Sunday, December 23, 2012

Junk Mail Bargains: festive edition. I've been meaning to do a pre-Christmas edition of junk mail bargains for the last few days but only now have I actually sat down to do it.

Today I went Christmas shopping in the Deep North. Yesterday I meant to go to IKEA but I got on the wrong bus and ended up in North Balwyn. I trusted the journey planner function on my Metlink app, which is usually quite reliable. I am just now cross-matching the published timetable with the timestamps on my tweets, and I feel that the bus that came along was not the one scheduled – maybe it was early or late.

Then today I meant to go to Northlands, but I couldn't resist dropping in on Savers too. But when you use public transport, 'dropping in' is a relative term. On weekends, buses leave the Mill Park Stables shopping centre every frickin' hour. I missed one by just a minute or two, so rather than bake in the sun, I got on another bus that took a very circuitous route, but was air-conditioned. I enjoyed seeing parts of Melbourne I haven't visited before, or have only driven past in a car.

Here is a map depicting the places I visited yesterday and today, with some commentary. Zoom in for more detail.

View A Christmas Public Transport Adventure in a larger map

But anyway. You came for the mad bargains, not my rhapsodising about public transport. So! Let's divvy up the bargains into Pre-Christmas and Post-Christmas.

If you are still looking for some last-minute gifts (especially for a not-very-close relative), Woolworths has some half-price beauty gift packs for $5! I quite like the look of the Floral Collection, which is some rose-scented hand and body wash, and matching lotion, with a pink rose-shaped object that might be a soap. There's also a collection of eight mini nail polishes in a good range of colours, also for $5.

Kmart has women's summer pyjama sets for a ridiculous $5. The top is like a short-sleeved collared shirt, and the pants are 3/4 length. They come in powder blue with white spots, pink with white spots, or white with pink and blue butterflies. And they're sized from 8-10 to 20-22.

And if there's someone you know who takes long showers, you could give them the Bush Shower Radio from Big Dubs – $28. Presumably it's waterproof.

Kmart has some really nifty-looking kitchenware gifts for just $12. Choose from a stainless-steel pasta machine, a spice rack consisting of a sort of carousel with spots to put little round glass jars, a pizza stone with matching guillotine cutter, and a mortar and pestle. I'd go the mortar and pestle.

And if someone you know likes tea but says loose-leaf tea is too much of a drama, Kmart also has little 500ml ceramic teapots in red, white or black, with built-in infusers, for $5. I don't want to be one of those dipsticks in the ads roaming around the store marvelling at the low, low prices, but honestly I was astounded today to see quite nice, plain glass vases at Kmart for $2. I really worry about the conditions of satanic cruelty under which these products must be manufactured.

Did you know that you can buy Bunnings gift cards at Coles? This might be handy if, like me, you have a Coles within walking distance but no Bunningses for miles. Nasty Bunningses!

You probably don't want to buy these, but did you know there are board game versions of The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family? These are $28 from Big Dubs.

An excellent bargain may be had at Coles: a 25L Willow esky for $20 – half price! To put that in perspective, Big Dubs has a 27L Esky brand esky for $48.

A beauty bargain at Coles: Pantene shampoo and conditioner in giant 750ml bottles for $7.50 – that's half price!

Also, I know I go on about BB creams, but the Rimmel BB cream is currently $10 at Woolworths, which is a $3 discount. I've tried this on, and it offers the best coverage of the non-Asian brands I've tried; the others are basically just tinted moisturisers. I also like that it's SPF 25 which is quite high for a cosmetic sunscreen.

And now, here's my Food And Drink Intolerances Corner! If you know someone who can't or won't eat gluten, Ajitas Vege Chips are on special at Coles for $2.15.

And if you are in the market for non-alcoholic wines during the festive season, Woolworths has Fronti red and white varieties on special for $3.89. Appletiser sparkling apple juice is 2 for $5 – a saving of $1.84. And Aldi has Ariel dealcoholised wine in 'rouge' and 'blanc' for $9.99. They also have Paulaner Alcohol Free Beer for $1.79 per 500ml bottle.

Now to the post-Christmas bargains. New Year's Eve is coming up, and both Coles and Woolworths have your disposable revelry totems covered. They work out to the same price but the pack sizes are different. So at Coles you can get 16 sparklers for $1 ($1.49 for 24 sparklers at Woolies); party poppers are $2.39 for 20 at Coles, and $3 for 25 at Woolies (but $1.88 for 20 at Big Dubs so I'd go there); and "party glow bracelets" are $4 for 10 at Coles and Woolies alike.

Coles also has glow sticks for $2 each, which Woolies is clearly refusing to match. Come on. It is not the 1990s any more. However Big Dubs wants $2.97 for 20 of those satisfyingly old-fashioned 'blowouts', which are those things that inflate and unfurl with a sad toot when you blow into them.

Big Dubs' post-Christmas sale includes 30% off pillows, doonas, mattress protectors, etc, and 40% off the Tontine Good Night range. I am in the market for a new pillow so I will be looking into this. And just so that your pet is not left out, there will also be $15 memory foam pet beds.

Maybe you are not lucky enough to be related to a primary school teacher, and you wish you could get documents laminated at the drop of a hat. Well at Big Dubs you can! An A4 laminator is just $15.

Would you like to take up boxing in the New Year? Big Dubs offers a low-stakes entry with $10 Everlast boxing gloves. And to stay hydrated, how about a Sodastream machine for $55 (save $9.88)? They reckon the gas cylinder is good for 60L. When my housemate Paul had one of these, it was a golden era. I drank so much bubbly water.

In other water bargains, Aldi has Brita water filter jugs for $19.99. Holds 1.4L filtered water. I got one of these when Is Not Magazine had the Vesta House office and the water came out of the tap a weird brown colour. It was astonishing how it made the water normal.

Aldi also has cheese knives for $2.99, and a glass multi-function cake stand for $19.99 that has a pedestal and a domed lid. When you tip the pedestal base upside down you can use it as a chip'n'dip; the upside-down lid holds desserts such as trifles; or you can display and store cakes.

And for more entertaining, Aldi has rigid wire domed food covers for $4.99, citronella candles in tin buckets for $4.99, and packs of three jaunty striped tea towels for $4.99.

I am in the midst of a Summer of Champas, and so I was interested to learn that from 29 December Aldi is also selling bottles of Grandin Méthode Traditionelle, which is one of the better French cheapies, for $12.99. You can get it right now at Dan Murphy's for $13.60.

Another Dan Murphy's bargain I can recommend is the Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut, which I (shamefully) bought because the label superficially resembles that of Veuve Clicquot. It's $13.99.

And just finally, you can't beat Aldi's price on blueberries$1.99 for a 125g punnet, which works out to $15.92 per kilo. By contrast, Coles has them for $3.40, or $27.20 per kilo.


I think my top pick is the Aldi multi function cake stand. Genius.
The thing with Aldi is that the catalogue bargains are great but unless you show up on the morning (Boxing Day, in this case) of the day the things go on sale, they're snapped up.
I actually inspected the Woolworths gift sets and they are quite good IRL. The pink object I thought was a soap was actually a rose-shaped foam sponge for applying body wash in the shower.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter