Being Frugal in BC


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wall-E   
Member since: May 09
Posts: 357
Location: Beautiful BC Baby

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 21-04-14 22:36:06

A thread to discuss where to cut costs in BC :). Our very own desi redflagdeals kinda thread



wall-E   
Member since: May 09
Posts: 357
Location: Beautiful BC Baby

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 21-04-14 22:44:53

Hello! So anyone have any tips suggestions to get good deals or cut costs on the following

UTILITIES: Fortis, BC Hydro .. all government run .. nothing to be done here I guess.

GROCERIES/Home supplies: This is crazy in BC .. the prices differ so much store from store that figuring out what to get from where is a mammoth project. I know some people shop in the USA, but is it really worthwhile considering the distance and time taken?

PHONE: Land line with north america covered. Hopefully + india?

MOBILE: I think wind is unbeatable .. and though has a bad rep. I think it is still pretty decent. I watch netflix on the skytrain since wind has unlimited data.

INTERNET: shaw/telus both seem pricy. Don't know if any one can beat them. I am paying around $50/month!

TV: I am thinking of switching from shaw/telus to ATSC (free OTA) + maybe Zeenat/Jadoo .. not sure though. Haven't found any cheap dish tv provider ;). I actually don't care much for TV .. XBMC may just do fine. Also not sure of the TV quality for ATSC in Surrey.











tamilkuravan   
Member since: Jun 05
Posts: 5775
Location: God's own country

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 22-04-14 05:05:22

What I say applies to entire Canada and not just BC.

1. Try to use low cost chains such as Food Basics, No Frills etc.. Also see the deals poster every week and buy and store low cost items for the next couple of months.

2. Get a Costco card. Though this will be around 90 $ a year , benefits are many. They give free snacks in the counter which can fill your tummy every time you visit. Besides, their pizza and fries are very cheap. One cheap trick that desi's use is to get a cart and fill it with all costly things. Once you are done with the food, discard the things in the trolly and leave. Also Costco sometimes offers goodies. But restraint must be shown.

3. If you are too much desperate to save money visit food banks / coup kitchens. Esp. Food banks have throw out days on friday evenings when their entire vegetables / bread will be given out without limit.

4. IKEA breakfast offers very cheap breakfast and coffee in the mornings.

5. For phone / internet / wireless/ TV get the cheapest but good connection available.

6. If you have money to own, rent out your basement. Invest in rental properties that bring rental income.

7. Try to lure Desi immigrants over the internet and then help them for a fee in Canada like taking them to places, selling them second hand stuff for premium.

8. Try to get unused stuff (as got as gift by Whites who have no use for them). Sometime you can get over 50-75 % discount and you need not pay taxes.

9. If you spouse does not know english / does not want to work, start baby sitting services.

10. Some times Sri lankan take outs can be cheaper than you cooking.

11. Follow Gasprice.com and get the cheapest Gas and also know when to fill up.

12. If you live in an apartment with Hydro free, try to use it to the maximum like baking cakes, drying your cloths with the cooking range heat etc...

13. Try to wash your cloths in your tub itself instead of using a washing machine. It will be excercise to you too.

14. Use the free services that Canada offers you like library, parks, festivals.

15. Sometimes (like in pride festival and all) Canada will advertise itself by giving Canadian logo embossed stuff. Try to collect it and give it as a gift to your relatives, In the 2004 pride festival, at the end, Canadian govt, gave me 1 kg of plastic bags with Canada embossed on it. However I am hearing that these days, free stuff by the govt. of Canada is hard to find.

Seniors can add more.

Murali


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bhootnath   
Member since: Mar 11
Posts: 969
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 22-04-14 14:10:15

Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

Hello! So anyone have any tips suggestions to get good deals or cut costs on the following

UTILITIES: Fortis, BC Hydro .. all government run .. nothing to be done here I guess.


Use energy saver bulbs, makes huge difference. In winter use warm cloathing even inside house to keep heating cost low and to keep air less dry. Use programmable thermostat. Keep small portable heater as needed. And follow the off peak schedule of hydro.
Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

GROCERIES/Home supplies: This is crazy in BC .. the prices differ so much store from store that figuring out what to get from where is a mammoth project. I know some people shop in the USA, but is it really worthwhile considering the distance and time taken?


Make the list what you want, Just get weekly flyers and many of grocery stores have price match so get all the flyers and do the price match in one store. Whats the hassle there?
Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

PHONE: Land line with north america covered. Hopefully + india?



Heard of Vonage?
Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

MOBILE: I think wind is unbeatable .. and though has a bad rep. I think it is still pretty decent. I watch netflix on the skytrain since wind has unlimited data.


Check Fido plans from time to time. They are roger company so coverage is good. not as cheap as wind but not as expensive as big 3 but still better coverage.
Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

INTERNET: shaw/telus both seem pricy. Don't know if any one can beat them. I am paying around $50/month!



This one I think you cannot do much. But better internet would serve you for phone, tv options etc.

Quote:
Originally posted by wall-E

TV: I am thinking of switching from shaw/telus to ATSC (free OTA) + maybe Zeenat/Jadoo .. not sure though. Haven't found any cheap dish tv provider ;). I actually don't care much for TV .. XBMC may just do fine. Also not sure of the TV quality for ATSC in Surrey.


If the FTA dish is not an option I think Free OTA is the best. Along with Jadoo etc TV.

And to add to What TK said...
Every Saturday Sunday you can plan on having lunch/ dinner at temples Gurudwara. Occassionly on Easter, Christmas you can be around various churches. Encourage children to attend community events for Halloween, Easter, Christmas, thankgiving so that they can collect enough candies for the whole year and will get opportunity to meet mayor also.










bhootnath   
Member since: Mar 11
Posts: 969
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 22-04-14 14:13:30

Quote:
Originally posted by tamilkuravan

12. If you live in an apartment with Hydro free, try to use it to the maximum like baking cakes, drying your cloths with the cooking range heat etc...

Murali



lol, just imagine the aroma of the cake after you dry the underwear on cooking range...



febpreet   
Member since: Jan 07
Posts: 3252
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 22-04-14 14:15:28

It's tough being frugal in BC (and, Canada for that matter). This is what I do:

1. Utilities: Yes, you're right. Other than monitoring your consumption habits, you can't do anything with respect to the rates. For Hydro, I have installed the low energy lamps throughout the house. I keep the switches off when/where not needed.

2. Goceries: I shop biweekly in US for Dairy (Costco) and Gas. Since, I live in Surrey, the distance is not that bad - 30 minutes to Bellingham. If you find it farther, you can also go to the Cost Cutter right across the border - distance, 15 minutes from Surrey. I don't go on the weekend unless it's an outing. Weekday evenings are much better with less traffic on the border. Big savings, indeed.

For fruits and veggies, I go to the Central City mall once a week. There's a chinese vegetables/fruits store in the mall right beside Tim Horton. Prices are way too cheap as compared to the other big box grocery stores, such as Superstore.

3. Phone: I got my Shaw line disconnected couple of months ago, and bought Magic Jack. So far so good. For India calling, I use IndiaLD for now. But, planning to switch to G3 telecom.

4. Internet: Not much of a choice here. I pay about $55 with Shaw. Telus and others are not better either pricewise. I tried contacting Acanac, but they don't have services in BC. TekSavvy is another option that I still have to explore. There could be a meagre saving of about $20 depanding upon the bandwidth you might be looking at. Plus, you could be looking at the initial cost of modem, activation, etc. I would stay away from it for now.

5. I have a basic cable, but if you could get a dish installed would be better. OTA antennas are good that give you all the main channels in pure HD. Media boxes are a big pain in the 'you know where'. I have two, and they are ok - I mostly watch Youtube. I have heard Jadoo is good. My parents can't use the media boxes due to their un-simplistic design so I am not overly happy with them.

6. Cellphone plans: I am using Chatr's $20 unlimited zone plan. No complaints. I don't use data plan as I believe they are a big money garb. I am at work in the daytime, where I have a free wifi. At home I have a wifi, and I don't use Internet when travelling/commuting. I have never needed internet on the move while I am driving. Boy, have I ever been this happy? Plus, Shaw has free wifi-hotspots throughout the city and in most places I get by without an exhorbitant Data Plan.

I stay away from buying an expansive cell phone every year, even under a plan - I don't need it, simple. My iPhone 4 has been going great guns for the last 4 years.

On the flip side, there're not many choices available to cut cost, regardless of where you live in Canada. The only thing within your reach is to enhancee/boost your income, if you could.

One good thing we Vancouverites have over others is the proximity to US (~30 min. drive to the nearest US city centre). If living in Southern part of Surrey - would be even better.

Keep browsing RedFlagDeals.ca from time to time as well. Sometimes, you get lucky. :)



Tourist   
Member since: Oct 04
Posts: 188
Location: Beautiful BritishColumbia

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 24-04-14 01:42:57

Points from Feb look sensible. But points from TK are just crazy, you leave your home country to look for a better life and then end up doing the following, better to go back or die:

2. One cheap trick that desi's use is to get a cart and fill it with all costly things. Once you are done with the food, discard the things in the trolly and leave. Also Costco sometimes offers goodies. But restraint must be shown.....crazy crazy

3. If you are too much desperate to save money visit food banks / coup kitchens. Esp. Food banks have throw out days on friday evenings when their entire vegetables / bread will be given out without limit.....cheapo, no morals

4. IKEA breakfast offers very cheap breakfast and coffee in the mornings....not better than home.

7. Try to lure Desi immigrants over the internet and then help them for a fee in Canada like taking them to places, selling them second hand stuff for premium.....what about your career? How abt giving time to your career???

8. Try to get unused stuff (as got as gift by Whites who have no use for them). Sometime you can get over 50-75 % discount and you need not pay taxes.....you will spend hours and hours. Spend these hours in making your career strong.

10. Some times Sri lankan take outs can be cheaper than you cooking....eeew

12. If you live in an apartment with Hydro free, try to use it to the maximum like baking cakes, drying your cloths with the cooking range heat etc...what a life!

13. Try to wash your cloths in your tub itself instead of using a washing machine. It will be excercise to you too.....exercise with no fun

14. Use the free services that Canada offers you like library, parks, festivals....really

15. Sometimes (like in pride festival and all) Canada will advertise itself by giving Canadian logo embossed stuff. Try to collect it and give it as a gift to your relatives, In the 2004 pride festival, at the end, Canadian govt, gave me 1 kg of plastic bags with Canada embossed on it. However I am hearing that these days, free stuff by the govt. of Canada is hard to find.....oh my my,,,good you went back to india.

What kind of life is that, like living in a prison or slave??




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"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." (Nelson Mandela)




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