Sunday, February 28, 2010

ZIP.ca

I joined zip.ca recently, the canadian version of netflix.  I have one month free to evaluate the service. Everyone can get 2 weeks free but you have to have a code, which many are floating around the internet to get the month.  Thus far I have liked the experience.  I joined Friday, and they claim to have sent my DVDs out that day.  They say the DVDs should arrive by Thursday at the latest.  You cannot get your favorite DVDs right away with Zip.ca unfortunately, but you can get DVDs on your list as long as your list holds 20 or so titles.  They also recommend based on your movie ratings movies you may like.

I am trying to figure out what sort of relationship I want with my media mostly for once I move. Zip.ca is one option.  I pretty much hate commercials and this way my TV shows can be on DVD rather than cable.  Here I have cable but we don't pay for it and I sort of hate the free service we have now.  The cable guy got in a fight with out building manager a year ago and we've had free cable every since. 

I wish I could get Hulu here, and I may try to once I buy my new computer because I plan on buying a MAC and I have heard that MACs are not detected as easily with the software that hides your location but for now with my current computer, Hulu is not an option.

I am going to go through all the options for media resources in the next couple of months and let you know what is my frugal choice for watching and reading media.

What do you use for your media?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting a deal on dancing lessons

I love to dance and work out.  Yet if you ever look at the cost of dance instruction it is super expensive.  So how can you affordably take a dance class. Well there are a few ways.

One is to look into your local YMCA to see if they offer classes.  Mine does offer excellent dance classes from ballet to Cha cha cha, but I have a hard time getting there since I had a baby.  They also offer yoga and pilates for about 40 dollars a month in membership fees.

The second is to scan your local newspapers for free dance class trials.  I think you should always try before you buy.  If you live a big city you could try multiple places before deciding.

The third is to negotiate with friends.  I had a group of 15 girlfriends who all wanted to take a striptease dance class together, for a alternative night out.  I know what you thinking, you are such a weirdo taking that sort of class.  Actually I found it very empowering and there was no nudity whatsoever.  Its more a skill that you learn in a studio and take home to your partner, than something that you do in a club.  Well it was so much fun and it costs us 10 dollars each thanks to the fact we did it together.

Lastly you can barter, offer your skill at ____ for a private dance lesson on craigslist or in a professional bartering club.  You'll be ballroom ready in no time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Finding a deal on baby stuff

I have a bouncing one year old who is a real joy in my life.  However when I found out I was pregnant I was not sure what I thought about the situation.  I was not trying to have kids yet.  I was not sure I would ever be able to have children.  So when she came along, I made the decision to love her right away.   Yet I had little money.  I was a full time student.  My husband was inbetween jobs.  We were tight.

I figured I had nine months to sort it out so I placed a couple ads on craigs list asking for other people's left overs.  I paid for one set and got another set of stuff for free within a couple of months.  I did not beg I did not whine or give any one any details I just let people know that I needed baby stuff.

I also got a 500 gift certificate from a relative to Toys R Us.  I only used it when there was a killer sale on what I needed.  I had a long list and I had 3 months or so after getting the card to collect stuff. I had already gotten great used kids stuff from craigs list but I stocked up on a new play pen, a breast pump, a baby bath and a couple of other items ridiculously cheaply.

I watched the ads and found a baby mattress for 35 dollars from a local sale and the crib I got for free from craigslist.  I had everything I needed when my daughter arrived and in fact I did not need to buy clothes for 6 months or so. 

Buying new baby stuff is a real waste especially when they are a couple of months old.  Babies poop on everything and they grow out of stuff quickly.  I know many a parent who buys everything new and it is totally unnecessary and infact pretty wasteful because you end up with clothes she never wore, toys she never liked, and extra clutter.

I give stuff away on craigslist all the time now.  If you are expecting or know someone who is, you could use these tips and save a bundle.