Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thursday Three: Indulgences You Can Make Yourself

By Maddie

Everyone loves to spoil themself from time to time. There's no harm in that. But if you feel like spoiling yourself a little more than your wallet will allow, there are some creative ways to make it happen. Here are three of my favorite splurges and the ways that I have found to make them on my own at home:

1. My favorite Starbucks breakfast
Chai latte via
My personal favorite Starbucks breakfast is a low-fat Chai latte and a bowl of their Perfect Oatmeal. It costs $6.39 to buy. I have definitely gone through spurts where I stop there 3 or 4 times a week and buy breakfast! The past few weeks, I have tried re-creating the whole breakfast at home. A box of pre-sweetened Chai (I use Tazo brand and so does Starbucks!) concentrate and 1% milk make a pretty darn good replica of a Chai latte. It would be even cheaper to buy the tea bags and make it at home, but I am willing to spend a dollar or two more to make it more like the real thing, and thus make myself more likely to enjoy my own. The oatmeal is also super easy to replicate. A canister of quick oats, some brown sugar and a bag of raisin/dried cranberry mix is just right.

2. Bakery cupcakes
I LOVE a bakery cupcake. I'm not talking from the grocery store, either. I mean from a local bakery that uses premium ingredients. But at $2.75 each, that is a habit that gets expensive quickly. Instead. I like to make a treat of the week at home. A batch of brownies, blondies, cupcakes or cookies will last the whole week. I'll bet that even with buying premium ingredients (Ghiradelli chocolate chips, etc), it's still way cheaper than buying a treat 2 or 3 times a week at the bakery. Plus, you can control the calories/fat in a homemade version.

3. Gourmet salads
On my way to work today, I saw a Panera bread billboard for a new salmon salad they are offering. It looked so good! But, a healthy lunch from a restaurant often costs $10 or more. You can make creative salads at home for a fraction of the cost. I enjoy making a southwest salad, similar to one offered at Crispers. I use spring mix, tomato, cucumber, black beans (canned), corn (frozen) and chicken I grill myself on the indoor grill. Add some pickled jalapenos to some good ol' bottled ranch dressing and you have a GREAT salad! You can make 3 or 4 of these for the price of one restaurant salad.

Sometimes the splurge is worth it. But for the times that money is a little tight, get creative with at-home versions of your favorite things.

1 comment:

  1. These sound yummy! I'm craving some homemade oatmeal now!


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