J. Ross Quigley
Medipac International Inc.
n mid-January, the peak snowbird
season, the cost of one U.S. dollar
was one dollar and 45 cents
Canadian. Two and three years
ago, we were getting rather used to a
par dollar, but times change quickly in
these uncertain days of volatility.
We expected quite a change in our
snowbird lifestyle this year, with some of
the costs being so high due to the dollar
but, in reality, we made few changes
to our normal patterns and appear to
have financially survived quite well.
Our costs for gasoline and energy were
reduced substantially and the grocery
bill seemed about the same. The one
thing we occasionally missed were the
signs saying, “We take Canadian dollars
at par.” No one was doing that anymore.
The things we wanted to, or had to, buy
were very reasonably priced, even in
U.S. dollars. We made extensive use of
(free delivery) and, to a
lesser extent, Costco and Sam’s Club and
I think that their low prices helped to save the day. We
bought everything from dog food to novels to reading
glasses and roast beef at less than half the price we would
normally pay in Canada. Publix grocery stores also
seemed to have unending specials on all of the things
that we normally like to eat.
The girls in our family are addicted to Bealls so, on
Tuesdays (Seniors’ Day), they would gather up all their
coupons and march off to “war.” They never spent very
much, but they always seemed to come home with
extraordinary bargains. I will never understand how
anyone could sell, or buy, an article of clothing for $3
but I am a man, so what would I know. I must say that
they all dress very well.
At the gas station, I would fill up my large car for $30 and the
automatic dollar calculator in my head would say that it really cost
me $30 X 1.5, or $45 Canadian. I tend to be rather conservative with
my money, so I overestimate the cost somewhat. That compares
with the $75-80 per fill-up when we left Canada. Having two cars,
that adds up to a lot of savings. I will be interested to see what the
cost of a fill-up is when we return in a few days.
Recently, we bought an additional $2 million worth of U.S. dollars to
pay some of this month’s claims and our cost was $1.30 Canadian for
each U.S. dollar. That rate is a lot better than the January, February
and March rates, so things are looking much more positive for the
Have a great Canadian summer!
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