The Mitchell Library, which is part of the State Library of New South Wales
I really love libraries. I love the hushed whisperings. I love the knowledge they hold. I especially like old libraries, the ones with dark brown wooden shelves and ladders to reach the books up high.
Today I went to the Mitchell Library, which is part of the State Library of New South Wales. I was looking for a book called: The pocket encyclopedia of hints, saving time, trouble and money. Published around 1946 I thought it would be a perfect reference for writing this blog.
First though, I had to join the library. The helpful librarian talked me through the online process, and within minutes I was a member.
It wasn’t until after I had joined, and ordered the book, that I discovered that the Mitchell Library is actually closed on Sundays! I mustn’t have checked the opening hours properly on the internet. Lucky for me the State Library was open, and they said they could bring the book across. While I waited I used the free internet. Yes, FREE. That’s another great thing about libraries, they often offer free internet.
When the book finally arrived it was tiny! The woman behind the counter said I was lucky to get it, they don’t usually allow them to move books that old, “It mustn’t have a publication date on it”. I gingerly flipped through the fragile pages. Tips on how to clean marble bench tops, or aluminium, or how to hang singlets without using clothes pegs. It wasn’t really much help for saving money, but it was a little bit of history none the less. Which is another great thing about State Libraries, they hold time capsules in the form of books. Did I say I love libraries?
Filed under Freebie, Frugal
North Avoca beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales
Summer wouldn’t be summer in Australia without a visit to the beach. North Avoca is 1.5 hours drive north of Sydney, and is a glorious, yellow sandy beach. I walked on the beach today, sinking my bare feet into the wet sand at the water’s edge, and then on to the rock pools to see sea anemones and crabs. There is really nothing better, and the best thing? Going to the beach is free! Absolutely. Positively. Free.
And by walking along the beach I put into practice my New Year’s resolution. I’m going to exercise more and lose weight. I’m going to walk home more often from work, and I might start going to a gym again. If I can find a cheap one!
It was my Mum’s birthday in October. Unlike my Dad, she doesn’t get too worked up about birthdays, so I just sent her a card. I wanted to give her something nice though, because she’s really been there for me this year.
I was going through my wardrobe and came across a Max leather jacket I bought when I first arrived in Wellington. I hadn’t worn it in over three years, so I was going to try and sell it when I remembered how much my Mum loved it when I showed it to her when she’d visited Wellington. She loves grey leather things, and they’re very rarely available. It was also three quarter length sleeves which suits both of us, because we are both short with little arms!
I bought the jacket on sale, and being three years ago I can’t remember exactly how much it was, but it was probably about $100.
Perfect! Rather than buy her something she may or may not like, I decided to bring the jacket to Sydney as a belated birthday present. I’m happy to say, she loved it. She reminded me that she’d even tried to buy one for herself when she was in Wellington but the shop had sold out. Happy belated birthday Mum!
The leather jacket I gave to my Mum as a belated birthday present. She loved it!
Every year my workplace has a book sale. It’s fantastic, a large table filled with review copies or new releases that aren’t wanted. Unfortunately, I missed out this year – I was working elsewhere, but the one consolation was that by the time I did get there, everything was going for free. That’s right, books for free. So I spied this little bargain saving book, and felt like I was doing a favour by taking it. I have yet to read it, but even if I pick up one tip, I’ll be happy. Free definitely is my favourite four letter word.
Why Pay Retail? I didn’t pay retail, I didn’t pay anything for this book at all
One of the first things I did when I moved into my new place is put up a No Junk Mail sign. There was just far too many brochures in my letterbox every week, I couldn’t get through them all.
I was really pleased though that The Wellingtonian, one of the local newspapers that deliver in my area, ignored the sign and just kept delivering.
I really like local newspapers. They’re free and they often contain information you don’t get from any other source. I feel like I have my finger on the Wellington pulse. I’ve also won a few times in some of the competitions run by The Capital Times, which is ace.
Last week I even picked up Older and Bolder, a newspaper for 50+ and over. I’m definitely not in that demographic but I picked it up all the same, and read some interesting articles.
I’ve also been known to pick up the free student newspapers too – and if you walk through the University in the morning you can pick up a free Dominion Post. I don’t discriminate in my newspaper reading, other than it has to be free!
The three free local newspapers from this week
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t enjoy grocery shopping.
I usually shop at Pak’n Save but Countdown does delivery. They also do a pick-up service where you order online and then go and pick-up your groceries from the supermarket, which are packed up for you. That’s usually a lot cheaper than home delivery, but I only do it if I get it for free – I’m on the Countdown email list, and there’s often $5 or $10 off if you spend over $100, which is enough to cover the cost of picking it up (about $5.25) but not delivery. There are also deals for when you spend over $150 and $200 but I don’t spend that much at the supermarket so it’s useless for me.
I saved $15.25 because delivery was free.
Today though there was a special deal where delivery was free if you spent over $50. Bonus! So I ordered online and it was delivered today, saving $15.25 on delivery. The only thing they got wrong was giving me NZ tangelos instead of Australian ones (yes, there is a difference!).
I figure that if someone else goes round the supermarket for me, and I don’t have to pay for it, then why not? I know the quality of the fruit and veg isn’t as good as if I’d picked them myself, but that’s a small price to pay.
The shopping delivered to my door
It all comes down to how much I value my own time. I saved half an hour of my time pushing a trolley round the supermarket and when you shop online you can see all the specials really easily, so I saved even more money. Today I also saved on petrol. A win win situation.
The only thing I really dislike is that everything comes in plastic bags. I do save the bags and use them as bin liners, but still…does all my fruit and veg have to come in plastic bags?
I collect coffee cards from all the cafés I go to!
In a previous post I said that even though I have many options for free or very cheap coffee at work, I still need a double-shot cappuccino to start my working day.
As well as using vouchers when I can, the other thing I do is collect coffee cards where you get every 10th coffee free. This means that at my usual café where coffee is $3.90, I end up paying only $3.50 or so for each coffee. It’s well worth it, and I get very excited when I’m up for my free coffee, it’s like winning a mini jackpot!
And here’s a tip I’ve learnt – if for some reason you don’t have your coffee card on you, just start a new one, most cafés will consolidate your cards when you show them both. Happy drinking!