We’re about a week away from Christmas, and most Torontonians have either blissfully finished their gift shopping or are in the midst of a hellish mall experience. In both cases, everyone’s a little poorer, and for a lot of people a little poorer means flat out broke. To help you out, I’ve listed seven places where you can be a scrub in Toronto.
Moisturize yourself at The Body Shop
The cold is no friend to our skin. Temperature is inversely related to ashiness: the lower the temperature, the more intense the ash. Lotion is important year-round, but it is a vital pocket item between the months of November and March. Unfortunately, when money’s tight you may not be able to buy those cute portable bottles, and carrying your regular size bottle of Lubriderm is not an option. When this happens, simply pop into The Body Shop and start moisturizing. There are testers for a reason, and you are technically planning to buy something…eventually.
Charge up at The Apple Store
We’re usually just thankful for an outlet, but if you happen to be walking around Fairview Mall or the Eaton Centre and your phone (read: lifeline) is running low on juice, you don’t even need a charger. It’s as easy as popping into the Apple Store and plugging your phone in. I’ve become a little too used to the Apple Store’s layout, so much so that I recently tried repeatedly logging into a laptop at a Fido kiosk thinking it was for customers to play with before an employee asked me to stop. Turns out it was the staff computer.
Grab a bite at Costco
Unless you’re a head of household feeding your family on a budget or living with three roommates in Kensington Market, there’s really no reason to be going to Costco. But if you ever need a snack and all there is in your house is canned tuna and a celery stick, offer to tag along with one of these people while they grocery shop, and you are guaranteed an afternoon of stumbling upon random snacks throughout the warehouse. The serious shoppers do not have time for snacks, so it’s really only the teenaged kids and the out of town house guest interlopers who stop to try whatever meat and cheese combination is on display leaving you with plenty of seconds, thirds, and fourths.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Menchie’s
What’s a meal without dessert? Stop by Menchie’s and try a number of different samples to satisfy your sweet tooth, but to be a little classy you may have to fork out for something paid. You should think of this more as a subsidized spot for snacking. There are no club membership cards here, darlings. At Menchie’s, you will be openly judged for not buying something, but if you’re smart you’ll double whatever you paid for with samples. Definitely not date behaviour, but it is certainly scrub behaviour.
Doll yourself up at Sephora
You can go in there and just keep asking for help trying different products until you’ve created a patchwork – but free – makeup session. Or you can try them all yourself and then head out for the night having used Sephora as an extension of your bathroom. In addition, if you’re not smelling so great you can take a quick trip to the perfume aisle. Like they teach you in elementary school, perfume is no substitute for deodorant, but it’s an improvement until you can address the situation accordingly.
Take in a movie at Wal-Mart
Want to watch a movie, but can’t afford the steep ticket prices? Pop a squat in the electronics section at Wal-Mart (or any store with an electronics department for that matter) and watch one of the many family-friendly movies they have playing on repeat on the televisions on display.
PROTIP: Be resourceful and plan your movie around trips to Costco and Menchie’s. Now you have “theatre” snacks.
Treat yourself: Godiva for Champion Scrubs
Godiva offers samples, but they don’t really put it out there, presumably to deter any scrubs from eating a box’s worth of free chocolate in samples. Scrub-like behaviour is made increasingly difficult by the fancy atmosphere that is meant to intimidate anyone from walking in unless they plan on making a purchase. These only keep out the casual scrubs, but smokescreens are no issue for pros. Know your level and scrub accordingly.