Cheap Dates, Money Matters, Thrills without frills

A cheap(er) drunk

I indulge in wine now and then. It doesn’t hurt the bank balance too much since I’m a cheap drunk. Still, I’d rather spend less on something as intangible as champagne-induced fun.

There are ways to cut down on the cost of wine. If you’re not too fussy, you can choose white over red, newer vintages over older vintages, lesser known varietals over more traditional grapes. And if you’re really adventurous, there’s cleanskin. ‘Cleanskins are usually the result of over-production. Winemakers sell off their excess at low prices without compromising the price tag of their labelled wines’ (via Wine Diva). Continue reading

Cheap Dates, Thrills without frills

Frugal thrills: Christmas in Melbourne

Christmas may be an expensive time of year, but sometimes the best things Christmas presents in life are free:

1) The Big Sing

Organised by the Gertrude Players, The Big Sing is the free alternative to Carols by Candlelight. Come and help 400 carollers at Fitzroy’s Napier Hotel belt out ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ at 6pm on Friday 21st. The carollers will make their way to Fitzroy Town Hall, so do bring some comfortable footwear as well as your best singing voice.

Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Gardening on a Budget, My Suburb is My Gym, Second-hand Scavengers, Thrills without frills

Frugal thrills: spring in Melbourne

It’s past the midway mark for spring and the weather is finally warming up in Melbourne. Time to try 5 outdoorsy activities:

1) Bike it, hike it

Grab your bike, a mate or a date and pedal along the Capital City Trail, the Merri Creek Trail, or any other of Melbourne’s dedicated bike and pedestrian trails. For details on specific routes in and around the city, check out The Bicycle Network’s Melbourne’s Metro Trail Network page.

If you prefer a slower travelling pace, put on the hiking boots and explore one of the region’s many walks. I haven’t done Werribee Gorge yet, but apparently it’s a stunner.

Bike it, hike it, whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to take drinks and food so that you’re not spending a fortune on lunch along the way. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Thrills without frills

Frugal thrills: winter in Melbourne

Winter. It’s cold and wet. There’s nothing to do except eat, sleep, and have sex. But there’s only so much hibernating one can take, so here are five free things to do in Melbourne during the next few months:

1) Play videogames

Until 8 July 2012, ACMI is offering punters the chance to play some of the best games from San Francisco’s Independent Games Festival 2012. Compete against strangers/friends in the art racer game Proun, ninja-vacuum your way through fifty levels of grime in Dustforce, or explore 3D worlds as the 2D platform character Gomez in Fez*. This exhibition is located in Gallery 2 and is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Don’t forget to check out the ACMI store’s collection of videogame geekery, including Zelda mints, Mario Bros chess sets, and PacMan mugs. Continue reading

Thrills without frills

Going out basics

Rhonda Perky’s comment ‘no one wants to miss out all the time’ (via ‘Signs your partner/friend is budget fail’) implies that being frugal, by choice or otherwise, is incompatible with having fun. After all, food costs money and so does alcohol, a Wii Fit, and a ticket to Meredith. So how do we enjoy, enrich, and entertain ourselves with little or no money? I thought I’d start a new category, ‘Thrills without frills’, trying to address this question.

Firstly, basics. No matter where we go or what we end up doing, there are a few questions to be considered:

  • Is there a stay-at-home equivalent?

Do you need to go out to a movie, dinner or drinks with the mates or can you invite them over to your place? Arranging a video(games) night or a potluck dinner with BYO goon will usually be cheaper and ensures the evening will not end with middle-aged you in a tarty skirt trying to hustle up a city cab at 3am in the morning. Continue reading