This week I decided I would shop around for bargains. Normally this would have been an exercise conducted entirely on foot, but with a windchill of -42, I made use of my bus pass for a couple of parts of the trip.
One of the interesting things about living in the core of Winnipeg is that I have a lot of different places that I can choose to shop at, all within about a 20min walk from my home. I have a Safeway, one block south. I have a bargain shop 1 block south. I have a Shopper’s Drug Mart 1 block north and an Extra foods about 1 block East. On the farther end of things, there is a Giant Tiger about 20 minutes to the east, and a FoodFare about 20 minutes to the Southwest. This doesn’t include all the little ethnic shops and corner grocery stores within my immediate vicinity. When the weather is a little nicer, I hope to visit them in search of bargains.
One of the things that is immediately noticeable is that bargain hunting is somewhat time consuming. I would estimate that today I spent about three hours shopping. However, this is not time totally wasted, because even on a day like today I spent a good portion of the time walking which qualifies as much needed exercise.
I found several good bargains at Giant Tiger. I found two or three at Extra Foods and a couple at the Bargain Shop and FoodFare. One of the positive things about FoodFare is that while it was generally the most expensive of all the places I went to (I avoided Safeway altogether), they did carry things such as a package containing three sausages, one pork chop, etc.
Shopping as a single is one of the harder aspects of doing this challenge. For example, a 20lb bag of potatoes costs $5.98 at Extra Foods. This works out to about $.30lb, whereas individual potatoes cost around $.79lb. On the flip side, $5.98 is 30% of the $20 that’s supposed to last a week. Here is a place where joining shopping trips together with other individuals could be of use in making living on the cheap even easier.
However, my larder has been replenished and I am ready to face my first full week.