By Leah Hansen
Think you got a great deal at the Eaton Centre because TNA was having a 30 per-cent-off sale? You’re very wrong. Welcome to Toronto, where the prices are high and finding a real deal takes some effort. After all, downtown Toronto caters to the tourist crowd — how would those poor suckers know if they’re being overcharged or not? You are not one of those poor suckers. We’ve broken down exactly why you’re spending too much money, and what you can do to fix it.
1. You’re still shopping for clothes at Eaton Centre
Shirt at Garage: $20.00. Shirt at Value Village: $3.00.
When it comes right down to it, clothes are clothes, whether you like to admit it or not. While it might take a bit longer to come up with a great find at a thrift store, the savings will hopefully make up for it. Items such as shirts, pants and dresses can be found easily at Goodwill, Value Village and Salvation Army locations. I’d steer clear of shoes unless you feel like sanitizing them first.
2. You’re going to Shoppers’ Drug Mart to pick up that shampoo you’ve been meaning to buy for a week
Shampoo at Shoppers Drug Mart: $4.99. Shampoo at Dollarama: $1.50
Why spend the money when you don’t have to? Brand names like Garnier Fructis can be found at Dollarama for as little as $2.00, which is less than half of what you’d spend at your local Shopper’s Drug Mart. If you’re not picky, go with the shampoo that has a name like Silkience (seriously) — it’s even cheaper. Depend on Dollarama to save money on things like toothpaste, cotton swabs, makeup remover and even underwear.
3. You’re buying your makeup from department stores instead of cruising the internet for the best deals
Mascara is $8.00 at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Mascara at eyeslipsface.com is $3.00
Finding online discounts is one of the easiest ways to save money as a lowly student. Once you get out of your parents’ house, you start to realize that spending $8.00 on eyelash goop isn’t the worthwhile cause you once thought it was. Here’s where the internet comes in. Going to eyeslipsface.com will net you some amazing discounts. Yes, you’ll have to pay a bit for shipping, but when it comes right down to it, you’ll be spending $40 dollars for $200 worth of department-store makeup. Now that’s a deal.
4. You’re still paying for condoms at drug stores (this does not mean that you should steal them or go without!)
Condoms at Rexall: $12.00. Condoms at the Ryerson Medical Centre: free.
Free is always better so given the option between shelling out about 12 of my hard-earned dollars or getting STI-blockers for free, I’ll take the latter option thank you. One visit to the Ryerson Medical Centre can provide you with as many free condoms as you need — the centre is there for student health after all, and making sure you don’t get chlamydia within the first two days of frosh falls under the health category. While you’re there, you can get tested for other STIs, update your immunizations or get a routine check-up. It’s all quite handy, really.
5. You’re still going to Chapters to buy your books and to HMV for your movies
Book at Chapters: $19.99. Book at BMV: $5.00.
Still going to popular mall stores like Chapters for all your reading needs? Rookie mistake, my friend. Discount/used book stores like Books Music Videos (BMV) on Edward Street is one of the best places to find books for cheap. If you’re in the market for textbooks, they have those too. While they might not have the current edition of the book your stuffy prof is insisting on, the 80% discount is enough of an incentive. It’s also a go-to place for DVDs — BMV > HMV. If you’re looking for someting that BMV doesn’t have, you still don’t need to run to the Eaton Centre — amazon.ca can get you some amazing deals. You should, at all costs, attempt to avoid buying anything at the Campus Bookstore. Talk about a mark-up.