Author Topic: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?  (Read 4491 times)

Matte

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Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« on: October 26, 2012, 12:55:46 PM »
I am just wondering what you all think about the economics, time, ect. of driving 45 minutes once or twice a month and stocking up on almost everything.  I know driving, not shopping locally, and circumventing taxes meant to encourage principals similar to mustachianism are not really ideal with the mindset here, but tell me what you all think.  Here is a typical trip and what we bring back.

Fuel, Vancouver BC Can (Regional transit tax $.17/L, provincial carbon tax $.08/L, $.10/L federal transit tax) =$.35/L = $1.32/gal Transit funding from tax, plus road and sales tax are buried in the price, I only begrudge the transit tax as with my shift schedule and work location transit is not an option for me.  Also they do not enforce fare evasion in Vancouver and studies have proven tens of millions of dollars of fares are unpaid every year. 

$140/litre = $5.32/gallon Vancouver
$3.59/Gallon Bellingham
Difference = $1.73/Gallon

We bring back approx 240 litres or 60 gallons of fuel, so thats $108 savings on a months worth of fuel, wich we do burn lets say $15 of that getting the fuel in the first place.


We also do our non perishable grocery shopping in the USA

Canned goods beans ect. go on sale in Bellingham for under $1 per can, at home range $2.50 and up for the same cans
Milk $5/gallon BC $2-$2.50/Gallon WA
CHicken/Turkey is about half price
Low cal/organic/health foods sell below half price in the US compared to Vancouver
There are many more items, we usually spend around $150 on what would cost over $300 at home, buy sales and bulk, go to costco, fred meyer ect.  Our fruit/Veggies we buy canadian

So for our 4 hours per month of shopping we avoid the highest price goods in Canada, besides totally isolated places.  And save ourselves $100 on gas, and about $150 on our groceries.  $62 an hour i guess, well $31 because its both of our time.  I still really have to wonder if i could beat this if I biked to my local store and paid double. 



kdms

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 01:11:18 PM »
Having lived in Maple Ridge and done that exact same trip for the exact same reasons for a number of years, I would ask: do you prefer sitting in the line at whatever border crossing you cross at, or do you prefer gnashing your teeth at the cash register in Vancouver, knowing it would cost less in Bellingham?

It was a lifestyle choice for us (and way before we discovered MMM.)  We always made it our monthly 'day out' -- the cheap groceries and gas were a bonus.  The rest of the month we minimized our shopping in Vancouver and tried to stick to local farms and businesses to support the little guys - not the conglomerates like WalMart or Superstore.  :)

KulshanGirl

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 01:37:40 PM »
I am in Bellingham.  You Canookistanians stop hogging all of our Costco milk!  *shakes fist*  Hehe.  I am totally kidding.  :)  We need a new meetup group, the BC/Bellingham International Costco Peace Alliance.

Matte

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 01:55:03 PM »
We are able to get around the border lineups because i am a shiftworker and my wife is on call, its not that bad of a trip mid-day on a wednesday.  I do enjoy making a day of it, and i am the same as you, the farmers and markets are about the only Canadian businesses getting any of my money.  I dont feel guilty of depriving superstore or jimmy pattison of one cent.

Matte

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 03:15:40 PM »
lol yes the milk people! and the american only hours at costco proposal lol

KulshanGirl

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 03:35:56 PM »
LOL!  That was embarrassing for us rational, friendly type Hamsters.  Although that Costco IS pretty much a madhouse.  I don't go in there very often.  :)  I had no idea the prices were THAT much cheaper down here.  We get monthly coupon books in the mail for Costco, let me know if there are any items in particular that you want to keep an eye on price-wise.  Costco coupons are amazing! 

Do you get them up there?  I wonder if they are the same?

kdms

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 05:24:00 AM »
They've got the weekly flyer coupons they hand out at the door, there's specials if you buy at costco.ca, and depending on the membership there's stuff mailed out as well.  I've just never bothered with the coupons because we generally only go in there for certain food items and the stuff we eat is almost never on sale anyways.  I've certainly never seen any discounts on milk, fruits and vegetables, and most bakery items....meat sometimes, cheese more often.  It's usually non-perishables that have minor discounts.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 01:11:19 PM »
For those of us who live further away from the border (about 7 hours flying time and 3 hour drive) the biggest issue I find is not going nuts when you cross the border. It takes a far amount of discipline and work to make sure you don't over spend. When ever we go home we always try to make a trip to Buffalo to do a day of shopping, generally speaking we get waved through without hassle or duty and GST. This year we're going to Florida for a week so will have a more relaxed time shopping. Our friends has reserved a spare bedroom for all the boxes from Amazon that will be coming

Main thing we buy are running shoes E160 vs maybe $100 or so.Also ordering a bunch of gore running products way cheaper there.


Matte

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2012, 02:03:32 PM »
Yea it's nuts how much cheaper it is, it's funny when your filling up your half dozen jerry cans and you look around and see three others doing the same.  The go nuts urge is hard to control! 

Thanks for the offer on the coupons, they hand them out at customer service  if you ask. 

KulshanGirl

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 02:13:40 PM »
Yep, I've forgotten mine and had to get another at customer service.  Bet we DO get them in the mail a week ahead of when the coupons start, so I can give a heads up if there are particular things you usually get.  :)  Before you make the drive.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 03:25:16 PM »
Speaking of gas you know a lot of Canadians buy gas near the border when they have a huge sign listing the price per litre!

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 04:32:15 PM »
I am in Bellingham.  You Canookistanians stop hogging all of our Costco milk!  *shakes fist*  Hehe.  I am totally kidding.  :)  We need a new meetup group, the BC/Bellingham International Costco Peace Alliance.

Ha!

Darrell

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Re: Cross Border shopping for Canadians Mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 12:15:46 AM »
Hi. I get to do some cross-border shopping this week. I'll be crossing the NWT/Alberta border ... then the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border, the Manitoba/Ontario border, and then be doing my shopping in Toronto.  :)

Sorry, I just couldn't resist! I'm off to the "big smoke" for an annual board meeting. I chuckled to myself imaging checking-in for the return trip with a few jerry cans of gas! Hah ... now I have a new "funny" "break-the-ice" story to relate at the meeting. P.S. I remember seeing the story about the Bellingham Costco and the milk issue on cbc.ca - that was also a funny story!