Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you can’t be fabulous. This is the shit I do to stay cool as hell without a ton of $$$$$$$$$.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE going out to eat. But when you’re broke-ish, that can be hard to legitimize. Let me help you, baby. When you go out to dinner, eat half of what you order, and take the other half home for a second meal. This automatically cuts your money spent on meals and food out in half. Getting a $10 burger and fries? Hey, that’s like 5 bucks a meal from an actual restaurant! And waaaaay better than McDonalds. PLUS, if you only eat half of the normally wayyyyy big portions, it’s almost like a diet. A diet of half your hamburger and half your fries. I’ve actually been able to eat like 3-4 meals out of some Chinese takeout because they REALLY give you a lot of food. It’s so fucking beautiful. But nobody likes a cheap ass, so make sure you always tip your beautiful servers.
Salad bars from grocery stores are another weakness. There’s so many vegetables, cool pastas and weird yummy shit that is too hard and expensive to make at home alone. But sometimes the salad bar can get expensive. If you ditch the salad dressing, I’ve found you can save like almost 2 bucks because that shit is heavy. Also try to avoid other weirdly heavy shit like cottage cheese.
Find a friend who is the same size as you. Wardrobe=DOUBLED. But if they have bad style, don’t bother. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat shit.
Cancel your gym membership and do yoga videos online. I just canceled my LA Fitness membership that was $40 a month because I fucking hate them. There are plastic surgery videos on the TVs there, contests in the bathrooms to win lipo/botox, and they even sold pizza at the LA Fitness in Midway. The energy around that place is tainted and disgusting. These free podcasts from Yogamazing are awesome and perfect for bedroom yoga. If you have enough self control to actually do them.
Get a couple of friends together and throw a dinner party at home. It is SO much fucking cheaper to feed 6 people at home than out at a restaurant. Plus you can buy some ritzy shit for the price of some not-so-ritzy shit at a restaurant. Just make sure you look up a good recipe or have a friend who actually likes to cook before you ruin the foie gras.
One of my favorite things to do to relax is take a bubble bath, sip on a glass of wine and listen to music. The best part is that it’s a very cheap relaxation ritual!
Bubble baths are amazing. Really. I am a huge fan of bubble baths, as they are so luxurious for literally spending pennies on allowing yourself to wind down.
The great thing about bubble baths is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. I’ve always used random ones from Target or Walmart, like Lander that is around $3. Bubble baths that I’ve bought at Walmart have been better than expensive ones from department stores.
I actually tried some ‘designer’ bubble bath that I bought at Macy’s, thinking the bubbles would be like, the silkiest and biggest bubbles alive and that I’d probably drown in them from sheer luxury. I picked out Philosophy’s Raspberry Sorbet 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath for $16, and it turned out to be the most lackluster bubble bath of my life. So in the case of bubble baths, the cheaper, the better.
Another great addition to inexpensive bathtime relaxation is wine. I’m a firm believer in wine for all occasions. What better way to unwind than with a bubble bath AND wine?!
One really great wine with a reasonable price is Chilean wine from Concha y Toro. Their FronteraCabernet Sauvignon runs around $10 a bottle and is really good imported wine for the price. I used to buy a bottle for $4 when I lived in Chile. Sigh!
Music and Podcasts
If you’re like me and need something to take your mind of the day or your schedule tomorrow, playing relaxing music or a podcast is a great way to further your relaxation escape. Depending on my mood, I would choose classical music when I was feeling regal, ambient when I wanted to get lost in music and podcasts when I wanted to listen. You can find music for free through pandora or last.fm and podcasts are always free on itunes.
Grab a book or a magazine, light some candles and just relax. After all, it’s nice to break away from everyday stresses and technology if only for 20 minutes. Sometimes I find it difficult to relax, but it is such a necessary part of our routine. I hope you find time to relax and spend on yourself, because your serenity, even on a budget, is important.