We frugal types give up a lot. We are expert at delayed gratification. No new car this year, maybe next year. Ohhh, fancy purse. Nope, way too expensive. Hire a gardener? Why in the world would we do that when we are perfectly capable of pulling weeds ourselves? The list of sacrifices goes on and on.
But sometimes, you just have to give yourself a little treat, something to reward yourself for being so frugal and such a good person because, let’s face it, we frugal types like to think of ourselves as just a bit better than most, don’t we?
So, for all you frugal types, my bakers dozen list below is of cheap treats, things that cost very little but can make the frugal person’s life much easier.
So, live a little and treat yourself. After all, if you are living a frugal life, you deserve a break. A couple of them in fact. Below are my personal baker’s dozen of frugal treats to myself:
1. Slow cooker liners. I cannot tell you how much I love these things. They are cheap and save me hours of cleaning time; especially in the evenings when I am already exhausted from a long work day. Since I do a lot of ‘from scratch’ cooking, prep takes up time so not having to clean a large slow cooker at the end of a long day is very welcome. I buy them two dozen at a clip and once I use one, I replace it, putting a new liner on the clean slow cooker for the next time. A life saver for $14.75 for 24: LINK
2. A can of spray paint. You can spruce up an old lamp base, change the look of a cheap trash basket, freshen up just about anything that takes paint. I love the look of chalk paint to say nothing of the coverage and it is an incredibly frugal way to update the look of something. Costs slightly more when ordered on line so worth a trip down the paint aisle next time you are in the FYI store. Anywhere from $7 to $24 dollars, depending on what you want.
3. My veggie chopper. I could not live without this. To be fair, I can mince and batonnet (chopping to a thin matchstick) with the best of them but this little device makes short work of my weekends of prep that I do for the week ahead. I found mine on Amazon, for $19.95 and I use it many times every week. LINK
4. Dark chocolate. It need not be expensive, my favorite is actually about $5 for a small bag and I can often find it at my local grocery store. I like mine with sea salt and a caramel center. Delish. And cheap.
5. Dryer beads. My partner does the laundry and he doesn’t stint. I am often gifted with perfectly folded clean clothes set aside carefully on the edge of the bed when he does my laundry. He even does the bed linens at least twice a week (we have dogs, after all). He uses Downy unstoppable dryer beads that cost about $12 a bottle. Granted, dryer sheets are much cheaper but man, do the sheets smell fantastic on laundry day. He only uses them on bedding and they are a real treat. Available at most any grocery store.
6. Hand sanitizer. Mine costs just a dollar from the dollar store and it is more than just a treat. It literally is my first defense against the flu and colds, it keeps me from getting sick. I keep a bottle on my desk at work, at every sink at home and I use them all the time. They are an incredibly frugal way to keep from getting sick and I always am stocked up.
7. Grab and go storage containers. I am forever preparing meals using my go-to Glad food storage containers. They go from freezer to oven to leftovers in the fridge in a blink of an eye. Sometimes I can get them at my grocery discount store for dirt cheap, two large containers for just a few dollars, but if I run out, I bite the bullet and buy them on Amazon. I always keep extra meals in the freezer to give away to friends and family in need because everything from having sick kids to a new baby means a warm meal is welcome. Using these containers also means that I never have to worry about getting them back and they store food so well.
8. Bath bombs. My daughter makes medicinal bombs that cost a bit but I also buy unmedicated bombs in bulk at Big Lots. Dozens for just $10. I use them to brighten up a weary evening bath all the time. You have to get them in the store but they are worth it. I like the spicy ginger scented ones the best.
9. The best white shirt. Mine is from Everlane, a great online store, and just $60. It is crisp and perfectly made and goes with everything: LINK
10. Perfect coffee. It begins with a French press. Add boiling water, coffee grounds, a little patience and voila, perfect coffee. You can get a French Press for about $35 at any home store. Looks and sound a whole lot fancier than it actually is.
11. Markers. Nothing makes me happier than grabbing a fist full, a fresh set of brightly colored markers and my doodling pad. The world just seems brighter and full of promise. I often get mine at the dollar store for well, a dollar. I use them for everything from doodling and labeling food heading to the freezer, to signs and mailing projects. Colored markers bring out the kid in me and I always have a fresh supply. Markers make the best memories. Sometimes I’ll splurge and buy the Sharpie brand for $10 and get a rainbow of colors but mostly, I’m good with the dollar store variety.
12. The Best Mascara. Ever. I am a bit of a mascara snob, I’ll admit. It took years but I found the perfect one and while it costs $24, it is also cruelty free and that means a lot to me. And we are talking mega-lashes, this stuff is the best: LINK
13. Macadamia nuts. OK, my not-so-secret obsession. I love macadamia nuts and when I vacation in Hawaii, I stock up but they go fast so I will also buy them at Costco. They aren’t cheap, about $24 for a small bag but man, do I love them. LINK
So, these are my baker’s dozen treats, what’s yours?