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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 32 > Articles > The Frugal Neopian's Guide to Smart Shopping

The Frugal Neopian's Guide to Smart Shopping

by jkikolski

Do you want to save money? Sure, we all do. Whether you're a Newbie just trying to make ends meet, or an established player trying to save up for that faerie paint brush, these tips will help you keep your pets happy for less.

First, let's discuss food. It's a necessity, sure, but it doesn't have to break the bank. If you're truly poor, don't even think about buying food. If you have less than 2,000 NP in total, you can go to the Soup Faerie (in the Marketplace) and she will feed your pets. I recommend it; the soups are fantastic and very hearty, just the thing for your growing NeoPet. However, if you've moved up the ranks and have a nice nest egg padding your bank account, you will have to search elsewhere for food.

That's where the giant omelette of Tyrannia comes in. Stop by and pick up your omelette every day. Sometimes, with luck, you can find an extra piece on the ground! If you have three or fewer pets, you can keep them fat and happy on a steady diet of omelettes and the occasional Bagguss from the Fruit Machine. (More on that later!) Each omelette is good for three servings, so even if you have to buy one from a user shop (they range in price from 15 to 150 NP) they are some of the most economical foods out there.

Make sure that you take advantage of the freebies available to you. Scads of articles have been written on the merits of Coltzan's Shrine, the Tombola, and the Fruit Machine; all that needs to be said here is, they all give away food on occasion. Since they are all free, give them a whirl. Unless you are competing for the Gourmet Club prize, you should be able to feed your pet almost entirely for free.

Next, we need to discuss your pet's mood. Everybody wants happy pets, but toys can be expensive. If you picked up your Newbie pack, you must have received a Fuzzle. Take some time to play with your pet at least once a week, and it will be a long time before he gets bored of his Fuzzle. Keep him entertained the rest of the time by playing games like Pyramids, Kacheek Seek, and Dice-A-Roo--all of which can earn you Neopoints. (Be careful playing betting games like Krawps and Blackjack, try not to overbid!) In addition to playing with your pet, you should take time to groom him or her occasionally. The important thing to remember here is always compare prices. Your pet probably doesn't care if you use a blue eyeshadow or a shampoo on it, it will feel clean and pretty either way. So try to shop from the main shop, which rarely sells out, and buy whatever is cheapest.

Of course, many players want their pets to have high statistics, namely intelligence. Again, unless you are competing for the Neopian Book Award, try not to be picky about how you raise your pet's level. Try playing puzzle games like Cliffhanger and Guess the Card. It takes longer, but you also earn Neopoints while you play. If you must buy books, try to buy them from the main shops. The Lost Desert has a bookshop that is usually a little slower to sell out than the main shop, making it easier to buy books there.

Some things are much, much cheaper in user shops than in the main shops. However, this is the exception rather than the rule. Almost everything will come to the main shops eventually, and it is almost always cheaper there. Remember that anything you can't use you can always sell. However, never pay full price, even in a main shop. Usually you can get an item on the first try if you offer three-fourths of the original price as you haggle. For instance, if an item is 400 NP, try offering 300 NP I have found that you can save a lot of money this way. The lower the price of an item, the less leeway you have to haggle. Furthermore, memorise the following statement: The third day of every month is half price day. That means everything in the main shops is half off! Stock up on what you need, and sell the rest. Make sure you have a bank account so you can load up your safety deposit box with medicines, food, faeries, and more. And if your pet has been begging you for a PetPet, the third day of the month is the time to buy those big-ticket items.

So, how to raise your pet's level for an economical price? If you have a fast connection, play a lot of Deckswabber and/or Deckball. Use your Dubloons to train your pet at the Swashbuckling Academy. Also be sure to watch the calendar for your pet's special day (i.e. Scorchio day, which just passed). If your pet is beneath level ten, you could theoretically get up to six training sessions for free (on every four hours for 24 hours). However, most people would be lucky to get two or three. Just make sure you know your pet's species' day and log in before school or work to make sure he starts training.

By the time you have reached level 40, you will probably have collected a large number of Codestones through random events and Tombola prizes. I always save my Codestones whenever I can get them for free. You can put them in your safe deposit box for when you need them. If you get really strapped for cash, you can sell one or two in auction or in your shop, but if you follow these tips you shouldn't need to.

Don't get discouraged if you have trouble getting a certain item in the main shops. Often if you buy items that are similar to the ones you're looking for, people will be willing to trade on the trading post. For instance, most people are happy to trade one book for another if they are of comparable value. However, don't invest too much in case the deal doesn't pan out. This works best with items under 500 NP Always check the Shop Wizard before trading an item to make sure you are not getting scammed or unknowingly scamming someone else.

Finally, if you open a shop (which I highly recommend!) don't upgrade it to a larger number of items than you can reasonably stock it with in 24 hours. If you plan to sell food (a great investment for someone with little capital), you will need a larger shop than someone who sells faeries or Codestones because you will be working in large quantities to make the maximum profit. I sell books, and my shop is size 9, which may actually be a little large! I rarely have more than 25 books in my shop because the tend to sell very quickly. So only upgrade your shop when you start to find that you don't have enough space to restock all the items you can collect in a day.

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