional, or retired couple looking for a place to call home, Alberta has something for you. But if you’re short on funds, the prairie province has some of the most affordable spots in the country.

Some of the cheapest places to live in Alberta include Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Red Deer, Cold Lake, Grande Prairie, Camrose, High RIver, Fort McMurray, and Wetaskiwin. 

These cities offer a range of amenities, job opportunities, and relatively low cost of living and housing compared to other major cities in Alberta. 

So read on to know more as we’ll look at average cost of living—whether you’re after an exciting city atmosphere or a tranquil small town vibe. So grab your coffee and let’s explore what Alberta has to offer!

1. Medicine Hat 

Medicine Hat's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1380
Average food cost (One person)$451
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$773
Average transportation cost (One person)$49.2
Data sourced from: LivingCost

When it comes to affordable living in Alberta, Medicine Hat stands out as one of the most affordable areas in the province. According to a cost of living index produced by Numbeo, the average home price in Medicine Hat is around $261,000 CAD. 

In comparison to other parts of Alberta, a home in Medicine Hat is significantly cheaper than Calgary and Edmonton where a home can cost upwards of $400,000-500,000 CAD.

Not only are homes more affordable in Medicine Hat, but so are other living costs such as groceries and travel expenses. A typical trip to the grocery store will cost you about 17% less than it would in Calgary or Edmonton. 

On top of that, you can expect to pay about 16% less for transportation compared to these larger cities. If you’re looking for an affordable place to live and work in Alberta, Medicine Hat should be at the top of your list!

2. Lethbridge 

Lethbridge's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1619
Average food cost (One person)$599
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$844
Average transportation cost (One person)$54.2
Data sourced from: LivingCost

If you’re wondering what the most affordable city in Alberta is, look no further than the southern city of Lethbridge. As one of Alberta’s smaller cities, Lethbridge offers a number of advantages over its bigger, more expensive neighbors.

For starters, the cost of living is much lower than that of Calgary and Edmonton. The average rent for a two-bedroom unit is around $1,100 per month—a far cry from Calgary and Edmonton’s much higher averages. 

With an unemployment rate of just 5%, Lethbridge is an attractive option for those looking to find good employment opportunities while managing their budgets.

Even grocery prices are much lower than in other cities—a typical cart of groceries will set you back around $50 per trip. Couple Lethbridge’s affordability with its mild climate and friendly people, and you have yourself a great spot to call home!

3. Lloydminster 

Lloydminster's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1,378
Average monthly utilities cost (One person)$276.94
Average cost of monthly rent (One person)$750
Average transportation cost (One person)$34
Data sourced from: Numbeo

If you’re looking for the cheapest place to live in Alberta, Lloydminster is definitely a contender. Sitting right on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, this small city has a lot to offer for those looking for an affordable cost of living. 

According to Number, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just under $750 per month, which is lower than many other cities in Alberta. Moreover, you can buy a house in Lloydminster for $248,899.

This makes Lloydminster an attractive option for those who want to save money without sacrificing too much in terms of amenities and quality of life. What’s more, the cost of everyday items like groceries and utilities are also quite low. 

You can expect to pay far less on items like gas and electricity when living in Lloydminster than compared to other cities in the province. That means even more savings in your pocket each month! 

4. Red Deer 

Red Deer's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1741
Average food cost (One person)$516
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$1057
Average transportation cost (One person)$49.7
Data sourced from: LivingCost

Red Deer is one of the cheapest places to live in Alberta, and for good reason. With its low unemployment rate, affordable housing, and excellent location in the province, Red Deer is a great destination for anyone looking to keep costs down.

The region boasts some of the lowest rental rates in Alberta, and even if you’re looking to buy property, prices are lower than most other areas. Plus, with its close proximity to larger cities like Calgary and Edmonton, commuting from Red Deer is very easy.

Red Deer also features a number of entertainment venues and attractions that won’t break the bank. 

There are plenty of free outdoor activities such as biking or hiking on local trails. Or check out one of Red Deer’s many cultural festivals for free live performances throughout the year.

5. Cold Lake

Cold Lake's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$2,870
Average monthly utilities cost (One person)$100
Average cost of monthly rent (One person)$1,500
Average transportation cost (One person)$30
Data sourced from: Numbeo

If you are looking to live on a budget in Alberta, one great option is Cold Lake. It’s generally more affordable than many other cities in the province, with a median home value of $251,856 and an average rent of $1, 500.

Cold Lake offers an affordable lifestyle while still providing a lot of amenities. For example, the city has 11 schools and plenty of recreational activities to choose from. 

There are also various shops, restaurants, and other entertainment venues that make living in Cold Lake quite enjoyable. Plus, Cold Lake has a wide range of housing options to consider. 

Overall Cold Lake is a great place to settle down if you’re looking for affordability and convenience. With its low cost of living combined with plenty of amenities and housing options, it’s worth considering when searching for the cheapest places to live in Alberta.

6. Grande Prairie 

Grande Prairie's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1668
Average food cost (One person)$593
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$899
Average transportation cost (One person)$58.1
Data sourced from: LivingCost

Grande Prairie, a city located in the northern region of Alberta, is one of the cheapest places to live in the province. Home to more than 68,000 people, this city offers plenty of affordable housing options.

Grande Prairie is much cheaper than other cities and towns in the province. Not only is rent and housing costs lower here, but you can also find low-cost groceries and general consumer items. 

Additionally, Grande Prairie has low utility costs such as hydro, natural gas and water bills. Even beer and liquor is inexpensive compared to other parts of the province.

The city of Grande Prairie also offers plenty of employment opportunities for its residents. There are a variety of workplaces in various industries like engineering, hospitality, construction and healthcare that are actively looking for new employees. 

7. Camrose 

Camrose's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1,505
Average monthly utilities cost (One person)$375
Average cost of monthly rent (One person)$800
Average transportation cost (One person)$2 (one-way ticket)
Data sourced from: Numbeo

If you’re looking to live in a city that falls into the “cheapest places to live” category, Camrose is a great option. Cost of living in Camrose is low and when it comes to what’s most important like food, and transportation, prices are well below the national average. 

You also don’t need to spend much time commuting: Camrose has a relatively small population so you can get from one place to another with ease.

In addition to its affordability, Camrose also offers other benefits such as a wide variety of amenities, including arts and culture hotspots like the C-4 Gallery. 

It also offers outdoor activities such as skiing at the Wetaskiwin Ski Hill, and yearly festivals like the Camrose Canadian Exhibition. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and pubs for those who appreciate good food!

8. High River 

High River's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1800
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$1,100
Average transportation cost (One person)$100 (monthly transit-pass)

Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and is about an hour drive south of Calgary. It offers a peaceful, rural lifestyle with plenty of cultural and recreational activities.

High River’s cost of living is exceptionally low compared to other cities in Alberta. According to Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index, rent in High River is almost half that in Calgary. 

Plus, High River provides plenty of amenities and recreational activities for its residents. It has parks, trails, golf courses, shopping centers and more. 

What’s more is that it’s within close proximity to the Rocky Mountains and many other popular Alberta attractions like Frank Lake and Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. 

Whether you’re looking for quiet nature walks or exciting outdoor adventures, High River offers something for everyone!

9. Fort McMurray 

Fort McMurray's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1778
Average food cost (One person)$606
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$1009
Average transportation cost (One person)$49.5
Data sourced from: LivingCost

Fort McMurray is located in northern Alberta, near the oil sands industry, but still has some of the lowest costs of living in the province. As far as cost of living goes, housing costs are relatively low compared to other cities, and it also has incredibly low taxes.

Despite being one of the least expensive cities in Alberta, Fort McMurray still boasts a strong economy and is one of the leading industrial cities within Canada. 

In fact, it has a low unemployment rate, despite its connection to oil production, Fort McMurray is a diverse hub for business, industry and technology. 

On top of that, Fort McMurray has an incredible natural beauty where you can explore boreal forests, majestic mountains and more all from your doorstep.

10. Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin's Homepage
Average monthly cost of living (One person)$1500
Average cost of monthly rent & utilities (One person)$1,200
Average transportation cost (One person)$80

Located just south of Edmonton, Wetaskiwin has a growing population of around 13,500 residents and offers excellent amenities for those looking for affordable living.

Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Wetaskiwin averages around $900 per month, so it’s a great option for families looking to find cheap accommodations in Alberta. 

Plus, with low unemployment rates and plenty of recreational activities in the area like water sports at Buffalo Lake, hiking trails there’s lots to do without spending too much money. The real estate market in Wetaskiwin is also very favorable. 

Homes here can be found for as low as $250K, making it extremely affordable compared to other cities in Alberta. And with excellent schools and plenty of grocery and retail outlets nearby, you’ll have all the necessities you need at a reasonable price.

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