Monday, November 29, 2010

US/Canada Cross Border Shopping

Living in Vancouver, it's fairly easy to get across the American border. Considering that there are always 2 hour line ups at the border, I can only guess that it's a pretty popular thing to do. God bless Nexus! (paid fast lane)

What is it that makes cross border shopping so popular in Vancouver? There is 1 reason and it's a darn good one. PRICES.
We go to Bellingham, WA just about every weekend to stock up on grocery and everything else imaginable. I am so used to buying everything there, that I barely buy anything locally. To me, Vancouver's prices are a complete spit in the face!
I've switched to Organic foods a while back and buying Organic in Vancouver will empty out your whole wallet in about one shopping trip. As great as Whole Foods Market is, spending $100 on a small bag of grocery isn't anywhere near a good deal. At Superstore (cheapest Canadian supermarket ) a  full cart of no name (an even cheaper variety of their store brand) products costs about $200. For the same price I can get a full cart of organic and brand name products in the States including milk, eggs, beef, chicken, you name it.

Here are some random price comparisons:
Gallon of organic milk - $4.99 US / $7.99 CAN
Large organic eggs - $3.69 US / $5.99 CAN
Cheese 1lb - $3.99 US / $5.99 CAN 
Ferrero Rocher chocolates - $4 US / $9.99 CAN
Gift wrapping paper 90 sq.ft. - $2.50 US / $9.99 CAN
Safety 1st baby potty - $15 US / $40 CAN
Baby corduroy pants - $3.50 US / $12 CAN
Full gas tank $40 US / $60 CAN

WA tax = 8.5% / BC tax = 12%

Wouldn't you wanna go too? It absolutely hurts me that I can't shop here in Canada, because I do love supporting local businesses. But until local stores smarten up and start lowering their prices, I'm afraid they won't have me as a regular customer. 

For fellow Vancouver readers, here is a great article about what to do in Bellingham.

I love you Bellingham, Washington.


Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

Following you now!

Glad to meet you.



Jenn at Sweet T Makes Three said...

Thanks for following me. I'm a new follower. I'd cross the border too! Sounds like you can save a ton. Is it a pain to bring things back through customs?

Jen M said...

@Jenn *knock on wood* never had any trouble yet! Unless you're bringing back alcohol or cigarettes, you should be ok! You might have to pay border duties, but again, unless you're spending like $500 per person, they very rarely charge them if you mostly just buy grocery. In the rare ocasion that they would charge - grocery fee is only 5%.

CornWarmerz said...

I can relate to how expensive it is to eat healthy in this failing economy, but I had no idea of the price difference on basic needs such as gas, milk and eggs. Ouch!

Thanks for following!

leanne_mac said...

I'm with you Jen! I go at least one a month for the basics and stock my freezer.

Ellie said...

Wow! That's a big difference. But on the other hand, we'd love to have your health care system. Yea, it's coming, but very slowly.

Thanks for following, I'm following you back.

Romina said...

I'm following you back. Thanks for stopping by

Pam said...

Thanks for linking up with us at MFM. I'm returning your follow from the Thrifty Things. I would corss the border too!

Kristen said...

I remember back 20+ years ago the US dollar went a lot farther. I wish we had your health care, too. I'm following you & thank you for the show of love!

Mary said...

HI Jen! Thanks for stopping by and following me today! I'm glad I found your blog and I'm having fun reading about all the products and giveaways!
Thanks! Mary

Mary EH! said...

Hi! I kind of wish we lived closer to the border (I'm immigrating from Virginia to the Toronto area) so we could go shopping in Buffalo. Canadian prices on food are so ridiculous :(

Lori said...

WOW! Thank you for introducing me to your blog!

Lori @

Tahnie said...

Following you back! Thanks for the follow. Have a fabulous day! :)

*Katia* said...

thanks for following i'm following you back!!

Gal From Brooklyn said...

Hi, I am now following you. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Hayley said...

Hello! Following you back, thanks for the follow!

Aimee @ Just Kidding Around Atlanta said...

Thanks for stopping by & following my blog! Happy to follow you back! Gosh, I can't believe the difference in prices between US & Canada - huge difference, and well worth the drive!
Hope your week is good!
Aimee @

Tara V said...

following you back. thanks for stopping by.
I live about 5 minutes from the lynden border and go across as often as I can. It's just as far for me to go to costco for gas as it is for me to go to sumas. and the line ups here are not usually more than 15 minutes. do you shop at the bellingham co op. I hear the have great organic items for good prices.

Jill said...


I'm your newest follower from the blog hop! Great blog you have here, I look forward to getting to know you better. I can't believe the differences in those prices! Wow, and I thought things were expensive here, you just made me more thankful! :-) Hope you'll stop by and consider following back.

Purple Froggie Clay Stuff said...

Thank you for following, I'm now following you too!


Dana @ The Coupon Challenge said...

That is crazy! I can't believe the price difference. Thanks for stopping by my site, following you back!

Liz said...

Following back...thanks for following me!

I know that I spend WAY too much money on groceries. My New Years Resolution will be to learn how to cut our grocery bill down to 2/3rds of what we currently spend. Funny thing is that it shouldn't be too hard.

Good to meet you!

Liz @ lil-LIZ-bits

US Waivers Pardon said...

Very useful information regarding US-Canada border crossing.

US Waivers For Canadians

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