So, what things will/won't you SPLURGE on?

CynicNovember 14, 2007

Most everyone has a few things they just plain like and will spend more to get it. Sometimes by buying "better" it's more frugal, yes, but sometimes it's a case of "I like this brand so much better I'll pay more for it". And yes I do splurge on some things and I feel I make up for it in other savings.

-"Release" Foil: Boy does that work great for some things! And it's not much more expensive. I don't use it for everything though, but for the things that stick, it's great.

- Dish soap: Dawn and Joy are the only two I'll buy anymore. I can't tell the difference between the two and I question if there really is much if any difference. They both work so I don't care. I've really gotten to like the one with bleach alternative. It does seem to whiten some things that are stained. I can buy original formulas at Family Dollar cheap and with coupons and sales, can get the small bottles for about 50-75¢ bottle which is competitive.

- Water: Yes, I will buy bottled water. It tastes better and I drink more water this way. It's also VERY convenient to have handy, carry with when I go somewhere, leave in the vehicle so if I do make a fast food stop, I don't buy a $2 beverage and I have something handy when I have to take a pill.

- Coffee: I like Maxwell House Lite, but will go with Hills Bros Perfect Blend, Butter Nut or MJB if I can't get MH for the right price. I've thrown out and given away too many others. I found a few store brands that were good, but they don't have them anymore. I take a thermos with me so I never buy from MegaBucks or similar places. In fact, occasionally I'll have coffee at home and go out for breakfast and just have water. I'm coffee'd out by then and enjoy water with a meal. I drank water decades before it became "fashionable".

- Shower Gel & Liquid Soap: However, it's not much of a splurge since a $1 or less bottle of shower gel lasts a long time. For hand soap I use cheap dish soap.

- Pets: Yes, this is a splurge in many ways. But as Amy D. (can never remember how to spell her name) says in Tightwad Gazette, it's a quality of life issue. I got one cat that was a rescue. She was going to the vet for a final shot and a buddy asked me to take her and find a home. She was very traumatized and after a couple months here calmed down and is a joy to have around. Then a friend was moving and couldn't keep his cat. Well, OK. Two is definitely a luxury, but then again they entertain themselves and keep each other company when I'm gone. They do get lonely by themselves.

A few things others might buy that I don't:

- Contract cell phone: I go with prepaid. I think it's important to have a cell, but my limit is $5/mo.

-Cable/Satellite TV: There's just not enough on there that I can justify it. I dropped it several years ago and simply do not miss it. I use the internet for a lot of entertainment and broadcast has a lot of good shows, especially PBS.

-Broadband: For large downloads I'll wait until I'm at a motel or something and do it there, or I'll take the notebook with to the library if I need a huge DL. Usually I can wait for it and am in a motel (not Hotel) and do it there. And for normal surfing, broadband is not noticeably faster - only on downloads.

-New vehicles: I get by with a 13 year old van with 180,000 miles on it. Put money into it but still far cheaper than new.

That's what I think of off the top of my head. So, what are your "OKs" and "No Ways"?

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Well we also splurge on our pets. I wouldn't have it any other way! We spend more money on our two dogs than ourselves! They are just so wonderful and I can't imagine not having them by my side.

Certain organic foods. We don't buy all organic but we do buy organic for certain thing. I stock up when there are sales. Also we have a large garden so we have frozen veggies that are organic that were nearly free to produce!

Beer. We are beer snobs!

maintenance. It costs less to maintain big ticket items (like cars) than to repair them later on.

My little greenhouse. I saved for years for it and we finally were able to build it. It is so nice to be able to go in there and see flowering plants in the dead of winter!

what I would never splurge on:

Fancy dinners. We are as happy eating at a small local pub than we would be eating at a fancy restaurant, so why spend more??

clothing. Even items that cost more really don't seem to last longer, so I just buy whatever is cheapest and fits.

Heat (to some extent). My husband and I have thermostat wars. Although instead of turning it up, we sneak around and turn it down to try to conserve energy and money!

Cable tv. Ouch 50 bucks a month??? that is crazy!! We canceled cable, saved for a great tv and then we rent movies and watch them when we want to watch something.

jewelry. The only jewelry I own is what I am wearing.

Trendy electronics, like the ipod or special cell phone.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 10:06AM
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We splurge on:
Books - at least a couple of thousand $$ every year. And it would probably be more except that I also write books for my own amusement!

Food, whether eating at home or out. There is little point to living in the San Francisco Bay Area and not taking advantage of the incredible variety of restaurants here, both expensive and inexpensive. I have an excellent kitchen coupled with a spectacular hillside view that is completely private (a true luxury in the city!) - so cooking in it is a pleasure I'm thankful for every day. When we go out to restaurants, it's like a little mini-vacation for me every time. I love doing both!

Maintaining our home and garden. Not in the sense of "everything must be perfect" but more that everything in it, we love. We don't have the "maybe someday we'll do that" attitude. Ours is one of the most overimproved houses in our starter-home neighborhood, but we have gotten enormous enjoyment for almost twenty years out of every improvement we made, so it was worth every dime.

Because we're not DIY'ers, to us it's less of a splurge and more of a necessity to hire people to handle the periodic repairs and remodels on the ever-present "list of things to do".

Financially we splurge on a considerable amount of insurance, both term life and long term care. It fits in with our overall estate planning and is worth the peace of mind it gives us.

Cable and broadband. My DH adores TV, as does my MIL who lives with us, so who am I to take away their toys? Me, you can have my broadband when you pry my cold dead fingers off my trackball, LOL!

We don't splurge on:
Vacations. Our most enjoyable vacations are spent lounging on the lower patio, reading books and snacking on an occasional nibble or two. Travel isn't something we enjoy, although we like to visit nearby areas. But the whole big schlepp-the-suitcases-around-the-world thing....nope. I loathe airports, and it's a real pain to have to lug four or five books just to get through a single cross-country flight (I'm a fast reader).

Cars. Much as I love them, adore them, drool over car reviews, they are very low on my list of expenditures. I buy the most practical car for the purpose (since we have two of them) at the cheapest price possible. Then we run them into the ground, meaning we maintain them scrupulously, don't really care much about its appearance, and keep them for at least ten years or more. They are to get from Point A to Point B as dependably as possible, which is all that really matters.

Clothes. Been there, done that. Gave them all away to the Salvation Army so other people could be happy with them.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:02PM
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what an interesting thread! i have to agree with the dish detergent and coffee as our case Dawn only and whole bean costco coffee or local roast alternative. we disguise coffee addiction as coffee snobbery, the beans are stronger.
nice bottle of wine here and again. and of course some non necessary home improvements are a splurge..
as far as clothes, cheap purse is ok, but cheap shoes are not. marked down, from the outlet, whatever, but they have to be one of the brands that are on the list...

we're not great savers, but we keep the heat at 64. even so, it's hundreds of dollars per month.
my car has 160000+ miles on it..still going.
generic food (great value menu for you walmart shoppers).
stopped renting movies or netflix and switched to library as the source, although their dvds can be scratchy

happy saving everyone!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 2:28PM
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1. Good quality, locally-grown meat - including grass-fed beef, bison, chickens and pork - even on a $50/week grocery budget.

2. Our home, it's fairly new (18 months), it's also small (1372 sq. ft.) and perfect for 2 adults. We've invested a bit of $ and physical effort landscaping the yard ourselves, which includes over 1000 gallons in rain barrels which is the source of water for the solar pumps for the drip irrigation system. Our home and yard/garden is also our hobby.

3. Books, but not nearly as much as I once invested because I have the Internet at my fingertips now (which is probably another splurge ;-). I'm an information freak.

4. My other hobby - milling at home and baking all our breads and other baked goods. I have hundreds of pounds of grains/seeds/beans for milling, as well as a bevy of mills and a good assortment of kitchen gadgets.

Things I won't splurge on:
1. Clothes
2. Travel
3. Paying someone else to do something we can do ourselves.
4. Other than our home, anything we can't pay cash for.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 3:02PM
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This is a fun thread.
Clothes Dryer
Occasional Fine Dining
Yearly Vacation
Basic Cable TV
Dialup ISP
Nice Gifts for special occasions (weddings etc)

Will Not Splurge On:
Alcohol & Tobacco
New big gas-guzzler autos
Monster Homes
Interest (I had rather have my money working for me)
Electronic Toys
Expensive Clothes

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:16PM
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Hello! -I'm a newbee to posting on this forum, but what a great question - I can't resist!
Won't splurge on: cars; I have the economy car with old-fashioned locks, etc. but it gets great miles per gallon and its paid off! No cell, no cable. Don't spend much on clothes, but like another poster, I buy good shoes. Don't spend much on haircuts or vacation....

Splurges: pellet stove...I'll go for years without and make do until I can afford to get what I want, for ex.Bose radio and my new LCD HDTV. DSL. Other ways I treat myself: Many organic foods esp. eggs, milk, certain veggies, organic meat occasionally, etc. All Green/organic cleaners inc. dishsoap but not laundry detergent yet, and organic personal care products inc. bathsoap,lotions, powder, etc.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 8:35PM
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I'll splurge on all items we eat/drink. Gone are the days for us of eating preservatives, chemicals and medicines...all in the interest of getting food products to market faster. We're worth eating "clean" food...and it tastes better, too! And we grow our own vegetables and many herbs.

We'll also splurge on quality as we believe in doing things once and well so they last.

We pay ourselves first in that funding savings is the first "bill" paid out of paychecks. No scrimping there.

Things I won't splurge on are trends. I don't redecorate every time some magazine features a different color. I buy middle of the road style clothes that are good quality...still wearing wool slacks and sweaters that I bought 10 years ago and they're just fine style-wise and in good condition. I don't pay someone else to things I can do myself...except houseclean and that's because I work outside/am gone from the house 80 hrs per week. I've hung insulation, run electric, and done other DIY stuff many times. We also drive our cars until they die, taking very good care of them along the way.

I guess we don't feel a need to have to keep up with the Jones' so we're never in competition with what the neighbors have and don't have. We just try to keep it simple.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:35AM
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Talk about splurging on your pet. I spent $1200 to get my dog's teeth cleaned. That's more than I spend at the dentist in a year! For myself, my weekly splurge is a manicure at $13. Hey, I don't drink, swear, or gamble. I need a hobby!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 12:26PM
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Toilet paper...I won't use the cheap, scratchy brands, but I do use the cheapest good brand, Angel Soft, and only buy on sale.

Coffee...gotta have my Folger's, but I find it on sale for less than $5 for the big containers, and sometimes bogo for the small bags, and I use coupons with this. I tried store and cheap brands, but they're too bitter.

Bush's baked beans and Campbell's or Van Camp's Pork and Beans. Only buy on sale, though.

Fruits and veggies. I buy at probably the most expensive store in town, but the quality is worth the price, and again, I buy what's on sale.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 2:26PM
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Whole milk costs somewhat more, but 2%, 1% and Skim in 4-litre bags (a bit over a U.S. gal.) are all $3.99.

However, I like the richer milk ... so occasionally, when a litre of 10% cream comes on at something under $3.00 (usual price about $3.25) I'll buy some ... but I only add a little to porridge, a glass of milk, scrambled egg, etc. Son laughs and says that I might as well pay more for the whole milk, for the little bit that I add comes nowhere near making near the difference. Why is it that those dratted offspring are so often right ... well, half close to the truth, anyway?

The 10% cream was about $2.00 a while ago, so I got quite a bit and froze some. It comes out a bit chunky, but that doesn't bother me.

Another strange thing is ... that 6% cream and 10% cream almost always are sold at the same price. Don't ask me why!

I used to like choc. covered almonds (yeah, peanuts'll do, or the hard sugary coated ones) but since I've had the reduction in number of teeth ... it's the blender.

They jump and bounce like you wouldn't believe!

If I buy regular roasted almonds, they may be tax-free as food, rather than a snack ... but I think that it's the presence of salt that makes the difference - it is with peanuts.

Possibly the issue is if they're raw, either - but I think not.

The nice thing about it is that they grind up easily and quickly in the blender, and if I then add a few choc. chips, they do the same.

I'll buy a pecan pie occasionally, as well.

That's about all that I can think of.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 5:56PM
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I don't consider health care for any member of my family, including the fuzzy/feathered/scaly ones to be a splurge. To me, it's part of taking care of your family. A splurge would be getting the black patent leather embossed crocodile pattern collar with rhinestone buckle and heart charm as opposed to a plain nylon collar for my dog. So yes, I do splurge on my pets. But when one needs a $3000 medical procedure or home-made diet to control numerous health issues, that's not a splurge, it's a necessity.

Good beer- there is no reason to drink crappy beer

Good food- I can't see spending ANY amount of money for food that doesn't taste good and doesn't provide nutrition, no matter how inexpensive. I have yet to figure out McDs.

Coats- I only splurge on them because they last a long time, being less affected by fluctuations in fashion and my weight:)

Music- I love music. I'm not loyal to any one artist or genre; anything that stirs my soul is fair game. But I haven't been to a big name concert in many years. I prefer smaller venues, where you can really get into the music, or MP3s or CDs so I can listen again and again. Also with concerts, I won't go to one where the band sounds just like the record. That's silly.

A great haircut and color- I've done time with the OK or mediocre salons, but nothing boosts your mood, confidence, or even your style as much as a GREAT haircut that really suits you.

Really comfortable and stylish shoes- no reason to suffer for fashion. I won't buy shoes that don't both look great and feel great.

Fast internet access- I do a lot of necessary-for-career/school research online, and cannot imagine how long it would take to get anything accomplished with dial-up or other slow access. I'd never sleep!

In the music category again, my XM radios- yes, that was plural. I have one in my car and one in my home office. DH has a portable one for his car and office. You'd think that with all the excellent local music in NC that the public radio stations would be great, but you'd be wrong. They stink. First thing I bought when I moved down here was the XM for my car. Best $25 month (total for all) I spent. Otherwise, my road rage would have had myself or someone else killed by now.

Things I refuse to splurge on:
Designer clothing- I am way too hard on my clothes to pay money for a name. The knockoffs suit me just fine.

New cars- OK, I did pay for a new car once, but that was 10 years ago, and I STILL have it! (it was my only new car, and only my second car).

Manicures and pedicures- I can paint my own nails, but rarely do. My career is way too hard on nails to make it worth it. I have to keep my fingernails short for surgery, anyway.

Gift wrap- in my family, gift wrap is best when it is ripped apart. So we don't spend a lot on the wrapping.

Anything home repair or improvement I can do myself. I enjoy doing work around the house anyway. And please don't ask how many times I've redone my home office.

A big home- I don't want one. The one I have is big enough, just not so suited as far as lifestyle. There are rooms we very rarely use, and other spaces that could be put to better use if the home was actually designed for us instead of cookie-cutter tract home. I could easily splurge designing a similar sized home that was better suited for us.

Things I don't know whether to count as a splurge or not:

Travel- we travel a lot, one nice vacation a year plus numerous little trips. We don't stay in fancy hotels or go first class, but we do travel. I believe my sanity is a least partially owed to traveling to warm sunny places during the winter.

Gardening- although I think my garden adds curb appeal and value to my home, I'd be kidding myself if I said that was the reason I do it. I enjoy working in the garden. If it eventually makes me money when I sell the house, that's fine. But if it doesn't, that's fine too.

Heat- when I am not comfortable, I am a real (ahem) unpleasant person to be around. I think divorces and marriage counseling are still expensive, so keeping the thermostat at 71 probably saved my marriage and a lot of money. Yes, I wear wool socks and insulated jeans and sweaters and wrap myself in a blanket, but I refuse to wear a ski mask in my own home!

Pets- yes, I have a lot of pets: 2 Huskies, a Rottie, a Lab, a ferret, a parrot, and an iguana. They were all rescues, so the grand total of acquiring them all was $150. They cost a lot of money, but what they give me back in joy is beyond anything I could pay for. Plus the youngest Husky keeps me healthy. If I don't tire her out by running with her every day, something in the house gets destroyed by a bored and very energenic dog.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:49PM
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I spend a fair bit on some things. Health and dental care, and good food, but to my reasoning they're not splurging. You can't live without your health, so it's money well spent.

Things I do splurge on are:

Nice coffee. Not super expensive, and I buy the largest money saving containers, but it's a favourite brand so I'll pay more for it.

A good ISP and telephone company. I've had too many serious problems with cheaper ones, so now I consider spending two or three times as much for the service with a company who know what they're doing and make few mistakes money well spent.

Good kitchenware. I cook a lot and appreciate the results I get with better quality cookware, plus it generally lasts so long it saves money anyway. You certainly don't need piles of it either, a selection of versatile items can do everything you want.

Shampoo and conditioner. I tried the cheapest store brand and my hair turned to straw. Saved money, but it was otherwise horrible. I now buy a better quality product, although it's not the most expensive and I stock up in sales.

Things I don't splurge on:

A car. I don't own one. Public transport is good here and the cost to catch the bus in to the city and stay for as long as I want is now less than the cost to park a car for two or three hours. I calculated that for the majority of journeys the parking costs more than public transport both ways, and with a car you also pay for fuel, maintenance and road tax too. Plus you have to buy the car.

Bottled water. I actually prefer the taste of tap water because I have always drunk it.

Fancy cleaning products. The cheapest store brand dish washing liquid at 13p a litre can clean almost everything in the average house. Baths, sinks, toilets, floors and tiles, dishes.

Eating out. I like going to good restaurants for special occasions - but lunch out from work is not one of them! I pack my own. Anyway, you get more lunch break to yourself when you're not spending time going to food places and standing in ques during the lunch time rush. Just pull it out the fridge, open the box and eat. That's convenience. You don't have to stay in the building just because you bought your own food in, but it's a nice option in the bad weather.

The house. I'm not worried about fashions. Nothing matches. The majority of furnishings were bought from a junk store that was closing down in 1999 and everything which was already cheap was on a big sale. We furnished the entire house with furniture, rugs, lamps and other smaller items for about £500. Just about cleared the shop out. The items range in age from 1920s to 1970s, you could call the look eclectic. However, I bought the better items they had. Hardwood and quality made things.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 5:02PM
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Good cooking ingredients
Antiques (but it has to be a 'bargain')
Musical instruments
Kitchen utensils/knives
Real Christmas trees

Things I don't splurge on:
Cars (all ours are bought cash, used)
Soft drinks ( I drink tap water all day)
Home improvements/repairs ( I do all of my own)
Latest electronics

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 3:10PM
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Reading this thread reminded me of a funny story regarding one of our splurges:

We needed to replace our trusty old Kenmore washer/dryer pair. Went to a local appliance store and fell in love with the new Fisher Paykel top-load dryer. A stainless steel beauty! Sexy, gorgeous - literally, we fell in love with it. No discount at this store, we paid top price.

Turned out to be the best labor-saving device I ever bought. My husband was so in love with the thing, HE does the laundry now! Every week, he does 5-6 loads.

It's wonderful. Possibly the best $900 ever spent. If I could find some magical new appliance that would interest him in washing windows, I'd buy it no matter how much it costs, LOL.................!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Jkom, my husband is in love with the new steam mop :) Mopping did not interest him before....

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 9:41PM
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Do not splurge on: clothes, eating out (I like my home made food much better!), new cars, electronic toys. I also don't buy very many cleaners, knick-knacks, things that are just to look at, make-up, jewelry, junk food, processed food.

I do buy: good quality food, bird seed, books, plants and garden stuff, tools (we are DIYers), kitchen equipment--things that will help us be even less dependent on the grocery store.

Grainlady, I would love to visit you and see all your grinders! I would like to get a non-electric grain mill one of these days.

meghane, I too like to be warm! We have wood heat which I love. Some folks don't want to put up with the mess but I prefer being warm and don't mind sweeping up several times a day.

Perhaps a splurge is Tinkyada brown rice pasta. DS has to have a gluten-free diet so we started buying it for him. It's the best tasting and textured brand we've tried (he recently tried a Trader Joe's brand that he liked too). I didn't want to feed my family the fiber-less white pasta and they don't like whole wheat so the brown rice is a good choice for all of us. We stock up when it goes on sale a couple of times a year. I still get some whole wheat for myself too.

Great thread!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:38PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I like spelt pasta VG...I am finally getting my DH to eat it instead of the white.

jkom51...I would love to know more about your new washer and dryer. I keep eyeing the new front loaders with the windows in the pretty colors that are sitting on pieces that raise them up so you are not bending down to get everything out of the dryer etc. They are so expensive though and ours are still working fine. Are you talking about those type of machines or something different?
What is it about them that makes your husband so happy to use them?


    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 2:55PM
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jkom51, I had to replace my old dryer this year and really wanted to get the F&P top loader to save on my back but just couldn't get myself to splurge that much. I did find a great deal on a discontinued model and it was a much larger capacity than the F&P. After getting it and using it, I actually enjoy it! I'm surprised. Started doing some extra washing to test it out. So quiet and smooth and I made my own pedestal for it to raise it up about 14"-15" so it's much easier on my back even being a conventional front load. And it really makes a difference on drying time with the larger capacity unit and by raising it up it shortened the vent length too for additional efficiency (hence, savings). I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed a dryer! So I appreciate your hubby's feelings!

There's one thing I wish I had "splurged" on and that is spend a few dollars having the dryer delivered. Would have given me more time to get ready for it, and I didn't remember what a PITA it was to deal with taking it through my house, down the steps and get to the bottom and have to remove the bottom door to fit it through until the dryer is wedged 1/2 way through! Argh! Never again - I'll pay for delivery or better yet buy locally and get free delivery from a reputable appliance dealer rather than try to skimp and go big box.

Oh, I just got a set of the dryer balls. We'll see if they help save anything too. I'll let ya know!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 7:29PM
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Fabulous thread! Enjoy everyone's considerations.


Cookware (sick of teflon and stick to me steel). We grew up with those heavy aluminum wearever pots - wish I had them now since they have recently overturned the aluminum scare. Going to look for sales to start buying the Le Crueset. Not to mention they are thinking of banning Teflon in the future!

Quality food (we've cut back considerably on junk food). I do look for specials a lot.

TV - we bought a new one on sale - since we have cut back on going out years ago, we enjoy movie nights at home more.

footwear - we wear shoes until they get religious (holey).

Vehicle maintenance - shop around, talk to people and keep on top of car maintenance.

Won't splurge:

We've spent the last 10 years getting out of horrific debt. I like our new ways and would never part with them.

Clothing - jeans especially. I cruise charity shops. Amazed at the volume of new items they get for sweaters, shirts.

Dining out - super special occasions only

Ordering in - going to cut back since both pizza and chinese food seem to have gone up $10 on our normal orders. (Bought a good quality oven baking stone and going to start doing our own).

Pasta - I can't tell the difference between brands. Fresh pasta is not included in this. (Got DH a pasta maker for xmas this year, expect payback on that in no time).

Cleaning supplies - sick of killing my lungs and pocket book, going back to the basics and LOVING IT.

Books/magazines - with the internet the world awaits, especially the Gutenberg project for older books.

Quilt shows, magazines & books - have lots of reference material from previous years and searching the internet by 'quiltshow' and '2007' etc. I can view the online photos posted by people who attended. Same goes for craft ideas.

Internet - we subscribe to the local internet service and get great service. Market place (CBC Canada) recently did a study on download times and found that the top providers like Bell did not even come close to what they promise and when you call them for support they try to hook you to paying an even higher rate for 'better service' which is NOT. Shop around for your internet service and talk to people who are signed up.

Gardening - grow from seeds, cuttings, division. Trade stuff with friends and neighbours. Love GW forums for this.

Transportation - Walk when I can, use the bus. Vehicles - we buy used since new vehicles depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot.

Some furniture items - refinish, reupholster.

Just to name a few.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 10:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

It might not sound so outrageous, but just ask my kids, and I am sure they would think Instead of hiring someone to remove a 120ft of overgrown shrubs and saplings, the grown children all pitched in and dug them out by hand. It took them a lot of their free time over a period of about 3 months.

When our daughter was in high school she redid the very small front lawn, preparing the soil and reseeding and keeping it watered.

It was very labor intensive but now they all feel it is 'our' yard/garden. Plus it saved us a ton of money!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 4:22PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oops! Looks like I was planning to post that to the thread on most Outrageous Money Saving Ideas. Sorry about that! I will repost it to the correct thread.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 4:26PM
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Things that I will spend a little more money on (Although I wouldn't exactly call them a splurge... I'd say they're WORTH IT):

-Good-quality cooking materials, like cookware and knives
-Razors (I like my legs, no scars please!)
-Hair conditioner (There IS a difference)
-Laundry detergent. I only use Tide; it's more concentrated anyway and my clothes will last longer.
-Heating/cooling. I refuse to be uncomfortable in my apartment, not worth the money saved.
-Soda (I have a serious Diet Pepsi habit)

Things I scrimp on:
-Basic food items like flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, ect. I go to ALDI, not those expensive grocery stores!
-Cellphone (Prepaid only, spend only $5/month)

The only REAL "splurge" I can think of is my spending habits on vacation. I am very surprised at the number of people who won't/don't like to travel! To me, life is about experiences and you're missing out on a lot of experiences and memories if you don't go out and see the world.

Clothes is hard to categorize. There's a difference between LOOKING cheaply dressed and looking smartly dressed but not spending bookoo bucks to do so. The smart way to buy clothing is to find good quality clothing on clearance. Buying a Mossimo dress for $5 at Target from the 75% off clearance rack (YES, I did this the other day!) is much smarter than buying a $5 sweatshirt at Wal-Mart at retail price. You can get some AWESOME deals at JCPenney and Target if you shop the clearance racks. I found nice-quality silk camisoles marked down to 97 cents... At JCPenney!! And I also bought a really cute denim jacket at JCPenney for only $2.97... I couldn't believe it. I don't do consignment shops or garage sales for my clothes. If you're strategic and smart with when and where you shop, you can get brand-new, recent-season, and good-quality clothes for the prices you would pay at Goodwill for used, aged clothes. I have a coupon for JCPenney sitting downstairs that is 40% off CLEARANCE prices... It will probably not go unused. :)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 10:53PM
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My two personal splurges are $1.50 for a cup of coffee and $8 plus $2 tip for a professional manicure. Yes I know I can make my own coffee and buy a bottle of nail polish for 99 cents.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Great thread!

Good gin
great coffee (Costco, so it doesn't break the bank)
Satellite radio
Cars (my husband sells high end cars so we drive fancy for the price of cheap)
Kitchen Appliances
Perfume (cologne actually) I've worn the same fragrance since college, and it's pricey but lasts a year or more.

Clothing -either buy at consignment stores or at supercheap clearance
Books- use the library, 1/2 price books and trade w/friends
Hair - beauty school
Yard work - we do it ourselves
Jewelry - can't see putting $ into it.
Wine - we look hard to find drinkable wine at low prices
Food - no processed stuff, store brands, stock up on sale whenever we can
Costco - what we save on their very good detergent, dog food, coffee, TVs, etc. more than makes up for the membership cost
Eating Out - more and more we seek the "roadfood" kinds of places, with much lower prices than the so-called "fine dining" establishments.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 2:36PM
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Things I will splurge on (a very short list! since I'm so cheap)

At the top of the list is high end coffee - I buy it from a guy in my town - he hand roasts it himself as a side business. It's 33 oz for $20 about every 2 weeks or so but it beats Starbucks, Einstein coffee any day. I'm also supporting a small business rather a big corporation, which makes me feel better.

During farmer's market season - June through Oct we usually allocate $20 - 30 per week to go and spend it on - organic vegetables, fruits, homemade (no additives) sauces, dressings and other goodies. Again, expensive but healthier and you're supporting local businesses and farmers. It also makes for a cheaper family outing then going and dropping twice the amount or more at one of those chain family restaurants that seem to be everywhere.

Whole Foods: Once every month or so we'll splurge and spend $20 or 30 bucks on their take out food for our date night - it's still cheaper then eating at a dine in restaurant.

Basic Cable & Broadband (these are my husband's splurges) but since we're seasonal workers, we have the winters off and need cheap diversions.

Won't splurge:

Clothes - I buy almost everything at Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Books: I go the library or I buy them at a fraction of the cost at the thrift stores.

Housing - This is probably everyone's biggest expense. Eight years ago we decided to get real and buy a house. We were hit with sticker shock - so we decided to take a chance and buy a small home in a mostly minority neighborhood. Nice, quiet, clean and cheap with good city services. We live in a near working class Chicago suburb - but it's next to some really fancys suburbs which we get to enjoy by visiting frequently without the pain of their property taxes or housing prices plus we're close to downtown Chicago. People tell us all the time that we were nuts to move here with regard to the schools (among other things) but hey, what we save on mortgage payments and taxes you can spend on private school and still come out ahead. Plus, where we live you can do without a car if need be (which happened one year when our's broke down one winter) since there's convenient public transportation and shops are within walking distance.

A new car - Been there, done that. It's a relief not to have car note. Own both my vehicles - both with almost 200K. Don't care what they look like as long as they run and are big enough to hold the kids safely.

Food - Shop mostly at Aldi's and the balance at the local Fruit/Vegibable market or Food 4 Less. I've cut out the processed foods and most of the junk food almost entirely. Going on a diet six months ago also cut down on our food bill considerably since everything's portioned out. This way my husband and I have been eating much less so the food stretches further.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:45PM
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Great info!!!
Yoga classes and gym membership (hubby runs marathons and trains at gym)
Fresh Food- fruits veggies etc.
Shoes for work- on my feet all Day
Facial cleansers/ makeup
Internet/ cell phone

Laundry soap, dish soap - on sale, coupon or store brands only.
Clothes- sales only especially clearance
furniture- all used
Cars - high mpg- used
Books- 1/2 price or used
Cleaning supplies- vinegar, borax, or store brand only
Shampoo, body soap
Limit AC use
Line dry clothes

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 8:42PM
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SPLURGE- I buy expensive diapers, on sale and with coupons
About once a month I buy a latte at Starbucks
During the summer I spend $30/week at the Farmer's Market (though I don't consider it a splurge since I'm buying local organic food for less than what it would cost at the grocery store)

WON'T SPLURGE- I use home-made cleaning products, mostly vinegar
personal products (toothpaste, deoderant, toothbrushes)- I use rebates to get the stuff for free
I don't spend a lot on shampoo/conditioner either

I used to splurge to buy hand-made soaps till I learned how to make them myself and I spend a fraction of the price, plus it's fun!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Splurge on coffee,chocolate,drinkable wine,Oriental carpets and padding to cover the hard tile floors,Maytag Duet frontloader,and free and clear laundry soap because of allergies.
Won't splurge on salon cuts or dyes,manicures or pedicures,name brand purses,clothing with conspicuous name brand emblazoned anywhere visable.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 6:39PM
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When I bought my house in July, I splurged on my washer, dryer, and stove. I figure they'd last for 15-20 years and even $1,000 more than skimping would be worth it over that length of time. I am ecstatic with these items so more to make them worth it. I also splurge on high-speed internet (I don't have a land line so not really a splurge), satellite tv, cell phones (one for each me and my boyfriend), Crest toothpaste - oh, and I do have two remarkable cats which give us more joy that I can express. I do cheap vacations -- usually go to California and stay with my folks for around two weeks where we have a great and very relaxing time. I do buy my lunch out every work day though pretty much on the cheap -- $4 - $7 usually though my New Year's resolution is to start making my lunches which mean hopefully I will eat better and cheaper.

I pretty much scrutinize every purchase I make based on need or how much I really really want it and how much it will change my quality of life. I do have an mp3 player (not an iPod) because commuting to and from work I walk about an hour and am on the train for another hour (1 hour each way) and the music makes the journey ever more pleasant and now I don't have to go to the gym and my health is better due to the regular exercise. I do a lot of research before making any purchase. I buy clothing at discount store, ebay, thrift shops, but since I work at a very corporate company, I have to make sure the clothes are nice and I do like to dress nicely. When I grocery shop, first thing I do is grab the weekly flyer and study it and buy what's on sale. I think I live very comfortably but make huge savings which I'd like to put into my 401k, savings (to make updates to house, take vacations, etc.). I buy household items on sale, don't buy jewelry, rarely go out to a real restaurant (we'd rather cook and eat at home), movies rare as well, books at the thrift shop or if I really have to have something - ebay or amazon. Otherwise, I go to the library. My goal is to be reasonably happy all my life rather than live great now or wait until later.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Cable/internet/phoneI dont know if this counts because DH works for the cable company so it's cheap, but we have everything. If he didnt work for the cable company we would still have phone, high-speed internet and digital cable, but we wouldnt have the movie channels and all that. We dont go out very much, so TV is our source of entertainment.

Sodawe do buy generic, but we usually buy two or three 12-packs a week. Theyre not all gone in that time, but almost.


CarsI have owned two new cars and dont know that Ill ever buy another new one unless I win the lottery or can comfortably pay cash. Id rather maintain a car than deal with buying a new one and getting the loan and all that.

GiftsI hate buying gifts, so I usually dont. I make them as much as I can. (Some people in my family have a problem with "homemade" gifts even though I run a business selling my items, so my solution for that is that those people dont get gifts.)

ClothesI make most of my clothes and a lot of my kids clothes. Theyre young enough that they dont care. Ill be making DHs winter coat for next year, too, and probably some pants for him in the next month or so. I much prefer to spend a few hours making something that I can tailor perfectly and have it look great than spend the same or more at the store getting something that wont fit right.

FurnitureI generally dont buy things new if I can help it. I just find the things I can get at thrift stores a lot more interesting than the things I can buy at Wal-Mart or K-Mart or even at a higher-end store (although Wal-Mart and K-Mart are the only places I can afford to shop these days).

Things I splurge on that I wish I saved on:

Fast foodI really dont want to eat out as much as we do. Granted, its usually only once a week, $20 a time, but $80 a month is good money in our one-income household. Usually when we eat out its because theres nothing quick to fix, so I think I need to start making more so we have more leftovers or making and freezing things.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 6:52PM
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Budgiebirdy, you mention that you splurge on razors. Would you mind sharing your opinion of what's the best razor out there?

My husband and I have been having a horrible time with our razors recently, and we've taken to trying different brands/styles to see if there's any appreciable difference, but so far our conclusion is that they're all crap. I'm so sick of tearing my legs up and seeing his poor face all sliced to bits that I'd gladly splurge, if only I knew what to splurge on!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Things we enjoy and splurge on are;

Fine dining- we love the elegance of the room, the attentiveness, the food. It makes for a wonderful evening.
Food for the family-we are buying more and more fresh,local and organic items. Better taste and healthy choices.
Traveling-for our 50th b-days and 25th anny. we went to England and Scotland. Took the kids and had a blast. (We own timeshares so it was a money saving trip also)
Clothes- buy the best quality, classic styles and you don't spend more money replacing them year after year. Poor quality just doesn't hold up.
Hiring professionals when it comes to doing working in our home- We are very good DIYs'. We have reshingled the roof, painted, laid down tile, put up cabinets, things like that. When it comes to safety that is where I draw the line. We hire electricians to do rewiring, installing, Gas people to hook up things. I have no confidence in our skills to do such things. We leave it to the pros.
Kitchen knives-here we have found out that the better made quality knives do cost more.
Motorcycles-Harleys all the way.

Things we don't splurge on;
New cars-I think I have only owned 1 new car in all my life. All the rest have been used.
Garage repairs-my husband does just about all the repairs needed for our cars.
Garden supplies/plants-we make do most of the time with what we have on hand. We also trade and swap with like minded gardeners.

Fun thread to see everyone's responses. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:30AM
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I'm ashamed to admit, I splurge on:

Pets (dogs, cats, horse, sheep, ducks, about $200 a month total)
Haircuts ($35 every eight weeks)
Decent coffee (whole bean 8-O'Clock french roast. I tried getting used to the canned pre-ground brands... bleck)
Vanilla flavored sugar-free coffee creamer (husband loves it, ridiculously expensive. But less expensive than my horse.)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I'm so ashamed to admit it but two things my husband and I splurge on are:

lawn mowing and
house cleaning.
Both of us suffer from grass allergies (ironic since I love to garden) and paying someone to mow the lawn every 2 weeks saves us much physical misery.
The second thing we splurge on is a housekeeper. She cleans the house every two weeks. I work a full time job and attend college full time as well. Same for my husband. To save my sanity and our marriage we hired a cleaning lady. These are HUGE luxuries for us.

Won't splurge on:

Cable tv
basic food items
eating out
vacations (we combine the occasional family reunion with a vacation so we get to stay for free and see the family)although we don't get to go every year.

Save for our two shameful splurges we are very practical people. It's good to see what others are spending their money on these days!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:26AM
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In general, I like nice things, but refuse to pay full price for them.

I have to have bottled water, but I buy it by the case at BJs. I also get my books there since they're so cheap.

Other splurges: haircuts; lawnmowing service; free & clear laundry detergent.

We don't splurge on vacations. We were fortunate enough a few years ago to purchase land and have a modular house built in PA. That's our weekend and vacation house.

We like nice clothes since we both still work, but I refuse to pay full price for them. I always wait for sales.

Nancylouise - I'm looking for a good set of kitchen knives for when we entertain, but don't want to spend a fortune on them.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Hey cheerful, for knives you can't go wrong with either Wusthof or Henkels. Both are made in Germany and are excellent quality knives. We also like and use the Global brand of knives. Globals are lighter in weight and thinner then most knives. All the brands mentioned are not inexpensive. They will give you years and years of good service (taken care of properly of course) and are well worth the cost. You won't be replacing them as often as cheapy knives. A small paring knife, a serrated knife and a 8 to 10 inch chef's knife should start you off well. If you have a cooking store near you I would pop in and check out the knives in person. Hold it in you hand, see if it is a comfortable fit, how well it is balanced, etc. Good luck in your search! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 12:21PM
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Thanks, NancyLouise! I will check them out.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 12:53PM
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:) when I was a teenager, my goal in life was to own a tiny little house of my very own, where no one would ever tell me I couldn't paint the bathroom chartreuse if I wanted to, to make enough money that I could go to a museum or a concert whenever I wanted to, and to own a car that didn't need its own tool box to get to work and back...

and I'm pretty much living that.

We spent $5K redoing our powder room - and spent more on the custom pedestal sink and faucet than we did on the washer and the dryer combined - but we love it, and don't give a f'k about what we're supposedly doing to the resale value of the house by putting in things that are out of keeping with the standards of the neighborhood (of 1,000 sq ft twins with street parking)

we're not just getting a digitizing tablet - we're getting the 12x19 one, though we decided against the touch-monitor one that's $2500 more for that size ;)

we went on an actual vacation back in march (the first time we've stayed in a hotel instead of a friend's house) and have another one planned for the fall.

I think my favorite splurge, though, is driving 45 minutes to shop at Trader Joe's and stock up on coffee beans and weird things like dried lychee fruit and vegan sausage.

oh- and artisan bread from Great Harvest, where the baker knows the guy who owns the land the organic wheat is harvested from :)

on the other hand, I haven't shopped at the mall in years, and all the nice clothes I have come from one of three thrift stores in my area - I'm a sucker for brands like INC and Tahari, but why pay $40 for a shirt, when you can pay $2?

the cars aren't ancient, but they both have 120K+ on them, so we tend to baby them...

and we splurge on our friends, but we would rather MAKE Surf and Turf for them than take them out for dinner, eh?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 11:57AM
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I hate spending $$ on hand soap! I've found those hand soaps with the foam dispensers are the best to re-use and save money! I broke down and bought 2 bottles of Method foaming hand soap (because I liked the shape of the bottles) and used them up.

The tops screw off, so you can refill them. Seriously, it only takes about a tablespoon or 2 of your own liquid soap (your shower gel, dish soap, whatever) and fill the container up the rest of the way with water. Perfect foam hand soap! As long as the containers hold up (2 years and still going for mine), you will never have to buy a separate hand soap.

I have only purchased 1 roll of paper towels in my entire adult life. The only reason it ever got used up was because my ex-H (a big-time waster) went through paper towels for every single thing. I gave him my 8 year-old unused roll when we were dating. I have about 40 white, cheap cotton washcloths I use for everything. Spills, general cleanup, baby puke, cat puke, car cleaning, etc. Use a cloth, throw it in the laundry pile. Yes, they get stained & ratty over the years depending on what you used them for, but they are clean. On occasion, I'll save up the cloths as a separate laundry load and use bleach on them.

Man, it just kills me when I see someone spill and they end up using half a roll of paper towels for 1 spill event. Ugh!

Splurge? My high thread-count bedding and my tempurpedic mattress. I'll spend the cash for super soft, luxury bedding. If someone offered me double the cash I spent on my bed & bedding to go to something less, I would refuse.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 9:42AM
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1. Cat toys and scratching posts - I finally found a post that my cat will scratch and it's saved our door frames! I'll pay $70 or more for a post if it works.

2. Textbooks - I'm in school, and I don't like to buy used textbooks because I know that I'm going to keep them for years to come. I want them to be in good condition.

3. Decorating - My husband and I are moving into a new apartment, and in the past week, we've probably spent $300 and are planning to spend $300 more to change our decor. IKEA is an hour's drive for us, so we also have to spend gas to get there.

4. Meals out - We like to dine out - not at fancy restaurants, but where dinner is about $30 for two people. I always feel guilty afterwards, though, knowing the $ could have gone to something else.

5. Vacations - I don't want to spend $ on vacations, but we have family who live out of state.

Won't splurge on:

1. Cable TV - We cancelled it and subscribe to Blockbuster Online instead.

2. Vehicles - We own one car, take it to the dealership for regular maintenance, and plan to keep it until it won't run anymore.

3. Clothes - I shop at JC Penny's when there are sales and I also pick up finds at thrift stores.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 2:12PM
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What I slurge on:
Luxury bedding and good bath towels.
Good kitchenware as we both enjoy cooking.
Certain name brands we are loyal too.
Once in a while (every 4 years or so) a nice vacation.
High-speed Internet and cable TV (though I could go without cable TV, DH couldn't; high-speed Internet is a must as I work part-time from home).
Cell phones - with DD and DS living out of town it's easiest for keeping in touch and I get a great corporate discount so maybe it's not a "slurge" after all!
Our cat (to a limit)!
Comfty undergarments. GOT to be something comfortable like Victoria's Secret or Barely There!
Certain food items for their quality and health benefits.
Most personal care items, though not all.
Home repairs/improvements. Although we are somewhat DIY, if we can't do it, I don't mind paying someone to do it for me.

What I won't slurge on:
Lots of "designer" clothes. I buy on sale at places like Kohl's or JC Penny or at discount stores like Ross.
DVD movie rentals. We do this very rarely, we usually "swap" with friends or check them out from the library or find good deals on-line.
Expensive cleansers. I prefer eco-friendly items like baking soda and vinegar for general cleaning and dryer balls versus fabric softener and dryer sheets.
High-end restaurants. Although we will on rare occassion go out for a very nice meal, we prefer the local pubs/grills.
Vehicles. I've had mine for almost 7 years now and plan to keep it for several more. (However, with the price of gas...)
Most home furnishings. I love to decorate and to have a comfortable, welcoming home, but I shop for bargains.
Although I mentioned slurging on a few brand names, most items are store brand. If I can't tell the difference, I won't pay it!
An expensive vacation every year. This year we are planning a "staycation".

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 11:41PM
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I splurge on lots of stuff, but some stuff I kinda have to.

Food: We eat out pretty much every night. Have no kitchen at the moment. Just a microwave and fridge. The portions are usually so big I get a couple meals out of the leftovers.

Clothes: If I like something, I buy it. Could be off the clearance rack, could be full price. I have a large shoe collection containing a couple pairs of heels for when I need to dress up and then I have my every day flip-flops and slip on Vans. I buy a new pair of slip on Vans every couple of months, whether or not I need them, but because I like the pattern. I wear every single pair. I'm glad I work in a very casual environment.

Vehicles and Vacations: This one isn't really my splurge, but my fiancés. He's gotta always have a nice old car he's working on. He's got a couple motorcycles and god knows how many mopeds (I guess over 50) and takes various trips all over the country for moped rallies. Which brings us to vacations. We live in southern Ca and he just got back from the Kalamazoo, Mi. moped rally this weekend. The next rally is in San Francisco. I'm going for that one.

Pets: A couple years ago I got a free kitten from one of my co-workers. He wound up costing $300 in vet bills the first month I had him. He's the best kitty ever and I spoil him. My dog is getting old and has hip dysplasia, she's on a special diet and she has her own chair to sleep on. She's spoiled too.

Kids: Not my own, but my niece and nephew and fiancés little brother and sister get whatever they want as long as they're doing good in school and have good behavior.

Three things I have to have: Ocean Spray Cran Tangerine juice, Arrowhead/Crystal Geyser/Fiji bottled water, and Charmin toilet paper. I always buy on sale though.

Cable/internet/video games: When I didn't have cable for 2 years I found myself always at my parents house, just so I could watch their cable. I love the History Channel, TLC, HGTV, and Food Network. Even if our roommate didn't pay for cable, I would. I'm addicted to internet and video games. Gunna buy a Wii once my house is done.

Never splurge on....

Mani/pedicures: I can cut, file, soak, paint my own nails, thank you. I just can't imagine spending $25 a week and possibly get an infection.

Furniture: Most was either on sale, second hand, or a gift.

Remodeling: Now that the big stuff is done, we're at the point where we can do most of it ourselves. Why pay for someone else to do it, and probably screw up, if you can do it yourself and get it right the first time for the fraction of the cost?

Car Wash: I go months with out washing my car.

Hair cut/dye: I get a really nice hair cut with some highlights once I start seeing dead ends or if I start feeling like a hippy and that's about once a year. I usually like how my hair looks while it's growing out.

Heating and A/C: We have really good insulation so I don't have to use either, for the most part. But when it's hot, I set the A/C at 78 and I'm comfortable. And the heater is only on at night when it gets down into the low 40s like only once a year. Other than that I use blankets and wear coats.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 4:40PM
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Splurge: enjoying life (our definition of enjoying life) -
Won't splurge on unnecessary "things".

I consider my art supplies a splurge; DH considers it a necessity as he supports my painting.

We hire out what we can't do ourselves. That is a necessary expense - not a splurge. (Home maintenance, etc)

DH takes his lunch; but we occasionally enjoy ribeye steaks (bought on sale) for supper. About the only time we eat out is for fried catfish or special occasion. We really prefer our own cooking.

We'll order a pizza for home delivery when the activities, working on home maintenance for example, tire us out - or we may have a grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich.

2 cars, one is 1990 the other 1999. Both have about 90K miles, we don't take many trips. Although recent trip to bring MIL to our home, spent night at a lovely old hotel with wonderful architecture (usually we bunk at her apt).

My idea of a vacation is to fix a cup of coffee and sit on my deck. It is quiet usually. We have taken vacations usually by car and enjoyed seeing the USA. One trip to New England, Montreal, Quebec was enjoyed. We stop whenever we want and on another trip once stopped at 2pm just to sit and enjoy the Rockies.

I don't consider buying a good brand of coffee a splurge, if you prefer that brand. I consider stopping daily at any coffee shop a splurge (actually a waste of money and time) and we don't do that.

This was an interesting read. I have enjoyed seeing all the replies.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Things I don't skimp on are toilet paper and bed sheets.

Things I treat myself to are mani/pedis and t-shirts (I am a t-shirt addict) but I shop on eBay for most of my clothes.

Things I won't spend lots of money on are shoes. I love shoes, but won't spend a lot on them. I buy good ones on sale or on eBay, otherwise Old Navy's $2.50 flip-flops are a staple for here in Phoenix.

I don't think pet care is splurging. Your pet is your family. I am about to pay over $6000 to get my kitty well, she is in the hospital for renal failure and kidney stones. There is no question about the money, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything for my furbabies.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:12PM
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Egyptian cotton sheets and towels -- they last for years and stay silky, soft and absorbent.
Scott toilet tissue, 1000 sheets per roll -- lasts longer.
Manicures -- I work in a professional setting where appearance is very important.
Clothes -- Ditto. However, I'm an ebay junkie and get most of my clothing and shoes there at huge bargains.
My precious Pug, Delilah -- I spend whatever is necessary because she is my heart.
Housing -- I'm a senior, still employed full-time, and I deserve a nice place to live where I feel safe. And I have an attached garage and a washer and dryer.
Basic cable and a laptop -- I live alone and don't have many friends so I don't go out, rather I rent movies, get books from the library or half-price books, and do research on the internet.
Cell phone -- for safety only. I hate talking on the phone.

I drive a 10-year old Mazda sedan with a standard shift and 116,000 miles. Additionally, I carpool with someone who prefers doing the driving, and I pay a percentage for the cost of gas plus the amount I formerly paid for parking downtown.
Except for the Scott TP, I buy only generic groceries and drug items.
Only buying meat when it's on sale; using my crock-pot a lot; taking my lunch from left-overs.
When shopping I use cloth bags for my purchases instead of using the plastic ones. The plastic bags I do wind up with get recycled for lunch bags until they fall apart. I also wash and re-use sandwich bags.
I subscribe to the daily newspaper but save them up and take to the recycling center. And I use the plastic sleeves the paper comes in to pick-up dog poop. It makes me crazy when people are too lazy to clean up after their dogs.
I have a water filter on my kitchen faucet, so no plastic water bottles. I don't drink beer or sodas, so no cans to recycle, but I do drink wine and recycle the glass bottles.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:40PM
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To me, Scott isn't a splurge, rather it's a frugal choice. I buy Scott for 50¢ to 55¢ per 1000 sheet roll (usually in a 12 pk) and each roll equals 5 (200 sheet) "big" rolls of Northern or Charmin (and more of many others). For the other to be cheaper, they'd have to be less than 44¢ per 4 pack! I don't recall that kind of a price. And it's as good or better quality so for me that's a no-brainer. This is another example where I roar in laughter at people wheeling out pallet loads of the big brand cheek scraper from Scam's Club or Crustco... Now THERE is a splurge!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:56AM
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Egyptian cotton sheets and towels -- they last for years and stay silky, soft and absorbent.
Scott toilet tissue, 1000 sheets per roll -- lasts longer.
Manicures -- I work in a professional setting where appearance is very important.
Clothes -- Ditto. However, I'm an ebay junkie and get most of my clothing and shoes there at huge bargains.
My precious Pug, Delilah -- I spend whatever is necessary because she is my heart.
Housing -- I'm a senior, still employed full-time, and I deserve a nice place to live where I feel safe. And I have an attached garage and a washer and dryer.
Basic cable and a laptop -- I live alone and don't have many friends so I don't go out, rather I rent movies, get books from the library or half-price books, and do research on the internet.
Cell phone -- for safety only. I hate talking on the phone.

I drive a 10-year old Mazda sedan with a standard shift and 116,000 miles. Additionally, I carpool with someone who prefers doing the driving, and I pay a percentage for the cost of gas plus the amount I formerly paid for parking downtown.
Except for the Scott TP, I buy only generic groceries and drug items.
Only buying meat when it's on sale; using my crock-pot a lot; taking my lunch from left-overs.
When shopping I use cloth bags for my purchases instead of using the plastic ones. The plastic bags I do wind up with get recycled for lunch bags until they fall apart. I also wash and re-use sandwich bags.
I subscribe to the daily newspaper but save them up and take to the recycling center. And I use the plastic sleeves the paper comes in to pick-up dog poop. It makes me crazy when people are too lazy to clean up after their dogs.
I have a water filter on my kitchen faucet, so no plastic water bottles. I don't drink beer or sodas, so no cans to recycle, but I do drink wine and recycle the glass bottles.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 2:18PM
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shower gel,hair products,paper towels and bed sheets

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 3:02PM
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It's really be fun reading every post!

Splurge on: books, skin-care products(they HAVE paid off!)good quality rugs, good light fixtures, good fabric for furnishings & tablecloths, plants, cat care

Spend as little as possible on/don't buy: meals out,clothes,jewels, (drive cars into the ground),entertainment, vacations, DVD'S, Cd's, hight-tech toys, unnecessary kitchen gadgets

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 5:14PM
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Bed Linnens (never cared until work sent me to a training where I stayed in a hotel that had nice linnens. But we only have 1 set so if we clean them we have to do it in 1 day so we can use them again that night.)

Cable/Broadband/Telephone package. I'm not sure if this is a splurge but I will never give up On Demand for the kids and I love broadband. Landline phone came w/ the package (it was actually cheaper to get the package than to get the VOIP separately)

Fresh fruit (w/ the cost of fruit I consider this a splurge)

New Cars - I don't see this as a splurge because I keep them for a long time and do much of the maintenance myself. Also since I buy foreign cars, I don't experience the 30% depreciation when I drive off the lot like everyone likes to mention.

Orange Juice - I really only like Tropicana but I only drink 6 oz / day.

Beer - I don't drink much (6 pk / month maybe) so I like to get something better than Miller.

Boots - I bought a pair of nice $100+ hiking boots 5 yrs ago. I'm just about due for my next pair and I don't plan on skimping.

Car Parts - Is it a splurge to buy OEM parts if I do the labor myself?

Daycare - my kids go to a center as opposed to staying w/ a friend's stay at home spouse. I just think the socialization w/ other kids is that important. This is ridiculously expensive in the northeast.


Coffee - don't drink it

Housing - I rent instead of buying (it saves tons of $. This might save me more than all others combined.)

Kids clothes - As much at consignment as makes sense then the rest are as needed at Target/WalMart

Premium Cable Channels - don't get any

DVR - don't have one

Cell Phone - convinced a few family members to go in on a family plan and pay about $30/month/phone.

Vacation - Take 1 small (3 day) vacation / yr to Lancaster. I wouldn't mind splurging here if I weren't sending all my $ to daycare!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Chisdoc, I have to ask because I'm nosy, but why are you renting?
I know people who move frequently do better renting and some areas are primo but usually building equity is important too if it's possible to buy.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Coffee - like French Roast but buy Costco Kirkland which is a good deal.
Beer - DH likes small breweries beer or imported. It is one of his few expenses and he works hard so deserves it.
Food - Occasionaly we will buy something special like the expensive creamy blue cheese or lobster. But only a couple of times a year.
Egyptian cotton sheets/towels - After 32 years of cheap towels and sheets I finally broke down and got some nice ones. My old skin appreciates it.
Kitchen Appliances - Finally remodeled our 1971 kitchen and since we DIY, we splurged on the appliances but nothing else.
Hobbies - DH occasionally has to buy new tools for the remodeling projects. I buy tools and materials for my metal and glass art projects.
Dog - Elvira get special diet food, she needs and deserves it. Anything she needs medically she gets and once a year teeth cleaning (so expensive!).
More expensive TP - My old B*t can't take the scratchy stuff anymore.

Clothes - I buy a lot of them at Ross and other discount places as well the thrift store.
Shoes - Buy them at Payless or Kmart. I hate shoe shopping!
Purses - Buy them at the thrift store.
Books & DVDs - check them out at the library.
Dinners out - we only go out on special occasions. DH says I cook better healthier meals at home.
Wine - $2 Chuck is fine with us.
Latest electronics - I wouldn't have any of it if we didn't need to but DH does need a cell phone for work, got the cheapest prepaid we could fine.
Basic Satellite - We are in a rural area in the mountains so we get nothing without it and keeps DS happy, but again got the basic package.
Manicures & Pedicures - I finally got a manicure at 56 YO and wasn't impressed so never again.
Haircuts - Go to the cheap chain places. I had my haircut by a stylist 28 years ago and I am still in sticker shock.
Hair color - out of a box when on sale.
Furniture - All bought used or unfinished (32 years ago) and refinished.
Vacations - Haven't had one in over 8 years. DH uses the time off to work on the place and do remodeling projects. (Should remodeling go under the Splurge category?)
Cars - We buy the less expensive ones that have been returned to the dealer after a short period. You save a bundle that way. And keep them 11 to 13 years.
House - Bought a small place on 2.5 acres that needed a lot of work and have been doing that for 22 years. We could have got a mega mansion and really gone into debt forever but don't need the space.
Veggies & fruit - I have a big garden and fruit trees. I can, freeze and dry a lot of what I grow plus have a garden all year long with the basics like lettuce and carrots, etc.
Hired Help - Never use any, do all the work ourselves. Have only hired someone when it required big or specialized equipment. We dug out our septic tank, cut down 80Ft trees, ran our own trench lines for watering. You get the picture.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Bumblebeez I could go on for hours about the benefits of renting over buying (and I usually do! LOL). At today's prices, it costs me less money to rent than to buy the same house on a monthly basis (when you factor in taxes, maintenance etc). And if I take the difference between what it would cost to buy vs rent and invest that, I will make out better than if I just bought the house. I have interest working for me instead of against me.

The reason buying a house has worked well for many people is that there has been an unprecedented run up in the price of housing over the last 10 yrs. So if you bought a house 5-10 yrs ago you are probably doing pretty well right now. If you bought a house less than 5 yrs ago it probably isn't working out that well for you because the market has started to correct itself.

Additionally the thing you have to remember w/ a house purchase is that they are usually highly leveraged. So you put down 5% and if the house value goes up 5% you made 100% on your investment. But now that we are in a declining market it is reversed. If you put down 5% and the value of the house goes down 5%, you lose 100% of your money. That is what is happening right now. Zillow just announced that 1/3 of people owe more on their house than it is worth. They have negative equity!!

My decision to rent is based on my belief that the market will continue to fall so it will not be possible for me to purchase a house and build equity. I'm actually very negative on the housing market right now.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:10AM
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Chrisdoc - I am with you on the rent-vs-buy. We are buying a house cash because we want to restore a grand dame but in general, the notion that a house is an 'investment' is simply untrue and comes from people not understanding inflation. If you look at inflation-adjusted prices of houses with the exception of the couple of bubbles, they are flat for a century. People need to think of it rationally: A house is a consumer good. You use it up, break things, it deteriorates over time and needs repair... no way is it 'gaining value' simply by existing. OTOH, I am excited to be buying a house that is 137 years old as I am paying a very low price, in full, cash, and I expect it will outlast many of the homes built in the past ten years :)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:41PM
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I can't eat any kind but Hellmanns. Lots of things I'll go generic on but that's not one of them!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:42PM
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What a difference 5 years makes.... Or, remember the good old days and are you better off today than you were 5-years ago.....

-When I added my list in '07 I had a $50/week ($200/month) food budget (for 2 adults). For the last two years it's been $125/month. I was splurging on quality meat back then, and now my meat budget is no more than $10 per week, and I'm not quite so picky. I carefully check the discounted meat section early in the morning these days, and try to keep meat purchases to around $2 per pound as much as possible - but will spend no more than $10 per week.

-We had Extended Basic Cable TV ($73.68) and have recently cut it to Basic ($33.91). We added ROKU and spend $7.99/month for Netflix. ROKU eliminated the need to purchase DVDs (we are British TV/Mysteries/Drama junkies) for additional savings.

-Three pay cuts in the last 5-years will take the "splurge" right out of a person.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:40AM
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Things have changed since then.
Hubby still has a gym membership but no more Yoga studio for me I practice at home.
Currently, my pay is half of what it was when this thread was started.
We only eat meat and fish a couple days a week and a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables and grains.
The garden has quadrupled in size and the splurges for it have been clearance recycled plastic raised beds, a composter and rain barrel. They paid for themselves in savings the in last year alone.
I splurge on heirloom seeds and do not buy plants but do my own seed starting.
It is a balancing act of want vs. need. We still do a lot of what we used to do only not as much.
Grainlady- I have always enjoyed your knowledge of foods, most especially baking. I am so sorry to hear about the pay cuts.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Jo (usmcjo)-

Thanks for the nice complement. :-) As an aside, I just spent several weeks researching food rationing and recipes from the rationing eras of WWI and WWII (BTW, they still ration food in Cuba), and as the old saying goes - you don't know how good you have it..... It kinda puts things in perspective. If there was ever rationing in the U.S. in this era, I decided they would have to include chicken nuggets and french fries because cooking from scratch is quickly becoming a lost art (LOL), let alone expecting folks to grow their own.

My dehydrator is going non-stop. Not many days left for harvesting....

I have a Windowfarm I grow fresh produce in during the winter (just got it up and running again 2-weeks - have to wait until I get enough sunlight in my southwest window). There is a couple kinds of watercress, chives and lettuce growing in it. The Windowfarm, definitely a splurge, but has more than paid for itself.

Add to that all the kinds of sprouts I make (my little garden-in-a-jar), wheatgrass grown for juicing, fresh herbs growing in pots (parsley, rosemary, chives) and I can forget the completely void of nutrition, over-priced produce, shipped in from who knows where at the store.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 6:46AM
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Hi Grainlady-
Love the idea of a window farm. We can garden most of the year here but if it were a colder climate I would love one.
I too have a sprouter and it was a splurge for me.
What kind of dehydrator do you have? Mine is a low cost thrift store find but useless in this humidity for any high moisture items. I tend to suck it up and use the oven.
Will keep looking for you on here. Take care-

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Jo -usmcjo-
I have an ancient NESCO American Harvest. Over the years I've added trays, more fruit roll sheets (for making fruit and vegetable leather) and clean-a-screens (great for sticky stuff like pears and pineapple slices), and it's been a good investment and paid for itself many times over. I dehydrate things all the time, but during apple season it's almost non-stop (I love free-for-the picking food). I no longer do home-canning (it's no longer cost effective) so I do a lot more dehydrating. As we all know, wasted food is the most expensive we purchase, and dehydrating is a great method of food preservation to help keep from wasting so much.

When I teach dehydrating classes the American Harvest is always the most popular dehydrator owned by students - probably due to availability and price (I live in the middle of nowhere). The Excalibur is also popular, but a lot more expensive.

Have you ever tried growing the cut root-end of celery? You can grow them indoors or out. I have one in a south window growing like crazy and have grown a few in the garden. No need to splurge on celery.....


    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:25PM
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