Splurging vs. ScrimpingWednesday, September 05, 2012
The thought of spending $200 to get my hair done makes me have a bit of a stroke, which is probably why my hair looks like burnt seaweed. On the other hand, I don't bat an eyelash at spending $16 for a pound of coffee when there are perfectly good alternatives for half that price. It's interesting how people will "splurge" on different things based on what's important to them, and how easy it is to scoff at someone else's choices ("She paid $150 for a pair of RUBBER BOOTS!"), but also so easy to justify paying $65 to have somebody paint your toenails, if that's your jam.
I'm borrowing this idea from Holly (and I'm sure I've seen similar posts on other blogs recently too!) So thank you, Holly and others, for the inspiration.
Here are some of the places I cheap out and others where I go crazy:
I splurge on...
[+] Coffee. I brew my own coffee at home 95% of the time, which is a savings in itself, so I pay a little more to make sure it's good. I usually buy either Starbucks or Just Us coffee which runs anywhere from about $13-$16 a pound. It's a nice treat at the start of every day, and it gets my morning off to a good start, so for me it's worth it.
[+] Running shoes. I spend about $300 on running shoes over the course of the year, which sounds like a big number, especially on top of paying for a gym membership, but it's recommended that runners replace their shoes every 300-400 miles and I've run about 600 miles so far this year. I got new shoes in January and the soles are breaking down, so I ordered a new pair last week and they arrived today. I always get Nikes so I can use Nike+ with them, which means I'm usually paying well over $100 for a pair. Running in worn-out shoes can result in injury so it's not a place I like to scrimp.
[+] Moisturizer and sunscreen. Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer and City Block sunscreen have been favourites for a long time. There are definitely more expensive options out there, but there are cheaper ones, for sure. These are products I use every single day, so I justify that it's worth a few extra dollars, and they last a really long time.
[+] Baby stuff. Things like Eli's car seat, high chair and playpen were not discount items. These are things that have to last for years and get a lot of daily use and they're worth paying more for.
[+] Wine. There are definitely "cheaper" wines I love to bits. Yellow Tail Moscato is a nice alternative to Nova 7 and The Accomplice is my favourite affordable red wine. But given the choice, I'd be buying this, this, this, or this every time, and sometimes, it's worth it to get the nice wine. Like for a special dinner, or a Friday after a stressful work week, or a random Monday evening to sip on while you eat popcorn and watch Top Model. Life is too short to drink bad wine.
I save on...
[+] Haircuts. I go so long in between haircuts it's a sin. You know how you're supposed to have a trim every six weeks? Fuggedaboutit. As of right now, my hair hasn't seen a pair of scissors since January. NINE MONTHS AGO. I also just buy whatever shampoo is on sale.
[+] Manicures and pedicures. I almost always do my own nails at home. Maybe once or twice a year, if I get a gift certificate, I'll get my nails done, but for the most part it happens in front of the TV after Eli's gone to bed. That way I don't feel sick to my stomach when they chip after a day or two.
[+] Clothes. Recently I spent $90 on two pairs of work pants at Banana Republic and it made me feel a bit woozy. They were 50% off, which was the only reason I bought them at all. I never pay full price for any clothing unless it's from Joe Fresh, because even the cheapest of the cheap is OK with paying $20 for a dress. Otherwise, it's sale racks, email alerts, and coupons for this girl.
[+] Entertainment. Lately I've been getting all my books from the library and watching TV and movies online and on Netflix. I mean, how often do you read and re-read and re-re-read the same book? Chances are you buy it, read it and never crack it open again. I'm not going to lie and say the library isn't a huge pain in the ass, because it kind of is. Our local library sucks - there are never any good books checked in so I have to either go to another branch or place ridiculous holds on books I want to read, drama ensues, YOU DON'T NEED TO HEAR ABOUT MY LIBRARY WOES SO LET'S MOVE ON. It's free.
[+] Groceries. Shopping for groceries is a draft post of its own (lucky you!) but I do try to buy produce in-season, dry goods in bulk, and local whenever possible. We almost always eat in and I make most of Eli's baby food, other than things I obviously can't whip up, such as Cheerios. We eat good quality food and we don't coupon or do anything embarrassing, but given the choice between full-price toilet paper and on-sale toilet paper, I will buy the toilet paper that's on sale. Fifty cents here and there in the grocery cart adds up.