Anyone from N.B.?
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  1. #1
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    Question Anyone from N.B.?

    Curious about the cost of living down there. Particularily basic food items and HBA. Also curious about the health care system and utilities. Anyone know where I can check this stuff out on-line?

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    Registered User madkat2618's Avatar
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    Peanut, I just moved back to Manitoba after living in NB for a couple of years.
    I lived in the town of Oromocto, about 20 minutes east of Fredericton. I found the cost of living to be quite high out there, compared to here. When we got there, I definitely suffered from sticker shock the first time I went grocery shopping! 4 litres of milk was over $6!! Meat and produce were also much higher than I was used to. I learned to shop the sales and clearance sections of the stores. HBA stuff was a little higher, but again, I waited for sales and stocked up. I also did most of my shopping at Sobey's, which had comparable prices to Superstore, and gave Air Miles. I collected the miles, then traded them for Sobey's GCs, which usually paid for one shopping trip.
    As for utilities, when we first got there, we had oil heat. It averaged out to about $150/month, and that was keeping the heat at about 20 during the day, and 16 at night. We had reasonably mild winters when we were there, too. We were switched over to natural gas (we lived in military housing, so it wasn't our choice) the winter before we moved, and our first bill was over $300! Half of that was delivery charges!!! Our hydro bills ran between $100-150 all year round.
    Healthcare was a problem. We were there for 2 1/2 years, and never got a family doctor. The waiting lists were too long. In our town, there wasn't a walk in clinic, you just went to the emergency room for everything. I waited for 6 hours to get my DD's ear infection looked at.

    The grocery prices you could check online by going to the store sites, and looking at the online flyers. We had Superstore and Sobey's, those were the main stores there.

    Now, after saying all that, I did love living there! It was beautiful, and there were so many things to do and see within a 3-4 hour drive. PEI and Halifax, for example, loved both those places! There was an amazing beach on the Bay of Fundy, just 45 minutes away.

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

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    I've always thought that New Brunswick was a nice name for a province, 'cause my initials are NB.

    (I'm in Idaho.)

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    madkat2618: Which is more expensive for heating then? Oil, electric or natural gas? I'm guessing from most expensive to least it's electric, natural gas and then oil. Right?

    I've been checking on-line for some possible retirement destinations for DH and I in the Maritimes. Trying to get an idea of relative costs in the different provinces. PEI doesn't really have a functioning health care system for my needs, so it's out. But NB and NS are both possibilities. Though I've been stunned at the doctor to patient ratio in the Maritimes. Over double the patients per doctor as the prairies. No wonder you were waiting 2 1/2 years! I've heard people in PEI treat ER as a walk-in clinic. Boy, if you did that here you'd get a blistering from the ER triage nurse! Or be kept waiting 3 or more hours because you weren't as urgent as someone else.

    When we visited PEI two years ago I was shocked by the price of food, and the lack of variety compared to the prairies. So I know that will be high. Thankfully they finally have some health food stores down there. Used to be hard to find one.

    Still, I can't find a distributor for Heel homeopathic products (which I use for asthma) anywhere in the Maritimes. I'm thinking when it comes closer to making a decision I will phone Heel and ask about it. They will not sell direct to customers...only to health care practitioners.

    I'm also wondering about the weather. I keep pulling back because I've seen the results of those snow and ice storms (and hurricanes) on the national news. Hmmm...maybe NB is a better idea...not many hurricanes at least! But my guess is there is a lot more shoveling involved down east than on the prairies...correct?

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    Registered User madkat2618's Avatar
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    In regards to heating, we found the oil heat much cheaper, but to be fair, we only had the natural gas for about 6 months, so we maybe didn't get an accurate view of cost. Also, it might have been all in my head, but I found with oil heat that it was warm when the furnace was on, but it cooled off quickly. With gas, the warmth seemed to stay in the house longer.
    I'm pretty sure that having a gas furnace is a fairly rare thing down there, too. It seemed to me that everyone I knew, living on base or off, either had oil or electric (baseboard) heating.

    Weatherwise, I'm afraid I can't say much. We had two winters there, and both were very mild. We were warned about the huge snowfalls and they never came to pass. I think I had to shovel once. But my DH is there on course right now, and he told me he couldn't believe the amount of snow they had! The snowbanks were around 6 feet tall. Last year I believe had lots of snow too. I will say, even though it didn't get really cold like on the prairies, I was always freezing. The wind would go right through you, and the dampness made it seem much colder. It's definitely true that a dry cold is easier to handle.

    Honestly, if money wasn't an issue, and if all my family didn't live in Manitoba, I'd probably love to retire on the east coast as well. Dh has some family in the Aanapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, and it is beautiful there. I love the ocean, too, and would love to live close to it again. Maybe I can convince my family to move with me....if I win the lottery, maybe?? LOL

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    The weather depends on where you live. Northern NB & NS get a lot of snow and it can be cold. Southern areas near the coast are milder but damp - some years it's snow, some years it's rain. I don't know about dry vs. damp cold, but the temperatures on the coast do not get anywhere close to the lows you have in the prairies. I don't really know how a human survives at -40º.

    The only ice storm I've ever heard of was in 98, I think that went as far east as NB. Juan in '03 was the only real hurricane I know of to hit NS. They are normally just storms when they get that far north. They get battered some in Yarmouth (right on the tip). Juan ripped through the middle of the province (right through Halifax) but hurricanes in NS are not like hurricanes in the southern US. They just knock trees down, they don't knock buildings down (although the trees can land on buildings).

    There are areas where people treat the ER like a walk-in clinic, usually because they don't have a walk-in clinic. Walk-ins are a fairly new concept. I don't know about wait times for doctors as I was in the same clinic my whole life.

    Groceries are way more expensive all over the Maritimes, as is gas. You'll want to go dairy-free if you live there, a bag of milk is about $7. I don't know what services cost in Manitoba, but I know compared to Ontario the Maritimes are much more expensive for things, but much cheaper for services. People are paid less, so you pay people less to do things for you. So my dentist was cheaper, home repairs were cheaper, etc.

    I believe the cost of living is lower in NB than NS; PEI is higer than both.

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