Nothing kills the joy of the holiday season faster than fighting for a parking space at the mall, then standing in huge checkout lines on December 23, and fighting for the year’s hot toys while sweating in a winter coat.
This year “Santa” finally got his act together at my house and started early, shopping at Amazon and Indigo websites, Costco — both online and in the store, and at Joe Fresh.
A recent trip to New York City was an eye opener — the deals there were few and far between thanks to the weak Canadian dollar, but who goes to the Big Apple for savings?
To finish off my shopping list (and perhaps add in a reward or two for me for being a smart shopper) should I stick with Canadian stores and websites this November, or make a run for the border — real or virtual?
There are some excellent websites such as savingsguru.ca (with a complementary Facebook page) that have hard-to-beat prices. But be warned — it’s addictive and easy to get caught up in the discounts. Make your list and check it twice so you don’t blow the bank while “saving” money.
This writer is loathe to line up in the middle of the night for discounts, so we’ll look at a few popular items online to compare.
One of the season’s hot toys, Fisher Price’s Code-A-Pillar helps teach 3-6 year olds problem-solving skills.
Walmart Canada: $59.94
Toys R Us Canada: $44.97 (but currently out of stock in many stores)
Toys R Us (U.S.): $38.99 ($52.79 CAD)
Winner: Canada — if you can get one from Toys ‘R’ Us.
If you’re shopping for older kids, a Trolls Hug Time Poppy by DreamWorks might be on your list. A perfect gift for nieces and nephews, she speaks 25 phrases when you press her tummy.
Runners know that sneaker styles change fast. The current editor’s pick at a popular magazine is the Saucony Hurricane ISO 2, available in men’s and women’s versions.
Canada Goose parkas
Surely these pricey jackets should be cheaper in Canada, right? The further our dollar drops, the more it makes sense to shop at home for these luxury coats. A quick comparison of Canadian and U.S. websites reveals the same prices — but once the exchange rate is factored in, you’ll save enough to buy… well, another (normal) coat.
Canada Goose Beechwood Parka
Canadian website: $1150
U.S. website: $1150 U.S. ($1,558.88 CAD)
Best Buy, known for lineups of diehard customers who camp out on sidewalks for Black Friday deals on TVs, computers and other tech gadgets, previewed Black Friday bargains he week before the big day.
At the American bestbuy.com the Sony PlayStation Four 1TB comes bundled with a game (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle) for $349.99, including $50 off for Black Friday. ($473.67 CAD)
In Canada, it’s $579.98 for the same model plus the game; the Canadian website isn’t advertising Black Friday deals yet.
The Gap has long been a go-to spot for jeans. We compared the company’s men’s Stretch Selvedge Skinny Fit jeans in both countries.
Canada: $118.00 with 40% off = $70.80
U.S.: $108.00 with 40% off = $64.80 ($87.75 CAD)
This is a small sample of hot Black Friday items. Tell us about your best shopping scores in the comments!