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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014
Cheaper substitute for everything
Saudamini Jain, Hindustan Times
May 03, 2013
First Published: 13:00 IST(3/5/2013)
Last Updated: 19:40 IST(4/5/2013)

Happy new financial year! What did you get? Two peanuts in your appraisal? Well, we got one. But there’s no reason to lock yourself at home because you can’t afford to breathe the air outside. There’s a cheaper substitute for everything and we sifted through them all to bring you the best ways to stay within your budget without scrimping on quality. Books, music, food, make-up – we’ve got solutions for them all. Why did we work this hard? For another peanut next year, of course!


SWAP Long-distance phone calls FOR Viber (Price: Free)

You shouldn’t have to pay to keep in touch with people. Viber is the WhatsApp for voice conversations. All you need is a smartphone and an Internet connection – as does the person you’re calling. You download Viber (available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone); it lists all the people who have Viber and you can call them for free! All you pay for are your data charges. But if you have a data plan (which, considering you own a smartphone, you should), you will be fine.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/5/ipads_cheap_repleca.jpgThe catch
The voice delay. Unless the app is in an amazing mood, you will hear the person you’re talking to only a couple of seconds later.

SWAP Buying music (Price: Varies) FOR 8tracks.com (Price: Free)
Digital music is cheap, but what’s the point if it’s also available free online, right? There are online radio stations, and there’s good ol’ YouTube, but the best way to discover great music while listening to your favourites too is 8tracks. Just go to 8tracks.com, type in what you’re looking for or choose from one of the many user-generated mixes.

The catch
You can listen to the music only when you’re online.

SWAP iPad Mini* (`21,900) FOR Google Nexus 7* (`15,999)
Apple is not for those on a budget. Besides, the Nexus is a fantastic tablet, anyway. The display is
almost as good as the iPad Mini. As for the processor, the Nexus’ 1.2GHz quad core processor makes it much faster than the Mini, which has the A5 dual-core processor. The battery life for both is decent (the Nexus around 8 hours, the Mini around 10). They’re both fantastic. So why pay more?
*The prices are for the 16GB tablets with Wi-Fi

The catch
The iPad Mini has a bigger screen, it is lighter, has better cameras, (the Nexus only has one) and more apps.

SWAP Buying e-books FOR downloading free versions
Sure e-books are cheaper than paper books. But so much to read is free! Most classics are in the public domain. Check out Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org) for your laptop, or Kobo for your smartphone, or just load up your Kindle with the free versions!

The catch
You’ll still have to buy the bestsellers. It’s illegal to download PDFs. And most books aren’t free.

SWAP Buying music (Price: Varies) FOR 8tracks.com (Price: Free)
Digital music is cheap, but what’s the point if it’s also available free online, right? There are online radio stations, and there’s good ol’ YouTube, but the best way to discover great music while listening to your favourites too is 8tracks. Just go to 8tracks.com, type in what you’re looking for or choose from one of the many user-generated mixes.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/5/clinique_lip_balm.jpgThe catch
You can listen to the music only when you’re online.

SWAP Dior Show Mascara (Price: R2,000 approx) FOR Maybelline The Falsies (Price: R425)
Yes, Dior is Dior is Dior. But The Falsies doesn’t clump, flake or smudge either. And it lasts all day.

The catch
The purple Maybelline tube doesn’t look as sexy as the sleek black-and-silver Dior one.

SWAP Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm (`1,025) FOR Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains (`600)
Chubby Sticks give your lips a slight colour and a lot of sheen. They make your lips luscious and soft and plump. But Revlon’s new Balm Stains smell really good, last longer and moisturise too.

The catch
Balm Stains actually stain your lips. Chubby Sticks look more natural.

SWAP Skippy peanut butter (`320) FOR Sundrop peanut butter (`149)
We couldn’t tell the difference.

The catch
None. Unless you’re an ‘imported’ snob.

SWAP Skullcandy Hesh 2 Headphones (`4,199) FOR Sennheiser HD 203 Headphones (`2,990)
Skullcandy makes great-looking headphones that also sound good. So you basically pay twice as much for the way they look. But Sennheiser headphones sound amazing – some would argue even better than Skullcandy! The design is basic and classic.

The catch
Sennheiser doesn’t look half as cool.

SWAP Kerastase Oleo Relax Hair Serum   (`1,500) FOR L’Oreal Smooth Intense Serum (`240)
Oleo Relax is magical. Two pumps from the bottle and your hair is the stuff that Hollywood bombshells dream of. Smooth Intense works well too, but only if you’re able to determine the exact amount your hair needs – start at the tips and cautiously massage your way up.

The catch
You need a little more Smooth Intense to give your hair the Oleo Relax effect. But too much may make your hair greasy in a few hours.

From HT Brunch, May 5

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