Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saving a few bucks on Xbox Live Points

If you...

  • own an Xbox 360
  • occasionally buy Xbox Live Points to purchase game DLC or Xbox Live Arcade titles
  • are Canadian

... keep reading if you want to save a few bucks.

Microsoft sells Xbox Live points direct from the Xbox Live Marketplace for the following prices:

  • 500 Microsoft Points - $7.25
  • 1000 Microsoft Points - $14.50
  • 2000 Microsoft Points - $29.00
  • 5000 Microsoft Points - $72.00
  • 6000 Microsoft Points - $87.00

Not taking tax into consideration, that works out to 1.45 cents per point, unless you buy 5000 points which works out to 1.44 cents per point. (oooh big savings there)

You can save a few more cents more by buying a 1400 or 2800 point card at Best Buy or Future Shop. At regular price, they sell them for:

  • 1400 Microsoft Points - $19.99
  • 2800 Microsoft Points - $39.99

That works out to ~1.43 cents per point. In comparison to Microsoft's pricing, 1000 points would cost you $14.28. Still not much of a savings. You'd probably spend more on gas driving to the store.

I think that's pretty much the standard pricing for those cards everywhere, unless they go on sale, and that's pretty rare.

There is another option that I don't think many people are aware of: sells Xbox Live point cards, as well as gaming consoles, games and accessories. Buying your Xbox Live point cards from will save you even more. On top of that, they have FREE SHIPPING and they also accept PayPal.

This is Dell's pricing scheme for points cards:

  • 1400 Microsoft Points - $17.99
  • 2800 Microsoft Points - $38.99

You can quickly see that the best bang for the buck is the 1400 point card. 1400 points is ~1.29 cents per point and 2800 points is ~1.39 cents per point. In comparison to Microsoft's pricing, 1000 points would cost you $12.85 — a savings of $1.65 before tax.

Granted, the convenience of having points instantly-when-you-need-them isn't there, but if you plan ahead you can save a few bucks and maybe buy that cool hat or outfit for your avatar. :) In my experience with, their shipping times are really good. Almost everything I've ever ordered from them has arrived within 2-3 days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Google Flower Project

I got this in some junkmail from Google yesterday. Apparently there are wild flower seeds embedded in the paper it is printed on.
I tore off a piece and planted it in a mug of soil at work and we'll see if and what it grows. :)

Bucket time

Time to update my bucket list. While I didn't really set this as a goal, I did achieve what I said in the comment for it.

I had mentioned that I expected to break 2000 kms before the end of summer. I did that on Tuesday. I'll update it to say that I'm aiming for 3000 kms before the snow falls.

  • Weigh 200lbs or less — Less than 20 lbs to go.
  • Quit smoking — Completed 2½ years ago.
  • Visit the UK — Still to do.
  • Visit my Dad's grave site in Louisiana — Still to do.
  • Own a Ford Mustang — Probably a long way away from getting this one done. :)
  • Visit every province in Canada — Still to do.
  • Cycle 1000 kms in one year — Done mid summer 2011.
  • Cycle 2000 kms before the end of the summer 2011 - Done
  • Cycle 3000 kms before the first snow fall
  • Ride in a hot air balloon — Just added!
  • Ride in a bi-plane — I see one taking off and landing at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum all the time, but I think it's a bit pricey.



Friday, August 5, 2011

Cutting cable... or the bill at least

Our rented Rogers PVR died a few days ago. None of the hours of recorded shows we had were showing up. I rebooted it and they appeared, but then disappeared soon after. I suspected that the hard drive was dead or dying. It had been acting up for a while in the last couple of months, rebooting on its own for no reason, and splitting recordings in two parts.

Sandra took it to one of their stores to exchange it for a new(er) one. At the same time, she tried to cancel stuff that we don't use because our bill keeps growing. We were disappointed, but not too surprised, to find out that you can't cancel anything at their stores. You have to CALL them to do that. Stupid.

We got the new one hooked up and so far so good.

The next day, Sandra called to cancel the movie package. I turns out that it wouldn't make much of a difference to our bill. Maybe $15 less per month. Sandra told the rep that we need to do something to get the bill down because it's too much.

Get this. The rep offered to keep everything the same but reduce our bill by ~20% in exchange for signing a contract with them for a year.

She also threw in two "on demand" movies, free of charge, for the loss of all our recorded shows.

We accepted the offer.

I had often heard that they'll cut you deals if you call and threaten to leave for another company. We didn't even do that. We just told them that we didn't want to pay as much as we do.

Apparently our monthly bill will now be around $185 instead of $217. It's still too much, imho, but I'm not ready to battle my family for all the channels they like to watch.