Archive for December, 2009


Holiday Hibernation

December 22, 2009

Dear frugal readers, I’m taking some time away from the Internet until the New Year. Do feel free to send any suggestions for posts or topics, or even write a post of your own. And have an inexpensive break, and a very merry celebration of the festival(s) of your choice.


Hate Me Tender

December 8, 2009

So we have found a house we really like (or are mildly interested in, when we talk to the seller’s agent). It is for sale by tender.

Tendering is a particularly noxious process in which you hope you aren’t being a fool, and the vendor hopes you are. If it weren’t for the fact that the place is just down the road from where we are now, with neighbours we know and like, I’d be inclined not to participate. But there you go.

We know the rateable value (it was done in September this year) and we have a report from QV on recent sales in the area (which unfortunately has an unhelpfully wide range). The house is in one of those pockets of Wellington with a very varied geography so it’s hard to make meaningful comparisons with nearby properties.

Any tips on tender strategy, dear readers? High to be sure, low to be cheeky? I lie awake at night thinking about it.


New Four Square!

December 6, 2009

Well, there were two guys handing out pamplets for a free coffee from the new Tory Street Four Square, so we grabbed one, and popped down there this morning.

In short, I think we’ll shop there more often.

Checking out the prices, the place was pretty competitive. Certainly the range is more limited, but there are weekends where we don’t buy that much dry food from New World anyhow. Plus, on account of buying our fruit and vege from the farmer’s markets we’re often not actually getting much from the supermarket.

What they didn’t seem to have was a large number of loss-leading products, but… no worries. We can always pop just down the street to New World to buy stuff like that.

Most importantly, what they did have was a friendly guy who ran the place. The owner spotted our one-year-old and popped over for a chat. Now, this is what makes community to me. A shop-keeper who’s more that happy to chat to you like you’re a person, and who you can see is putting his own sweat into making his own coin. When I compare that to some minimum-wage teenage clerk who isn’t paid to care about who I am, then I’m shopping with the local guy every time.

After all, New World won’t miss my money. There are plenty of unconscious shoppers who will habitually stop in there anyway. But for personal interaction, and actually supporting my local area, I’d much rather give my money to a real person with a real vested interest in my coming back.

So, Four Square (corner of Tory and Cable), you’ve got my business whenever I need to stop by.