Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Easy pocket guide: A Student's Guide To Shopping Essentials In Canada (Applies to Halifax, mainly).

As part of my continuation to the earlier blog entries I had written,
I'll like to share another tip for any other newcomers to this part of Canada particularly (Eastern side - Halifax, NS). Although its meant to target students, but it may apply to others who believes that there's always other better deals out there.

Here's all you need to know, to get going and being able to start your life and live within your budget. Personally I wish I had known most of these before hand so that I could have saved more.
p.s. you may be a bit luckier if you had gone to studying in bustling places like Toronto, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver, etc as they tend to sell some of the essentials at a slightly lower price as oppose to over here.

So, here's the deal...

When down in Halifax, all you need if you pretty noob and new to the surroundings, just find out how to get to Halifax Shopping Center (HSC). The stores that you'll find bargains for your simply basic needs are.
  • Dollarama - simply things like light bulb, kitchen utensils, glue, stationary, gloves, scarfs, etc.
  • Walmart - don't buy it unless there's discount. But most things should be better priced then others like Zellers. They do have discounts regularly, so watch out for things like electrical items (boiler, mixer, mini-oven), clothes, shoes, ligthings, bedding wears, etc.
  • Sears outlet - if you want to find for slightly branded items that are on discount (believe it or not up to 70% sometimes), then this is the place to go. Its a little hidden here in HSC (behind of Walmart), so be on a lookout for it. You'll find your Timberland or Columbia shoes going for 50% - 70%. Clothes are also cheaper and of more variety. Of course you'll have to find if there's any your size or not. The trick is, there's no fitting room, they store tries to make it as hard as possible for your to try different things on and decide. They just want you to buy it there and then without much evaluating. And to top that up, there's no returns! But mostly the things there are at a bargain! Just that they may have some slight defects so be on a look out for it and see if you're comfortable with that.
As for food? There's no 1 particular place that sells them at a bargain. This is a bit tricky. I wrote a short blog on it comparing the various retail outlets here.
Personally I feel that Atlantic Superstore has the best offers although, you'll need to be careful as they are a bit more lousy when it comes to quality control (for fresh products). Sobey's on the other hand tends to offer things at a better deal if you'd buy a little more. e.g. a buy 2 of the same product and pay less overall.
Of course if you're not really into fresh food, then you could just settle with Walmart. But if you feel that you miss your home food and want to whip something like char kueh teow, then you could head to the Asian groceries. Just google it within Google Maps (type Asian Groceries) and you'll be able to see where they are located. There's even an Indian groceries at Robie Street.

I've snapped a shot of Walmart (Mumford road) and Halifax Shopping Center using Google Street view.

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