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Vancouver on the Cheap: Shoppers Drug Mart

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.

I begin this post with a mild sense of shame. My goal here is first and foremost promote some great, cheap things to do in Vancouver, highlighting as many Vancouver-specific businesses as possible. After all, this is a city full of some fantastic cheap places to go and people to see. However, there is one business. A business that may not be Vancouver-specific, but that does proliferate all over Vancouver. That business (that I am trying to pretend is a surprise, but obviously isn't because I put it in the subject line) is Shoppers Drug Mart.

Prices at Shoppers are pretty average, except when it comes to the sales. Their sale prices are amazing, and it was only because of them that I managed to survive 10 months as a theatre apprentice. Sure, I stocked up on whatever beauty supplies I needed when they were on sale (hello, name brand conditioner for $3!), but the real deal is the food.

That's right, if you didn't realize it, Shoppers Drug Mart has an awesome grocery section. Pretty much everything you need that's not produce (although some sell those sad little salads-in-a-bag) is available, and when it's on sale you are one golden chicken.

Check out some of these sale items:

Pro Tips:

When a non-perishable, like that excellent gourmet soup, is on sale for the amazing price of a buck fifty, stock up! Get as much as you can without feeling foolish, they make a great lunch and you'll never get a cheaper soup that didn't start as a pot of boiling water on your stove.

When buying the super-sale cheese, it's only really worthwhile if you get the aged cheddar. The medium and mild taste kind of like plastic, don't even bother. In fact, buying cheapskate cheese only ever pays off if you're into aged cheddar.

The best way to take advantage is to swing by your neighbourhood Shoppers on your way home now and again and just see what's on sale. They seem to have rotations that I have yet to be able to figure out, but they tend to last about a week, so you're pretty good to go on catching sale items even if you can't pop by very often.