Choose Choovie for cheap movies

In good news this week, Aussie startup Choovie is running a crowd-funding campaign to support their mission of filling up seats in almost-empty cinemas throughout Australia and letting you buy up tickets cheaply through their website or app.

What will Choovie save you? First up: $10 because they give you a credit as a new customer. Then it’s demand-based pricing, so the lower the demand for a cinema seat, the cheaper it is. On their site they list tickets that have sold for as low as $7, but generally they’re between $11 and $14.75 for popular movies.

Even at $14.75 a ticket at a Dendy cinema, you’re saving $7.25 off the regular adult ticket price of $22. (Note that Choovie’s cinemas are mostly independent chains like Dendy.) For a couple who does a movie once a month, that’s a saving of $174 for the year… you just might need to go at an unpopular time.

They’re hoping to partner with the bigger chains after they raise capital through their crowdfunding efforts.

Other ways to avoid being gouged at the movies

  1. Go on a cheap night. For example Event Cinemas do Student Mondays – $8 a ticket, saves you $14 off a regular ticket. Palace Cinemas do Discount Tuesdays – $12.50 a ticket compared to the usual $19.
  2. Join Cinebuzz, Palace Movie Club or other equivalent clubs.
  3. Hit up your mobile provider. Telstra has special offers on VMAX tickets at Event Cinemas for $12.50 saving you $14.50 per ticket on the full VMAX price. Some health funds and insurers like BUPA and Medibank, NRMA and RACQ also have discounts for members.
  4. Go to small community or indie cinemas – they can be $3 – $8 cheaper per ticket from the get-go.

Myer: where the sales never end

The department stores’ stocktake sales finished almost 3 weeks ago, but there are still big SALE signs up in lots of departments.

Visit Myer’s sales page to find fashion from brands like Cue, Saba, Sportscraft and Review reduced by anywhere from $50 to $110. (Maybe a good time to freshen up your work wardrobe.) Other bargains include $149 off a Monsac large messenger bag and a whole lot of 40- to 50-per-cent discounted homewares.

Coles’ tiny toys

Another big story this week is Coles’ decision to launch a collection of 30 tiny “Little Shop” toys – miniatures of popular products like Weetbix, Nutella and Lipton’s tea bags. Customers have to spend $30 instore or online to get a toy. There’s method in their madness apparently – this tactic has worked overseas to push up sales. Business observers note that it’s Coles’ response to Woolies beating them in sales for two years.

Coles are counting on your kids to nag you to spend your dollars at Coles but we’d suggest that you don’t need any more plastic in your life, and that you should spend $30 where the best deals are.

Here’s a list of what’s cheap at Coles, until 24 July, taken from the Vic metro catalogue – see if it’s worth spending $30 on some of those goodies.

Amazon first Prime Day in Australia

It might have been labelled a fizzer due to lack of awareness, but according to the OzBargain people, there were some great deals in Amazon Prime’s 16 July 24-hour sale event for members. Like Finish All In 1 Max dishwasher tablets – $16.99 for 94 tablets. At Coles you’d pay $35 for that same quantity. (Save $18.)

Grand Theft Auto V, $24.99 for XBOX ONE and PS4 versions, compared to $79 at JB Hifi. (Save $54.)

No wonder other retailers were complaining about the lightning sales which formed part of the event, which they say amounts to “bait advertising”.

Check your pay packet!!

With the news that Lush has underpaid its staff $2m in wages since 2010, (some staff members are $10,000 out of pocket), Neil Perry’s restaurants paying some workers as little as half of what they should, (some are hundreds of dollars out of pocket each week) and one hairdressing salon allegedly underpaying a teenage apprentice by $14,000 including not paying any super – the advice is check your paypacket, know what your award is, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

And if it comes to it, talk to the Fair Work Ombudsman like that plucky hairdresser did. It could make thousands of dollars’ difference in your wallet.