Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cross Border Shopping

I am often asked what I buy when I cross the border for the day so I decided to take photos and share what is on my cross border list!  I normally only buy things I know I can't get in Canada or are at a much lower price.  With the dollar being so close to par it is easy to get some great deals!  I remember when I was pregnant we went to Target to pick up all the baby gear and everything cost us half what it would here! 

I live close to a quiet border crossing and tend to see the same guards over and over - one American guard always laughs and tells us we are crazy to drive 2 hours to shop!  He obviously doesnt understand women at all!  We always tell him it's our moms day out and we had to get far enough way that no one could call us back to find their pants or Cheerios or anything silly like that!

A lot of people are afraid of what will happen when they come back with all of their stuff but there is nothing to fear - the customs officers just want you to pay your bills and be on your merry way!  I arrive at the customs booth with my passport and reciepts in hand and know exactly how much I spent.  I am polite and cheerful with the officer and make it clear I am there to pay my bill, not trying to get out of it. 

The guard will give us a yellow ticket with instructions to park...but I tell them I know the drill!  Once inside the customs building it's always a good idea to remember the guards are human beings and deserve respect and kindness.  You wouldn't believe the number of times a guard has deleted a section of my bill after some friendly banter and a smile.  I dont recommend crossing at Niagara Falls...the guards out here have told me that's the worst place to work and cross.

Canadians have to pay tax on certain items...some guards will ask for the details of every item on your receipt...others will scan it and estimate.  Either way, be prepared to answer questions.  Most items are not subject to duty fees contrary to popular myth but just about everything is subject to Federal and Provincial taxes.  Even with the 13% we pay in Ontario I still save a lot of money!

Snowman shaped marshmallows.  Nuff said.

Minty chocolate - my favourite!

Ibuprofen PM - for those nights I just cant sleep!

Vitamin C powders - we do have these in Canada but they are 26.00 a box in most places.  In Target they start at 6.00 and go up to 9.00 depending on the flavour.  I bought 6 boxes...saved approximately 120.00 right there and got to spend the day with a friend I adore and rarely get to see!

Zinc lozenges - I am obviously terrified of getting sick!

Archer Farms fruit and yoghurt bars. 
I keep these in my purse, car, desk!
I had High Heeled Life bring these back for me once!

Flavoured coffee! 
Yes we have coffee in Canada but not pumpkin coffee!

Would you believe these are made in Toronto but not sold in Canada?

We have about 4 flavours of Coffee-Mate in Canada. 
I cant resist the huge assortment I can get in the US!

Have I mentioned I live 45kms from the closest Sbux?

We have Goldfish but not the assortment in the US stores.
The little cartons went into the Little Prince's stocking!

We have very little in the way of nut selection
(keep your filthy mind in check) and this is the perfect combination!

Fiber!  In a gummy!  Who knew!?

VitD and Calcium in a gummy - I am quite facinated with these!

A girl's second best friend!
Fiber, vitamins, bio-flavinoids and anti-oxidents. 
The keys to nice skin, hair and staying youthful!

The Suburban Prince actually shook me awake at 6am to ask me to remember to get the chips he likes!

Luna Bars!  Oh my...deeeeelish!  We have a few flavours in Canada but certainly not chocolate peppermint stick, chocolate raspberry or blueberry bliss!  I cleaned off the shelves.  I eat these as a healthy snack on the run or when I am craving a chocolate bar.

I had no idea Luna bars come in protein too!

I use loose power over my foundation to set it and recently I noticed every brand seems to be switching to mineral makeup.  I havn't been able to find loose powder anywhere that isnt mineral so I got online and found a couple of brands available in Target. 

So there you have it!  Of course this doesnt include the clothes, boots, Dreft (not available in Canada) and Christmas presents I bought for the Princes but it is a good example of what I will stock up on when I spend a day stateside!

Have a fabulous day!


EntertainingMom said...

oh you are too funny... a 2hour drive for snacks!

Miss Janice said...

Oh, all the little things I take for granted! Thanks for reminding ME to get some peppermint Coffee Mare and cocoa almonds!

Suburban Princess said...

EntertainingMom - I also did Christmas shopping and I buy in bulk. A grocery bill of 200.00 here might be 100.00 in the US. We spend about 500.00 each time stocking the pantry and getting products we can't get here. So it's not just a long drive for snacks :O)

mamamagnolia said...

I'll look at these products very differently knowing they are not so readily available in other places. I love the flavored creamers- my favorite as I speak is mint truffle. Glad you got to stock your pantry. Thanks for being so gracious to the border guards.

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Oh wow! It's so interesting to see things that y'all don't have over there! That's so surprising to me. We def take our wide selections for granted!!!

Im scared to eat anything out other than salads because gluten is added to everything! Meats, sauces, potatoes,rice! I just can't trust it unless I watch them make it!!

Simone said...

Wow, now THAT'S a shopping trip!!! Great choices :)

James said...

An entertaining post as always, but you bring up a very important point. I can not understand people who act crappy to people who are just doing their jobs. Waitresses don't set the prices, cashiers don't set store policies, so why be rude to them? The old Golden Rule may sound corny to some, but follow it and you'll go through life a much happier person.

Lily Lemontree said...

What a treasure trove of loot! Definitely agree on the vast selection across the border, it just can't be beat!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

How fun! I always laugh when Lisagh does a similar post. Re the stuff made in Canada and sold only in the US...I feel that way about Ketchup chips. I am dying for a bag of those yummy treats!

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hmmm... I guess I take for granted the wide variety of choices we have available to us here in the US. I know I would probably make the same type of drive when it comes to getting specialty food items that cannot be found in regular or ethnic stores.

~ Tracy

Gwen said...

Heck yeah I would stock up too!!! Those Cocoa Almonds are delicious!!! XOXO

Galaxy Girl said...

Yum! Pumpkin flavoured coffee! Sooo good!

Jules said...

I never realized you didn't have all these things available up there. I've never "crossed the border"....yet.

Janice said...

I love reading your blog especially today. It really made me appreciate the target right beside my house. I shopped in canada 20 plus years ago and it was so much cheaper. Times have changed

knitwit said...

You're so organized, going over there knowing exactly what you're looking for. Every time I cross the border, the high of all those great deals ruins any chance of me remembering what I wanted to pick up!
At the risk of giving out WAY too much information, I do always remember to buy a box of Uristat--that stuff is SOOO handy to have on hand just in case, but it's still not available in Canada!

Nikosmommy said...

Ohhh lady, there is almost nothing better than a cross border shopping haul! Looks like you really cleaned up!!
They have SOOO SOOO much more stuff in the grocery stores in the US, it's nuts (and not fair)!!!