Showing posts with label frugaltips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugaltips. Show all posts

How to EARN money while you SHOP

How to EARN money while you SHOP

It's inevitable...even the frugal-est of people sometimes have to go on a shopping spree...but that doesn't mean that you can't do it smart.  If you've read my post about splurging for an Apple MacBook, then you'll know that I've found a way to get a big discount on my purchase.  What I didn't disclose in that post was that I also found another cost saving by signing up to Ebates Canada.


Is Ebates a scam you ask ? Really, this site seems too good to be true, but after reading through their website and have seen commercials on TV, they looked pretty legit.  Ebates is a "cash back shopping" and has been around since 1998.  They've only really started in Canada in 2012 and have international counterparts in the US, Korea, China and Russia.  If you're still skeptical, they have good reviews from highly regarded organizations like Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, CTV News ..etc.. If you're STILL not convinced, they have  Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

It's rare that there are any deals you can from Apple, but Ebates offer 1% cash back from Apple Canada... which is a lot when you consider how expensive Apple products are !

Here's what my cashback looked like from my last purchase:

Ebates Canada Apple

It really does work !!


Not buying from Apple ? Don't worry, they have tons of other well know brands you can shop from.

Ebates Canada Shop

It's true you can actually earn money while you shop ! So lesson of the day is just because you want to save money doesn't mean you can't buy anything anymore....you just need to shop smarter!


Will you be using Ebates to shop smarter?

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Grocery prices - what you need to know to stay on budget !

Product Review of Brooklyn Olde Lantern

Do you ever do your groceries based on what you want to eat ? I think most people do, but those impulse buys at the grocery stores might cost you if you're not careful and you stock up on "sales".  When we do our groceries we always have a reference price in our head to makes sure that we're in fact are buying something on "sale".  It doesn't happen very often, but some groceries might mark up their price and then slash it go make it seem like you are getting a big discount.

So how do you know or get a reference price to compare ?  I went to Google and found this list from Statistics Canada
Unit2015 PricePrice in Lbs
Round steak1 kg18.418.35
Sirloin steak1 kg21.289.65
Prime rib roast1 kg28.1612.77
Blade roast1 kg15.947.23
Stewing beef1 kg15.827.18
Ground beef, regular1 kg12.295.57
Pork chops1 kg12.935.86
Chicken1 kg7.413.36
Bacon500 g6.84
Wieners450 g4.37
Canned sockeye salmon213 g4.71
Homogenized milk1 l2.49
Partly skimmed milk1 l2.34
Butter454 g4.61
Processed cheese food slices250 g2.88
Evaporated milk385 ml1.81
Eggs1 dz3.28
Bread675 g2.83
Soda crackers450 g2.73
Macaroni500 g1.52
Flour2.5 kg5.12.31
Corn flakes675 g4.91
Apples1 kg3.731.69
Bananas1 kg1.670.76
Grapefruits1 kg2.731.24
Oranges1 kg3.26
Apple juice, canned1.36 l2.1
Orange juice, tetra-brick1 l4.19
Carrots1 kg1.880.85
Celery1 kg2.771.26
Mushrooms1 kg8.383.80
Onions1 kg1.770.80
Potatoes4.54 kg5.552.52
French fried potatoes, frozen1 kg2.721.23
Baked beans, canned398 ml1.34
Tomatoes, canned796 ml1.67
Tomato juice, canned1.36 l2.37
Ketchup1 l3.47
Sugar, white2 kg2.811.27
Coffee, roasted300 g6.41
Coffee, instant200 g6.74
Tea (bags)724.46
Cooking or salad oil1 l4.12
Soup, canned284 ml1.02
Baby food128 ml0.94
Peanut butter500 g3.57
Fruit flavoured crystals2.25 l1.74
Soft drinks, cola type2 l1.99
Soft drinks, lemon-lime type2 l1.9
Paper towels (rolls)22.59
Facial tissue2002.6
Bathroom tissue (rolls)42.6
Shampoo300 ml3.88
Deodorant60 g4.4
Toothpaste100 ml2.45
Cigarettes20095.42

I hope you find this list helpful ! What other methods help you stay on budget?

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How to make a Sous-Vide Cooker !

How to make a Sous-Vide Cooker !



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZK0-C3-alU


Want to make a juicy steak?? without all the mess and the timing stress to get the perfect cook ?  Well, the handy-guy in the household found a way to make a cheap sous-vide cooker to cook our food - saves time and tastes great !



Here's a list of materials if you want to get started on this project:










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Get 50% off or 2 for 1 when you eat out in Vancouver, BC !


Product Review of Brooklyn Olde Lantern

BiteBC Vancouver

Just found this awesome app that for all the people that eat out in Vancouver ! As a young working couple, we know how hard it is to cook sometimes..and then our solution would be eat out all the time..but that also takes a toll on our bank account - that's why we always look out for deals in the city, but sometimes they just end up being pub food.  With this app we are hopeful that it will help us find other affordable restaurants !

We got a chance to ask BiteBC a few questions :



What is BiteBC?


Bite BC is a diners members club in the form of a new mobile app that allows you to enjoy 50% discounts (or 2 for 1 meals) at restaurants in Vancouver – all year, an unlimited number of times.


What's the story behind it?


As a company, Bite BC’s mission is to not only help restaurant guests save money, but also to help support local restaurant businesses by encouraging people to dine out more and enjoy more of what Vancouver has to offer. It’s a win-win situation!



How does this save me money?


Here’s how it works: after downloading the Bite BC app, you instantly become part of a large-scale diners club that allows you to locate all participating restaurants and bars, all through the app. Within a matter of taps, you can then make a booking and enjoy delicious food for half the price.Unlike with coupon competitors, Bite BC can be used almost any day of the year, as many times as you want. If you’ve fallen in love with a meal or enjoy treating your friends, you can enjoy those discounts without an expiration date or rushed “one time only” kind of deal.


How much does it cost?


a 3 month trial is free after which you can choose to purchase a 6 month ($29) or 12 month ($49) membership


Download the App !



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8 Phone apps to earn some cash !





There is an app for that ! Here are a few apps that can put some money in your pocket !


1) EasyShift


How it works:

Youíre asked to review Shift instructions and product specs, while collecting information in stores. With this redesign, the focus was to make that experience even more effortless. Everything from finding to completing Shifts needed to feel fluid, responsive, and easy to understand.

Earn cash anywhere.
Find quick jobs at local stores and shops.

Take photos of products, check prices, and review promotions. Itís as easy as shopping.
http://easyshift.tumblr.com/

Earning potential: $3- $15
Payments will be made via PayPal and can be processed within 48 hours.


2) App Trailers


How it works:
Preview trailers about apps and earn points while youíre at it. Help the app makers improve their app trailers by sharing honest opinions about what they need to add to complete the trailer.

Earning potential: You get paid half a cent for each video you watch. For trying out a demo (of an app), you can get paid between 9 cents to a dollar. Joining via a friendís referral code may give you a head start of 50 points.


3) Iconzoomer


What to do: Take photos of what is asked in your assignment: your lunch, your drink, or the shoes you are wearing, and earn money for each snap. Share a comment about the snapshot (if you got a feedback you want the manufacturer the know, this is your chance), and thatís it.

Take photos of food and fashion products, send your photos in to the Icon Zoomer developers and designers, and earn PayPal cash for completing assignments.

Read more: http://stylecaster.com/money-making-mobile-apps/#ixzz3Rylod8FJ

Earning Potential: Average Pay: $5+


4) Gigwalk


What You Do: Choose a gig or small errand around your town to complete.

Earning Potential: $10 to $15 an hour.




5) Shopkick


What You Do: Get "kicks" (points) just for walking into a store! You can trade those points in for rewards. Also, you can see which discounts are happening at any store you're in.

Earning Potential: $5+


6) TaskRabbit


What You Do: Choose between tons of random tasks, from moving furniture to taking photographs.

Earning Potential: $5 to $50


7) GymPact


What to do: Exercise at the gym and earn money. Once youíve made a week-long pact on GymPact, you get paid for every day you go, and you have to pay for every day you skip. Those who get to the gym to exercise get to claim their monies from those who didnít!

Earning Potential: Youíre getting $0.50 to $0.75 per workout which must lasts a minimum of 30 minutes. And you get to follow your exercise regime, and keep fit and healthy.


8) ESPN Streak For The Cash


What to do: Think you know your sports team? Then name your predictions for each game and make sure you get the longest winning streak of the month. To make it tougher, you have to make the call for 10 different sports and maintain your streak.

Earning Potential: The longest winning streak for a team or a player will win a monthly grand prize of $50,000.


Do you have any other apps that you use ? Comment below !

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Why you should buy refurbished Apple products


I recently was searching for a MacBook Air and was discouraged by the fact that it was SO expensive !  I was really hoping to get one because I was finally tired of lugging around my heavy laptop around ( plus side was that it had a large screen!).  The battery was next to nothing and some keys on the keyboard was starting die on me.

So there I was at the Apple store gawking at the slim and battery efficient MacBook Airs, wondering where I can get the best deal from for getting an Apple product- since they're luxury products, they rarely go on sale.  I obviously considered buying second hand and looking on Craigslist and Ebay, but they're a hit or miss sometimes.  I need more reassurance if I'm going to fork out $1000 for my MacBook.



Then a thought came to me...

What about a refurbished Mac?

I then went on handy Google and searched.

And it was then that i was certain that I should definitely get a refurbished MacBook Air from the Apple store and here's why.


Apple has a really great refurbishment process and policy


The refurbished products come with a new outer shell, new battery, and the same one-year warranty that new hardware comes with. Pretty much a new MacBook, physically and performance wise


A huge saving


You would be able to get a MacBook Air 11" for $950 after taxes and shipping is always free !  That's around $300 of savings - which would be hard to find with Apple products.


Not happy with it ?


You still have the same 14 day return policy as if you are not satisfied with it.


Will you buy refurbished now?

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Our pick for travel plug converter

We travel quite a bit..for work and for leisure...so when it comes to bringing our electronics, we often have to find the right plug converter.  A trusted website that we always buy from is DealExtreme. It has great prices for a variety of accessories.  This has to be the best deal we've seen for a portable universal travel plug - especially compared to the prices at the airport ! It converts for US/UK/EU and AU plugs.

This product works and for that price, it won't hurt your wallet when you lose it during your trip !

If you're planning to buy from DealExtreme, be sure to buy a month ahead of time as they take a while to ship...at least from my experience (but maybe because we also don't pay for express post!)





Looking to buy the product? Click below or this link !




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How to shop Frugally - Consignment Shops in Vancouver


If you're a bargain hunter, then consignment stores are just the thing for you....just as it is for me !  You can usually find lightly used (and still fashionable) items at a consignment store. The difference between a consignment store is that they usually have higher end items and that they usually go through a more thorough selection process before they put it out for sale.

If you're ready to upgrade your wardrobe and save some money, here are some consignment stores in Vancouver.


Fab Finds


Facebook4380 Hastings Street
Burnaby, British Columbia
(604) 563-0503


HOB Hospice Opportunity Boutique


Website (facebook)
4253-4255 Dunbar St.
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 733-1412


Act II Boutique


Website
2599 West 16th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 733-5515


C'Est La Vie


Website
Terms:
3247 Main St
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 876-2284


Community Thrift & Vintage (Menswear & Unisex Apparel)


Website
Online Shop
41 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
604-682-1004




Community Thrift & Vintage (The Frock Shoppe - Ladies & Jewelry)


Website
Online Shop
311 Carrall Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
604-682-8535


Wildlife Thrift Store


Website 
1295 Granville St
Vancouver, British Columbia




Vancouver Prestige Consignment Store Once Again Resale


Website
# 2 1874 West 1st Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 805-6688


Still Fabulous Thrift Shop


Website
Policy
4355 Main Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 566-9136


Mine & Yours


Website
1060 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 620-8885


Turnabout Clothing



3112 West Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia (and various locations)

(604) 731-7762


Front & Company



3772 Main Street, Vancouver
(604) 879-8431
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Happy Hour Vancouver 2015





Looking for a cheap night out in Vancouver? As a frugal couple, the best time to try new restaurants and enjoy a good meal is during happy hours.  We've compiled a list of to try this year! (Check back often as we find more to share with you !)



1. Ebisu on Robson

Ebisu on Robson on Urbanspoon


When: Daily 3-6 PM

What: Oysters, chicken wings, beer

Happy hour menu : Link

Restaurant Link: Link


2. Coast

Coast Restaurant on Urbanspoon

When: Daily 3-6 PM

What: $5 drinks and lots of food

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


3. Gyu-Kaku

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ on Urbanspoon

When: Monday all day, Everyday 11:30AM–6PM, Sun-Thurs 9-10:30 PM, Fri and Sat 9:30-11:30

Restaurant Link: Link


4. Rodney's Oyster House

Rodney's Oyster House on Urbanspoon

When: Mon-Sat 3pm-6pm

What: Oysters

Restaurant Link: Link


5. Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon

When: Daily 4-6 PM

What: Food, wine, beer

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


6. The Keg

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

When: 4-6pm Monday – Friday

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


7. Catch 122

Catch 122 Cafe Bistro on Urbanspoon
When: Tuesday - Saturday 4 pm – 6 pm

What: Food and cocktails

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link




8. Tomokazu

Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant 友和日本料理 on Urbanspoon

When: 4:30pm - 6pm

Restaurant Link: Link




9. Cardero's

Cardero's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

When: Monday - Friday 3 - 6pm

What: Mussels and beer

Restaurant Link: Link


10. Black + Blue

Black + Blue on Urbanspoon

When: 3-6 PM daily

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


11. Alpha Global Sushi and Bar

Alpha Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

When: Mon-Fri 5-6:30 PM, Sat-Sun 4-6:30 PM, Daily 9:30 PM - Close

Restaurant Link: Link


12. Kingston Taphouse and Grille

Kingston Taphouse & Grille on Urbanspoon

When: 4-7 PM daily

What:Appetizers and drinks

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


13. The Pint

The Pint Public House on Urbanspoon

When: Daily 3-6 PM

What: Pints and chicken wings

Restaurant Link: Link


14. Back Forty

Back Forty on Urbanspoon

Check Facebook for updates: Updates (No Menu)


15. Boathouse Restaurant

Boathouse on Urbanspoon

When: 3-6 PM daily

What: Oysters, food, all types of drinks

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


16. Cactus Club Café

Cactus Club Cafe on Urbanspoon
When: Daily 9 PM - Close

What: Drinks starting at $3

Restaurant Link: Link


17. Earls

Earls Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon
When: 3-6 PM daily

What: Food and $3-4 drinks

Happy Hour Menu: Link

Restaurant Link: Link


18. Browns Social House

Browns Socialhouse on Urbanspoon

When: 3-6 PM daily; Sunday and Monday

What: Wings + Dry Ribs $7 ; All pizzas $9

Restaurant Link: Link


Did we missed some ? Let us know in the comment below !

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How to save money with your coins

coinstar coin machine
Ever seen these coin machines?  They’re always at supermarkets and you wonder…are they actually worth it?  Maybe you hate those loose change you have in your pocket and you would rather convert those to bills or credits to be more convenient; or you’ve never bothered to count your coins and would rather not   But have you ever noticed they charge a percentage of your total?  For example, Coinstar, charges 11.9$% per use! That’s almost $12 for every $100 you have!




So what if you don’t want to give a cut of your change to the coin machine? Well, we’ve found a solution! TD Canada Trust actually have a coin machine you can use that charges way less than that (at 8% for non TD customers) and FREE for existing TD customer!  You can read more about the TD Coin Counters here.

Now go and keep your hard earned money!

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My pick for Indoor Bike Trainer Exercise Stand



It’s winter time, and that means that my motivation to work-out is dwindling... I’ve signed up for a gym membership before, but since I’ve been busy and the gym is always too crowded, I thought I should do some exercise at home. I recently saw a magnetic stationary bike stand at someone’s house and thought ..hey, since I have a bike sitting at home, it would probably be pretty cheap to just purchase a bike stand and mount my existing bike on there. And so my search for an affordable stationary bike stand started.


My first place to look was Amazon. I found this one that was orange..(I don’t really have preferences on colour) and it was also a bit cheaper than the blue version.


When I was doing research, I saw that lots of people commented that it was really loud..and when I finally mounted my bike on….it was true.



My problem: I had mountain bike tires which had really deep treads.

My solution: change my bike tires to city bike tires (thin and smaller/no treads).

I also had another problem when I was mounting my bike, and that was because I had a very old bike. One that didn’t have the quick release on the back wheel. Why does this matter? Because one side of the wheel nut will not fit inside the bike stand.




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My solution: change my bike nut to one that had a narrower/longer end. This solved my problem pretty easily.

After modifying my bike to fit the stand, it cost about 30 bucks, which is not too bad consider most of the good stationary bike machines are in the $1000s.


If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable bike stand, I recommend getting this one!


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Planning a Europe trip on a budget

Ever heard of how affordable traveling in Europe was?Well, i finally had the chance to experience it myself..and i have to say..it's true! With enough research and guts, you can find affordable accommodation, food and fun times.



My itinerary was quite packed for the 10 days i was there.


  1. Vancouver -> Frankfurt (lay over of 7 hours!...gave me a chance to explore the city)

  2. Frankfurt -> Florence 

  3. Florence -> Venice

  4. Venice -> Cinque Terre

  5. Cinque Terre -> Pisa

  6. Pisa -> Nuremberg

  7. Nuremberg -> Biberach

  8. Biberach -> Frankfurt/Vancouver

PLANNING


this was actually a very last min trip for me...i decided to go two weeks before i left!  there was a change in my work that made me take this opportunity to travel.  with that said, i was way beyond the three month booking period for cheap airfares, but even with limited discount i got away with some pretty good deals going to Kayak.com.


Kayak


i was on this site a LOT during the planning of my trip, checking out what times would the most optimal for my itinerary.  One trick i learned, that probably saved me some money, was to CLEAR MY COOKIES once in a while.




Air Transat


i also checked Air Transat during my research and ended up getting my flight home with them.  The only catch with Air transat is that they only fly a few days a week.  But if your schedule fits, it can easily get a flight in the $1100 range from the West Coast to Europe.


Ryan air


Famous for their cheap intra-europe flights ! my flight as around 60 euros, which was considered more on the expensive side from Pisa to Nuremberg.  But there are other options for cheaper depending on your flexibility.


Meinfernbus.de


If you're really pinched for your penny or you want to go to smaller towns in Germany, this coach company is a good place to look.


Trains


Trains prove to a reliable form of transportation in Europe too.  I've been on quite a few trains, new and old during my trip...especially in Italy... word of caution, looking at train schedules are a bit tricky in Italy!

Trenitalia - Itally

DB Bahn - Germany


Accommodation


Now that you've planned all logistics, it's time to look for a place to stay !

I went and booked my places on Hostelworld.  It's a pretty trustworthy site, and you can book directly on there.  We've had some pretty interesting places - like camping in Venice!

We also tried Airbnb in Germany and it worked out great.


Know anymore planning tools?  Let me know!


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Dragon boat paddle comparison





dragonboat paddle



I’m only reviewing the ones I have experience with and are at around the same level.

* To be taken into account is also if there is a local sales rep because when your paddle breaks, the sales reps will replace them for free or fix them if it is within warranty.


[ad name="Responsive float 300x250 "]


Burn water Reactor II: ***


- 420g


- Nice feel and weight balance


- The blade is nice and flat, I like the catch better than the Apex counterpart.


- Seen a lot of handles break off. The sales rep fixed those paddles.


Apex Accelerator: ***


- 420g


shape of blade is triangular, the catch doesnt feel as solid as burn water but it is just my feel.


the handle was attached to the shaft with a triangular end which minimizes surface area for epoxy. Handle came off all the time. More recent models have a screw in there so the handle holds better. My handle and several of my teammates’ handles broke off.


- the weight distribution feels odd, it seems the blade is lighter than the burn water so when you hit a wave, you have to resist harder if you don’t want to lose your grip.


[otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-9]


Trivium S12 ****


- 340g


- The paddle is extendable. Now this is a bit overlooked. A lot of first-time buyers are committing to paddle lengths that are shorter than they should be and regret it later on. This takes care of that problem.


- I've broken quite a few paddles in my career. I broke most at the joint between blade and shaft and broke another at the handle. To me, it feels nice to have a paddle that doesn’t have those two weak spots.


The Trivium has handle integrated with the shaft and blade integrated to shaft so there’s less chance of breaking the paddle there on an important race.


- It is more fragile than burn water: if u get hit by somebody behind u, it might leave a dent. Everyone I know who got a trivium swears never to go back to whatever they had before.


- there are also ergonomic handles as an option. not sure it makes a huge difference but because the finish is slightly rounded, you’d get less calus on your palm.


Chinook diablo **


- 545g


chinook's a quick fix.


- Everybody wants to get rid of their chinooks at a later point of their careers to get a higher grade paddle. If u just wanna have something thats better than wood, its a good alternative


- the finish of the blade is bad, the blade chips all over the edge, the entry will get worse and worse.


- The handle is round and a little thinner than the other paddles though and it has small grooves to improve grip. I actually liked that.


Wood:


- Please don’t


- I always see people using these are it is fairly obvious the stroke is different. This makes it very hard for a team to blend. Typically, you will fall behind on the stroke and have slow recovery because it is much heavier than the carbon fibers.


 

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My affordable alternative to Nutella

nutella alternative


I've recently become a huge fan of Nutella (yea I know I live under a rock...) and was hoping to wait for sales to go on before I get my jar ( I don't like to buy things when they're not on sale!) ..but i was down to the very last scoop and had to look for a solution fast!


 [otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-9]



I was wondering if other "no name" brands had the same hazelnut goodness and I found it at Walmart for HALF the price!  I wasn't sure if the taste would be slightly different, but when it's mostly just hazelnut and chocolate..what can go wrong?? So I took the chance and didn't regret it at all!  Usually i would see Nutella for sale for around $7..but this was half the price.


Sometimes brand name just doesn't make a different... what are your thoughts?

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How to stay connected in Europe - Where to get sim cards

It is great having a phone that was manufacture unlocked because it gave me the freedom to use my phone with other sim cards/mobile providers while travelling.




I did a bit of research to see what deals are available in Italy, and i started with TIM.  When getting a sim card and activating it in Italy, you have to give them your passport information.  So in case you don't already carry your passport with you - bring it to the phone store !


[ad name="Responsive float 300x250 "]


I found this post most helpful which summarizes going with either TIM / Vodafone / Wind / Trebelow


The following was taken from Donald Strachan's blog:



TIM


The “TIM per smartphone” option is still one of the best deals around for a visitor. It costs 3€ per week, renewed automatically each week after activation, for 300 Mb of data. If you run out before the week is up, you can renew early (you will receive a text with instructions; reply with SI and you are refilled with data). To activate TIM per smartphone, just text TIMSMART3 ON to 40916 from your TIM line. There are a couple of further options to consider: TIM per smartphone mese (1 Gb valid for up to a month for 10€; text TIMSMARTMESE ON to 40916); and TIM per smartphone 4G (500 Mb at 4G/LTE speeds valid for a week for 6€; text TIMSMART4G ON to 40916).


Note, though, that TIM 4G coverage is limited to some cities only. Most of the country is covered with 3G only (and remote areas, not even that: slow EDGE speeds are still out there).


It is free to activate any of these options, as long as you do it by text or phone. In a TIM store, they will probably charge you an activation fee (often equal to the first payment of your prepaid plan). Here is the online TIM store locator.



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Vodafone Italia


Voda’s data-only add-on isn’t quite as generous as TIM’s: it costs 3€ per week for up to 250 Mb with the Mobile Internet option. However, Voda has fantastic all-in plans for mixing up talk, text and browsing. Vodafone UNLIMITEDoffers unlimited in-country Voda-to-Voda minutes (it costs a further 1€ per day for 200 minutes to anyone, debited automatically from your first call), unlimited texts and 1 Gb of data per month (at 4G/LTE speeds for no extra money, until May 31, 2013) for 11.90€.


Smart 350 is slightly better if you want to do more talking: 350 minutes to everyone, 350 texts to everyone, and 1 Gb of fast data for 9.90€ per month. Note, that’s a promotional price, and may rise after June 9, 2013. (It may not… prices on Voda’s all-in tariffs swing around a lot; check the updated tariff sheet they keep in most Vodafone stores.) Here is the Vodafone online store locator.



Wind


As with Voda, you get the best out of Wind with a minutes plus texts plus Internet plan. The All Inclusive plan has 120 minutes, 120 texts and 1 Gb of Internet for 7€ per month (until June 9, 2013; the regular price is 17€ per month, but after June 9 another promotion will almost certainly come onstream). To activate, text ALL SI to 4033. You can increase that data allowance to 2 Gb for an extra 2.50€ by activating the Internet No Stop add-on. Or make it 10 Gb of Internet by activating the Mega Unlimited add-on for 12€ per month (text UNLIMITED SI to 4033). Here is the Wind store locator.



Tre


The advice on 3/Tre remains the same: this is very much Italy’s “fourth” network. I have struggled in the past to find a signal in remote, rural areas. But if you expect to be city-tripping only, this is worth a look—mostly because the plans are straightforward and cheap. All-In Small costs 8€ per month for 120 domestic minutes, 120 texts and 1 Gb of high-speed Internet. Alternatively, don’t bother with a plan (other than the Power10 .10€/min. pay as you go rate) and addSuper Internet: 5€ for up to 3Gb of Internet valid for 30 days. Here is the Tre/3 store locator.iPad plans in ItalySIMs for iPads, iPad Minis and Android tablets are available on every network. Tre’s plan is the simplest and cheapest: the Super Internet package offers 3 Gb of Internet valid for a month for 5€; Tre SIMs usually cost 7€.Prices and plans on Vodafone and TIM vary with browsing speed (cheaper for standard 3G, pricier for HSPA+ [42.2 Mbps, in theory], priciest for 4G/LTE). TIM has the cheaper “starter” plan: Internet Start offers 2 Gb of browsing within a month for 12€ (plus 5€ activation fee). Pay a little more for Voda’s Internet Go package (20€/month) and you get 5 Gb of traffic at 3G speeds. For heavy use, TIM’s Internet 4G tariff allows up to 15 Gb of traffic in a month, at 4G/LTE speeds, for 35€. TIM and Voda SIMs usually cost 5€.



How do you stay connected when you travel?


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Product Review of Brooklyn Olde Lantern


Well, I'm a sucker for infomercials. But most of the time, when I get the product, it doesn't exactly perform the way I thought it would in my gullible mind.
The Brooklyn Olde Lantern is one such item that I thought would be so great for when I go fix my Tercel and film videos. Its supposed to illuminate the whole room!!!
https://www.oldebrooklynlantern.com/
Well, not really. Lets take a look at this video



 
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So you can see that in close range, its actually not bad, kind of similar to the iPhone that we used for lighting in the second half of the video where the lantern is turned off, the lit area remained about the same brightness. You can also see a lot of dark streaks around which is really not ideal when you're trying to specifically light up an area.

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I was trying to use that to light up particular impasses in my car while trying to replace the oxygen sensor that you will soon see here... it didnt work too well and we ended up using an iPhone because the focused light on long range just ends up being better for specificity.
The build of the lantern also feels very cheap. The lantern is pretty light as a consequence.
The lantern takes C batteries... not super mainstream but i happened to have a lot of them, they seem to be common for lights.
Still, I can imagine this being really cool when we go camping or something because in pitch dark, it'd be enough to light up the wider area and not have to flash around looking for where you're going.
I bought this for 17.98$ including shipping, which is really not too bad. Now you have to be very careful when ordering this on their website because you start by entering your credit card number and then they make tons of sweet offers that are so long to read you might just see the words FREE and HALF PRICE and MORE POWERFUL or PREMIUM. But whatever you say yes to, THERE ARE NO CONFIRMATION PAGE, you will be buying those as you click yes!!!
So I somehow ended up buying 2 and it turned out i bought 3, and i called to cancel so i'd get 2, but they said my order was not in the system yet and to call back tomorrow. I saw Ok. Next day, when I called, they  tell me the order has been shipped and that they can't retract it. After bitching a little about how the guy said it would be ok o call next day, they told me they'd refund me 15$ and so I accepted because, well, its not too bad of a deal.

So bottomline, be very careful when ordering this piece.


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