The super chill guide to buying gifts for tech bros

The super chill guide to buying gifts for tech bros

It’s late, and you’re so very tired. 

You just finished another meaningless day at your thankless job, putting in too many hours only to see that prick Todd once again take credit for your work. You console yourself with the reminder that it could be worse — you could work at Google. Or Uber. Or Amazon Studios. Or Magic Leap. Or Tesla. Or Oracle

But you shove all that aside, because the holiday season will soon be upon you and you’re determined to get through it. Things are expected of you — as you’re always reminded by some idiot telling you to “smile more” — and, despite all the bullshit, you’re going to exceed those expectations. Because, well, screw those assholes.  

Still, the Platonic ideal of a bro-party that is your office is doing a secret Santa gift exchange this year, and you know you’ll never hear the end of it if you don’t participate. Something about “company morale” and “being a team player,” they’ll tell you. 

Funny how HR only seems to care about morale when it doesn’t require them to address your repeated and well-documented complaints of pay discrimination

You can’t think about that anymore, however. At least not tonight. No, tonight you must focus on another pressing matter: Just what secret Santa presents, exactly, you are going to buy the tech bros in your office. 

After mixing yourself a cocktail and collapsing onto the couch, you pull out your phone and start looking for gift guides. Not that you need one, but spending any more of your precious free time worrying about pleasing those idiots is going to be the death of you. You want to get this done with as quickly as possible, and that Mashable article titled “The super chill guide to buying gifts for tech bros” just happens to be at the top of your News Feed. 

So you click. 

1. The Feminine Mystique

Author Betty Friedan, seen here chilling out.

Author Betty Friedan, seen here chilling out.

Image: Bettmann/getty Images

Widely recognized as playing a pivot role in second-wave feminism, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is the perfect gift for the recalcitrant tech bro in your life who also happens to be your manager. 

The book, published in 1963, pushed for a rejection of the outmoded ideas governing women’s roles in the workplace specifically and society in general. You’re pretty confident that your boss has never given a second thought to the problem that has no name, despite his love of whiteboarding his way through everything, so this is sure to be a challenging read for him. 

He always says he “likes challenges.” 

Price: $1.04 on Amazon

2. Men Explain Things to Me

Author Rebecca Solnit is totally not here for your BS.

Author Rebecca Solnit is totally not here for your BS.

Image: David Levenson / getty

This one may be a bit on the nose, but subtlety and nuance aren’t really the defining characteristics of the tech bro set. 

Taking its name from Rebecca Solnit’s eponymous 2008 essay, this 2014 collection of Solnit’s writings is considered a modern feminist classic. In addition to being a great read, Men Explain Things To Me will help your favorite technology enthusiast get up to speed on why eagerly explaining a women’s own work to her is a bad look. 

The best gifts are the ones that never go out of style. 

Price: $11.50 on Amazon

3. The Second Sex

Simone De Beauvoir actually did make the world a better place.

Simone De Beauvoir actually did make the world a better place.

Image: Bettmann Archive / getty

Because you know the tech bro on the receiving end of The Feminine Mystique is going to “well, actually,” you, why not preemptively cut him off with a second gift consisting of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex

Published in 1949, this foundational feminist text examines and challenges the notion that male is or should be the default lens through which we view the world. It inspired Friedan’s writings, and is taught in gender and women’s studies courses across the country for good reason. 

And hey, it’s long since been translated from the original French, so the recipient of this thoughtful gift — who is only willing to learn new languages if they’re taught at bootcamps — will have no excuse.  

Price: $14.30 on Amazon

4. Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

Trinh T. Minh-ha has something for you to consider.

Trinh T. Minh-ha has something for you to consider.

Image: uc Berkeley

Because even tech bros could use a little intersectionality and postcolonialism in their lives, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism is surefire win as a gift. 

Trinh is a professor at UC Berkeley, which is guaranteed to get the attention of all the Oski the Bear fans in the office. Even better, however, is the fact that her book (one of eight she’s had published) speaks to oppression faced by all women around the globe and doesn’t limit itself to the struggles of solely white women. 

This is the perfect fit for that tech bro in the office who always claims that he needs to see all sides of an issue before making up his mind on anything that could be considered controversial. 

Price: $13.99 on Amazon

5. A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf.

Image:  Hulton Archive / getty

Tech bros are all about life hacks to get into the zone. Well, author Virginia Woolf came up with the OG life hack: Addressing and exploring the fact that women are often required to make their own physical spaces and secure financial independence as a prerequisite to being creative in this messed up world. 

A Room of One’s Own, published in 1929, touches on that and more. 

If the recipient of your thoughtful gift doesn’t quite understand that, maybe tell them it’s like how they always rail against open-office plans, but instead of their need to have a private space so they can ignore colleagues this is about the need for women to have safe spaces away from dudes prone to dole out sexual harassment. 

It’s an inexact analogy, but sometimes simplicity is the best bet. 

Price: $9.35 on Amazon

Oh, what’s that you say? These great options not doing it for you? You’re a tech bro yourself looking to give a fellow bro a present? We hear electric skateboards are popular. 

Amazon is beefing up Alexa with real-time election data

Amazon is beefing up Alexa with real-time election data

Alexa can’t vote, but Amazon’s digital assistant can help you do it.

In the run-up to election day in the U.S. (Nov. 6, if you weren’t sure), Amazon is giving Alexa a more civic mind by beefing up the assistant’s knowledge base of election data, including where to vote, real-time results, and even explanations of ballot measures. 

Now you’ll be able to ask Alexa where your polling place is or who’s leading in any particular race, and it’ll respond with a real answer instead of just kicking you to a web search.

SEE ALSO: Amazon Echo Dot (2018) review: Alexa’s gateway drug is more potent than ever

On the surface, the effort sounds rather benign — even anodyne — but even the mechanics of elections these days are fraught with politics. From attempted voting machine hacks to social media misinformation campaigns, technology and elections don’t have the greatest relationship right now. Of all the subjects Alexa could help with, why elections?

“Customers have always asked Alexa a lot of questions about major current events,” Bill Barton, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa information, told Mashable in answers to emailed questions. “We saw high customer engagement with the 2016 presidential debates and election, and we thought we could expand and improve upon the experience.”

Besides keeping the information decidedly nonpartisan, the main way Amazon is ensuring the veracity of the election information is by outsourcing it. It has three main partners for the effort: Ballotpedia for pre-election ballot information, RealClearPolitics for polling updates, and the Associated Press for elections results, including real-time info in individual races. Barton says they were the “most credible, neutral sources” Amazon could find.

When I asked Barton about whether Alexa could provide information on voting requirements in particular areas, in particular controversial voter ID laws in some jurisdictions, he said it was an “interesting idea” but that it wasn’t something Amazon offered.

An example of the kind of data Amazon Echo Show users will see accompanying responses to election information.

An example of the kind of data Amazon Echo Show users will see accompanying responses to election information.

Image: Amazon

He similarly deflected a question about whether Alexa could tell voters what voting machines were being used in their area, which some voters might want to know for various reasons, but the recent focus on possible voting machine hacks in particular. “We focused on the areas of where we see the most customer interest and need,” Barton said, explaining info about voting machines was not something Alexa offered.

Got it. Just keep it simple: Who’s on the ballot? Where can I vote? What are the results? It’s understandable that Amazon wouldn’t want to even tiptoe close to the more contentious parts of electioneering, and anyone wanting information about something Alexa doesn’t cover can always look it up online on another device. Still, it’s a shame Amazon decided to simply shy away from reasonable questions voters might have about election-related topics in the news.

Points for Amazon, at least, for not being completely naïve. Election info gets more crucial the closer we get to election day, and Barton says Amazon has assembled its own “war room” of data scientists, engineers, and writers to monitor the effort to ensure the information Alexa is providing is accurate. It’s a move that echoes a similar one by Facebook, which is actively trying to fight election misinformation on its network.

In a sense, Amazon’s move could be seen as a part of that effort. While Amazon hasn’t been implicated as directly as Facebook or Twitter, many people are more wary of how deeply technology has been embedded in our lives in recent years, Alexa included. In a small way, Alexa’s new election upgrade may help ease that skepticism.

That is, as long as Amazon gets it right.

Snapchat launches 25 new premium video series in the UK

Snapchat launches 25 new premium video series in the UK

Snapchat has just announced the launch of 26 premium video series for its UK audience which could rival the likes of Instagram’s IGTV and YouTube. 

Rami Saad, head of international content partnerships at Snap, told Mashable at an event on Tuesday that the company is expanding its Snapchat Shows product with local video-on-demand programming. 

SEE ALSO: Instagram copies Snapchat’s QR codes with new ‘nametag’ feature

Partnering with media organisations and influencer agencies, Snap unveiled a roster of new original series which can be viewed in its new “show profiles”. The new feature, according to Saad, is an auto-play “destination” within the app that allows viewers to subscribe to series, “catch up where you left off” and to automatically advance to the next episode. 

The 17-strong line-up of partners includes: VICE, Sky, The Guardian, PinkNews, Channel 4, Culture Trip, talent agency Gleam Futures, JOE.co.uk, Cosmopolitan UK, Manchester City, among others. 

VICE is launching five series on the platform, including shows about “how the top 1 percent spends its money,” life hacks, and people who work with animals. 

Snapchat Shows brings a new “opportunity for commercials”

Sky is launching a series called Hotspots, featuring its “top international correspondents” who travel to the “most dangerous places in the world” and sharing the stories of people they encounter there. One episode tells the story of an 8-year-old boy mining cobalt, and another explores that of a woman being sex trafficked in Atlanta, U.S. 

Alan Strange, Output Editor at Sky, said they’d had no editorial input from Snap. “We decide what we wanna make,” he said at the event. Snap also said it was not providing any monetary input in the production of the shows.

Saad said the launch brings a new “opportunity for commercials” — six second non-skippable ads — to be distributed to its 5 million-strong Shows audience in the UK. 

In June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV a new platform allowing publishers and content creators to produce longform video. In October 2018, Snapchat announced the launch of Snap Originals, a distinctly Netflix-esque product featuring a lineup of scripted, serialised shows. This expansion of Snapchat’s video series offering suggests it could well be setting its sights on competing against the likes of Netflix in the original programming stakes. 

DuckDuckGo, the pro-privacy search engine, hits 30 million daily searches

DuckDuckGo, the pro-privacy search engine, hits 30 million daily searches

In an age where it seems nearly every major internet service is looking to hawk your personal data, one pro-privacy search engine is experiencing massive growth.

DuckDuckGo, which bills itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” has just hit 30 million daily searches. According to the company, this is a new daily record for the search engine. DuckDuckGo makes its traffic stats publicly available in an effort to be as transparent as possible. 

SEE ALSO: A simple Google search led to the biggest scoop of the Trump tax story

This new company record is about a 50% increase from its record of over 20 million searches in 2017. DuckDuckGo’s reached this new daily search record just this past Monday.

DuckDuckGo fun fact: it took us seven years to reach 10 million private searches in one day, then another two years to hit 20 million, and now less than a year later we’re at 30 million! Thank you all 😃 #ComeToTheDuckSidehttps://t.co/qlSaz4j9ZH

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) October 11, 2018

As pointed out by Search Engine Journal, it’s interesting to note that DuckDuckGo’s new daily search record comes just days after news broke that Google exposed nearly 500,000 of its users’ data. 

While there’s no proof of causation, DuckDuckGo cites previous similarly ecosystem altering events in its traffic data. The privacy-focused search engine notes a rise in usage after events like Google’s privacy policy change in early 2012 and Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks.

While DuckDuckGo is a long way from competing with reigning search king Google, which receives over 3.5 billion daily search queries and makes up 77 percent of the search market share, the niche privacy-first search engine is pulling it all off with only 53 employees

In fact, DuckDuckGo has already surpassed companies in the search space that are many times its size. The Verge notes that with DuckDuckGo representing 0.18 percent of the global search market share, its now ranking ahead of AOL, a former giant in the industry.

DuckDuckGo may be a tiny operation compared to giants like Google, but its explosive growth is proof that between privacy leaks and data hacks, even the average internet users are seeking out services that value their personal information.

Level up your business skills by taking an online course

Level up your business skills by taking an online course

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

You don't need an MBA to be business-savvy.
You don’t need an MBA to be business-savvy.

Image: Pexels

By Team CommerceMashable Deals

Go to business school, they said. It will widen your network, boost your credibility, and enhance your earning potential, they said.

While all these things ring true, going to B-school requires shelling out Big Bucks and dedicating a few years of your life to hitting the books, attending classes, and breaking your back completing dissertations — which to some people might seem like a Very Bad Idea™ indeed.

If you don’t think the MBA route is right for you, there are still a myriad of options available that can aid in enhancing your business skills. Here are some of the online classes that can get you started:

The Ultimate Data & Analytics Bundle: Lifetime Subscription

Modern businesses rely on data to uncover patterns and trends that can help them optimize their operations and serve their customers. So it’s no surprise that gaining proficiency in data analytics can improve your career options. This jam-packed bundle includes 400 courses and over 1500 hours of video content dedicated to helping you master data science techniques. You’ll get to grips with the essential software used for business analytics and business intelligence, explore R programming, and dive into pinnacle data and analytics courses including Hadoop, Cloud, Tableau, and MongoDB. After you finish each stage of training, you’ll earn certificates of completion you can use to bolster your résumé.

The Ultimate Business Intelligence Bundle

Now that you’ve gotten a handle on all things data analytics, the next thing to do is to focus on the tools to make the actual analysis much more manageable. In this bundle, you’ll get acquainted with the software crucial to number crunching, like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft Power BI. There are also courses on critical thinking and problem-solving that will teach you how to gather supporting data and information, and do it fast.

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

When it comes to productivity, you’ll often get a bottomless list of app recommendations that promise to help you beat the clock. But truth be told, no app in the world can lead to greater productivity without buy-in from you. The Ultimate Productivity Bundle will impart you with life skills and wisdom to work smarter and foster better habits. You’ll get lessons that run the gamut from public speaking and speed reading to morning routines and time management hacks. There’s even an entire course solely devoted to finding your life’s purpose so you can make an impact on the world.

The Complete Digital Marketing Course

The digital marketing industry is massive and extremely multi-faceted, making it hard for a newbie to determine which area to tackle first. In this course, you’ll be trained to be a jack of all trades. The lessons will arm you with skills in SEO, copywriting, Google Analytics, social media marketing, and a whole lot more. You’ll learn the marketing fundamentals and master data-driven approaches to growth, techniques for getting email subscribers, and crafting copy that sells.

The Lifetime MBA Bootcamp Bundle

Don’t allow yourself to rack up thousands of dollars of debt just to enhance your business acumen. The Lifetime MBA Bootcamp Bundle features lessons on leadership and management, finance, and business analysis, along with deep dives on business writing and project management — no MBA necessary.

5 tools to help you seriously boost your Instagram game

5 tools to help you seriously boost your Instagram game

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Get all the likes and all the followers.
Get all the likes and all the followers.

Image: pexels

By Team CommerceMashable Deals

Want all the likes and all the followers?

With the tools and resources listed below, you can get help taking your Instagram feed from drab and boring to captivating and engaging. Psst. They’re all all on sale.

Appz Instagram Assistant: Lifetime Subscription

Appz is a Google Chrome extension designed to be your personal brand-building assistant. It does all the heavy lifting for you — auto-liking, auto-commenting, auto-following (or unfollowing) other posts and users that share the same interests as you. Just input your desired hashtags, and it will find the right content and people to engage with. It even comes with an intuitive dashboard that displays your activity and engagement stats. 

piZap Pro: Lifetime Subscription

If Instagram’s built-in editing tools don’t quite suit your needs, turn to piZap pro to do some photo manipulation magic. It offers ad-free access to hundreds of fonts, royalty-free stock images, filters, stickers, collage layouts, and a fully-equipped editing suite that you can use to make your posts like-worthy. There are also templates for creating Facebook and Twitter cover photos and YouTube channel art, and an emoji maker to make custom emoticons.

Planagram Agency Plan: Lifetime Subscription

If you’re handling a brand and have a bunch of content you need to share, Planagram takes care of them for you, airing your posts, galleries, or stories exactly when you want them to be seen by your audience. You can schedule up to 10 images at once and manage up to 25 Instagram accounts. 

Savvant Instagram Optimizer Famous Plan: Lifetime Subscription

Remember that one time you barely had any likes on the photo you posted and you thought your friends had conspired to deprive you of some Insta love? With Savvant, you won’t have to go through that again. Designed to enhance your creativity, it aids you in picking the best photos and imagery, crafting engaging copy, and choosing hashtags, filters, and keywords, so your posts get the engagement they deserve.

The Instagram Marketing Mastery Bundle

This five-pronged bundle will teach you the secret sauce to claiming Instagram fame. Through premium instruction, you’ll learn how to build a successful presence on the platform and connect with its vast user base. You’ll get to tackle content strategy, growth hacks, engagement tactics, affiliate marketing, and advertising.

WATCH: Irish couple stunned by wedding guests’ performance of Disney hit!

An Irish bride and groom got the surprise of their lives on their wedding day when half their guests performed musical flash mob in the middle of the ceremony!

Ciara and Andrew were stunned when, one by one, friends and family members walked up to the altar singing Elton John’s Disney classic, Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

Speaking to EVOKE.ie, Ciara said it was a massive surprise that she will never forget.

‘My family and friends had been rehearsing for weeks and had a private Whatsapp group called Top Secret,’ she laughed.

It was the bride’s brother, John Donohoe, a musician and musical director, who organised the ensemble – and arranged all the music for the church.

‘He is an extremely talented musician and musical director,’ Ciara said proudly, ‘and he inspired me to become a Secondary School Music teacher.’

The 29-year-old explained that, when it started, she thought it was just the choir singing but quickly became emotional when she realised what was happening.

‘I became very emotional to see so many people I love taking part on our special day,’ she admitted.

‘It was such a powerful performance and there was an amazing reaction from the congregation.

‘We are truly grateful to everyone who helped organised and took part in this spectacular performance. It is something we will never forget!’

The couple were married on Friday June 15th in St. Mary’s Church, Crosserlough, Co. Cavan and had their reception in Cabra Castle.

5 Top Tips to Bring the Luck of the Irish — Into Your Home

We hear that kissing an Irish person brings good luck, which comes in handy on St. Patrick’s Day—and every day of the year. But if you’re not a fan of getting a wee bit frisky in the name of good fortune, we’ve got five fun, not-so-forward ways to bring good luck into your home.

Whether you believe in good luck symbols, or subscribe to the ‘it’s worth a shot’ school of thought, give a few of these ideas a try and let us know how they affect your luck.

  1. Green & Other Lucky Colors

The ancient Chinese art of arranging your surroundings to let energy flow smoothly (aka feng shui) has some interesting principles to guide your paint color choices depending on the orientation of your front door. For instance, a south-facing front door should be painted or decorated with red or orange colors; for north-facing doors, choose blue or black; go brown or green for an east-facing front door; and choose white or gray for a west-facing door. Following this rule of thumb is believed to help ensure good luck is yours.

2. In A Circle, On A Diagonal

Another feng-shui-inspired, good-luck-wielding strategy is to arrange your furniture properly. For a living room, circular or oval tables help energy flow. Principles suggest putting your couch against a wall. For your bedroom, place your bed on a diagonal in relation to the door. (There are many other feng shui principles aimed at bringing you good fortune. We just gave you the very super duper abridged version.)

3. A Horseshoe Just For Kicks

Just about everyone ‘round these parts knows that a horseshoe is a symbol of good luck. The tradition has certainly been a part of our Western heritage and has been part of ancient Egyptian and Islamic cultures as well.

But there’s controversy afoot! While most people agree that a horseshoe is best hung above a doorway to spread good luck, there’s no consensus on whether to hang it pointing up or down. Points down fans say luck will be spread to all who pass under the shoe. Points up proponents say luck will run out unless it’s hung with points up. What say you?

4. Lucky Plants

Plants really do make a house more homey, but certain plants can make a house lucky, too. Lucky bamboo, known for its strength and low maintenance requirements, are believed to bring luck and energy to your home. Remember, the more stalks, the more good fortune it can bring; so choose wisely.

Fresh cut flowers are also a good choice if you want to invite good luck into your home. Just avoid flowers with thorny stems.

5. Go Fish

In several civilizations including Greece, Egypt and China, goldfish are believed to bring about prosperity, longevity, harmony and wisdom. And much like the lucky bamboo, they’re relatively low maintenance. (Plus, they don’t shed like some pets!)

Good Luck!

As you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and court the luck of the Irish, we invite you to start planning which good luck magnets will work for you. If you’re looking for a home to bring said good fortune into, a HIP-qualified lender and/or real estate professional can deliver something more than just luck: incredible skill.

5 TIPS TO A CLUTTER FREE LIFE

Lately I’ve been having a major clear out in my home. I have gathered a lot of excess stuff over recently years with having a baby and buying a lot of things, I really never needed or used.

I wanted to wait until after Christmas, to start organizing everything, as I knew we’d be better to wait until January, when everything is back to normal.

Where to Start
After watching a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism, it gave me the push to really go through everything in my home and see what could I do to create a clutter free space.

The first thing I did was start with my own stuff, I started going through my wardrobes, to see what I could let go off and I have to say I was amazed at how much junk I hung on to.

What to Keep and What to Let Go off
I started to pick out clothes that I haven’t worn in years, like Jackets, jeans etc and put them in a bag for the charity shop. My rule was, if I haven’t worn it in years, I never will, or if it’s not something I’d buy now I’d get rid of it.

There were some clothes that had the labels still on, these where not so easy to give away, but I felt better knowing that I was giving to charity and someone will get better use of them than me.

Where to recycle
I started on electrical items next, and collected old laptops, batteries, phones and chargers and looked into disposing them safely.

WEEE Ireland is a great website for advice and take certain unwanted electrical products, to be recycled free of charge. They also partner with Laura Lynn and donate much needed funds for the children’s charity.

H&M Conscious Campaign offers customers a chance to donate unwanted textiles and you receive a money off voucher as a thank you.

I still have a long way to go on my way to a clutter free life, but its a start and I already see the difference in our house, especially in the bedrooms they look bigger.

Do you plan to do a clear out any time soon? We would love to hear from you.

Tips For A Clutter Free Life Check List!

  1. Donate to Charity
  2. Dispose of Electrical Items Safely
  3. Donate unwanted Textiles to H&M Conscious
  4. Start with one room at at time
  5. Let go of stuff you haven’t used in years

Saving money in the Netherlands: 5 Ways to Save Money Like the Dutch

The Dutch are quite famous for being frugal or should I say stingy? They are the pros at saving money in the Netherlands. There is after all that famous English saying “going Dutch” : <<a term that indicates that each person participating in a group activity pays for themself, rather than any person paying for anyone else, particularly in a restaurant bill. It is also called Dutch dateDutch treat and doing Dutch. There are two possible senses—each person paying their own expenses, or the entire bill being split (divided evenly) between all participants. In strict usage, “Going Dutch” refers to the former, paying one’s own expenses, and the latter is referred to as “splitting the bill”, but in casual usage these may both be referred to as “going Dutch”.

Saving money in the Netherlands

So how do you save like a Dutch person? Well, I for one have become obsessed with getting the best deals, buying everything in discount and collecting coupons. It’s like a sport. I get a thrill of buying stuff (that we would normally buy anyway, like detergent, toothpaste or bread) at half of its price. It reminds me of Lily Allen’s: ‘Nan you’re a window shopper’ (“You only buy the paper to cut out the coupons, You’re saving 50p but what do you want with tampons”).

1) Sign in to all the fidelity cards and programs

Saving money in the Netherlands? This isa pro tip! Albert Heijn, Etos, Hema, Kruidvat, Holland & Barret and most other shops have regular offers and discounts and they distribute flyers and pamphlets where you can study the weekly discounts. Then there is of course the ALDI, Lidl, Action, Zeeman, So Low and Xenos where you can often find very cheap items. If you buy in bulk and set a reserve you can easily save quite a few Euros. I love when huge boxes of baby wipes go on sale (and I am seriously considering switching to washable ones, but that’s just me derailing).

2) Buy local and seasonal products

Go to the market! The market in the Hague is a colourful and vibrant open market, and it’s actually the biggest open market in Europe.

In the same line, favor local shops: go to your neighborhood butcher, fruit shop, bakery. I am not sure this is always cheaper, but I often find deals, and the products you get are higher quality. This also goes for cheese, chicken, etc… If you are lucky to live near farms you can get your eggs and fruits close by directly from the producers. You can also participate in community-led urban farming, for example Den Haag in Transitie who also organizes regular dinners every Thursday at 19:00 (the initiative is called The conscious kitchen and it has the objective of minimizing waste and facilitating community meetings). There is also okakiben: a platform where you can buy and sell homemade food from your local community, in the same conscious effort to promote community buidling, knowing your neighbours and avoiding waste.

3) Use budgeting apps

Most banks now have budgeting applications that can help you categorize your expenses. This is an obvious one, but knowing where the money is going and setting limits to reach your goals is key. Taking the cash out for a determined category (eg: groceries / week) and making it work would ensure you don’t spend more than you want to. I have also heard great things about You need a budget (YNAB) , even the New York times recommends it.

4) Buy everything second-hand!

The ultimate Dutch tip: buy everything second-hand, from bikes to strollers to washing machines. For this, marktplaats is a great place to buy and sell used goods, but nowadays there are also plenty of Facebook groups dedicated to this purpose. Most neighborhoods also have a “kringloop” or second-hand shops, where you can find all kinds of things at good prices.

5) Make your lunch

Make your own lunch and if you usually get coffee get a reusable bamboo coffee cup. Not only will you be helping the environment, but some places like the Kiosk (at most train stations) will give you a 50 cent discount for bringing your own cup. If you get coffee everyday, with 18 coffees (so, in less than a month) you’ve broken even and you could actually start “making money”.

Do you have any tips for saving money in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments!