There are few things I love more than walking down the street stopping into my favorite stores. Before the afternoon is over, I’m lugging home a few bags of goodies – and a lighter wallet.
But when I can’t afford to splurge and still want to enjoy myself, here are my favorite methods:
By far the most frugal and indulgent thing I do when I want to relax is take a bubble bath, put on a face mask and do my nails. You can make homemade face masks easily with honey and strawberries – don’t freak out if you look like a giant zit.
Epsom salts are one of my favorite bath ingredients and can be found anywhere from Walgreens to Target. Whole Foods even carries epsom salts with lavender and other essential oils.
One of my favorite ways to unwind is to paint my nails while watching a movie I love. Usually I paint my nails in a rush, so taking the time to do a base coat and top coat make me feel like I’m really enjoying the process.
Baking something luxuriant doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you already have most of the baking staples, buying extra ingredients can run you less than $10.
I love to buy my baking goods at Costco; buying in bulk can save you money and allow you to buy nicer items.
My favorite “treat yo self” goodies are creme brulee, cheesecake and homemade brownies. When I want a quick dessert, I can bake cookies. But these desserts need more time so they’re only something I do when I really want something special.
Invite a few friends over and ask them to bring other fixings like vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit.
As much as I like getting a pedicure or buying new lipstick, few things lift me up more than a day spent outside. Living in Colorado, the opportunities to go hiking are everywhere. But I’m also reminded that everywhere I’ve lived has had outdoor parks where I could go to spend an afternoon.
During our honeymoon, my husband and I brought a picnic to one of the biggest parks in London, Hampstead Heath. We spent the afternoon lazily eating our snacks, people watching and reading books.
There’s no reason why we can’t do that here. I spend so much time writing on my laptop, checking my Facebook feed and checking my emails. Spending time outside is a perfect cure for whatever’s ailing you.
No matter what you choose to do, you can always invite your friends to do it with you. Making a choice to be frugal can feel like a lonely decision in our consumer-focused society. So if you can find ways to have a good time with people without blowing your budget, you should take it.
I remember the nights out with my college friends as well as I do the times we tried to make DIY face masks and body scrub – while the curtains in my apartment were open to street traffic. And trust me, there’s no better way to treat yourself than laughing at your humiliation with good friends beside you.
How do you treat yourself on a budget?