What would you buy if you were suddenly rich?

Shopping SpreeI loved Budgets Are Sexy’s post last week on 5 Things I Would Upgrade If I Were Rich. (Which was actually inspired by a post at DINKS Finance on whether you’d still be frugal if you struck it rich.) So, I thought I’d keep the blog baton passing and write a post with my own response.

So many times The Hubby and I see someone on TV or in the news spending $10,000 on a wedding dress, $5 million on a house, or (in real life) $50 on a “pre-warn” Ab&Fitch t-shirt, and we think, “Even if I  had that kind of money, I’d never spend it on one dress/one house/one t-shirt!”

Most likely that’s because we grew up in circumstances that taught us to be frugal. If we’d been raised as children of millionaires to whom money was no object, then who knows? Maybe I would be dropping thousands on a new designer purse I’d only carry for a month.

But, deep down, I feel like that’s not the case. I’m sure my sense of proportion would be a little off if I’d grown up rich, but I still don’t think I’d be so careless with my money that I wouldn’t stop to consider all the things I could buy with it if I were smart. (I mean, why buy one $5,000 purse when you’ve got the money to buy 100 $50 purses?)  :)

All that said, the thing in J. Money’s post that originally got me thinking was the question: If you became rich, what 5 things in your life would you “upgrade?” This is assuming you didn’t grow up rich, but you somehow fell into a pile of money tomorrow, whether it’s by lotto winnings or a ridiculously smart investment move or whatever.

Here are mine:

5 things I would upgrade

1. Christmas. I love, love, love the holidays, and I love giving presents even more. So yes, although I’d still be pretty frugal even if I did strike it rich, I would go all out at Christmas time! Christmas trees in every room (in different themes, like vintage and mod)…lights that would make Clark Griswold jealous…and piles and piles of presents for all my loved ones. I would spoil them all silly!

2. Doggy donations. I wish I could donate to every local no-kill shelter and SPCA event and animal rescue foundation that sends me adorable doggy and kitty address labels and asks me to donate. But we can only give so much currently. If I were rich, I’d go nuts!

I want to go to a shelter and deliver new toys and treats to all the animals like Santa Paws. (Told you I’m a Christmas nut.) I want to build a luxury doggy day spa and kitty hotel for rescues to live in until they’re adopted. I want to have an entire gang of big and small dogs roaming my estate (I’d have to get a bigger plot of land) like every day in our house is Westminster.

3. Our food. We try to buy locally and organic for our produce, at least, but it’s expense to have a totally local/organic lifestyle. So that’s a definite upgrade if we had the money for it.

4. Finance classes for kids. One of my biggest pet peeves is the fact that kids aren’t taught basic personal finance strategies in middle and high school…I think they belong right up there with science and math. (More, if you ask me.) I’m not sure what exactly I’d do, but I’d somehow launch an initiative to get personal finance classes into schools. I’m not really a political person, but I would actively campaign for this! (Especially if I had the time since I could quit my job, haha.)

5. My wardrobe. I’m not a clothes horse by any means. I prefer to invest in pretty basic, classic pieces I switch up each season with different accessories. That said? Investing in high-quality timeless pieces has made me a huge fan of Banana Republic, and if I happened to fall into a pile of money? Yeah, I’d give myself one glorious shopping spree. A girl’s gotta splurge sometimes!

Your turn! Share your 5 “upgrades” in the comments!





photo credit:  ron2000

Blog Roundup (2-22-13)

I always love sharing my favorite blogs with people, so each week I’ll be giving you guys a roundup of the posts I’ve really enjoyed reading.

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  • Cool free stuff: If you’re a comic book geek, or know someone who is, check out Take Our Stuff’s giant X-Men #1 giveaway.

Are there any great posts you came across recently? Share them with us in the comments!

Meal planning: what works for you?

meal planningLately, I’ve been thinking it might be time for The Hubby and me to start meal planning. It would help our new quest to cut back on food waste and probably wouldn’t be all that hard since I tend to eat the same things out of habit anyway. :)

What I’m wondering is: Where the heck do I start? With only two of us, I know it won’t be nearly as complicated as it would for a whole family, but what’s the best way to go about it? Weekly planning? Monthly planning? Should we take into account recipes we can make with our new crock pot? I’d like to also save money by syncing our plan up with current grocery store sales, but what’s the easiest way to do this?

Once we get a system in place, I’m sure it will start to make things run a lot smoother, but it seems like it could also take a lot of extra work.

I know that normally I’m the one giving you guys the ideas (or at least giving you some ideas and then asking for yours as well), but this time, I’m totally at your assistance.

Do you recommend any meal planning sites/apps that would help someone just starting out? How much time does it take you on average, if you currently meal plan?





photo credit:  LizMarie_AK

Cut back on food waste with StillTasty.com

StillTasyI can’t stand wasting food, but I have to admit we’re guilty of it more often than I like. We forget to eat leftovers before we cook something new, we’re not sure how long something can be stored for, so we toss it to be safe…It’s so frustrating to see perfectly good food (or maybe perfectly good? when did we last cook that…?) go into the trash.

Which is why I was so excited when I discovered StillTasty.com. It can tell you how long pretty much anything you want can be stored, and the best ways to store it.

Produce, spices, drinks, condiments…You name it, StillyTasty has information on it. Just type the item you want to know about in the “Keep It or Toss It?” box, and the site will tell you how long it will stay safe (and tasty) to eat, as well as the best way to store it for optimal freshness and taste.

I was pleasantly surprised by how specific it is. Type in “pasta,” and you get all sorts of options. Is it angel hair pasta, bow tie, shells? Cooked or uncooked? Still in the package unopened? You’ll find out how long it stays good in the fridge and in the freezer (or on the shelf if it’s still packaged), as well as specific advice on things like in what kind of container you should store it, what happens if you store it past the recommended date, and how you should handle leftovers with sauce vs. dry leftovers.

StillTasty also has handy sections where common questions are answered and you can find tips on things like how to keep ice cream fresh and creamy (no more freezer burn!) and how you should read expiration dates.

I plan on using this site a ton in the future! Our next step is to develop a solid meal plan to cut down on food waste even further.

What tips do you have for food storage?