Canadian Culture Acclimation: Threat Level Midnight.

I’m getting less drive-lagged and more brave, y’all.


Day two in Canada, out of necessity, I asked someone local (who reads my blog. weird.) to take me grocery shopping.  Like I was their senile old grandmother.  And I sort of was.  I was suffering from a severe headache and exhausted and still sort of overwhelmed by the whole, just-got-to-the-country thing.  BUT, I really needed groceries before all the road-trip granola bars ran out, so I groggily set out to hunt and gather some Canadian prey.


I’m really glad I had someone to take me under their maple leaf shaped wing, because I was pretty intimidated by the whole thing. Everything, and I mean everything, is at least slightly different.  And, ya know, if it were just one or two things it would be a cute sort of novelty, but when absolutely everything, and I mean everything, changes ever so slightly all at once, you kind of feel like you’re in a parallel universe. Like maybe this is The Fringe.  And I am my own doppelganger.


But now that I know how to read Canadian price tags, and how to tell the generic store brands, and that you get charged for plastic bags so you should bring your own bags or bins, and that you need a loonie (which is apparently a 1 dollar Canadian coin) to use a shopping cart, and how to order deli meat in grams, and that if you buy too many of one thing they penalize you by making it more expensive (creative rationing?) … I feel brave enough to go on my own next time. Maybe.


Food in Canada is a lot more expensive, and we still don’t have a job, and we’re some-what afraid of depleting our money cushion this summer, so that brings a whole new level of stress to shopping.  So I’m making plenty of nutritional and convenience cut-backs in my shopping.  No more cereals, get used to oatmeal, kids!  In a way it’s a really good thing because it’s forcing me in a more healthy direction.  There’s  no room for wasting money on anything processed so looks like I’m going to be cooking a lot more, and a lot more creatively now that I’m Canadian, eh?  And splurging a lot less.  I’ll miss you dearly, cheese! (The $25 big block of cheddar cheese was hard on my soul at the market the other day.  I settled on a much smaller block to ration out carefully)  But check out this awesome salad that I made myself for lunch today. Crunchier ways, here I come.  Look out, waistline.


Grapes, strawberries, avocado, spinach, cheddar cheese, ham, raisins, almonds, salt, pepper, …


So anyway, I’m not feeling overwhelmed as much.  I even got in the car today (with all four Wild Things, mind you) and drove into town.  Granted, I only had to go straight down a main road and back to get to where I was going, a Canadian chain thrift store.  But I did it.  By myself.  Go me.


Now I need to spend some time exploring all the nature trails on campus with the Wild Things.




  1. I heart fruit in salads. Yummy yum.

    That shopping trip would FREAK me out. Lol. I had trouble adjusting to shopping here. I missed my Kroger (and some days I still do)…we’ve been here almost a year and I still can’t find things I need in the grocery store.

    • Jessica says:

      Seriously. When I go back (which hopefully isn’t soon because of how we’re crazy rationing our food now) I’m going to try to go at a time that’s not busy so I don’t feel as intimidated. It was pretty darn rockin Sunday morning, a far cry from Kroger on “the Lord’s day”. Lol.

  2. I have lived in Canada all my life and in my town my whole life and I still go to the grocery store and I can not find have the stuff! I think they change it just to keep us on our toes. I have started to make bread again. I am not sure if it is cheaper but it does make 5 smaller loaves or 4 large and you can make cinnamon buns. Super simple if you would like the recipe email me at Serious if I can do it anyone can!! You can visit me at FB Petit Creek Lavender or my blogs the other one is on the sign up on this comment. Good Luck in your adventures today

    • Jessica says:

      I really do think I’m going to start making my own breads again. I think I’d like to perfect a nice flatbread sort of recipe that we could use with anything.

  3. It’s even worse when they stock the shelves with the French side of the label out. I mean, you know it’s tomatoes, but you still have to check, just in case…

    • Jessica says:

      And I’m not used to all the French. Everything’s in english and spanish where I’m from.

  4. That was brave of you. I would not have been brave enough to go out yet. At least you are trying. Hopefully, it will get easier for you soon.

  5. Breanne Sproule says:

    If you ever want to join me in my weekly trips to Lynden Safeway in Washington…..just let me know. It’s only 5 minutes across the border. And the cheese is cheap!

  6. What the What? You MOVED? To CANADA?

    Jeez…I know I haven’t visited your site in a while but WOW!

    I guess I have some catching up to do…

    • Um, chyeah! It was an epic adventure. Catch up! :)

      • Well alrighty then…help a sister out and send me a linky-loo to help me understand what God did to make you do this monumental thing.

        • I just took down my “Moving to Canada” tab the other day. Lol. Guess I need to write something new that covers it. The Husband is studying Greek and Hebrew up here at Trinity Western University.


  1. […] my first shopping trip in Canada I (even in my drive-lagged state) tried to buy only whole, real foods, as cheaply as I could. But […]