Making a Dollar Out of Fifteen Cents*

A while back, Lisa did a post for her Mid-month Money Manifesto about saving money and what things that she likes to splurge on. I liked the idea, since I am a money saver, and often times people in my life have tried to convince me to have fun NOW instead of always saving money for later. I usually save it for later, but there are a few things that I find worth splurging on.

How I Splurge:

- Travel (I actually travel pretty inexpensively, but I do it for extended periods of time) 

Boracay, Philippines

- Lunch out once a week
- Races
- Brunch with friends on the weekends (we have a list we are trying to tackle)

Pancakes at La Note

- Fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market/market
- Boots (although I still get them at places like DSW)
- Camera Stuff
- Giant's games
- Some running gear
- Fancy creamer
- Gifts for other people

How I Save: 

- Generic toiletries (thanks to Up and Up)
- Taking the casual carpool instead of the bus
- Generic paper goods etc (ziplock, paper towels, dryer sheets) 
- Bringing my lunch at least 4 days a week

Pre-made veggie bags for lunches

- Cooking/eating at home
- Buying in bulk (bulk aisle about once a month / Costco about once every 3 months)

Costco trip
- Discount running shoes (I always wait for a coupon/deal and then buy a couple pairs)
- Couponing in general
- Thrift store shopping (for clothes / common household items)
- Borrowing books from the library (My no book buying challenge is still going strong!)
- Not driving
- Growing my own veggies
- Making coffee at home

*refers to a Tupac song and/or a Master P song. I think they are referencing drugs, but I am not. 

How do you save? What do you splurge on?


  1. I splurge on local food, good produce and sometimes running shoes. Otherwise, I'm pretty cheap! :)

  2. I'm with you on splurging on pancakes (brunch in general) and BOOTS! I stalk the www.yoox.com website - amazing italian boots that I put in my dream box and wait until they go on sale. hmmm...that reminds me - must go check website. ;)

    I'm on a "no book buying" streak too...love the downloadable ebooks my library has for my kindle.

  3. Those are reasonable splurges. We splurge at nice restaurants about once a month, and we do eat out once a week (but always pack lunches).

  4. Oooh I totally thrift shop and buy generic! I'm loyal to NO brand--whatever is cheapest!

  5. I buy generic and in bulk all the time. Hmm... we do splurge on nice meals out. and I try to eat lunch at home every day.

  6. Save: all of my furniture is from second hand stores, I buy clothes at discount shops (TJMaxx!) and I buy new clothes only when what I already own is falling apart, transportation - for years I walked everywhere instead of driving, now that I live in a city where I need a car, my car is 10 years old.

    Splurge: travel! quality shoes (maybe this is a "save?" better to buy one $90 pair that lasts 5 years than 5 $20 pairs that barely last a year), quality groceries for cooking at home

  7. I love that you're able to avoid driving. We have a very old vehicle that lacks a car payment, thankfully. I don't spend much on clothes. We don't eat out nearly as much as we used to. We don't take fancy vacations. When we do travel, we try to stay somewhere with a kitchen where we can prepare our own meals. When you're spending $1,500 a month on daycare, it's pretty easy to find lots of ways to cut out costs!

  8. Travel is def a good splurge! Eating in saves so much it's amazing and tastes so much better!

  9. You do a great job on your save list. I think everyone has to figure out the formula that works for them. Anyhow, my saves are probably along the lines of entertainment--we don't go out all that much (sitter, etc. adds up!). I also am not a big clothes shopper, outside of athletic wear. I plan meals every week too, so that we are eating in almost every day.

    So with you on splurging on travel--totally worth it!

  10. those are all really good ideas ad i think i mesh with you very well, I do about the same on things!

  11. I just found your blog via the 2012 Bookmark Break Challenge. I was intrigued because I love travel too and then...I noticed you are a Giants fan! I'm here in the Bay Area too and we bleed orange and black in our house! We splurge on Giants games, eating out with friends once a week and I also pay a little more for my shoes because after breaking my foot I can't wear discount shoes comfortably. I also splurge on books but at a discount at Amazon. I have an iPad and use it when I travel but I can't give up the feel and the smell of a real book. Other than that I'm a TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and general thrifty shopper. Although, now that we have grandbabies, I hit the Carter's outlet a lot (and The Dugout kid section)! Nice to find you and here's hoping the magic number drops from 8 to zero really soon. Go Giants!

  12. I love your plugs for the library--glad the "no book buying" is still working for you.

    I need to be a better saver, but here's what I try to do: buying few (non-running) clothes, bringing lunch to work (I need to do pre-filled baggies of veggies like you do), no cable TV or expensive cell phone plan.

    What I need to do better: stick to a grocery budget, drive less.

  13. When we decided to 'retire' very young and go live on our sailboat, we started saving and have been able to do it without feeling deprived! Some of my save/spend list matches yours...

    We own a car.
    We have internet and minimal cable tv.
    We like to travel.
    We golf but at much less expensive courses and no longer have a club membership.

    I do use the library.
    I enter giveaways! And have won lots of great stuff through my blogs.
    I don't waste food.
    We shop the food sales, bulk bins, Costco and PLAN.... I love to cook.
    We eat at home most of the time or I pack a cooler - also health related.
    We use coupons for lots of different things.
    I have started thrift store shopping for some things.
    We don't waste resources... power, water, heat.
    I mend things and I love to sew.
    We rarely buy coffee out.... take the thermos along in the car all the time.
    Use tap water.
    Bought a freezer for bulk buys and homemade soups, chilis, stews, etc.

    This is a very interesting post. I likely could be doing even more. I like to think of if as kind of a game.

  14. That top picture is dreamy. I want to go there:) Nice tips for saving money. I grew up in a saving family and my husband grew up in a splurging family, so I prefer to save but sometimes end up splurging. For example when I buy my running clothes, I go to Target or the outlets. When my husband buys me running clothes as gifts (so Sweet) he goes to Nordstroms. I always love the clothes, but cringe thinking how much he spent:0

  15. I love that we are both staying strong w/ this no book buying thing. I will say I was extremely tempted to buy one this weekend when I got to the airport and realized I had forgotten my library book at home! Luckily I had my Nook with me, so I had a book to read on that but I was SO tempted to buy the library book I was reading at the airport as i was really getting into it (I'm reading The Language of Flowers).

    We have al ot in common in terms of what we splurge/save on. One thing I splurge on is having a house cleaner. I would rather have that than a gym membership! I save by getting groupons for things as much as possible!

  16. I loved this post on Lisa's blog and I love that you picked it up... we definitely splurge on some of the same things (travel, brunch, gifts, ...) :)


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!