Grownups Just Wanna Have Fun (but for less)
It seems ironic, doesn’t it – just when we at last attain ‘senior’ status (and all the delicious free time that goes with it), we often find we’re lacking the very funds that can help us enjoy our newfound lifestyle. That’s certainly one way of looking at it. In a new serious of ‘Super-Stretcher’ articles, Grownups takes you on a grand tour of all that you can enjoy on a pension – and for a lot less than you thought!
The experience of dining out is as much about ambiance as it is about food. Let’s face it though, some of the least expensive dining establishments are, sadly, also those with little to be desired in terms of service or décor. But if you’re thinking up-market restaurants are completely out of your league, think again.
Thanks to a great on-line restaurant booking site called First Table, you can now enjoy paying for just one meal instead of two, when you dine with a friend. Even better, if you want to invite up to 3 guests, 2 of them will dine free (drinks are not included in these offers). All it takes is a $10 non-refundable booking fee, paid up-front.
To give you plenty of restaurant choice, these special ‘Early Bird’ offers are always best planned ahead, so why not dive onto the site, and secure a table for the unmovable feasts you know are coming up – think birthdays, anniversaries, retirement celebrations and more. You can slot in other, unplanned dining, at your leisure.
First Table is the work of Kiwi, Mat Weir, and its website is never overwhelming. In fact, the booking system will suit everyone from the tech-savvy to the beginner, and the experience is entertaining in itself as you take your time scrolling through the menus of the many different eateries at your service.
Free at-home movie nights
Most of us have got our heads around Netflix (or the younger members of our family have done it for us!). What you may not realise, is there are a whole raft of at-home movie sites you can subscribe to, and they almost all come with a free trial period. This means you can enjoy weeks of movies without paying a cent.
Many of us are put off signing up for free trials because we fear we’ll forget to unsubscribe when the trial period comes to its conclusion, and that the next month’s movie bill (and the next’s!) will be added to our credit card. Here’s the trick! Use a diary to remind you of what site you need to unsubscribe from, and when.
If you visit your email on a daily basis, use a digital diary reminder, such as that offered by Google Calendar (you can learn about Google Calendar for beginners on You Tube). You could also set an appointment on your cell phone calendar with a reminder alarm so you don’t forget to look at it! If digital isn’t your thing, use a hard-copy diary or bright post-it note, and magnet it to your fridge, or some other place where it will act as a daily reminder.
At-home movie sites with free trial periods include Acorn TV (great for lovers of British movies and TV shows), DOCPLAY (for documentary-lovers), Neon, and Amazon Prime.
Open mic nights
Cover charges don’t come cheap these days. In fact, they can be enough to put you off venturing outside your own home for entertainment. If this sounds like you, consider another option – open mic nights. Open mic nights are an opportunity for new musicians to showcase their talents to a friendly audience. The gigs usually take place in cafes and bars, and are normally free of charge when you buy a drink (or a hat might be taken around at some time during the evening). While you won’t be listening to professionals, you will have a wide range of entertainers, and some of them may be the stars of the future (Ed Sheeran and Tracey Chapman were ‘discovered’ after playing at open mic nights!). To check out forthcoming open-mic nights in your regions, go to https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/open-mic-jams/events/auckland/upcoming/price/free. From there, filter your search to take in your own local area.
If you enjoyed this, our first ‘Super-stretcher’ article, be sure to keep an eye out for next months’ instalment, where we take you on an up-close look at how to save while you socialise (because who doesn’t want to go out and about to meet up with friends!).