Shopping Jaunts To Washington State

Since I had been down to the USA for shopping the past three consecutive weekends, I think it makes me somewhat of an expert on this subject, don’t you think?

Anyway whether you agree or not, today I am going get on my soapbox and tell you my perspective of going down south for shopping. I really hope you all also chip in the entire education process of buying stuff in Washington, in particular Bellingham, Burlington and the Tulalip area. I will also want share about some of the stuff we had bought and hope that it will also spur you (if you are Canadian) to share with with me what to spend my money on my next trip down south. Somehow, I think you guys would love to read of this.

Our trips are centered mostly around Bellngham and Burlington. We sometimes drive even further south of the Tulalip area if we wanted specifically to go to either the Walmart Supercenter or the Seattle Premium Outlet.

We like the Walmart Supercenter. It’s a great place to pick up non-branded stuff. Their merchandize is not very exciting but at least it is huge and has everything you most likely need. In the Supercenter, they have a full supermarket line and sells also meat, diary product, etc even have a bakery, banks, hair and nail salons … the whole shebang.


There is also the favourite Seattle Premium Outlet, which strangely is NOT located anywhere near Seattle. It’s a favourite place to shop for branded clothing items. We sort of got bored with this place. If you want to pick up a pair of $25 Adidas tennis shoes, this is the place to do it.


Costco is also a great place to shop. Their merchandize is much more interesting and the savings seems a lot more better here. I prefer the Costco’s in Washington (I know there is one in Bellingham and another in Burlington) over the ones in the Lower Mainland. The ones in Richmond and Vancouver is a madhouse … too many people. Here, people shop at a slower pace. I like that.

I wanted to replace all four tires on my car. The Toyota service outlet in Richmond wanted $700 bucks for them. Know how much I could get it in Costco? $250! That is serious money we are talking here. You don’t have to go to Costco, you could try all the other tire outlets and you’ll find it way much cheaper in the States than Canada.


According to my calculation, gasoline prices here are 40% lower than in Vancouver. Someone help do the math for me … I have a hard time doing the math. $2.60 per gallon in the States and $1.00 per litre in Vancouver. Costco’s gas are much cheaper in Costco than elsewhere (you need membership to fill up here though).


My dental hygienist … oh, I so hate her. She always nags me about the proper way of cleaning my teeth and make me demonstrate how I do it. This is so … so juvenile! I think she is nagging me to buy the Oral electric tooth brush from her but it was something like $120. I can’t plonk down that kind of money for toothbrushes.

But we found the one below for only $49 after discounts. We also picked up a six-pack brush heads for $15 (in Vancouver, it is $20 for only three). I swear, the whole family had cleaner looking teeth the past weeks. See?


At the office, I snack the whole day and do not take full lunches. These cheap jerkies is just the thing what I need. It’s about $1 a pack … not bad right?


The boys love instant noodles and they can really live off instant noodles alone if we don’t control it. However, the Nissin Cup Noodles is just about 25 cents a cup.


Only Nanzaro eats the popcorn at home. For some weird reason, he likes to have a bucket of popcorn when he watches TV … like in the cinemas. $4.85 for 32 packs with coupon … that works out to be … 15 cents a pack. Nice!


Suanne’s a bit weird here … she like Ziploc bags and keeps buying them. I didn’t realize that she uses that many Ziplocs. $9.89 for 152 bags … 6.5 cents a bag. That will keep her happy for a long time … I think.


I love the meat from the State. They looked bigger and meaner! The Marinated Pork Loin is $11.58 for 3.5lb. We think it’s cheaper but don’t know by how much though. Suanne thinks it’ll last three meals … I don’t think so. The three boys at home will try to finish it off in a single meal … maybe two … definitely not three.


We also got the Lamb Leg Boneless Roast. Suanne had never tried making this before. She’ll blog about this piece when she gets down to making it.


For me, I got the 8 outlet surge protector. This one is properly spaced and makes it much cleaner looking. I think these thing is at least 40 bucks in Lower Mainland. I got it for $18.


The boys had been eyeing this game for a long time. It retailed for $30 in Futureshop but we got this for only $15 here.


Everyone is happy … everyone got something they wanted. We had saved some really serious money here.

There … I told you what we got from down south. Now it’s your turn … tell me what you got.

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  1. Jennifer

    As you know, Bellingham is a hop and a skip away from you- we have a Costco here on the Guide Meridian (take the Bellis Fair mall exit and go north on Meridian Street until you see Costco on your left!) and they have a gas station as well! I love Costco- and I work very close to it, so it’s convenient for gas for me! 🙂

    I seriously want to go to the Tulalip outlets- especially the COACH outlet! *Drool*. LOVE their handbags. 🙂

  2. zudora

    hi i’m a vancouverite too…but i have avoided us shopping b/c of the low personal exemptions. you don’t get anything exempt if you are down there less than 48 hours is that right? is it better for you because you have whole family in the car? how do you do tires..? do you declare?

  3. Chris

    I live in the Niagara area in Ont. and we go over to Buffalo frequently to shop. Have been doing this for years and even more now with $ parity. Great deals can be had at Big Lots; sort of a liquidation place, so u never know what’s there. In Michigan(we go there sometimes), there is a walmart-type store there called Maiejer where I got some very nice shoes for $7! My best deal was at Walmart over Thanksgiving..nice bermuda shorts and a cotton skirt,each for $1.50! TJMax is also a fave but it takes time to go thru all the racks. Shoes are definitely the best deal. DSW at Walden Galleria Mall rules! I’ve gotten Anne Klein and Clarks there for abt $15! Long live cross border shopping!

  4. gigi

    I just went to Bellingham this past weekend too! The Costco does have great deals and I agree it is not as busy as the ones in Vancouver.

    I normally don’t bother going to Seattle either. Bellis Fair has some great deals…I picked up a polo shirt from Old Navy for $3.95! I had a similar one from Vancouver for $14! We also went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought 2 Calphalon skillets for $50 total. The same pans at the Bay in Richmond cost around $70 each!

  5. Chubbypanda

    Running to border to go to Costco cracks me up. But you’re right. $500 difference in tire prices is serious money.

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