The wait for our stuff continues....and with a third boat apparently coming in to unload things on Thursday, I imagine it must be getting a bit busy down on the beach. So while the wait continues, I now present another Lesson of the North.
Some people have been wondering how much things cost up here. Well, here's a list of some recent purchases at the NorthMart. Take into account there is no territorial sales tax. And you get back pretty much all of the GST on your taxes. So it's basically tax free up here.
Brown sugar (1 kg) - $4.75
In-store bread - $6.89
Magazine - $4.50 (plus 50 cents for air frieght, so $5)
Premium Plus Crackers (225 g) - $3.89
Dare Coconut Cream cookies - $5.49
Doritos - $4.89
1 lb strawberries - $4.49
.180 kg Tomato - $1.26 ($6.99 kg)
Delissio Pizza - $12.99
2L Diet Pepsi - $4.49
Honeydew melon - $6.99
Old South Frozen OJ - $2.99
Orange - $1.65 ($4.99 kg)
Anyway, that should give you an idea. Roughly double what you would pay back in Newfoundland. On the bright side, most of the produce is considerably fresher and in better shape than what your would find back home. Remember, most of it is flown straight from Ottawa or Montreal, so it's pretty fresh. How that holds up later this winter we shall have to see. I expect to see a decrease in quality and availability.
As you can see, you can drop quite a chunk of change picking up groceries. Even picking up a few necessities can hit $50 in a hurry. The most I saw one woman spend in a shot so far is $400 for a mostly full cart. We also haven't been buying any meat yet because we brought up frozen chicken, ground beef and some roasts, so I can't really say what that costs.
But because of the expense, it feels like everybody up here as an Aerogold Visa. And when you think about it, they're easy to get. You need to make $35,000 a year to qualify. Most reasonably skilled jobs pay at least $40,000. So why not get one and rack up the points.
Because here is the other thing to consider...on Aerogold Visa, you can get a short haul flight for 15,000 points. Down south, no one uses points for those kinds of trips. That's a trip to Halifax or Montreal if you live in St. John's. Providing you book reasonably in advance, that three hours or less flight shouldn't cost more than $600 on the outside. Why use points on that when you can save them and go to Europe or something.
Up here, however, it's different. A short haul flight from here is basically to either Ottawa or Montreal. Again, it's about three hours. However, that quick little jaunt will cost anywhere from $1,100 to $1,500 (all taxes in) to get. So you can understand why about 70% of the people in Iqaluit seem like they have an Aerogold, how you can rack up the miles in a big hurry and how it's pretty useful if you want to make the occasional trip down south for a bit of warmth.