Hi, my friends! How are you holding up in spite of all this COVID-19 craziness? How was your weekend? Ours was okay and was sort’ve business as usual actually, although I do see that changing this week. Dave will be working from home for the next two weeks, and we had to cancel an upcoming trip. Scary and strange times we are in!
In the spirit of keeping it light: This blog post is going to be all over the place, but it came to me the other day, and I felt like running with it …
I’m a saver. I’ve always been that way. I used to be really tight with my money, but have gotten much better about treating myself, going out to eat, getting fancy lattes at least once a week, and ordering the most random but necessary items off Amazon Prime for convenience (because #momlife).
But when it comes down to it, I watch my money closely and am very aware of what I spend. I do not spend more than I should on things that are not worth it. That’s just not my style.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few standards on what is worth investing in to me, and I thought it would be fun to share that with you …
Splurge vs. save: How I spend money
Outfitting Brady and toddler clothing in general.
I can say with certainty that 85 to 90 percent of Brady’s clothing is comprised of hand-me-down items that are several years old. And some of those items have been through two families before making it to us. We are lucky in that some sweet friends pass along boy clothing to us. As much as I love clothing and love dressing Brady in adorable things, this is an area where I’ve been very reserved over the last 2.5 years. We bought him a new outfit for his first day of school, we buy him shoes and the occasional little gift, and of course, he gets clothing as gifts for birthdays from family (my brother and sister-in-law are always so generous with Brady and send him great stuff), but we don’t get a ton of gifts, truly. I like it that way. He doesn’t need a million things filling up his tiny dresser drawers and hanging on his tiny hangers. We do always buy his socks and jammie dresses brand new, because he runs through those quickly. But clothes-wise … it’s either a hand-me-down or we picked it up at Old Navy or Target on sale. He looks cute in everything, we repeat his outfits every week, and he doesn’t care or notice that everything he wears has been worn before, and so neither do I. Save!
Caring for my face with better skincare and makeup.
This one is no surprise, right? But honestly, I spent VERY little on skincare before switching to Beautycounter. I picked up whatever looked okay at Target for my skin, then switched to coconut oil for a while. But once I finally made the decision to invest in my skin with Beautycounter, I haven’t looked back. It’s made a HUGE difference in my skin. Here’s what you should know: High-quality, nontoxic, sustainable skincare products cost more, because they last, they work better, and they are worth every penny. You’ve heard me say it a million times, but your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put onto it seeps into your bloodstream, and many products on the shelves have NOT been screened for safety. Not only that, but once you hit 30, you really need to invest in a skincare routine to take care of your face and prevent signs of aging. Game changer right here, and something that I am so glad decided to get into. As well as safer and better makeup. Splurge!
Filling the freezer with frozen veggies.
I know that frozen foods sort’ve developed a bad reputation because of all the crappy ready-made frozen meals that are full of preservatives and junk. However, there are MANY items in the freezer aisle that are not only healthy, but they also last longer and are better priced than fresh. We are literally kings and queens of frozen produce at our house. At Whole Foods, I load up on the frozen bags of organic cauliflower rice, organic broccoli rice and organic mixed veggies, and I buy like 10 bags at a time. Not only are frozen veggies cheaper, but they are actually said to have more nutrients than fresh produce, because they are frozen at the peak of nutritional value. There’s nothing I hate more than wasting food, and because most of my veggie consumption is from frozen, I rarely have anything go bad before eating it. I buy fresh bananas, avocados, organic sweet potatoes, organic tomatoes and organic blueberries, and that’s about it. Every other veggie we eat has been frozen. Save!
Sticking with organic and pasture-raised eggs.
I eat a lot of eggs, and because of that, I choose the best possible option that I can at the grocery store. For me, that’s organic and pasture-raised eggs. They are quite a bit more than the regular eggs, but they are so much better. The taste. Color. Nutritional value. All of that. I don’t skimp on eggs, ever. My favorite brand is Vital Farms, but there are a lot of good ones on the shelves these days. Splurge!
Borrowing all my books from the library.
The fact that more people don’t utilize the local library is a mystery to me. I will admit, I do have hard copies of all of my favorite books and keep them on a bookshelf in our guest room, so it’s not like I don’t have ANY real books in my home. However, I read maybe one to two new books a month and those are always checked out from the library, totally for free. I reserve the books I want ahead of time, pick them up, wipe the laminated cover down with disinfectant wipes, read them and return them. It’s a win-win for everyone. If you’re not using your local library, may I recommend it? The best part is that if you don’t like the book, you just stop reading it and return it too. Nothing lost. Save!
Keeping my nails done with regular dip powder manicures.
I’ve had my nails consistently done without a break for two years — it’s just my thing. It all started when Brady was really young, and I wanted to have an activity to get out of the house alone every few weeks to treat myself. And I got so used to having nice manicured nails that I kept up with it and love to look down at my hands and see them done. I go almost every three weeks to get my dip powder manicures. Truth be told: I don’t actually love being at the nail salon, but I keep busy while I’m there by listening to a podcast during my appointment and usually get at least one long one in. And I go to the same place every time, because they always do a great job. Even better: Getting dip powder manicures is way safer for your nails than gel manicures. No damage and no need for sitting under a light either. This is totally a personal opinion, but for me, I like my nails done. I haven’t always been this way, but it’s a current phase that I’m okay with. When it comes to my toes, I do those myself, so that’s my save. But nails are a splurge!
Eating all of my meals at home during the week.
When I was in the corporate world, I brought my lunch from home 99.9% of the time, unless we had a scheduled lunch meeting. And that has translated into making my own food while working from home too. I like to buy quality food, but I prefer to save on most weekday meals. Dave and I eat all of our dinners at home during the week as well (if Dave is eating at home and not out at an event). I don’t mind eating at home, and it’s a big savings to do so as well, so it’s another win-win. However, I do like our Saturday or Sunday lunches out, and those will remain. But weekday meals are a save.
Treating myself to an overpriced latte once a week.
As I mentioned in the opening of this post, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I spend $6.50 on a single fancy latte at least once a week, usually twice. I like to get a large, with alternative milk and all the fixings. This works for me. I went for so many, many years of never getting anything at coffee shops, that it just feels right to do now. And I look forward to my coffee shop work sessions while Brady is at preschool, so that pairs well with the fancy latte. Splurge!
Often choosing store brands instead of name brands for household supplies.
I have no problem buying the Sprouts generic dishwasher pods or the Target brand aluminum foil. Why get the name brand when it costs more and doesn’t necessarily perform better? As long as the product is what I need and is the cleaner of the choice (fragrance free and no phosphates for dishwasher pods, always), I’m brand agnostic, and I go on price. Save.
Keeping it picky with jeans and purses.
There are two things that I won’t buy cheap: jeans and purses. I don’t have a ton of either item, but the ones I do have are nice, cost a little more than other items in my closet and are high quality. I like to wear my jeans over and over again, and I like to keep my bags for years and years. So that’s where I am quite particular about what I choose. I have one designer purse I’ve been using regularly for 13 years. That’s longer than I’ve known Dave. The truth. And jeans? Splurge worthy.
There we go, folks! We’ll end it there.
Thanks for reading this one! I’d love to hear you weigh in below in the comments on how you splurge vs. save. See you back here soon! Stay well!
Other posts you may like …
- My top 10 Amazon Prime purchases I order over and over again
- The five best books I’ve read this year (fiction and nonfiction)
- Three health and wellness books that changed my life
- All about skin and my review of the Beautycounter Countertime skincare line
- My top seven Beautycounter products and how I take care of my skin
- Five grocery staples I’m currently obsessed with
- Five things you should be doing in your 30s for your life and health
P.S. In case you want to get your workouts in at home the next few weeks, you should totally try Les Mills On Demand. This special referral link will give you 21 days totally for free. 🙂
Questions of the day
How do you splurge?
How do you save?
How was your weekend?