June 10, 2008
3 Gems That Will Change Your Life
Everyone has been complaining recently about this “interest rate” thing and how it affects something called the “Economy”. Basically what it seems to mean is that food prices are on the increase. Thus, seeing as we’re in June (the month of giving) I’ve decided to share some of my money-saving tips with you – tips I live by, tips which ensure I am never short of a R5 or two.
Read on and be amazed by my financial and fiscal wisdom:
1) Never Pay For Lunch
Whenever I’m feeling peckish and need a bite to eat, I’ll pop over to the nearest Pick n Pay for a custard doughnut or Danish pastry. I’ll usually collect it from Tasniema, who works at the bakery, mozy on over to the stationery section, and casually snack on my treat whilst browsing for HB pencils and cellotape. The trick is to be very nonchalant about the whole thing, most people won’t give you a second glance if you give off the right vibe. I usually have pastries or pies for lunch but will occasionally request some hot chips or chicken as well. That is a bit tricky though, as ideally you need to be sitting down to eat that meal, which is hard as there are no real sitting area in the store. It can be done, but we will leave that for another chapter, so stick to the easy-to-eat meals for now. This of course also applies to soft-drinks, although I tend to stick to drinking yoghurts.
2) Eat Out Often
And by “eat out”, I mean at “friends and family”, and by “often”, I mean “every day”. I regularly make unscheduled visits to my mom and dad, uncles, aunts and extended family round about dinner time, which is usually at about 6pm give or take. Family members will usually be too polite to tell you to leave and so will invite you to share their meal, if somewhat reluctantly. Friends don’t really feel that genetic obligation and theoretically may ask you to leave, but South Africans are generally pretty afraid of confrontation so if you’re slightly aggressive, you shouldn’t really have any problems with them either. What they may try and do is prolong the serving of dinner until you leave. They will try and make you leave through the clever use of boring small talk and the refusal to engage in conversation with you, which will result in long periods of silence. Although a clever ploy on their part, the secret is to remain patient and stick it out, as their resolve tends to be pretty fragile and they will eventually break and offer you some chicken and beans.
3) Never Pay For The Bill
If you do find yourself dining at a restaurant, don’t panic. Depending on who you’re dining with, you have two options. If it’s a spouse or loved one, NEVER ask for the bill, let them do it, the waitron is trained to deliver the bill to the person who has requested it, always remember that. Once the bill is on the table, put on your Thabo Mbeki demeanour and deny it’s existence, carry on with the mundane conversation you were having about your fascination with your teeth and the names you have given them. Eventually, the spouse will be threatening harakiri and will gladly get the bill in order to leave. If you’re dining with a group of friends, again, NEVER ask for the bill. Once it has arrived though and they start calculating the costs, announce in a breezy fashion that you are going to the men’s room. Then leave. NB – This last approach may lead to a lack of future invites from this particular group of friends but if you’re on Facebook, you will know that there are hundreds of other friends you can dine with.
Sticking to these principles, one can easily save hundreds – if not thousands – of rarnt every week, meaning that when Tito Mobweni decided to “raise the interest rates” again, you can just blithely look up from your newspaper and go, “meh”.
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