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Flowers, Food, and Shoes

Like a lot of people we are trying to be more frugal around here. For us that means eating out less, buying things secondhand off Craigslist or from Thrift Stores, making do with what we already own {like adding a ribbon to that sweater I got bored of last year}, and keeping track of our finances better {it is easy to spend less when you are keeping track of how much you spend.} But even when things are tight there are a few things I refuse to skimp on.

1. Cut flowers or plants in the house
2. Fresh unprocessed food
3. Good quality shoes

For me these things help make up a good quality of life. I think it is especially important to still have things around us that make us happy. There are also plenty of free Museum days and other ways to still live life even when we are tightening our belts. What things do you refuse to skimp on?

Beautiful flowers from Birch one of my favorite San Francisco florists.

  1. Cher

    January 22, 2009

    I refuse to skimp on fresh food (my husband read an article that sales on campbells soup, velveeta cheese and mac and cheese have gone through the roof since the recession- ewww!) and dates with the hubby. While we may do a cheaper date (night at barnes and noble anyone?) we do not skip getting a babysitter. So worth it!

  2. Emmie {orange + barrel}

    January 22, 2009

    I never comment, but that is my very same list of things that I refuse to skimp on.

  3. Janaan

    January 22, 2009

    I won’t skimp on food or cleaning. While working full time, it’s so much better for me to have some help at least once a month.

  4. Trisha

    January 22, 2009

    I refuse to skimp on good cheese, chocolate, wine and shoes!

  5. MsAmanda

    January 22, 2009

    I refuse to skimp on quality condiments, seasonings etc like good balsalmic vinegar, especially since I’m trying to buy veggies that are (mostly) in season.

    Also, I won’t skimp on cable, which flies in the face of what lots of people are doing to belt-tighten these days, but tv is a relaxing, shared interest my husband and I have.

    Lastly, haircuts. Won’t skimp on that no way, no how. gots to feel good about the hair.

  6. bird on the lawn

    January 22, 2009

    date night, cheese, time with my family!

  7. amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay

    January 22, 2009

    organic baby care

    good post!

  8. Betsy

    January 22, 2009

    My health. I refuse to not come up with the money for gym shoes, vitamins, fresh food, dental floss, and if it comes down to it, why would I take out a loan for a car but not my teeth?! Or my eyes?! Insurance only goes so far, and I have a health fund for this reason. Plus, exercise, shopping, and discussions about finance and health are serious topics that is has helped me and the hub to discuss as newlyweds.

  9. kaili

    January 22, 2009

    – fresh food
    – good shoes
    – good haircuts
    – once a week trip to a cafe for a scone and coffee…so worth it!

    Great post!

  10. molly

    January 22, 2009

    fresh food
    organic milk [for my boys]

  11. CJ

    January 22, 2009

    Cable (I know, terrible, but we watch a lot of TV) and dog toys/care

  12. Jenny

    January 22, 2009

    I love this post.

    quality food
    shoes (and winter clothing)

  13. Lindsay

    January 22, 2009

    art and office supplies
    good makeup
    books. oh boy, books.

    love this post.

  14. Lauren

    January 22, 2009

    We skimp on lots of things (no TV, for example), but we don’t skimp on:

    quality food
    high-speed internet

  15. ThickChick

    January 22, 2009

    Love this post! We tend to be bargain hunters in general, but one thing we spend a TON of $$ on is fresh, organic food. I’m sure our grocery bill for 2 people would my mom faint. We have however, cut waaaaaaaaay back on meat, as in, we don’t even buy it anymore. Organic, grass-fed animals are (tasty but) expensive…not to mention their toll on the environment! πŸ˜‰

    And PS: I too typically have fresh flowers in the house. It brightens my day – completely justifiable!

  16. jennifer lorton

    January 22, 2009

    What a lovely arrangement! It’s tulip time of year.
    As far as not skimping – I like a little something for each of my senses to play with. Something pretty to look at, be it flowers, or something else. Something lovely to sniff, again flowers are great, potions, lotions, etc. Soft stuff to stroke, I love my bamboo sheets. Listening to the waves crashing as I fall asleep at night. Something yummy to taste, good dark chocolate is a must.

  17. Kate

    January 22, 2009

    My list of must-haves are…

    1. maid service-having somebody else clean saves us from killing each other.
    2. dinner out at our favorite restaurants.
    3. good food and wine to enjoy at home!

  18. Brandi Mae

    January 22, 2009

    I refuse to skimp on fresh food, my hair products (if you saw my hair you would agree), and the internet… yes there are people who have decided to do without it. i don’t know what they’ll do with all that free time.

  19. Lauren

    January 22, 2009

    Oh, OK, one more thing:

    This past year we made it a point to (finally!—we were really lame) make charitable contributions, no matter how poor we felt. We don’t give tons of money, but we make a point to make small donations to those in need whenever we can.

  20. lindsay

    January 22, 2009

    a high quality face cream – i joke that we may end up broke, but we’ll be the youngest looking bums!

  21. LP

    January 22, 2009

    Quality food for sure. Never skimp on quality food.

    The stuff they put in processed food (not to mention how they treat the animals) is SCARY and well, not food.

  22. chiara

    January 22, 2009

    good hand soap – it’s like a little treat that doesn’t break the bank. and chocolate. and books (used, usually, though, so I suppose that’s skimping a bit).

  23. dcfullest

    January 22, 2009

    Cheese, Cable, Medical Stuff.

  24. RuthWinTexas

    January 22, 2009

    Organic food and a good croissant and latte every few days πŸ˜‰

  25. Becki

    January 22, 2009

    I never cut back on a babysitter for date night or groceries! Being happily in love is much less expensive and more fun than counseling and/or divorce. Eating good food at home makes us less anxious to go to expensive restaurants.

  26. i.d.

    January 22, 2009

    Thank you for this – you’re absolutely right, there’s no reason why you can’t treat yourself to your favorite things. For me, it’s books!

  27. Angelita Bonita

    January 22, 2009

    FOOD-science is proving what our moms have always known: you are what you eat.
    TRAVEL-live in Seoul, just got back from Singapore and Malaysia, will spend the summer in France and Spain.

  28. Grosgrain Kathleen

    January 22, 2009

    My XM radio. My husband has been threatening to get rid of it and I put a quick end to that business. Real radio (at least around here in PA) sucks like none otha!

  29. Amanda

    January 22, 2009

    I’m with you on good shoes, fresh food, and flowers. I’ll add one more: a good hair cut. I can stretch them out a while, but I always feel put-together when my hair looks good.

  30. Scott and Lindsey

    January 22, 2009

    Haircuts! I have had enough bad ones in my life to know better.

  31. bronwyn

    January 22, 2009

    Oh, I love this post! My weekly trip to the farmer’s market, good coffee and tea (made at home – a splurge and savings at the same time), and cosmetics and skincare. One more thing – I always buy a really luxurious bar of soap for the shower. $10 may be a lot for soap, but it is very little for a daily indulgence.

  32. ashlynn

    January 22, 2009

    Beautiful flowers – I would get pretty flowers if I lived in SF too. Here they are lame & cost $80.

    We shut off our TV & watch hulu,com instead. We rarely eat out & when we do it is within the "eating out budget." I started selling stuff on my blog & craigslist that I don't use.

    We don't skimp on groceries – always fresh & lots of fruit & veggies. I don't skimp on my haircare either..

  33. Madhavi

    January 22, 2009

    High quality fresh food, health, skincare and haircare. I have long curly hair and boy, have I learned. We use hulu and netflix instead of cable. We have maid service once a month. It’s a splurge but so worth it for sanity. also, fresh artisal bread from the local bakery. Internet is a must. No new clothes for this year.

  34. Meg

    January 23, 2009

    That is me laughing at myself. Because I am perhaps the mostly deeply cheap person you have ever met. My fiancΓ© says that I’m the only person of our generation that grew up in the depression. So, this is a hard question for me. What will I not skip on if I’m feeling some pressure?

    – Erm. Saving. No joke. I like visiting my balance just to say hi.
    – Long walks (because they are lovely and free).
    – CHEAP dinners out or drinks out with friends. But really, cheap ones.
    – But I suppose in the end, the thing I won’t give up unless my back was totally against the wall is living in San Francisco. We have a wonderful (and cheap for the city) rent controlled apartment. And while we could probably live for less out of the city, that wouldn’t be worth it to me.

    (And, I’m not really advising that anyone try to emulate my cheapness. It’s a little off the charts.)

  35. Laura

    January 23, 2009

    I just lost my job but I still buy the best parmesan cheese I can get my hands on to feed my addiction. And I still do organic milk and eggs. So, basically like everyone else, quality food.

    I’ve been trying to not buy new books or movies right now (library or or friends and the dollar theater.) And I was pretty excited to get a gift-certificate to get my hair cut for Christmas (hint hint?) It’s still kind of fun for me to figure out how to use what I have in the kitchen or how to re-purpose clothing or home stuff. I probably won’t be able to keep up that attitude forever, though.

  36. Chloe

    January 23, 2009


  37. Molly W.

    January 23, 2009

    Jeans. I refuse to skimp on jeans. I admit I’m a denim snob and will fork out the extra cash to get the spendy jeans that I love.

  38. Michelle

    January 23, 2009

    What great lists everyone has!

    I would never skimp on my face creams. I try to make them last as long as they possibly can.

    Also, I would never skimp on good outerwear for my two children. Canadian winters are certainly not made to be messed with!

  39. Julie

    January 23, 2009

    Even though my husband was unemployed for over a year, I refused to skimp on food. I believe in fresh, unprocessed food as well. It is not cheap to buy wholesome food in UT, and it is not easy to find either.

  40. Caroline

    January 23, 2009

    Good food, decent wine, gym membership/tennis fees, books. And no matter how bad things are, even when I was a poor, poor student, I will always scrape together the money for Vogue magazine. πŸ™‚

  41. estelluxx

    January 23, 2009

    even if i lived in a box it would be a box with cable and internet. πŸ™‚

  42. Jessica

    January 23, 2009

    Organic brown eggs- they are better for us, the environment and brown eggs are much more pleasing to the eye. Chocolate and beer are the other things that I require to enjoy life.

  43. Kris

    January 23, 2009

    For a young twenty-something, I’ve realized I can go without a lot of things. A healthy dose of self-reliance makes all the difference. Amazing what growing your own garden and preserving the bounty can do, as well as farm fresh eggs from Dad’s generous chickens. Fresh wholewheat bread made each week and an endless supply of library books and I’m living the good life.

  44. Anne

    January 23, 2009

    internet, retirement, heating our house, magazines.

  45. Rebecca

    January 24, 2009

    I NEVER skimp on:

    insurance (health and life)
    groceries (cooking is my hobby and my sanity)
    my education

  46. michelle

    January 24, 2009

    Traveling. It’s a big priority – I’d rather sacrifice other things to be able to afford to see our beautiful country and the world.

  47. eM

    January 24, 2009

    clothes and shoes
    I don’t buy much, so what I do buy counts

    food for us and our pets

    acupuncture treatments – I no longer have asthma and I plan to keep it that way

    me too re: flowers (altho not as much as I’d like cuz my kittys get into them)

    facials – at one point I ate beans and rice to afford them and in my late 40s i am often thought to be 10+ years younger, so I will NEVER give them up

  48. Beth

    January 25, 2009

    Quality toilet paper. I know it sounds really stupid, but I like the stuff with aloe and can’t tolerate the stuff that feels like sandpaper or disintegrates in your hand. I’ll buy anything else generic at the dollar store, but not toilet paper.

  49. k8

    January 26, 2009

    running shoes

  50. Lindsey Alyce

    January 27, 2009

    -GOOD MILK: I am a Wisconsinite, and there is nothing like a fresh glass of grass-fed, cream-on-top milk from the farm across town. It tastes so wonderful and feels good way down in my bones.

    -GOOD SHOES: I’m simply practical there. I’d rather treat my feet well than have to pay for it later; I would rather buy one good pair of shoes then five shoddy ones.


    -FAVORITE PENS: I’m a sucker for a good pen.

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