Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips

Sony Bravia


Bargain Betty has finally weakened and sold out to the God of wide-screen TVs. I’ve avoided this moment for a long time as I really don’t believe in replacing things that ‘ain’t broke’. My old TV certainly wasn’t broken.  What once looked like a large TV, however, had shrunk. Subtitles and weather information appeared off the screen.

To make the purcahse less painful I have been saving up points on my True Rewards credit card.  I get these points according to what I spend on the card.  Yet I never ever pay interest. So the points are money for nothing.

That, however, is no reason:

a: to treat the points as a bonus. They could have been used to buy a supermarket or petrol voucher, and therefore transferred into cash

b: to buy a more expensive TV than I would otherwise. For the record, I bought the cheapest Full HD 40+ inch TV I could find.

Bargain Betty’s children are very happy.

Dualit toaster


An email from a work contact:

Hi Diana

I’ve been looking at buying a Dulait toaster for several years but despite the weak Pound the retail price in NZ never changes.

I’ve looked on-line and virtually all the outlets charge the same price:

Milly’s Kitchens        $499
Pantry Magic            $499
Choice Catering $403
Award Appliances        No price, but I think they are the importer so its propbably close to $499.

Then I look on-line at O’Gormans in the UK and its GBP 102 or NZ$214, and for UK customers they do a next day delivery serive for GBP4:60.

It’s another example of NZ consumers getting a raw deal.

So what does “Bargain Betty” have to say??


Bargain Betty says: yet another example of the classic Kiwi rip-off. You really do need to shop around – worldwide for things.

Repair not replace


I’m a great believer in repairing items rather than replacing them.  It’s often surprisingly easy.  Here are my thoughts on the subject, including strategies, as published in the Herald on Sunday:

Bargain Betty: Repair not replace a cost saving mantra

Arrgh. My keyboard has died, I bleated on Facebook a few weeks ago.

Immediately I hit to find the cheapest replacement and started drooling at the sleek lines of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 – the latest version of my “dead” one.

In my mind I’d almost made the purchase when my Bargain Betty alter ego kicked in. A cursory inspection of my old keyboard indicated one of the gaggle of 7-year-old boys who hijack my home office to play Mathletics had dropped something sticky between the keys. Nothing more than a nail file was needed to “fix” the 10-year-old keyboard.

From a consumer behaviour point of view, I was……..

Gadgets and widgets at bargain prices


Shop around for gadgets at bargain basement prices.

My latest article in the NZ Herald:

Drop me in the back of a Dick Smith store and I can wile away an hour or two.

Dick Smith and its cousin, Jaycar Electronics, are jam-packed with useful bits and bobs for your camera, phone or computer. But they’re not cheap. If you’re smart you can pay 50 per cent less for many of those widgets and gadgets.

Read more

The errant keyboard


The spacebar on my Microsoft Natural Keyboard “died” yesterday.  After the initial problem of having to swap the kids’ keyboard with mine so I could continue working, I got to looking at replacements.

It was only after discovering that I’d have to shell out at least $100 to get a new one that I started questioning whether I really needed it. Lo and behold I found that one of the seven-year-old boys that hangs out in my office most afternoons had dropped something sticky down between the keys.  In a jiffy, I’d cleared it with my trusty nail file and now the keyboard, which has outlived three computers, is back in business. Not a cent spent.

STOP PRESS.  Someone commented below that you can put a keyboard in the dishwasher.  I didn’t believe this. But lo and behold there are lots of links:

Cost of computers


My Bargain Betty article for the Herald on Sunday about the cost of computers has drawn some interesting feedback. It seems like plenty of readers share my experiences

Computers are expensive beasts, and every few years you need a new one because the old one doesn’t have enough grunt.

Most people make a beeline for the likes of The Warehouse, Harvey Norman or Dick Smith, assuming the deals on offer are cheap. More fool them, is Bargain Betty’s attitude.

My last three computers came from pokey, cluttered, dingy shops. Why? Because they offer more bang for your buck – in my case I saved $200 a pop. And before you ask, I can speak geek, thanks to a couple of years writing for PC Week magazine.

To read the rest of the article: