My husband and I spend between $100 and $125 a week for groceries (for the two of us). But I have found groceries in Canada more expensive than in the US.
College of the Atlantic is my alma mater!
Ugh this stuff is so hard. I am 31 years old, I have a 29 year old brother with autism. I got married a few years ago and immigrated to Canada (from the US) to be with my husband. Our whole family is going through the planning process now. Right now, the Canadian government is refusing the immigration applications of people with autism; since he is my brother, he doesn't fall under any of the family class exemptions. SO MUCH STRESS. I am very worried about what will happen if anything happens to my parents. Things are good now, but they could change at any time. We grew up in rural Maine, and my Dad works at a paper mill. He makes a comfortable wage for where they live, but we didn't/don't have the resources that this family has. The services that are available vary greatly from state to state as well. Like everyone else, you just kind of make do. I doubt the author will come here and read these comments, but in case he does: Your daughter may go through a phase later where she resents what she has given up for her brother. It happened to me, but I came back around. I wanted to go to a public math and science high school and my parents wanted me to stay close to home. I said some things that I still regret (that my brother had always held me back and that I didn't want to be responsible for him for the rest of my life), but I needed the chance to go and find out what kind of person I was away from my families situation. I am fully participating in the planning again. Just you know, go easy.
I have worked at a Community Foundation and I can guarantee that they have seen your situation a million times before. I agree about calling as well. I bet they are really nice and really want to give you your money!
ok, but why is beer so pricey in canada?!? relative to the us? (I know why: taxes. Which I am happy to pay. But seriously, I hardly drink anymore.) (On a side note, I never feel more American than when I bitch about how much things cost in Canada. Which I try not to do. But it happens.)
when I was in Japan for two weeks a few years ago I was amused by toilet dichotomy. I swear, it was either these amazing toilets or squat toilets. Very little in between.
I immigrated under the family class, so I married a Canadian citizen and he sponsored my application (we talked about him moving the states, but after weighing pros and cons, gut feelings, money etc, we decided that I would go Canada). I was one of those people who never really wanted to get married so I looked at immigrating under some of the other categories but that is quite hard unless you have a lot of cash on hand as well as a job offer. So we got married, hired an immigration lawyer and started filling out forms. The process is pretty nerve wracking, you have to prove that your relationship is genuine and figure out all kinds of dates when things happened (when did your spouse meet you parents? your close friends? etc) and like, skype call and chat records, copies of letters and phone bills and emails, pictures, just as much stuff as possible. You need to send your finger prints to the FBI and get any records they have on you. You have to find an approved doctor and get a medical exam done which includes an HIV test and a chest x-ray for TB. The application fees themselves are over $1,000 plus you have to pay for the medicals and everything yourself. And you have to time it right because the FBI documents are only good for three months and medical for a year I think? Anyway, we forgot to sign a declaration on one page so they sent the whole things back and I signed it and resubmitted and then waited. We actually got approved pretty quickly (yay) but then you have make a record of everything you own that you are bringing and actually get it across the border (more $$$). And I have had a really hard time finding work (we are out in Atlantic Canada which has high unemployment and no one wants to call my awesome American references). So yeah, moving to Canada takes quite a bit of time and money and is pretty hard to pull off on a whim.
As someone who did immigrate to Canada for apolitical reasons, I would also like to point out that it is huge pain in the ass to immigrate to another country.
I love menu planning! My husband and I live in Canada so food is more expensive than in the States. One thing that has saved me is making a meal that we eat two nights in a row, and having stuff for sandwiches for lunch. Even split between the two of us, the cooking duties felt like too much. We spend about $100 a week on groceries and our diet is heavy on fresh fruit and veggies and low on meat.