Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, New Habits...

New Year, New Habits... 
But so far I'm not sure I have GOOD habits yet.

I did not get through the first day without placing an order from Amazon.  But it was a learning experience.
It was from Amazon UK, and I was looking for British TV shows, mostly old stuff.  I know that the video formats are different. You need a player that will play region 2 -.  But if you buy a series here it costs $120, and the same thing from them is $29 after all the math and currency conversions, then that is a huge difference in price.  And shipping is $1.64 per item, plus a $3 per order charge.  So shipping doesn't kill you.
And you can buy a dvd player that will play that region for $40, but I figured out that if I entered a silly code, my current dvd player would play anything from overseas.  I tested the code - it works.

Two days later, I ordered more from the same place.  But there is nothing more that I want now.  Seems like it can take nearly a month to get here.  But for the price difference, I don't mind.

I learned that even the prices contain their VAT tax, which is 20%, so when you check out, suddenly the bill is 20% less.  So after shipping, you are still ahead of the cart prices and exchange rate numbers.
I was pricing Downton Abbey - from them seasons 1-3 are $29.  Ordering it here, and seasons 1& 2 are $45, and season 3 is another $34, so $79 total.  That is a huge markup to just buy is here.  So I ordered it from there.  It's sort of an odd time because it has not aired here yet, but I have already seen it, and the Christmas special that won't air here till March??? 
I am going to just have a couple of days and watch the whole thing straight through.  They keep talking about edited versions, but I'm not sure if that is the UK or US versions that are edited... I don't know if the extras are the same or not...

So that was the first thing I learned this year.  Also that shopping online while in bed from the e-reader is probably not really a good idea...  but in the end, for me, it was a really good deal for what I bought.  And a bonus to figure out that my player will play everything I bought without fussing. 
In the end I ordered 10 the first time, and 10 the second time.  I ordered only from Amazon items, even if I had to pay slightly more, but they are having a film and tv sale this month, most of the time, they were the cheapest, but I didn't want to get involved with third party vendors shipping to me overseas.  Something like 131 individual dvds total, and because some of the sets were large and complete series of the shows it made sense to do this.  Mixing in other things would have upped the shipping costs.  But it might be something to consider.  It really is not different from shopping here.

So that was breaking my first resolution of trying to spend less...
But since then I have actually been good.  I have looked, but not bought anything for two whole days...
I don't want to become that woman where shopping is her life, and shopping becomes the entertainment.
No no no...  so two days may sound crazy, but it is sort of a gut check to make sure that wasn't what was going on...

Then second new thing I have learned this year...
The local library offers e-reader free magazines.  You get the app, and it is available for computers too, pick out your favorite magazines, and you can download them, and read them offline-
It doesn't toss out the old issue, so if you get a little behind in your reading, no big deal.
It is common popular magazines, all the ones that show up in doctors offices for example, and without naming names.  The library seems to decide what the magazines will be from the service, so one city library might be different from another.  But I was hoping for Readers Digest, O, Redbook, or Good Housekeeping type magazine, a quilting magazine... and they had all those and more.  Free to library members.
So if you haven't checked what your library offers lately, you might be missing out what is available.
There is no limit, no return date, just really free magazines, or at least the electronic versions of the magazines.

My library also offers free music downloads.  3 songs per week.
And it isn't just old stuff, or the version you never heard of...
It is stuff from the radio, and if you want the whole album, 3 songs a week would take a while...
But most things, you only want this song, or that song.  Actually, I fall into a pretty good age group for this, I'm too old to know what the hottest things are, and so I'm not really looking for those anyway.  And I'm young enough that I still catch some silly song just often enough that I want it, but don't want to pay $1 per song to order it from the stores...  So this is perfect.  And it is completely legal.
Again, just something offered by the library, free mp3 downloads of popular music.
So I hadn't been to the library for years, and in the last year, I started looking at what they have again, and it is lots more than books...
And of course there are still regular books, audio books, dvds, cds, and e-books, but they are offering more.  So if you haven't looked for a while, check out your local library again or look them up on-line to see what they are offering.
End of my public service announcement. 
But a years worth of magazines, a years worth of mp3's, all adds up over the entire year...

And all this learning about new things just makes my day fly by. 
I am trying to learn NOT to pick up the e-reader.  I check for the free things once a day, and then at night I grab it at bedtime.  I bought one movie for $4, Gone with the Wind, because I wake up in the middle of the night and watching a movie will put me back to sleep, and the idea of having Rhett Butler in my bed just seemed too good to pass up... and if the civil war won't put me back to sleep, then I don't know what will...
So far I can't stay awake long enough to get to see Rhett...  so it is working well.

Only time will tell if my habits will change. 

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