Top Travel trips

Packing is part of any travel experience. Whether you’re headed to a beach condo or an Australia and New Zealand cruise, you’ll need to bring appropriate clothing and travel gear. Here are top travel essentials to include on any trip, regardless of destination.

1. Wheeled Suitcase / Backpack / Duffel Bag

Buy suitcases, backpacks and duffel bags with attached wheels, any of which can make transporting luggage easy, if not entirely effortless.

2. Daypack

You’ll need something to carry maps, snacks and bottled water while you explore. Keep your heavy wheeled bag in your hotel room and pack daily essentials in a daypack or tote.

3. Comfortable Shoes

Leave the high heels and beach sandals at home – unless, of course, you’re going to the beach – and pack shoes you can really walk in. Be sure to break them in before your trip begins. Blisters can ruin a perfectly-planned vacation.

4. Personal Medications / Glasses

These essential items vary from person to person. Bring your medications in their original prescription bottles, not in a weekly pill organizer. If you use an organizer, pack it empty and set it up when you arrive at your destination. Don’t forget your glasses, especially if you aren’t sure you can buy contact lens solution while on your trip.

5. Voltage Converter and Plug Adapters

If you’re traveling overseas and use plug-in appliances or electronic equipment, you will definitely need plug adapters.

Apart from bringing essential items in your trip, What else do you need for vacation? You will need some electronic devices along with the trip such as waterproof digital camera or camcorder so you’ll be able to capture amazing images in the pool, the beach, the sea and more with ease and precision. This is a perfect video recorder to take on your watery holiday or for the kids to have fun with in the pool this summer.

In addition,good music to accompany you along the trip would be the best option you ever had, especially when you are travelling alone. The lightweight, compact, portable music player is the ideal device for listening to music on-the-go. Whether you take it for a jog or use it to stave off boredom on your bus-ride, this MP3 player is sure to provide entertainment and enjoyment.

Handy Microwave Recipes

Most people spend about one third of their household budget on convenience foods such as takeaway and supermarket ready-to-eat meals due busy lives and less time on their hands. Sometimes you don’t have the energy to cook every night. There are also more people living solo, who often don’t want to cook just for themselves. However, convenience foods are expensive and some are high in fat and salt. If you lack the time or motivation to cook, the following recipes may be helpful because these are very easy recipes that utilize your handy-dandy microwave.

Breakfast- Flax “noatmeal”

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Breakfast. Flax “noatmeal” topped with some banana slices and coconut milk. “Noatmeal” recipe:

  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg yolk or egg white (if you make 2 servings, use a whole egg)
  • 2 tbsp dried fruit (opt)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 dropper vanilla stevia OR 1/4 tsp vanilla & sweetener

Microwave everything for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until thick and resembles oatmeal. Top with favorite toppings and nosh!

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Lunch- Summer Squash Casserole

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke


  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup soft, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Combine squash and green onions in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, folding back a small edge to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until squash is tender. (Do not drain.)
  2. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in squash mixture and cheese. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap, folding back a small edge to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until casserole is set; remove from microwave, and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Stir together breadcrumbs and melted butter; microwave 2 minutes. Sprinkle over casserole.

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Dinner- Shrimp Etouffee

Recipe makes 6 servings

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) cancondensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pound cleaned shrimp
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. In a 2 quart microwave safe dish, combine margarine, onion, green onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Heat on High settings for 8 to 9 minutes.
  2. Stir in parsley, tomato paste, soup, shrimp, salt, hot pepper sauce and cayenne. Heat on High setting for 5 minutes. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Serve over white rice.

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Dessert- Salted Caramel Chocolate Mug Cake

Chocolate Caramel Mug Cake 013 533x800 2 Minute Chocolate & Salted Caramel Mug Cake

Ingredients: {makes 1 mug cake}

  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 salted caramels

What to do:

  1. Into a small bowl add: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a regular sized coffee mug. Drop caramels into center of mixture one at a time.
  3. Microwave on high for one minute and 30 seconds. If needed {if cake batter is still gooey}, microwave on high for up to an additional 30 seconds.

P/S: I personally tried this recipe, it is delicious and easy. It perfectly fixed my craving.

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Snack- Popcorn

Movie Night! Save your money and make your own popcorn instead of buying from supermarket.

Microwave Popcorn Trick #popcorn

Add 1/3 cup popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag, fold the bag over twice then heat in a microwave — folded side down — for 2 minutes.

THAT’S IT! Fresh popped popcorn without any fuss, ready for you to flavor as desired or eat completely bare.

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Do not under estimate your microwave’s ability, it can make scrumptious meals, snacks or desserts you didn’t think was possible!

Want to know more?

Go to our Pinterest site for more recipes.

Money-Saving Tips For Around The Home

Have you already squeezed every last penny out of your budget? Check out these great tips we’ve found from all over.

  1. Utilize your microwave at home instead of your range because it consumes half the power. You could save up $40 or more per year on electric or gas. Plus, get your dinner ready in a fraction of the time.  
  2. Compare prices for everything from light fixtures to fridges. A quick web search using phrases such as “buy vacuum online” or “lowest price microwave” can easily show you a range of prices.
  3. When you are dealing a remodel project for temporary which leaves you without a cooking area, set up a makeshift kitchen. All you need is a prep surface, micro-wave, coffeemaker, and fridge. You will be able to save $20 per day on take-out and Starbucks coffee.
  4. Small amounts of electricity are still being used even if the appliances are off, but plugged in. Unplug items such as toaster, shaver, cell phone charger, TV when not in use.
  5. Warm up with big warm blankets on ourselves. Instead of turning on the electric blanket or room heater on cold winter nights, use a few layers of blankets to ensure you stay warm and cozy.
  6. A way to avoid the cafes and don’t burn your pockets by using your talents and do something enjoyable for your family that also saves money such as cooking, baking, sewing and other fun crafts.
  7. To save on electricity by reducing ironing time. When ironing lay a layer of aluminium foil shiny side up under your ironing board cover to reflect heat back up onto the item.
  8. Use toothpaste as a cleanser, it is a useful domestic cleanser. It will remove brown sticky stains from irons, bench tops etc. Hence, buying cleanser from supermarket is not necessary.
  9. To remove stubborn burns and stains on pots, boil the pots with water and once the water is boiling hot, turn off the stove and use a wooden spatula to scrape the stains off. This will save your money from buying cleanser.
  10. Maintain the life of clothes and energy by not using the clothes dryer unless you absolutely have to. There really isn’t a need to use a dryer. Hang your clothes on a drying rack, place near heater or air vent.

Bonus tip: It is always good to plan your shopping before your take any action to make purchase especially what are all the things you “need” to buy and the“budget”. If you are going to shop without a plan definitely you will think to buy whatever you like which is also know as impulse buying. That’s really a bad habit which can quickly kill your financial situation.

SPCA Cupcake Day 2012

Do you love cupcakes? How about cute animals? The SPCA Cupcake Day combines both with thousands of people nationwide pitching in helping make it “a sweet success”. This is the second year ProductSaver has taken part (helps that we love to bake).

Most importantly, we are delightful to announce that we raised $101.50 for SPCA Cupcake Day in our office.

We couldn’t have done it without our colleagues’ generosity in support of SPCA Cupcake Day. This money will be much appreciated, not only by the SPCA, but by the animals who deserve the fair treatment the SPCA supports.

ProductSaver’s beginnings on TradeMe

Did you all know that ProductSaver originally started out its business as Appliance_Shop on Trade Me in 2006? A few years later it branched out into a second seller called TV_Trader.

We aim to sell products that fit in with our customers needs at a good price. That’s why Appliance_Shop and TV_Trader on Trade Me grew to have more than 10,000 positive feedbacks over the years.

We’d like to say thank you to our thousands of customers who have helped us grow into who were are today. We are truly grateful for your support. Let’s have a sneak peek of our feedback history.

Our 500th feedback achieved in June 2007.

1000 feedbacks in later October same year.

It increased to 2000 feedbacks in following year.

3000 feedbacks in 2009.

We originally started selling only appliances on Trade Me, but since then we have branched out into a wide range of homewares, outdoor goods and more. Who knows what we’ll have next? With a whole world of possibilities we’d like to think we could stock anything, but you can always be sure that it’ll be at the right price.

Parallel Importing

In this day and age seeing the phrase, “parallel imported” is becoming a more common sight for shoppers. Our purchasing avenues and buying channels are multiplying at a steady rate, and one of the consequences of this is parallel importing such items as brand name watches like Casio, Citizen, or Seiko.

But what is parallel importing? Most of us have a vague sense that it saves us money, or know of the store named directly after it. Here is an easy explanation of what parallel importing is and how businesses such as ProductSaver take advantage of it to save their customers money on watches, appliances, toys and more.

Type in “define: parallel importing” into Google, and the first definition is from Wikipedia stating,

“A parallel import is a non-counterfeit product imported from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner.”

Hang on, without permission of the intellectual property owner? It doesn’t sound quite right does it, but it’s perfectly above board and gives you the same rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act that non-parallel imported goods give.

Parallel import helps provide a wide range of international quality goods. For example, ProductSaver is importing goods from overseas countries such as the U.S., China and Australia and selling them in New Zealand. Therefore, consumers can shop at a place with variety brands and products.

When you shop online, you can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on tricky things like airfares. Perfect!

First of Many

We have been up and online for almost a month now –Time has just flown by. Launching right in the middle of a crazy month certainly posed some challenges, however we hit the ground running with a positive response from our first mailout.

Coming up with ideas for extra-special discounts for our launch certainly produced some interesting ideas, however we thought free shipping within the North Island and $5 to the South Island was a winner. Everyone could take advantage of it, and it would have saved some significant dollars. We also decided to go for some deep discounts on some of our more popular items, and quite a few took advantage of that. Combined with a guaranteed delivery before Christmas, there were sure to be some happy people opening up their presents on Christmas day!

It’s almost time for our next mail out, and some fresh deals. We got some good ones up our sleeves to make sure ProductSaver is the right price, every time.