Our Canadian dollar has definitely gotten weaker since we arrived here the second week of November. Right now we're seeing any purchases using the MasterCard at 1.50 as opposed to using it on a Canadian purchase and being only $1.00. It was about 1.32 when we first arrived so it has gotten worst.
How does this effect us now while we're here? Well, we don't do alot of shopping for fun. We buy what we need. Unless we know what we buy here will be equal to or less back home. If it's more than the exchange, we don't buy it.
Where it's tough is with us buying groceries. Walmart definitely has the best deals for groceries, BUT we're not near a Walmart. Closest one is 40 minutes away. That means a drive there, Jakey to the doggy babysitter for about $5-$8 and another 40 minute drive back to camp here. Not always convenient. Since we have a small freezer and fridge, we are limited to about a weeks worth of storing food. Food prices at other grocery stores in the area are about the same as back home or a bit more.. but add to that the lower Canadian dollar and it's not good. We're probably paying double for groceries here now because of that, than what we were back home. Double!
What can we do? Well, for starters, we may go with a weekly budget and use cash. When you have cash, and not using a debit card, it's easier to see where your money is going and how much you are sticking within a budget. We do already shop at the Dollar Stores and buy whatever we can for less, but you cant get fresh veggies, produce and meat there.
We also said that the next time we come back to the US we will have to be fully stocked in the cupboards with food from back home. This way we can be more in control of sales back home over the summer months there. With me using coupons more, and sales, we can stock up and save at least on the dry goods, and cleaners. Who knows what the dollar will be like next Fall.