Friday, May 29, 2009

New Zealand Online Book Stores - (Where to buy books online!)

Books, I love buying them from the Internet, you know what you are getting and there are no fears of wrong colour, size, or poorly made products.

Now that the NZ dollar has fallen back down to reasonable levels, purchases from Amazon are no longer as cost effective and most bargains are lost with the extra postage costs.

So what options are available for Buying Local, who has competitive prices and what are the shipping rates like?

I've picked two books. One is my favourite comfort read and the other is a fairly in depth comparison of scientific research and data on nutrition. Both have affected my life in a significant way. I'll find the cheapest version of each at the websites for very brief idea of prices.

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy)Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health

Be sure to check shipping times on the books you select, a lot of these stores work from catalogues and do not have all the books in stock. You could end up waiting for 2-3 weeks if you select a book not currently in stock that has to be shipped internationally.

Most retailers off a variety of ways to pay, credit card, credit card via phone, online banking, cheques and even paypal are available at some retailers.

Another thing to check for before you buy is contact details, does the website have an free call number and an address listed. Trustworthy companies will have no qualms about publishing these details and although most problems can be sorted out with an email or two, it still doesn't beat talking to a real live person.

Fishpond books
I've bought a few books from here, prices seem competitive, lots of specials. I like the emails, I get a few, but every second one seems to be a $10 discount voucher for anything on my wish list. So sign up and get a Wish list!Free shipping for spending over $50 otherwise $5.99. States if UK or USA version. Affiliate Program and credit for writing reviews. Gift wrapping $5.95
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $38.23
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $18.97

The Nile
Nice slick looking website, free shipping on orders over $50 otherwise $5 per order. Gift wrapping available for $3.95. Wish list.

Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $39.99
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $21.99

Seek Books
Basic but usable site. Gift wrapping $3. Shipping $6.50

Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $56.87
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $22.74

Has some very competitive prices. Free delivery on orders over $40, or $3.95 flat rate. Wish list, affiliate program with good rates, seems to be broken at the moment though. Points scheme, points = $ and can be spent on your next purchase. Price matching. Gift wrapping $2.95. Phone number is 0800 and displayed prominently on the site. Customer service seems to be the focus.
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $33.85
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $23.46

Good Books
100% of retail profits go to Oxfam so you can feel good about your consumerism! Free delivery. The books are all sourced from a UK distributor so may take a short while to reach New Zealand. The idea of buying something for yourself while giving to charity at the same time is brilliant!
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $43.42
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $18.17

The Mighty Ape
Previously a gaming and DVD store, now stocks books as well. Wish list. Free shipping on orders over $50. Shipping varies on individual items $4.50 for the Gary Taubes book. Request a better price option. Loyalty "Banana"points scheme earned through writing reviews and making purchases - points can be used to buy limited items. Has a mobile phone version of the site for shopping on the go. Gift wrapping is the most expensive $7, Gift note $3.
The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes $36.99 (Different title same book)
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $22.99

Whatever - Books are "Not available online, please contact your local store for price and availability" Okay so they claim to be revamping the site, wait and see I guess.

Real Groovy
They almost went bust, but now they're back. Free shipping on orders over $30. Affiliate program. Real groovey "club"Points System 200pts = $20 off next purchase ($5 to join). Wishlist. Packing slip with price excluded available.
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes $29.99
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb $17.95

Specialist bookstores of note

Techbooks - Technical books
Arts Centre Bookshop New Zealand books

Worth a Mention

The Book Depository - UK site, free international shipping.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

New Pac n' Save Open in Wairau

The north shore is a pretty calm place. The most scandalous thing thats been happening here is the "Supermarket Wars." Two rivals battle it out for customers and will go to insane length like court cases and appeals that take 20 years. All over biscuits and cheese. Groceries must be big bucks.

1)staff on minimum wages
2) ?????
3) profit!!!!

I got a free coffee so that was all good, it was a bit of a nightmare getting into the supermarket, they've created a bit of a bottle neck with the fruit and vege area. And usual supermarket nonsense of having to follow the ONE route paste the butchery and the bakery and the fruit and vege and the "value aisle" before you can start wandering off in your own direction to find the shampoo and conditioner.

But I doubt I will ever supermarket shelves so fully stocked, ah it was food shopping glory. Too bad I only wanted shampoo and conditioner. Oh and an impulse buy of deodorant. One can never be too deodorised.

So thats my Sunday morning thrill, I need to get out more.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Easy cooking is easy!

Apparently you can cook whole meals in the rice cooker. I got the idea from a Bento food blog

Add rice and water as usual, then throw the following on top, sliced chicken breast, 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce, A big massive pile of mushrooms ( I used brown field and oyster mushrooms).
If you look carefully you can see that I used free range chicken! Yes, chickens that got to go outside before being murdered for my benefit.

Turn rice cooker on, return when rice is cooked and stir the chicken and mushrooms through.

Its delicious, tastes like a mushroom risotto but without all the hard work.