My name is Carlene and I'm a convert. Until a few years ago I was in the 'price over quality' camp. Need a pen? Grab a bag of those plastic Bics you can get 100 of for like, nothing. Needed a spatula? Grab the best price. Wrong. I was so wrong and hence, I declare myself converted. Because while picking the most convenient, lowest price seemed like a no brainer, I now realize I was just being lazy. So now I focus is now on quality, craftsmanship and how the product will fit into my lifestyle (Although this is especially difficult when I go to Target because all bets are probably off there ).
The more I read and the more the husband and I discuss it, buying a poorly made and inexpensive product is not how we want to spend our money. It's frustrating when a product doesn't work well and you cant rely on it, and environmentally wasteful when you have to throw it out and buy a new one. There's a Japanese proverb that says something like 'buy quality and you will only cry once'. Meaning the price initially will make you weep as you handover your credit card, but the product will never let you down. But if you buy poor quality, you'll cry every time it doesn't work and you need to replace it.
So instead of buying the Bics, we use Microns and Pilot pens which write smoothly and make us happy ever time we use them. And instead of buying a trendy purse or tote bag every few months, I invest in one or two leather Kate Spade bags that I use daily, are durable and I love to see. Then I tried to narrow it down to what I believe is worth the money every time for every day luxuries. This is the list I came up with and I'm curious to see what makes your list.
5 Everyday luxuries worth the money...
- Cheese: This one should have been obvious based on the pictures. The bottom line is, good cheese is expensive but it's worth the money. A quality cheese has wonderful compound flavors that require only a small amount for a big effect. If you're buying 'mexican shredded cheese' from the grocery, yes, it is way less money for more cheese. But how much do you honestly taste the cheese in the dish you're making? You're likely just getting the effect of melting with no taste, but all the calories. Not worth it. If I'm going to eat cheese, I want brie or gouda and I only need a little for a lot of flavor.
- Pillows: I had never given much thought to pillows before I had the best sleep of my life. When we attended a wedding in Richmond earlier this summer, I became obsessed with the pillows. Obsessed. I stripped down every pillow on the bed looking for a label so I could buy them when I got home. And when that didn't work I called the hotel and asked them who their supplier was. I totally realize I sound like a drug addict here. But these pillows were the right ratio of firm to soft and my neck was so happy. When I finally tracked them down (Harris Pillow Supply Co. 50:50 down pillows), I was shocked by the price tag. Fifty dollars for a pillow. So I put it off for months. And every night I woke up with a kink in my neck I thought about it. But I finally bought them and we are in love with them in this house. Customers say these last over a decade, and for a great night's sleep I'm more than happy to pay.
- Essential Oils: Great smells make me happy. Essential oils are pricey (as in $25 for the smallest vial ever), but you only need 1-2 drops at a time and you get a concentrated scent you love. I use white thyme and tea tree oil in my house- white thyme for the smell, tea tree oil for its cleaning properties. It goes in everything from our natural cleaner we use on the floors and counter tops to hand soap and shampoo. Way more eco friendly than Febreeze and way more personalized. You can get everything from basil to lemon, lavender to rose.
- Handbag: If you are using it every day for years, it's worth it. It needs to hold up to wear and tear, go with the majority of your outfits, and hold your life when you're on the go. Kate Spade is my drug of choice because I love their structured handbags with clean lines in bright colors.
- Art and Furniture: I know this may not make sense to many of you but investing in your nest is a good thing. I'm not saying go buy a famous piece and I'm not saying avoid IKEA forever. Just look for what you love and be willing to let yourself buy it. We have come across a ton of amazing pieces in antique stores that end up being worth hundreds (or more), but we snag them for under $50 because no one knows what they are. We never go into an antique store looking for hidden deals like that, but the husband has an amazing eye for design. And what ends up catching his eye is worth noting. Some of my favorites? A solid brass coffee table and brass turkish stool. Together, under $100. A cream cow hide rug? $50 but they sell for nearly $300.
This was definitely a longer post than I intended on writing but I hope some of this makes sense. What you choose to invest your money in makes a difference. So what do you think is worth it?
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.