July 19, 2017

*Budget shopping. Denpasar’s Jl. Gajah Mada is the island’s mother lode for handicrafts and Jl. Sulawesi in Denpasar is the premier specialty center for fabrics. *Like to buy stuff? Think again after watching the stark, depressing overview of consumerism at www.storyofstuff.org. *Caveat emptor when shopping at Carrefour. If they choose to, they can beat everybody’s prices, but they have to want to, which they RARELY do. The same wonderful Matilde Vicenzi Italian cookies sold at Grand Lucky for Rp. 44,000 go for Rp. 58,000 at Carrefour. But at the walk up cafeteria’s counter in the dining section, the rendang is outstanding and costs only Rp. 35,000 per order.


*Household savers. The old fashioned, quiet, nonpolluting and nearly unbreakable reel lawn mower (mesin potong rumput) costs Rp. 650,000 at Jaya Pratama Teknik, Jl. Raya Sesetan 35-37, Denpasar (in front of Quantum Clinic) and provides valuable exercise, improves heart/lung health, requires no battery, gas or oil, eliminates noise pollution and exposure to exhaust fumes. *Kaltimber (Jl. Raya Sakah 22x, Batuan; info@kaltimber.com) sells recycled reusable hardwoods such as Ulin for decking, flooring and paneling that is aesthetic, durable, termite proof and will outlast you. *Humidity will make memory foam pillows go floppy and soggy in Bali and are also difficult to dry out. Instead buy firm but cool pillows filled with Dacron for around Rp. 50,000-Rp. 80,000. For cleaning, just empty out, wash and dry the contents, then put it all back together. *Use castaway easy-to-light dry bamboo for firewood.


*Kitchen tricks. A spoon is better than a table knife for spreading jelly, butter, cream cheese, whatever onto bread. *To unscrew a very tight jar lid, stretch a fat rubber band around the rim of the lid and then turn or strike the lid’s edge with the blunt edge of a heavy knife or wedge a spoon under the edge of the lid and use it as a lever to pull the metal out slightly, breaking the vacuum seal. *To stop a pot from boiling over, lay a wooden (not metal or plastic) spoon across the top of the pot. * To quickly clean a blender, fill it halfway with warm water, add a drop of dish detergent, turn it on again, then rinse it with hot water under a kitchen faucet. *If you put a loaf of stale bread under running water, then put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 6-12 minutes (depending on its size), the steam makes the crust crackly and the inside moist and soft again.


*Balinese agricultural tools. Balinese are among the archipelago’s finest ironsmiths. As a sign of deference, even the haughty Brahmans were once obliged to use High Balinese when speaking to a smith in his workshop. Balinese hoes are in great demand in Java because of the craftsmanship and quality of the metal. Balinese farmers use a hoe (tambah in Balinese; cangkul in Indonesian) or forked hoe (tambah garpu in Balinesecangkul garpu in Indonesian). The former is Rp. 40,000-Rp. 80,000 and the latter (if made of undercarriage car springs or bekas per mobil) goes for Rp. 100,000-Rp. 150,000. It’s light and less tiring to swing and the heavy clay soils of parts of the island do not stick to the forked blade, allowing easier penetration and releasing the blade once turned. The wide-bladed tambah is for paddy mud while the sharp-pointed one is used to break up hard dry soil. Balinese tambah blades are 15-20 cm wide and 20-30 cm long. The best wood for sickles is citrus tree wood (kayu jeruk) and the best wood for hoe handles is coconut wood (kayu kelapa). The straight handles are 1.5-2m long.


*Travel pointers. Before Bali’s provincial government implements a standardization pricing policy, take advantage of three-star hotels’ current rates of less than Rp. 300,000/night. *The miracle fibers for the traveling woman are stretch knit jerseys and precrinkled silk which fold neatly in a bag and don’t wrinkle. *Sanur’s Jl. Tamblingan is a one-street mecca with a parallel beach walk where motorbikes are banned and it’s easy to walk, cycle or ride in a wheel chair. *Using Google Street View saves lots of driving. *The first 12 hours of motorcycle parking at the airport is Rp2000, then it’s Rp. 1000 per hour after that. That’s Rp24,000 per day though, not that crazy. Alternatively, you can park at home, but you’d have to pay taxi fare to and from the airport (example: Grab Car Rp. 60,000 from Sanur). There’s no alternative motorcycle parking near the airport. *Viewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC3x7K3EOTk will cure you of ever texting while driving again.


*food tips. Don’t shop for food when you’re hungry. *Shop for produce first; it will fill your cart and make it less likely to fill it with junk. *Foods with fewer listed ingredients are generally better than those with lots. *Use Foursquare to find just the right restaurants or coffee shops for you. You are able to read reviews on the spot and obtain essential information like pricing, directions and opening times. *When pouring liquid from one of those rectangular, waxed-cardboard boxes of juice, soup, milk, etc, make a hole on the other side of the lid so that the liquid is easier to pour. *If one of those same rectangular, waxed-cardboard boxes is swollen, it means the contents have gone bad and don’t buy it. *The best way to quench a spicy hot (pedas) mouth on fire is to drink vodka, olive oil, whole milk or yogurt or eat white rice or bread that all bind with or soak up the capsaicin oil and washes the hot and painful sensation away. *Chicken nuggets are only measly breaded bits of reconstituted scrap chicken. *Javara (http://www.javara.co.id) sells retail and in bulk all different kinds and flavors of Bali salt: Mountain salt, Krayan salt, Amed Salt, Kusamba salt, etc.


*moneywise. Exchange rates at http://balibestrate.com are updated every few hours during working hours. *If a handyman gives you a quote on a job, have him write the quote down in their own handwriting so both of you can refer to it again once the time comes to start the job or to refer to if there are any misunderstandings. *You don’t need eye doctor’s prescription to order eyeglasses or lenses and many opticians do refraction measurements for free. *Selsun Blue Shampoo is best treatment for getting rid of dandruff available on Bali for only Rp. 45,000/120 ml. *One pays a high price for financial illiteracy. *Ada uang abang disayang, tak ada uang abang ditendang. “No money, no honey.”


*Top Stove. A great selection of gas stoves can be found upstairs (in the back) of the Depo Bangunan home improvement supermarket, Jl. Teuku Umar Barat 388, Denpasar (tel. 0361-847-5888). The big Stainless Steel FC 3952 Modena Gas Stove sells for around Rp. 13 juta (sometimes on sale for Rp. 10.5 juta). There are two models with different size ovens. For the money, this is one of the best stoves available on Bali – full electronic ignition, including in the broiler and oven; rotisserie and convection oven and long central griddle burner in the center of the industrial style (with cast trivets) top for frying eggs, pancakes, chapatti, etc. It’s way cheaper than others such as the commercial grade TechoGas that runs up to Rp. 50 juta, a wonderful stove if money is no object. Upstairs at UFO, Jl. Teuku Umar, Denpasar (tel. 0361-227-188) also has a pretty good selection of stoves, where the cost for the FC 3952 model is around Rp. 16 juta.


Please send your budget ideas, bargain deals and money saving tips to pakbill2003@yahoo.com.

Copyright © 2017 Bill Dalton

You can read all past articles of The Frugal Balinist at  www.BaliAdvertiser.biz