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Vancouver on the Cheap: Who's Got the Cheese?

If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap".

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If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap". In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

When you're living on the cheap, sometimes the small joys in life have to be sacrificed. Some joys, however, are not worth sacrificing, and one of those joys is cheese.

I love cheese. There, I said it. If cheese doesn't love me back, that's okay, I will keep coming back to it time and time again. Even when I was earning little-to-no income as a theatre apprentice, I kept cheese as a regular part of my life. After all, you know what they say, friends and lovers come and go, but cheese makes life worth living. (No? Nobody else says that? Oh... well, did I mention that I love cheese?)

Okay, now that I've made you all think of Liz Lemon one too many times, let me get to the point: cheese ain't cheap. But it's a necessary part of life.

So what's a cheapskate to do?

The problem is that most of the time when you buy the cheapest cheese in the store you get semi-cheese flavoured plastic. Not so fun. My best tip for avoiding this fate? Get the old-style cheddar whenever you can. Mild and medium seem to increase plastic-flavouring more and more. I'm not going to say that the super-cheap old cheddar is amazing, but it's definitely your best, and cheesiest bet.

Sale cheese at No Frills. This is the cheapest per-gram deal on cheese I have found thus far in Vancouver.

Now, where to find this cheese?

There are essentially three options here, and I am sorry to report that none of them are those happy, warm, Mom-and-Pop-type shops. That's only because Mom and Pop tend to sell much higher quality cheese, and that is just plain pricier. These options are not for the faint of heart: they are for the deal-seekers.

Option 1: Shoppers Drug Mart. I have already shared about the joys of cheap food on sale at Shoppers. The cheese is a pretty great deal too. The store brand cheese is a good deal as it is, and when it's on sale, it's even better - $6 for a big hunk of cheese! And if the store-brand cheese isn't good enough for you, they've got Armstrong cheese that sometimes goes on sale for a sweet $4.

Option 2: No Frills. I know, I know. I don't feel proud recommending you go to No Frills, but hey, I just recommended Shoppers Drug Mart for the second time, so I don't have much leg to stand on, and if it's cheap cheese you're after, this is the place to get it. Their store brand cheese is $8 for a really large slab, and it often goes on sale for cheaper. Kilogram for kilogram, you're definitely getting a better deal at No Frills.

Option 3: Buy Low on Mondays. As previously mentioned, Buy Low foods has daily deals, and one of those deals is cheese. Not as cheap as the No Frills cheese, but pretty darn well-priced all the same.

And that's that, a little inside scoop on where to get the cheapest cheese in Vancouver!