Thursday, August 3, 2017

7 Ways to Treat Yourself Under $10

I am a firm believer in rewarding yourself for anything from 'finishing a PhD after six years' to 'waking up and getting dressed.' It's just good for morale, after all. I really enjoy getting things done, and get quite a rush simply from crossing items off my to-do list, but sometimes you really need that extra lift that only comes from a treat-yoself break! Because I prefer to save my money for buying far too many dresses, I like to keep these treats on the inexpensive side (no facials for me, sadly!), and today I'm going to share my top seven ways to recharge my batteries for under $10.

1) Starbucks and Chill

This is actually a regular part of my weekly routine, since 1) I like routines and 2) it helps to motivate me to go to the gym on Sundays. Each week, I head to Starbucks on my way home from the gym for my favorite Sunday breakfast: a chocolate croissant and a green tea latte. I sit with my breakfast and read whatever strikes my fancy until I feel like heading home, and it's glorious. There's something about the combination of Delicious Things and taking my time that makes me feel nice and relaxed.

Total cost: $7.50.

2) Binge-rewatch an old fave

This one is pretty self-explanatory: pick a favorite show and watch as many episodes as you feel like. I particularly like watching something I've already seen, because I find familiar things to be extra comforting. My top choices? Game of Thrones, old instructional cooking shows I've DVRed, and the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Colin Firth's Darcy got me through many a stressful period of my graduate career!

Total cost: free (well, if you own the DVDs and already pay for cable. If not, just hit up the library!.)

3) Eat a donut!

Now, on its face, this might look very similar to my Starbucks idea, but let me assure you, they're totally different. For one thing, the other plan involves caffeine. More importantly, to properly execute this donut plan, you have to get yourself into the right frame of mind. To properly enjoy a donut, you have to see it as a treat you've earned and a delightful thing, rather than some sort of dietary sin that you'll pay for later. I'm not gonna be so bold as to claim that donuts can be self-care, but... um, I guess I am claiming that. If you can get out of the toxic habit of seeing certain foods as bad, and fearing the occasional empty-calorie-fest, you'll be able to truly enjoy this idea. Self-acceptance and body-positivity make any indulgence sweeter!

Cost: under $4.

4) Dinner a la Trader Joe's

This is hands-down my favorite lazy-person meal. I grab two packages of frozen appetizers from Trader Joe's (my faves are the spanakopita triangles and the mac and cheese bites), pop them in the oven, and out comes dinner in less than 25 minutes. The best part: no dishes to wash!

Total cost: ~$9.

5) Take a bubble bath!

Leave your phone in a nice dry place, grab a good book, pop in a bath bomb, and you're in business! Rubber ducky optional.

Total cost: $5-7.

6) Bread and cheese night

Pictured: the $20 version of this idea.

Since I'm pregnant and can't have my customary wine on cheese-for-dinner nights, this lovely, decadent, easy meal clocks in under the $10 mark, even though I'm now able to eat the entire baguette on my own. One wedge of Cambozola cheese + a sourdough baguette = instant party in my belly, followed by a cheese-induced food coma of bliss.

Total cost: $9.75.

7) Spend a few hours window-shopping

While I love getting new clothes more than anyone probably should, I also really have a blast just spending a few hours trying on loads of clothes in a bunch of different stores. The boost it gives me is similar to the lift I get from reorganizing my closet, but it's extra exciting to try out new styles, see what I'd like to add to my wishlist, and potentially buy a cookie from the nearest Mrs. Fields.

Total cost: $3 for optional cookie.

So those are my favorite ways to unwind, treat myself, and recharge on the cheap! What are your go-to indulgences?

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  1. I appreciate that most of these involve food. HELL YES. I love the idea of appetizer night and you know I am all for treating myself with a donut! Going to a gourmet donut shop in Providence this weekend actually - they have vegan donuts!!

  2. These are some amazing ideas! Especially all the food! The cheese night sounds absolutely amazing and Starbucks and chill is my favourite too x

    Kayleigh Zara šŸŒæ

  3. YES EMILY! I couldn't agree more with the ethos behind this post, every achievement, big or small, deserves to be celebrated! Sometimes just getting out of bed can be a massive achievement in itself! I couldn't think of anything better than a bread and cheese night - give me a big melted Camembert and a breadstick and I'll be over the moon! Self care needn't be expensive and this post has shown exactly that! Thank you for this fab post!

    Abbey šŸ˜˜

  4. Nothing beats a good old donut to cheer you up! Also yes to bread and cheese night. Those are two of the things that I cannot live without!

    Sarah x

  5. I love this blog idea! Treating yoursef is really important, i love to treat myself to a costa!
    Eleanor x

  6. Obviously that donut photo at the top had me drooling. And by the way yes, todays donuts were much more satisfactory, I was so relieved!
    The problem with window shopping is it's hard to keep it window shopping. Next thing you know your purse is empty and you have ten thousand bags on your arms! Oops...

  7. I love the post! And we have exactly the same Starbucks order green tea frapps are my fave šŸ’– I've learnt slowly over the years that I need to treat myself when I can it's so important to care for yourself šŸ’–

  8. Hahaha '$3 for optional cookie'!šŸ˜‚ It's so nice to have some chill time and not spend any money! I love getting a Starbucks and sitting and people watching followed by some window shopping and sample hunting! It's my favourite thing to do cheaply!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  9. I think more people need to do a few of these - happiness doesn't cost the earth! I love your ideas and I am 100% up for just grabbing myself a donut every time I feel a little down haha x
    Claire |

  10. Food is life + chocolate of course lol. And Starbucks and chill is the best thing to do as a blogger , but sometimes I go to Panera bread and grab myself a smoothie but, Starbucks over Panera any day lol. Great post - it reminds ourselves how important it is to take care of ourselves...

    Much love,

  11. These are some great ideas! The cheese and bread night sound exactly what we would love!

    Jessica & James | /

  12. Girl! So many of these treats are mine too!!! While I've never had a green tea latte (on my to-do list now), I love donuts and a good cheese night. We'll have some wine and snacks and I absolutely love it. I especially love it on a cold winter night when it's dark outside with candles... so perfect xx Also... I've never eaten at Trader Jo's. I'm from FL but have lived in the UK for like 5 years and just haven't done it. But like the latte, it's on my to-do list next time I visit!

  13. What a lovely little list! :) #3 is my favorite on the list! I have off of work on Fridays in the summer, and I treat myself every Friday by getting a DQ cookie dough blizzard.

  14. Love a bread and cheese night! Same for the Starbucks & chill but at Costa's :p


  15. These are all amazing, Emily! I particularly love combining #2 and #6, haha. I also love re-watching series and movies too - it is really comforting. The hubby hates that, though. Haha. So, we have to watch new stuff every once in awhile. ;)

  16. This is a really good post! I too think it's important to treat yourself on a budget. Feels good to know that someone else gets the "familiar things are comforting". My OH never gets why I watch films or programs I've seen a hundred times before.

  17. I love this list! Denying yourself 80% of the time makes it so much better when you actually indulge! Iced lattes and croissants are my weakness.