Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheap thrills

There is something about a bargain that most of us cannot resist. There’s that thrill of getting something for very little that is so very exciting. I’m not stingy (against all preconceived notions about Mangalorean stinginess, ha!), nor am I very thrifty – and that I sometimes wish I was! But all those years I gently poked fun at my mother for trudging off to Crawford Market to get stuff, well, let me just say I am turning into my mother – though not as nice looking as her, as one lady stopped me on Colaba Causeway to inform me. Yes, it happened! Anyway, in Crawford Market, you get four peppers (red and yellow) for Rs 40, as opposed to Rs 80 to Rs 100 in Colaba market, and so on.  Even packets of basil are half the price.
So, after that diversion, here are some cheap thrills you can make a part of your life – especially if you are in Mumbai, or India, and certainly the next time you visit. When you visit, I might even buy you a lolly myself!

Rs 5 for ice candies!

Lic Lolleez from Mother Dairy. In Cola and Mango & Raspberry flavours. An instant transportation back to childhood and mango and orange bars.

Rs 280 for a lunch deal for two!
The pasta and risotto combo at Sky Cafe, opposite Sterling Cinema in Mumbai... Rs 280 gives you four portions – any two risottos and two pastas off the menu! We’ve had this, and they are really substantial portions, not taster ones, like those ghastly 'personal' pizzas you get when you’re foolish  brave enough to try the four-for-one schemes the pizza guys offer.  Incidentally, Sky Cafe also has a great lunch combo for about Rs 350 per person – you get a soup or starter, a main and a dessert; and the dessert is a whole regular slice of cheesecake, or apple pie, or whatever, from the dessert bar. Don’t know how they do it, but do go before they change their minds.

Rs 595 for dinner for three at WichLatte!
This was dinner at WichLatte two nights ago – broccoli soup in a bread bowl, a hot dog, spicy fries, a Caesar salad with chicken, a Tuscan Verde panini and a pasta with pesto – for Kevin, Zach and me. These guys have quietly dropped their prices, which is nice, because we always have the soup, the Caesar salad, the pasta...

Rs 500 onwards for digital magazine subscriptions

US $ 19.99 for 12 issues

Buying foreign magazines here is never cheap. Each issue starts at Rs 350 at the least, which will often make you dump it back on the rack. But digital versions are very affordable. I’ve been reading magazines on for years, ever since I discovered that O The Oprah Magazine costs about Rs 1,000 online for 12 issues, and Rs 550 per print edition in local bookstores. Consider this too: National Geographic: about Rs 1,000 fo 12 issues; Every Day with Rachel Ray: about Rs 550 for 12 issues. Once you buy a magazine subscription on Zinio, an intimation pops up in your inbox each month to let you know a new issue has arrived, and you can then read it online or download it to read it offline. You can also print features off it, send select pages to friends and family, and flag off stuff to Facebook and Twitter. Some magazines are also optimised for mobile devices. You do need to have a fairly good internet connection to not get too frustrated waiting for each issue to load. Choose the USA option at the top right-hand corner of the site for the best mags.

US $ 19.99 for 15 issues

Not all the magazines are cheap, though. There are still some very pricey options on Zinio, but even those would be cheap as chips compared to paying for the print version. A Zinio subscription may also be a great gift, if you are sure the recipient would like a digital magazine.

My faves on Zinio have been O The Oprah Magazine, Redbook and Woman’s Day – guess the influence of the years at Femina will never be totally eradicated – but I am considering the beading magazines; maybe this year, I will get back to jewellery making.  

Rs 25 for a Secret-Santa-through-the-year gift

We like to factor in regular little bouts of excitement at the Lonely Planet Magazine India office. Okay, so I lie: actually every day is a bit like living in an amiable madhouse in that office, but it is a nice madness, and it is our madhouse. Anyway, we regularly have Secret Santa Mondays or Fridays – we pick chits a few days earlier, usually forget all about them, and run helter-skelter on the day to get a gift. The price limit is about Rs 25, and there are suddenly a lot of 'sales' because we can’t resist buying this or that for someone and it certainly is not Rs 25, and a lot of footfalls in the dollar store down in the VT subway. Still, lots of fun – and this photograph has some of the more interesting things that came up this last Secret Santa. Best of all is the collage-calendar Alisha made me with photos from Zach's Charlie Chaplin-themed birthday last year, and borders from the frame blog post on this site. Thank you, sweetheart! Love it!


1 comment:

  1. Super stuff Prima! Will definitely be stocking up on the lollies :) love love


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