‘I don’t mind waiting until things go on sale’
Kiran Manral, author of The Reluctant Detective, tells us how she saves on everything from movies to clothes, about Hypercity's weekend discounts, and what she won’t cut costs on.
Kiran Manral, author, blogger and the founder of India Helps answers our three money-saving questions. Her tricks include restricting herself to the morning show at movie theatres, shopping for clothes only while they’re on sale and waiting for a discount to buy electronics.
What are your money-saving tricks?
When it comes to movies, I am firm about the early morning show. I refuse to spend the evening rates for tickets, and never, never, never on a weekend evening. Eating out, I prefer to go to restaurants that offer value for money buffets over a la carte. I am also quite particular about checking out what offers are on at any place we’re at before ordering, if it is a restaurant that has no buffet. I avoid fine dine places unless it is a celebration of sorts, and I can justify the splurge to myself.
I’m not much of an online shopper, but when I do, I make sure I buy only if the item is heavily discounted, the same for tech stuff. I don’t mind waiting until things go onto sale to buy them. In fact I think I shop for clothes, bags and shoes only when they’re on sale.
Even for groceries, I buy at Hypercity, shop from a list, and am not brand loyal. I will pick up whatever is value for money or on offer. I will pick up even something like a two for the price of one, and carefully check out the weekend offers on groceries, some of them are really worth it. I consider it blasphemy to pay full price for anything. I also go into a store with a clear idea of what I want, and rarely deviate from it.
What was the last great deal you got?
I must say the weekend offers at Hypercity. It was almost a trolley full of groceries for Rs1500, which was a steal. I think it included five litres of cooking oil, five kilos of rice, tur dal, Cookies, two kilos of sugar, a bottle of Slice, Besan, Surf powder and a lot more stuff I can’t recall right now.
Is there a product or service you don’t mind paying a premium for?
Make up. I don’t mind paying extra for good quality products. They last longer, look better and you can be sure your skin isn’t going to react badly. I’m also a little finicky about the hotels I stay at when I’m on vacation, I don’t mind splashing out if I’m ensured a certain level of cleanliness, comfort and facilities I’m comfortable with.