Thursday, January 31, 2008

Little Luxuries

Since getting married, Kevin and I have both changed when it comes to spending habits. I used to pinch every penny until Lincoln screamed. Kevin has taught me to be better about letting go of money to enjoy life and buying better quality products when they’re worth it.

And Kevin never ordered off the dollar menu until he met me! Now he does this on a semi-regular basis. Ha! It’s funny to see how we’ve both changed in five and a half years. I’d say we’ve probably met in the middle.

Sometimes spending extra on little things goes a long way to making every day quality of life better. Here are a few little luxuries I think are worth it. I'd be interested to see what you all have to add to this list!

Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap—If you’re a young mom who is regularly required to be exposed to poop, I think you deserve this! You need to be able to smell something really good at regular intervals throughout the day. I wait for this to go on sale, and then stock up. Also, this soap is great for kids because it foams up and so kids use a lesser amount. Who knows, maybe it even saves money. That’s what I’ll keep telling myself, anyway!

Tropicana Orange Juice—Kevin and I don’t drink tea or coffee every day. But we do drink orange juice a lot. Tropicana is the next best thing to fresh squeezed O.J.

Loose Leaf Tea—Like I said, we’re not regular tea drinkers. But when I do have that cup of tea once a week or so, loose leaf tea is what I want. The difference is profound, even if you just buy the Archer Farms (Target) or Lipton loose leaf brands. I have to credit Kevin’s mom for getting me hooked on loose leaf tea!

Good shampoo—Maybe other people don’t see a dramatic difference, but I think professional shampoo (I buy whatever is on sale at Trade Secret) is worth it!

Real Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla—There is no comparison. Desserts taste so much better. If you’re going to eat all those calories anyway, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest extent, right?

Can anyone else think of other little luxuries that are worth it?


darren said...

Not sure whether to confess to this one or not, but I always get the softest toilet paper I can find.

Heather L. said...

I agree, although I have as yet to put some of that agreement into practice! I need to get some of that Bath and Body Works soap -- I had some once and it was terrific! I also have good shampoo on my list :)

Let's see -- I go for good quality chocolate, tea (okay, so loose leaf tea is way easier if you have one of those terrific chinese teapots!!!!), and always butter (not marg).

Rose said...

Three months ago my list would have been very short, and it would have consisted entirely of concessions to Michael's preference (expensive tp, Puffs plus with lotion). But now that I've discovered the magic of CVS, I buy top-notch everything, from tp and tissues to Tide and Lindt. Luxury and cheapness - can't beat that!

I agree with the point of your post, though - some things are definitely worth it, even if you have to pay full price!

Catherine said...

Luxury perfume (cheap perfume SMELLS like cheap perfume), cashmere, Coach purses, organic grass fed beef, decadent cheese.

OK so I don't buy cashmere or Coach much anymore, but it's worth the wait. :)

I used to be total spendthrift, but it's amazing what you can do when you have to do it. And there isn't any point in being whiny about having to be thrifty, but you're absolutely right, the little luxuries go a long way to keeping a good attitude about living within your means!

Dan & Angel said...

My list would include high quality and/or organic produce (which isn't always more expensive . . . especially when the farmer's market is running), healthy breakfast cereals, and work clothes and shoes. I have four suits and a few odd skirts and jackets I can mix and match to get me through about 2 weeks without repetitions. Since I wear my work clothes so often, I need them to last! Walmart and Target brands just don't cut it.

(Btw Amy, I was very much like you before I married and Dan was very much like Kevin. :) We've both moved a little more toward the middle of the road on spending.)

Anonymous said...

Nutella...such a luxury, but there's no substitute! Sometimes you just gotta have it.

Anonymous said...

from a mom of many boys -- DIAPERS! boys blow differently and cheap just isn't worth the hassle of changing clothes and more laundry. not profound but I am cuddling a sleepy infant and that comes to mind :)

Alaina said...

I agree about the TP - I don't care if it's free, I won't buy certain brands. :) I also agree about the organic grass fed beef!

I think coffee and chocolate are definitely worth it. Since I love coffee, I prefer whole bean, good quality coffee that I grind at home.

Anonymous said...

One luxury item I'm glad we have is Avery's car seat. She received it as a gift, but we had already decided we were buying it for her regardless. It is more expensive than many models, but it's something I use every day, and it's ease of use is worth the extra $$ to me. We're definitely getting this same brand for future kiddos!
Oh, and I loooove the BBW foam soap too. :-)

Bryan & Megan said...

I like Bath & Body Works soaps as well. I always use butter and olive oil, not fake substitutes. And I also love Godiva and green&black chocolate...

Christian said...

I agree with many of the luxuries listed here. It really is worth it to eat quality when it counts. I buy some of my food at Wal-Mart so that I can afford the rest of it from Whole Foods. I buy a nice watch and purse that'll last me a long time since I get attached and don't like to switch those out. I buy cheap, trendy shoes (but good exercise shoes) and accessories that I won't feel bad about throwing away next year. I whole-heartedly agree with the quality perfume - cheap smells cheap, and it also smells just like anyone else.

As for the baby - his clothes and accoutrement come from craigslist, the Goodwill, hand me downs, and sale racks since he grows so fast that he gets to wear them for about a day and a half. But good diapers (and good wipes that don't dry out)are an absolute must with a fair skinned baby. Those cheap, store brand diapers just rub a rash. Bring on the Pampers Swaddlers!

Debra said...

I love Simple Green wipes. You can also get Clorox wipes, or the no-brand type. When you're constantly wiping up the bathroom, it's nice to have a quick and safe disinfectant!

Nica said...

My must-spend-on things (along w/ the things listed here) are PABA/Paraben/propylene glycol/soy free makeup and lotion(s).