Thursday, October 1, 2009

Simple Splurges are Sometimes Essential

There is a end-of-summer, start-of-fall cold going around and unfortunately, I caught it. Because I felt so miserable, I went home early from work. On my way home I decided to pick up some necessary items from the grocery store - namely soup and juice. Here is the interesting thing - I find that when I am sick, I have no problem splurging.

First of all, I didn't have coupons with me. I always have coupons when I go to the store - maybe not for everything, but I at least take the time to look. I was feeling so rotten I didn't even bother hitting the coupon sites or checking out the store fliers. Normally I shop at the mega-mart, but the idea of a brightly lit, people packed super store made my already throbbing head hurt even more. There was no way I was in any condition to deal with crowds with carts. So next I considered the slightly rundown local grocery store that is just around the corner from where I live. Slightly rundown local grocery store (SRLGS) used to be a fairly decent store, but it has changed hands a few times and is not the nicest place to shop anymore. You would think that the lower quality of the store might mean lower prices, but you'd be wrong. Prices are typically higher than mega-mart. Plus (in my opinion) the store is oddly laid out. I can rarely find what I am looking for without a lot of neck craning looking for signs. I usually only go to SRLGS when I am in desperate need of something fast - like when I am in the middle of a recipe and realize I am out of some key ingredient.

Then I thought of my one time favorite grocery store (OTFGS). OTFGS isn't really on my way home, but it isn't terribly out of the way either. I used to work over by it, so I know the layout like the back of my hand. It is friendly, clean and though the prices aren't all that cheap, I like the store. So, that's where I headed.

I ended up buying 4 cans of high-end canned soup, 2 containers of frozen soup, 2 jugs of super ultra healthy juice, 2 single servings of another brand of healthy juice and a bag of clementines. Total cost $26.46. The soup in itself was an odd purchase for me. I don't buy pre-made soup usually, since I prefer to make my own. The frozen soup was really new to me, but I have been wanting to try it for awhile. We have a local company here that is known for their soup. They used to have a restaurant, and I remember getting French Onion soup there as a kid, but I hadn't tried their frozen packs. Being sick was as good of an excuse as any...

However, that $26 was not budgeted. My grocery money was already spent for the month. I spent my "Misc." budget on a few new shirts. But you know what? I didn't particularly care. That $26 was not going to bankrupt me - I had it (and more) in the bank. I can also justify the purchases by saying that the soup made for a fast meal so I could get home, eat, and get right into bead. Plus everyone knows the healing powers of chicken noodle soup. (Don't scoff, millions of grandmothers could not be wrong!) The juice and clementines were a quick and easy way to get my Vitamin C. All these things could help me feel better which means that I would not miss anymore work, which directly effects my bottom line. So, I could say that the purchases were an investment in my health and earning power... but that would be a lot of bunk. Yes, it is true, but the fact of the matter was that I was sick and I felt like indulging myself.

I bring this up because a dear friend of mine told me that the other night she had a really rough day and she splurged on a bottle of wine and chocolate, so she could go home, have a glass of wine and a nibble of chocolate and de-stress. Again, it could be argued that by finding ways to splurge a little and shake off the stress, you are helping your earning power by making it easier to deal with the day to day, but it could also be said that there is something to be said for small splurges.

This got me thinking about the times I have splurged. The good times have been on vacations or holidays, when I said, "It is ______. I'm going to enjoy myself." Other times have been on loved ones, especially on milestone birthdays. I have to say though, these are pretty rare and haven't happened much at all since I have been on a budget. I'm far more likely to splurge a little when I'm sick or feeling blue, whether it is indulging in a bubble bath, wine and chocolate or chicken noodle soup.

As long as it doesn't go overboard and the money is there, I don't think there is anything wrong with this - once and awhile, a small splurge, especially if it helps get you on your feet again, can be a very good thing.


Photo by: WookieWife
via flickr

7 comments:

Frugalchick said...

I also tend to splurge when I'm sick. When you really need tissues, cough drops, or chicken noodle soup, you're only worried about feeling better--not prices. And that's just life. Like you said, as long as you have the money in the bank...

Jessie said...

ugh! I have the very same cold. I got sent home yesterday, and I took today off as well.

I've been blogging and budgetting all morning.

halfdozendaily said...

I'm the same way when i'm sick.. sometimes you just have to take the "easy way out"! Glad you decided to have dinner with your mom afterall! Family should always come first, sometimes we just don't realize it do we?

eemusings said...

So true! When I'm sick - or going through major upheaval, like our recent move - money be damned, you need to buy tissues, meds, whatever, or in the latter case, a few rounds of take-out because you just don't have the energy to cook!

RML- Being More Through Having Less said...

I agree and it´s the fact that you have been frugal in your everyday life that allowed you to splurge guilt-free when you really needed it. Get Well!

SS4BC said...

I once ended up feeling so bad that I just stopped at the gas station on my way home and spent $2 on a can of chicken noodle soup that had probably been sitting on the shelf for 3 years. It was ridiculous, but I was so glad not to have to deal with the grocery store.

Feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Where are you?????????????? Please don't tell us you have swine flu!!!!!!