Recently I’ve started shopping at Dollarama, a thing I always vowed I would never do. It seems so contrary to the principles of being a good earth citizen, doesn’t it? Truckload after truckload of ticky-tacky crap, made in China by probably-underpaid workers, designed to be used once and thrown away.
Then a friend pointed out a couple of things; one, shopping at Wal-Mart is not better and probably worse, given their terrible labour standards records; and two, the same ticky-tacky crap made in China by probably-underpaid workers is available at considerable markup at just about every other store I shop at, so who am I kidding, really.
Since Louis left I have a full-time vacancy in the dayhome; it means I’m down $600 a month, before taxes. Christmas is coming, and so we’re tightening our belts a bit to try and make up the shortfall. As soon as the Blue Jays’ season is over, we’re cutting the cable. We’re eating more canned & frozen vegetables than we’d prefer (not for snobby reasons, just because we like the fresh stuff better). I’m making a real effort to drive less. I’ve been haunting children’s clothing sites online, waiting for sales. I tried getting groceries at No-Frills (not a notable success; I won’t be doing that again).
Basically, I’m trying to save a little bit here and there, in the hopes that I can stay ahead of the game until I fill my vacant spot. So far it seems to be working. We’re managing, and that’s good.
Last week the temperature suddenly dropped here; it happened so fast that when I did the laundry today there were still shorts in the bottom of the hamper. I did the mad scramble for hats, coats, and mittens. I went looking for those cheap stretchy “one size fits all” gloves, too. They’re perfect for those days when it’s still chilly at the bus stop in the mornings, but there is no snow on the ground and it’ll be in the low to mid-teens by lunchtime. Every year I buy a new batch of the damn things; I always get several pairs in the same colour and resign myself to the kids losing them all somehow.
I popped into Wal-Mart because I never learn, apparently. There were the stretchy gloves… FOUR DOLLARS A PAIR.
I’m sorry, whut? Nope. NOPE. At four dollars a pair, I cannot buy a lovely big stack of the stupid things. And why four dollars a pair? Last year I paid 87 cents a pair. I stormed out of Wal-Mart, upset and depressed. If you’re too cash-strapped to shop at Wal-Mart, you need to re-evaluate some life choices.
Anyway, I decided to check Dollarama. Why not? They have become my go-to for craft supplies, seasonal decorations, and gardening stuff – maybe gloves? Who knows?
GLOVES. SO MANY GLOVES. ALL THE GLOVES. 75 cents a pair! Actually sized for children! Also toques! Toques are nice. I bought a dozen pairs of gloves, some spare light mittens for the dayhome, two toques, and some Halloween treat bags, all for less than twenty dollars.
Also at Dollarama, a strange bizarre thing happened to me. I am quite short (5’3″) and I often have to either ask taller people to reach things on high shelves or else climb them like a chimpanzee when no store employees are looking. I was standing by the fake flower display when a tiny little old lady approached me. “You, lady, you get! I need! Orange! You get!” It took me a minute to realize that I was actually the tall person she needed to help her. ME. TALL. AT DOLLARAMA I AM TALL.
My late grandmother is delighted with me. I’m a dollar store convert.