Home > Spending Less results in More Treats

Spending Less results in More Treats

June 3rd, 2006 at 09:56 pm

When I was little, we’d get to pick one item each time we went to the grocery store. The item was usually on the cheaper side; maybe grapes, or a can of smoked oysters. I still sometimes treat myself to one item. It’s usually no more than three dollars, and is still usually fruit or smoked oysters. The idea that shopping always involved a treat probably wasn’t the best lesson; however learning that treats can be little is something that I still benefit from.

I have a case of popsicles in the freezer that I got for a dime apiece in the winter. They are the fancy all fruit kind, very tasty. They are a treat. It’s not the cost that makes them a treat; it’s that they are a sweet and that I have no more than one every couple of weeks.

If I live simply, and without too many frills, little things can feel like such treats. The less I spend the more bang I get for my treat buck. I spent ten times more dining out in two months, January and February, than I have spent in the last three months. I am enjoying the recent meals out so much more.

Cheap(er) treats (the more infrequent, the better):
Sticking a load of laundry in the dryer instead of hanging it.
“Blowing” $5 in a thrift store or at a garage sale.
Having one can of soda.
Getting a burrito from the local place (less than $5)
Making a day a no chores day, even if I have to do a little more the night before.
“Blowing” three dollars at the dollar store.
Sharing a fancy $2 can of soup and not cooking.
Having a fancy three dollar coffee or smoothie from a store
Getting a couple items off the dollar or value menu at a fast food place.
Pulling out the dusty paper plates to avoid dishes.

I’m not talking about having these be treats because I can’t afford more. Heck, I could do all these things at least once a week if I wanted to. But why would I want to start taking something for granted, when I can really appreciate it as a luxury?

Treat items can be things that were previously taken for granted. I’m working my way off of club soda and seltzer, and am drinking tap water. Bubbles are now a treat. (Originally when I quit drinking years ago, I gave myself permission to spend as much as I wanted on non-alcoholic beverages. Now I'm trying to get over being spoiled.) If I got a mocha every day, it wouldn’t be a treat, but since I always make my coffee at home, a store-bought cup once every six months can be pretty special. Forget the ski trips, the Nordstrom trip, the daily Starbucks trip, the luxury car – I’m easy, give me a popsicle.

4 Responses to “Spending Less results in More Treats”

  1. Meredith Says:

    What a thoughtful post. Definitely a better attitude toward treating oneself than I have sometimes!

  2. boomeyers Says:

    With so much over consumerism, this is an important lesson!

  3. jodi_m Says:

    So true...before I bought my first car, I thought I didn't need air conditioning. Then once I had it, I couldn't go without it. Then it was cruise control. With the third car it was power windows. With every new feature that I was previously happy without, once I had it I NEEDED it. For that reason I have resisted power locks, CD player, sunroof, etc. because I know once I get accustomed to something, I will come to expect it.
    Thanks for sharing this post. It's a good idea to take a look back at what we never used to need...and think about how to make it a luxury rather than a "necessity" again!

  4. Homebody Says:

    Be sure to check all the Dollar Stores. I visited here in Mack Town (Dollar Zone) and found tons of different dog toys, and the stuff appears nicer than some of the other stores.

    By the way, I totally agree, I allow myself a small treat, Starbucks no more than once a week.

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