Too often we equate luxury with such things as designer handbags and Italian sports cars. But the truth is we can fill our daily lives with luxury for pennies a day…or sometimes nothing more than a few moments of our time. Here are 14 affordable luxuries you can add to YOUR beautiful life.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
1. Ironed Pillow Cases
Let’s start with something I’ve talked about before and which costs nothing more than a few minutes of your time. Ironed pillow cases. Every Monday I wash my sheets and remake my bed. I then take a few minutes to iron my pillow cases. There is nothing quite like slipping between the covers of a freshly made bed and lying your head on a smooth, crisp pillow case. I don’t see it as a chore but as a little gift I give myself.
2. Fresh Flowers
This may sound expensive and it certainly can be if you buy big bouquets from a florist. However there are inexpensive sources for fresh flowers, too. Least expensive (unless you consider your time) are flowers you grow yourself. My dream is to have a rose garden plus a small garden of flowers specifically for cutting.
I do have various bulbs which bloom every year with little care from me. Daffodils, irises and day lilies were planted on our property before we bought it and I bless the previous owners each time I cut a few for my vases.
You can also find inexpensive bouquets of flowers at the grocery store. Trader Joe’s is my favorite source and I always indulge in some when my daughter and I shop there on one of our monthly grocery hauls. Our local Aldi’s nearly always has some decent looking flowers for as little as $3.99 a bunch.
And don’t totally discount your local florist. Develop a relationship with one of the floral designers and they can often steer you towards something inexpensive. I love to pick up a couple of stems of Star Gazer Lilies for my entry table because they smell fantastic. I’m friends with several people at one of our local florists and they will help me pick out a stem or two with the most buds. I then add some very inexpensive filler and have them just wrap these up for me so I can arrange them at home.
It pays to learn some basic floral design tips so you can create a pretty bouquet with whatever flowers you are able to get. If this is something you’re interested in learning, let me know. I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post on the topic if there is enough interest.
3. A Beautiful Journal
I’m a sucker for journals and notebooks. Fortunately these don’t have to be very expensive. Keep an eye out when vacationing, at museum gift shops, stationery stores, and gift shops.
Use these for gratitude journals, reading lists, diaries, ongoing to do lists, travel journals, etc.
4. A Special Pen
You’ll need a special pen to go with that pretty journal, right? There are very expensive pens available but you can also find something pretty for just a few dollars. Take a look at these beauties, for instance. For less than $10 you get three pens. These are currently in my Amazon cart.
5. A Good Pair of Scissors
You may not have thought of this as a luxury but a good, sharp pair of scissors is a true pleasure. Especially if they are attractive like these AND if you can always find them. I recently received a pair of these pretty, rose gold scissors in one of the subscription boxes I receive from Nikki of At Home With Nikki. I love them! I keep them in my office and they are off limits to anyone but myself. Buy a couple of pairs of cheap scissors for the kitchen and hide some nice ones for yourself.
6. Lavender Linen Spray
Many, many years ago I splurged on a fairly expensive bottle of lavender linen spray from France. It was in a pretty glass spray bottle and I loved spraying it on my pillow cases at night or while ironing. Soon enough, it was gone. That’s when I started making my own. It’s easy and inexpensive. Here’s how to make it:
7. Cloth Napkins
Don’t you just love opening up a starched linen napkin in a fancy restaurant and spreading it across your lap before picking up your fork? It elevates the experience from merely eating to dining. And you know what? You can have that same experience at home. They may not be huge, white, heavily starched linen napkins (although they could be). But any type of cloth napkin makes a meal feel a bit more special. Try setting the table with “real dishes” instead of paper plates and add cloth napkins for a little touch of luxury in your everyday life.
8. A New Set of Dish Towels
Go open the drawer where you keep your dish towels. What do you see? Unless you’ve just set up housekeeping it’s quite likely that the drawer is full of mismatched dish towels and dish cloths, many of which have seen better days. They may be perfectly serviceable but are they attractive?
I hereby give you permission to relegate everything in that drawer to the rag bag and purchase all new, matching towels and dish cloths. Really. Buy something pretty, give them a wash, fold neatly (you might even iron them if they are the type that can benefit by it) and put them in the drawer. Every time you open the drawer to get out a fresh towel I promise you will thank me.
9. Luxury Scented Soap
We generally use an all-natural goats milk soap with patchouli essential oil but I also have this lilac-scented soap from Caswell-Massey tucked away for leisurely baths. Indulge in something that smells fabulous and then set aside time at least once a week for some pampering. You deserve it!
10. Expensive Perfume
Yes, you read that correctly. How does expensive perfume fit in a list of inexpensive luxuries, you may ask? Cost per use, my friend. I have worn Shalimar since high school and not a day goes by that I don’t use it at least once, usually twice. The initial purchase price isn’t cheap but if you break it down to the cost per day it’s reasonable. Many people think nothing of buying a soft drink or coffee every day. I’d rather smell fabulous.
11. Drink From a Pretty Glass
We are constantly reminded how important it is to drink plenty of water. Lots of us carry around water bottles, either disposable (terrible for the environment) or reusable. Water bottles are very handy while exercising or in the car but at home or at your desk consider using a pretty glass. Did you receive some gorgeous glassware as a wedding gift but rarely use it? Here’s your opportunity. You may not want to take part of a matching set to work but you can easily pick up something pretty at an antique shop, thrift store or gift shop. You might want to avoid lead crystal for your daily drinking glass but there are any number of other choices. How about this carafe set? (It’s lead-free.)
12. Luxury Tea or Coffee
If you drink tea or coffee and have been settling for a cheap store brand, consider treating yourself to a more expensive brand now and then. I’ve been enjoying Plum Deluxe teas recently. You can even sign up for their Organic Tea of the Month club.
If you are more of a coffee drinker you might look for something locally roasted or a private reserve blend. We normally drink Community Coffee whole bean Breakfast Blend which is around $6.50 for a 12 oz. bag. I order directly from the company and receive their emails about special offers. On our last order I tried their Louisiana Blend Private Reserve and am loving it! It’s about $3 a bag more but I will definitely be splurging on it once in awhile.
13. China Cup and Saucer
No matter what brand of tea or coffee you are drinking, I think it tastes better in a proper cup and saucer. You can pick up beautiful china cups and saucers at any antique store for very little. Or pull out a couple from your wedding china. That’s what I have done. Yes, I did break one but I found that replacement pieces of my discontinued Noritake Westport china are available through Replacements. I was able to get another cup and saucer for around $10. For me, it is worth the risk of occasional breakage in order to enjoy my pretty china every day.
14. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Fresh squeezed orange juice is a delicious treat that you can have every morning if you choose. It takes less than a minute to squeeze an orange or two and the taste is worth the effort.
I encourage you to choose one or more of these little luxuries and indulge this coming week. Or use this list as inspiration to come up with your OWN affordable luxuries. I’d love to hear your ideas.