Oops. When I referred to dirt cheap I forgot that not everyone lives in Atlantic Canada where we try to keep our low cost of living a secret. There I go again, letting the cat out of the bag. When my wife an I eat out at a restaurant, we sometimes keep track of the number of cups of coffee we drink with the meal then work out what the same amount of coffee would have cost in the U.K. It almost always turns out that, had we drank the same amount of coffee in the U.K., the cost of the coffee alone there would have been more than the cost of the whole meal here, including the coffee! Just one example. Of course, things become more expensive as you go west across Canada.
Your health care comments are valid, sawman. Most people here get coverage for prescriptions, etc, from their employment. However, if you are self employed, unemployed or simply don't have coverage, then your health care costs can be high. Many couples here have one wage earner, often the wife, getting all family benefits from their employer while the spouse is free to pursue other employment without having to be concerned about health coverage.