Somewhere in northeastern Romania. Photo taken November 30, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Not sure. We're staying in Chisinau for a week or so.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Attention Walmart Shoppers!

We headed over to the nearby Walmart Superstore to do some grocery shopping. We were prepared to be shocked by the prices up here in Canada, but it wasn't as bad as we expected.

What's the first thing we see when we drive into the parking lot? A motorhome. Camping. This guy had his awning out, and his generator and cooler sitting beside his rig.

Doing exactly what you're not supposed to do.

Many of you know that most Walmart stores have an unwritten policy of allowing RV'ers to park overnight in their parking lot. But some Walmart's have stopped the practice because of people actually camping there.  Can't figure out why anybody would want to do this in the first place because there are always better choices for free camping. Anyhow, this guy looked like he was all set for a long term stay.

Into the store, we bought about $50 worth of groceries. Only a couple of years ago, groceries in the U.S. were noticeably cheaper than in Canada. But now, they are about the same. We don't think that Canadian prices have changed very much over the last couple of years, but American prices are definitely higher than they have been in the past. On a general basis, we find that fruits and veggies are cheaper here. And dairy products are more expensive here. Meat and poultry and fish are about the same.

What deals did we pick up? Well, a litre of pure maple syrup for $13. And a 1kg (2.2 lbs) package of boneless skinless chicken breast for $9. Not bad.

First thing we do when we go through the cash at Walmart is to check our receipt. We've found that it's pretty often that there's a pricing error. Sure enough, there was a bag of petite carrots that were supposed to be $1.47 and they had charged $1.97. We went to customer service to get it fixed and she credited us back the full $1.97. The carrots were free. Not sure if this is a Canadian policy or if it's something new. But apparently if you find a pricing error on your bill, the item is free.

After lunch, we went downtown to the Midtown Mall where the main Bell Mobility store is where we had to go to re-activate our "mifi" cellular internet device. As we were getting close to the store, we realized we forgot to bring the device! Stupid. We went in to see if we could get a new SIM card and get it activated, but unfortunately you do have to have the device with you. So we'll head back there this morning.

Downtown Saskatoon.

So we went for a walk around downtown and along the river. This is not the most scenic time of year to be here what with the melting snow and the roads still covered in salt and sand leftover from the winter. But I can see where it would be a fairly attractive area when the leaves come out and everything gets green and a few rainstorms wash away the grey.

We had a little dinner party last night. Another one of our blog readers wanted to visit, so we invited Carla over and Ruth made a nice spaghetti dinner. Carla's husband is an engineer working at the mines north of here, and he's out of town so it was nice that we could be some company for Carla. Spent most of the evening talking about travel!

Carla, Jean, Mark, Ruth


19 comments:

  1. Hey you two, reading your blog makes me happy! Not only do you "see the world" but all the nice people you meet along the way is so neat. Pretty header picture of the city by the water!

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    1. Thank you Connie and Barry, it makes us happy too! We love meeting all these wonderful people that we have, you two included! Everyone we meet has been fantastic to us and I don't think we could ever repay these people for their wonderful hospitality we feel very lucky and honoured to have met them all.

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  2. The free item deal is true for most stores!
    I bought a pack of diapers a while ago that was scanned at a higher price than listed and got them for free. Then at a different store a couple weeks ago bought orange juice that scanned up higher than listed and again got it for free as well. It pays off to take the two seconds to check your bill before leaving the store :D

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    1. I think I remember you telling us that story of the diapers now that you have mentioned it. I told Dad that now what we have to do is find a big ticketed item that has wrongly priced, lol! We will definitely keep our eyes open and double check our reciept each time for sure.

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  3. Sure hope that white stuff on the ground goes away before you start work. Might make it a little hard to cut the grass... ;c)

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    1. Seeing that we start working on the first of May, I don't think it is going to disappear by then. The temperature is sure starting to look better now though so at least that is a step in the right direction.

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  4. Coldest spring in Saskatchewan in a hundred years. Can't always time these visits I suppose.
    Can't exactly say, "wish I were there..."
    I'd be curious if "Walmart Camper" was still there the next day. Trying to give the benefit of the doubt here.
    I'd think that you'd need a generator to help try and keep warm in those temperatures.

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    1. We just happened to pick the "lucky" year I suppose! It's going to get better, at least that is what we keep telling ourselves.

      We will try to drive by the Walmart and have a look to see if he is still there before we leave here.

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  5. Wish the US had the you get it free policy but any time I've found an error, all I get is the money they overcharged me and I lose the time I had to stand at customer service to get it back. I always try to watch them ring it up and stop them right then so it can be corrected. I know the people beind me hate that but.......

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    1. OK, now I will have more patience with those who stop and hesitate before signing on the dotted line... thanks for MMT (making me think)... :)

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  6. Always good to check the receipt. It adds up.

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  7. Yes, the walk along the river in the summer is very pretty. Enjoy your stay there.

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    1. I hope that we will get a chance to do that this summer. We really would love to see the difference.

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  8. Some states/provinces have laws that penalize the retailer (eg item free, double the difference) if you are overcharged at the register---and you have the receipt!

    I almost always shop at Walmart, and last summer I was reminded why. Went to a nearby podunk grocery store that was severely understaffed. Saw a great price on an item---can't remember what---put three in my cart, saw the long line at the single register, and decided to use the self-checkout. Rang the item up, and of course I was overcharged. Knew I could take the receipt to customer service and get an adjustment, so rang up all three and paid.

    Then the worst thing happened---the robot register provided no receipt!!! I heard it print one, but it was stuck inside the machine. There was no store employee anywhere in sight, and a huge line of people waiting behind me. I can't stand selfish people who hold up others just to save ten cents, so I just left. Cost me over five bucks in overcharges alone. Not surprisingly, Arizona has no law to penalize retailers that overcharge.

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    1. I think we would have still gone to find a staff member and made them fix the error. They would have found that the product would have rang up at the wrong price and would have been corrected and given you the difference/double the difference or free, it just would have meant wasting even more time in order to do this.

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  9. Really hate when Rver's abuse the Walmart parking lots. We occasionally park in one for the night when travelling from A to B because its convenient secure and we can stock up on groceries, but would never set up camp. Only there for the night and don't have to disconnect our tow vehicle.

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    1. Yep, we have stayed in Walmart parking lots too and we never "set up" in them. I think that is part of the reason some municipalities have put up signs in parking lots for no overnight parking, some RV'ers have just ruined it for others.

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  10. I am a Canuck, from Cornwall, Ontario originally. Came to Cali in 1969, married a Latina California girl 35+ years ago and am looking to stop the madness that is Cali living. Am a contractor and looking for opportunities to use my skills to leave cheap in my 5er. Havent taken the step yet, but reading EVERYTHING I can find for info. Appreciate your blog.

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    1. The number one thing that we've found Marcel, is to reduce your expenses and live a simple life! If our blog has helped you, we're very happy!

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