12:37 PM

Affording your adoption 102

The theme of this lesson is cross border shopping. So if you are an American or live too far from the border, you can skip this lesson.
The Canadian dollar has been at par (or near it) for more than a year now and I have been really taking advantage of the great deals, especially online, and the immense selection south of the border.
We just ordered Squeaker’s bed from the Walmart in the US and are picking it up this week in Buffalo. A similar bed would have cost me over $2000 in Canada. Granted that Canadian bed is of a much higher quality solid wood. But in this case I am looking for affordable not heirloom, and unfortunately only the US offered me the kind of choices I wanted.
There are some road blocks for Canadians who want to shop down south, but if you do the math it is really worth it. Shipping to a store in Buffalo (or whatever your closest American city is) is free but I will need to declare it at the border and pay the 15% duty. The bed was still less than $450 after NY tax and exchange rate, saving me over $1,500.Here are a few things I have learned about the process:
You need to use pay pal, they will not accept a Canadian credit card. Trust me I tried, and it got us in trouble with the fraud department at our bank … tee hee.
You have 30 days to pick it up after you place the order otherwise they ship it back to the warehouse and you get a full refund.
Don't buy too many things at once as they ship at different speeds and can cause difficulty with finding a pick up date since it is 30 days from arrival at the store not order date.
If you don't like it you can return it at the store. Check everything for marks, missing pieces before driving away.
Call the actual store that you shipped to confirm your order is there before you drive.
There are real deals to be had out there and the websites are amazing with tones of consumer reviews, you can really get an idea of the product even though you cannot see it. My friend got a new double Schwinn jogging stroller with MP3 player jack and speakers for $200!!! In terms of baby and kid gear you will find almost everything you need at 60%-50% less, and have I mentioned the variety!! Word to the wise though, American car seats even though they look identical are not legal in Canada.
I also shop at several American retailers for my own outfits. At home I need to go to specialty stores like Tall Girl (gag me with a spoon) to get pants long enough for me. Not only are those stores blah but they are very expensive. In America most stores carry a short, regular and long lengths on most of their items.

Expensive Version

My Version

These pants are from Wet Seal, a teeny bopper store, but don’t be dismayed, they offer a wide variety of sizes including plus sizes. My teenage niece declared that these jeans were in fact skinny enough to be classified as skinny, aka cool. I love them because they fit me, with a 36” inseam I can still get a little crinkle of jeans at my ankle, rare for this “tall girl”. Best part is the price though they regularly have a 2 pairs for $25 deal. So they cost me $12.50. I seriously would pay $40 or more for their glorious length alone J Oh Happy days! They are now shipping to Canada.
The top in this photo comes from my newest hidden jem of a store, Burlington Coat Factory/Baby Depot. Don’t let the name fool you, this store is not in Burlington and it’s not just coats and baby stuff. It is like a ghetto fabulous winners. Stuff is cheap! And stuff is glittery! Want to impress the mom group with the latest blinged out baby phat track suit? This is the store for you! In amongst all the apple bottom jeans and sky high stilettos is some really fun stuff. Some of my fav wow items have come from here, including a kimono type top and this one in the photo (cost me $15.00). Here is another tip, buy seasonless clothing whenever possible.
Now for the piece de resistance of this outfit, the boots! People will always tell you to spend your money on the classics. I respectfully disagree. A classic item will take you on the first class train to boredom. Being a mom, it is more likely that my clothing no matter what the price will be ruined by a stray red sock, diaper blowout or any other of the daily calamities a mom and her clothes experience. I am not spending big bucks on anything and most certainly not on something boring, er.. classic. Also classics require special laundering and (gag) ironing. You have got to be kidding me! You mean some people are taking on more laundry by choice!?! No Thanks!
These boots are 10 years old. They can be worn up (as seen) or slouchy. They are real leather, easy to walk in and cost me $60 on clearance at the time of purchase. They were likely in the clearance bin due to their unclassical colour. These babies add punch to any outfit and they have had more mileage than any basic brown or black pair. Happy Shopping!