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5 Things We Splurge On

(Inspired by a recent MoneySavingMom post about the things their family splurges on)

5 Things The Frugal Girl Splurges On

Though we’re a fairly frugal household here at Chez FG, we’re really more about mindful spending than we are about saving Every Single Possible Penny.

So, we try to save on things that don’t matter that much to us so we can spend on the things that do.

Before I get to my list, though, I want to say that I know not everyone is in a position to be able to splurge on anything.   In fact, for many years, Mr. FG and I weren’t.

(A warehousing salary gets stretched pretty thin in a 6-person household!)

During those years, we had to spend the bare minimum on almost everything just to stay in the black, and if you’re in that spot, please know that this list isn’t meant to be a judgment on you.

I’m just sharing how Mr. FG and I have decided to spend some of our money now that we’re not in such a survival mode stage of life.

1. Quality, Ethical Products

I’m normally a hold-tight-to-my-money gal, but if I can spend more and get a quality, ethically-made product, suddenly my purse strings loosen.

For instance, there are three American Giant hoodies at our house, and I feel like that was money well-spent.   They’re American made, starting from seed, they’re super heavy duty, and I think they’ll last for years and years.

american giant hoodie on the frugal girl

I could get a decent hoodie for less, but not one QUITE this marvelous.   Plus I know part of what I’m paying for is fair salaries and good jobs for the people who work to make these hoodies and that feels like mindful spending to me.

A bonus of buying good quality products is that eventually, they mostly pay for themselves.   I have such a great collection of solid kitchen equipment now, I don’t think I’ll have to buy more new items for years and years, which means my average kitchen equipment spending will be quite low.

2. Food

I’m not sure exactly how splurge-y this is, but I definitely spend more on food that I could if I worked really hard at it.

Partly this ties into the previous splurge, in the sense that I purposely pay more sometimes for quality food. I know this isn’t realistic for everyone, but like Michael Pollan says, if we are able to spend a bit more to support good food, then we should do it.

fruit salad from Aldi

So, I buy eggs from a local friend, organic chicken from a local market, beef from a local farm, and I pay for a produce box delivery every other week.   Also, I try to buy whatever organic products Aldi offers (which aren’t TOO much of a splurge because of their great prices!).

Plus, I consciously try to buy nutrient-dense foods for my kids, even if they’re not organic or local.

For instance, I pay extra to buy nuts, fruits, and veggies for snacks instead of just buying what’s cheap (i.e. crackers.   Though we DO eat some crackers!)

(This is not to say I fling money around the grocery store with abandon…I mean, I do still bake my own bread, make yogurt from scratch, make chicken broth and cook most of our meals from basic ingredients.   I’m just willing to spend a little more for better ingredients.)

3. Giving

(I don’t know if giving is exactly splurging, but it is something we mindfully spend our money on, so…)

No matter what our financial circumstances have been, Mr. FG and I have always given 10% of our gross income to our church, and for a lot of years, that’s about all we could manage.

But since we have more wiggle room now, we’ve been able to support other people and organizations we believe in, and that’s definitely mindful spending for us.

I might not be able to go feed the homeless every weekend, but I can help support a friend who does.

And I might not be able to go drill wells for thirsty people, but I can support Living Water in what they do.


We’re not doing anything craaaazy, like cranking the heat to 78 ° or turning the AC down to 68 °, but we are a little more generous with the thermostat than we could be.

(Ok, ok, you wanna know?   70 ° in the winter, 78 ° in the summer.)

snow covered evergreen

We used to grin and bear it at 65 ° in the winter, but you guys, I just had such a hard time staying warm, even with long underwear, slippers, three shirts, and so on.

Plus Mr. FG has an even harder time staying warm than I do, and we decided it is just not worth it to us to be miserable all winter long.

We used to keep our AC at 80 ° in the summer, and since Mr. FG can handle summer heat just fine, he was good with that.   BUT, I really do not deal well with humidity, so 78 ° makes for a more cheerful Kristen.

Occasional Eating Out/Takeout

This is a tough one for me, because I knowwwwww how crazy much more expensive it is to eat out, and so I’m usually like, “Self! Whatever you do, you MUST COOK ALL THE MEALS.”

Which is certainly a fine goal (saves money, plus it’s usually healthier), and most of the time, I’m pretty successful at it.

But I have slowwwwwly come to realize that sometimes, a dinner out is a sanity-saving choice, and can be considered mindful spending.

So at the end of a week, if I’m particularly fried or busy, sometimes we order pizza from a local shop instead of making it from scratch.   Or occasionally I’ll have a crazy day in the middle of the week and a homemade dinner is just not gonna happen, so we might get subs and bring them home for dinner.


Alrighty…your turn!

What things do YOU splurge on?


P.S. In case the American Giant hoodies piqued your interest, I have a referral link from American Giant that gives you 15% off your first purchase. That’ll net you almost $14 off the purchase of a heavyweight hoodie, which is what we own.   Also: we really love their tshirts, which are quite reasonably priced.

P.P.S. I shared an American Giant link here some months ago, which meant I got some $15 credits (thank you!).   So we were able to get our hoodies for about the same price you can.   Schweet.

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Elise @ Simply Scaled Down

Monday 20th of April 2015

I am normally very frugal, but I do splurge on well made products. I admit I own Hunter boots and UGG boots, but they have kept my feet warm and dry for 8 and 3 years and still look really good. Target brand boots would never have held up that well. I also buy my kids good quality clothes (Love Hanna Andersson) because they don't wear out and I can then use them for the next kid!

I also will splurge on travel when it comes to visiting family and friends. Some things (like relationships) are too valuable to not do just to save a buck. I would rather have my children see their grandparents more than 2 times a year and have less in savings...its worth it to us.


Monday 20th of April 2015

Yep, I do the same thing. And if I can score a high quality item gently used, then it's a double win (my girls have a number of Gymboree and Boden clothes that I bought secondhand from Schoola.)


Wednesday 8th of April 2015

Food is one of the things I am least likely to splurge on. It might be that my taste buds aren't all that sophisticated, so when comparing say more expensive cuts of meat to less expensive cuts of meat, I tend to be frugal on the purchase knowing I probably won't get that much more enjoyment out of the higher price cut of meat.

Out of your list, my splurge would be using the Air Conditioner. I absolutely hate being hot! I have no problem wearing layered clothing around the house to avoid turning the heater on, but the AC is something I cannot live without.


Wednesday 8th of April 2015

Ah, it's not so much that I'm spending to buy fancier foods (like high dollar steak)'s more that I'm willing to pay for food that is more nutritious and/or produced ethically (local food, organic food, etc.).

Eating lobster and steak isn't that important to me, but supporting ethical food and eating nutritious food is, so that's where I spend my money.


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

We splurge on travel. My husband is from Oaxaca, Mexico, and we try to take an every-other-year trip down to see family. It's important to us to maintain those ties, and so we save up and spend most of our "disposable" income on travel. If we didn't do this, we couldn't have to scrimp in so many other ways, but it's worth it to us.

Molly F.C.

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

#1: Heating and cooling. My childhood home was cold in the winter, hot in the summer. I vowed that once I became an adult who paid her own bills I'd be comfortable in my own home which translates to 72-73 degrees in the winter & summer. I have never mind paying the bill each month because I remember the uncomfortable days of my childhood vividly!

#2: Purchase some meat directly from farms and/or butchers that I know & respect. I can't afford to buy all of my family's meat this way but when I'm able to, I indulge in pricier, but I think better for us, items. Ditto for dairy products.

#3: Hair cut & color at my expensive salon. I stretch my visits to every 8 weeks, (gone are the 10 weeks between visits days), and the cost is worth it.

#4: Quality footwear for my children during their growing years. I patronize a store across town because it offers old fashioned service. Don't feel I've ever been steered wrongly in a purchase. As a bonus I usually am given a small discount because the owner knows I travel 35-40 minutes to his shop.

#5: NFL Sunday Ticket thru Directv, (another related splurge), for my football loving husband. He has his pick of many matchups which he loves. Being supporters of a team not in our home town means we don't always get our team's games on a local channel. My husband doesn't spend much money on himself, and I have had to convince him that he deserves a treat too.


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

In the interest of transparency (yours), I used your link about 7 months ago and bought a Hoodie so I know you got some $$ from that. So, basically you dont spend 79.00 on a hoodie because you make $$ from your readers who purchase.

Diane C

Wednesday 8th of April 2015

In the interest of snarkiness (yours), Kristen is consistently up front about referrals. IF she slipped even the tiniest bit on this one, I think she has more than earned some grace. Randi, your last sentence is so impolite that I'm not going to dignify it by quoting it. Kristen is far too kind to call you out, but (alas) I am not. She blesses her readers day in and day out for little reward and your comment is something I cannot let pass unremarked upon.


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Yep! The hoodies are normally $89, but with the $15 referral discount, they're $74, not $79. My bad!

Anyone who shares a referral link to American Giant gets a $15 credit (I don't have a special blogger deal with referral credit is the same as what you could get!), but the credits cannot be stacked. So, using a credit to buy a hoodie isn't a lot different than getting the 15% off like you did through my link.

I can't get free hoodies or anything like that! :) But you're right, I did get $15 off the hoodies, and I put the wrong price into the post originally.

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