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Confessions of a Dawson Shopaholic

by Deborah Barrasso


October 28, 2015 | Curiosities


Inside Alexis Nihon Plaza. Alexis Nihon

Shopaholic? Foodaholic? Whether it’s clothes or food that catch your attention (or in the worst case – both), attending school downtown can be a challenge for anyone trying to save their money.

Even just walking to your next class in the Forum, you are faced with at least two dozen shops where you can stop and dish out your cash. All of a sudden, you just got a little hungrier. All of a sudden, you need a coffee or a frozen yogurt. All of a sudden, you’re in desperate need of that cute top in the window of Olivia’s.


Olivia Boutique in Alexis Nihon. Alexis Nihon

How can we resist these temptations? Believe me, it’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s possible to simply walk by without giving a second glance. However, other times, you really do need that coffee to help you survive through your next class. So, you give in. You buy that coffee.

The next step is to try to reason with ourselves. “I’ll go to Tim Horton’s instead of Starbucks, it’ll be much cheaper”. This is good thinking, but many people forget to see the bigger picture. Let’s do some math, shall we? A regular medium coffee at Tim Horton’s is $1.60. With tax, that comes out to $1.85. Let’s say you buy one medium coffee every day you’re at school. Normally, that would be five days a week. This means that in one week, you would be spending $9.25 on coffee. Don’t forget, that’s not including the doughnut you’re going to try so hard not to buy. In the end, it all adds up.

How are students who normally work at minimum wage supposed to afford all this? Have no fear, the beauty of discounts are here. Luckily for you, there are a variety of options to choose from that can help you save some money.

Your first option is the Alexis Nihon Benefits card. For those who don’t know, this is a free card offered to the students of Dawson and Lasalle. Employees of the mall and students of Concordia and McGill are also eligible. This card gives you 10% off on all your purchases. All you have to do is pick up the card at any information desk in the mall, register online at the Alexis Nihon website, present the card to the cashier when you’re about to pay, and you’re good to go!

The next possibility is the SPC Card. What’s great about this one is that it works everywhere, not just in one specific shopping centre. When I say everywhere, I mean all across Canada. The discount varies depending on the store, but it is normally 10% to 15% off your purchase. This card costs $10 and you can get it online at the SPC website or pick it up at any store that offers it. Good news: if you have an account with BMO, you can get this card for free!

At some shops, you don’t even need any extra cards. All you need to do is show your student ID and you automatically get a discount just by being a student. One shop that offers this is Yeh! Frozen Yogurt & Café.


📷YEH! Frozen yogurt & café in Alexis Nihon. Alexis Nihon

According to Kien La, a Yeh! employee, they started offering the student discount about a year ago. They put this promotion in place to get more customers because the Yeh! in Alexis Nihon is not part of the franchise. Making it more affordable for students who are right in the area would definitely increase their clientele. Yeh! accepts the Alexis Nihon Benefits card (10% off), the SPC Card (15% off), or the student discount (15% off for Dawson and Lasalle students). If you’re a student at Dawson, it would be most beneficial to use the student discount or the SPC Card. Kien La is a student himself, therefore he understands the concept of wanting to save as much as possible. He says the prices at Yeh! are very affordable, considering the price depends on the weight, and there are so many discounts at your disposal.

In the end, what’s more important than knowing what discounts are best and choosing the cheapest coffee is having the ability to say no. Treating yourself once in a while is very important, but so is self control. Be smart a smart spender!

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