Jennifer (Nova). Photo/James K Lowe.

Things that I have learnt over the years, that make my life easier (that I can think of at this point in time. I’m sure there are more, I’m just lazy tonight. Also, these are very ‘Auckland’ based):
  1. If you need to feed 5-7 people on the cheap, you really can’t beat Toto’s pizza by the metre. It starts at like $40 for a metre. Each metre is made up of 20 pieces. The best flavours are the D’Oro and Boscaiola. At this stage they’re closed Monday’s so don’t even try. On Friday’s and Saturday’s you need to call up and order well in advance. Trust me.
  2. If you’re like me and often don’t finish your meal, you need to go to Dizengoff because they do half sizes of pretty much everything on their menu. I don’t know if they like people knowing that or not, but a half size chicken pasta is the right amount. Same with half size scrambled eggs on toast with an extra piece of toast and side of avocado (my jam).
  3. If you drive right into Britomart and valet your car in that bit in the middle of the square (DO NOT drive into the actual Britomart carpark to valet – that costs more), it will cost you $15 for four hours, which is a little cheaper than parking on the street. This would be a way better life hack if it were a year ago when you could pay $15 for 12 hours. Oh well.
  4. Fill up your car at a Z petrol station – the one brand of petrol that has attendants that will do it for you.
  5. The fastest way to get warm when you’re freezing cold alone in bed, is to get a fleece blanket (or other, but fleece is the best), and completely cocoon your body in it and then put on the covers. Trust.
  6. About three weeks ago I discovered Farro Fresh. I mean, I always knew it existed but I had never actually set foot in the ‘gourmet supermarket’ or whatever you like to call that kind of place. Firstly, um, the place is fricken amazing, and secondly, they have one of those Zummo juicing machines that I’m so obsessed with. They sell fresh orange juice (squeezed on the day or while you wait, even) in 2 litre bottles for $11. I mean, $11 isn’t cheap, but if you are a juice bar regular and you go to say, Ceres Organics in Ponsonby Central, you’re paying at least $7 for a regular cup. Go Farro and share with your friends. You won’t get the cups you get a juice bar but you won’t regret it either.
  7. Always have a passcode on your iPhone/smartphone. It sounds obvious but I feel like no one I know has it on like I do. You never ever know when you are going to lose that god damn thing, and if your phone is anything like mine, it has access to pretty much everything. Always passcode! Also, download Prey!
  8. If you’re a girl and have small feet (or a boy, but I don’t know any guys with tiny feet) – like a women’s size 6 or 7, you can totally fit boys (as in children’s) Nikes. They’re way cheaper and you can get Frees in good colours (as opposed to women’s colours which are often… not good).
  9. Ages ago I got sent this Garnier ‘Goodbye Damage’ shampoo and conditioner and serum and of all the shampoos and conditioners I have used and been sent and tried, I can tell you that is right up there. I have basically a tonne of hair, I don’t know if it’s in very good condition because I hardly ever brush it and I don’t really ever do anything special to it. I went to Fiji a month ago and the swimming kind of f*cked it up. Anyway, this Garnier stuff promised that it would improve my hair within like, 3 washes or something and it totally has! That, and the Redken Diamond Oil products, and the L’Oreal Professional shampoo and conditioner for people with coloured hair (even though I don’t have coloured hair) are my favourites. And Kevin Murphy dry shampoo. I don’t know how this is a life hack, but if any of you have kind of dry hair, try the above.
  10. Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream. This may sound like it’s paid but I can assure it is not. That shit literally makes your skin feel like a baby’s. I’ve never really experienced anything like it. I don’t know how this is a life hack either.
  11. Good responses to give when you can’t be bothered give an answer but feel like you have to?: “Oh yeap”, the thumbs up symbol or “lol”. Either of those will get you out of pretty much any conversation without looking like the uncaring asshole you are.
  12. An underrated lunch option is pretty much anything from the Essential Deli in Mt Eden Village. You can get a small salad for $11.50 and it looks small but empty it onto a plate, it’s bloody huge. The caesar rules if you are into lots of bacon and eggs in it.
  13. There is one place you should go to in the food court in smelly alley (what is the real name of that alley? Who knows?) behind The Rialto in Newmarket. I don’t even know the name but it’s in the back right hand corner if you’re facing away from the alley. There is one thing you should order: won ton noodle soup. Best won ton noodle soup in Auckland, I reckon. Also, like $8.50. Also, pretty sure that food court closes at like, 8:00pm. Also, there’s a juice bar in there and the juice is cheap (compared to most juice bars).
  14. Often it is cheaper to put in $1 a parking metre, and risk being ticketed (usually $15, if you’re half an hour over the time) than to pay for the actual amount of time you’re going to be parking for.
  15. Remember: it’s almost always cheaper online. Contact lenses, perfume, clothes, shoes. Go online.