Category Archives: Saving money

Sales are for buying presents

The sales are on with a vengeance. I try and avoid them these days, simply because most of the sales items are trucked in especially, you don’t get too many real bargains anymore.

One thing the sales are good for though is buying presents. I have three friends who have just had, or are going to have, babies. So after seeing the Life of Pi at the movies, which happened to be in a shopping complex, I checked out the department store Myer.

Clothes for my friends' babies bought in the sale

Clothes for my friends’ babies bought in the sale

I love looking at baby clothes! They are just so small and cute. It’s enough to make me want to have a baby myself! Almost 🙂

So I bought all of these clothes for $46. Originally these were $74. So I saved $28.

I bought six cards for $1, and now I’m sorted. Yay for sales!

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Filed under Bargain, Budget, Clothing, Frugal, GIft, Saving money, shopping

Sweatshops

A singlet for $3.99 - for that price it must have been made in a sweatshop right?

A singlet for $3.99 – for that price it must have been made in a sweatshop right?

Today I bought a singlet for $3.99. Yes, you heard right $3.99. I didn’t even try it on, I asked the sales assistant for my size and she went out the back and found one in a plastic sleeve, brought it back to the counter, and I promptly bought it.

It’s a bargain, I know it. But for that price it must have been made in a sweatshop somewhere in China, surely? Do I feel guilty? Yes. I actually do. But will it stop me wearing it? No. Because I’m not particularly rich by most Western standards and I need to save my money.

So this seems to be the modern day dilemma, and I’m not exactly sure how to solve it. Do you?

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Filed under Bargain, Budget, Clothing, Frugal, Saving money, shopping

Sometimes saving a few bucks isn’t worth the effort

The flyer with a membership deal for movie tickets

The flyer with a membership deal for movie tickets

Today I saw a flyer  headed “How do I get $9.90 tickets and a ticket for free?”.

Wow, that looks good, I thought. Particularly because I really want to see The Life of Pi in 3D.

Then I checked the fine print. First you have to buy membership for $5. Mind you that is 50 per cent off, but it’s still a cost.

Then you get a free movie ticket and until 24 March you get movies for $9.90. Unless you want to watch a 3D movie. Then there is an “upgrade fee” of $3 plus $1 for each pair of glasses.

That’s still cheaper than the price of 3D movie tickets ($24.50 including glasses), but there’s one more catch. Presumably you need to print off the membership form to take in with you once you’ve paid $5.

I’m up on the Central Coast today with my parents and the only printer we have is packed up in storage. Then I’ve have to download the drivers. And I’m not even sure we have paper to print on up here.

The other issue is, if I bought membership, I’m so rarely on the Central Coast, I wouldn’t get value out of it.

It still taunting me, I’m trying to work out how I can use this voucher. In the end though, it’s probably just not worth the effort to save a few dollars.

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How can you tell if cream is off?

I’ve been visiting friends in Sydney, and today I was treated to scones by an old friend I met in my University days.

I arrived a little early, and while I was taken by her husband on a tour of the new house renovations, she put the scones in the oven.

Then we went to buy the cream. We visited three corner stores, none of which had any cream, but the fourth shop had two containers right at the back of the fridge.

The man behind the counter shook his head and said look at the Use By Date. One was 20 December – obviously well past it. But the second was dated 29 December. Hmm – maybe that one will be alright?

The man shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’ll sell it to you for $1. They’re usually $2.50.” I’m not sure that’s exactly legal, but my friend took out a $1 coin and we walked home with our cream.

After sniffing the cream and deeming it to be safe, she took out an old handbeater, not an electric one. One of the old ones with the handle on the top, not the side. I actually bought one the same in Levin near Wellington for $4. They’re just weighted so much better. And after beating it for 5 minutes, we had whipped cream. Fresh scones straight out of the oven, with a bit of strawberry jam, and whipped cream…is there anything better?

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Today’s bargain – goldfish!

Fish

Today my Mum decided to buy four goldfish. My parents have a pond in the outside courtyard where there is already one fish they’ve dubbed Nemo. Mum wanted some more fish to keep Nemo company so we went to a pet store. We were eyeing some beautiful coloured fish, but the store attendant came over and told us which fish can live outside, ruling out a lot of the more exotic fish. In the end we chose four large Comets.

The great thing was we thought the fish were $8.50 each, but when we got to the counter we found they were on special for $7.50. So we saved $4. Isn’t it great to get a bargain even when you’re prepared to pay full price?

 

 

 

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The cat conundrum

My parents have the world’s cutest cat, called Maui. Every time I visit I realise that I want to see Maui just as much as I want to see my parents. Isn’t that terrible?

Maui’s a dark brown Burmese (I think it’s called seal) and at the moment she’s curled up next to me, purring. She loves warmth, and tried to sit on my laptop, before I moved her away. She likes sitting on whatever you’re paying attention to. So if I was reading a newspaper, she’d be sitting on that.

It always gets me thinking – maybe I should have my own cat. Then I think about the vet bills, the food bills, the cleaning up after the cat’s vomited bills, the cost of worming tablets, the toys…you get the picture. I also travel, at the end of the year I can be away from home for three to four weeks, so I’d either have to get a catsitter or pay for a kennel.

But is the unconditional love I’d get from a cat worth the expense? Is coming home and having something there waiting for me worth more than all the costs. I’m beginning to wonder.

I guess the biggest drawback is that I might move back to Australia at some stage. While it’s not that hard to move a pet between NZ and Australia, I think I’d have troubles finding a place to rent if I had a cat.

So logically, I don’t think it makes sense to get to a cat. But emotionally, I really want one! Especially one like Maui 🙂

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Credit cards aren’t all bad

I’ve read a lot of budgeting posts which say that credit cards are bad, and that cash is the only way to go.

I disagree. I use my credit card to budget for the month, and I get frequent flyer points as I go.

I always pay my credit card off in full though when it is due. And I think that’s where the problem lies. If you only pay off the minimum, you can get into serious debt.

I buy everything on credit. Even my $4 coffee in the morning. I’ve even been known to put $1.50 on my credit card.

I have a limit each month and if I’m getting close to that limit, I wait for the next month before making any purchases that can be put off.

By putting things on credit, I can keep my money in the bank for an extra month, earning me interest. Better in my pocket than in the bank’s!

And because I always pay off my card every month I have a really good credit rating, which meant I could get a mortgage without any problems. Credit cards aren’t all bad.

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