Mediterranean Soiree 

8 Mar

This past weekend I hosted an intimate gathering in honour of my mother and sister’s upcoming birthdays as I won’t be seeing them on their respective special days.

I decided to go with a Mediterranean theme for the menu taking cues from Italian, French and Greek cuisines. 

As a rule, whenever I entertain I lays try not to bite off more than I can chew. Preparing for an event no matter how small or relaxed can become extremely stressful if you try to make everything yourself. So I chose the “semi-homemade” route, making simple recipes and using some ready made fare.

The menu served 10 persons and was as follows

Bruschetta

Mushroom crostini

Olive bar

Cheese and meat board

Chicken souvlaki (kebabs) with Tzatziki sauce

Assorted artisan mini pastries (premade)


Creme cheese croissants (premade)

Biscotti  (premade)

I will share how I prepared the items for this get together. 



BRUSCHETTA 

Bruschetta is a popular antipasto found in many Italian eateries and with good reason. It consists of slices of toasted bread coated in oil and topped with a variety of things including meats, cheeses and perhaps best known…tomato.

I made tomato bruschetta using a sliced baguette.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 20-24 slices)

1/2 of a baguette  

Butter or olive oil

One large ripe tomato 

Spices- I used Italian spices and a pinch of salt


WHAT TO DO

Tomato

1)Dice tomato

2)Add salt and spices with a drizzle of olive oil

3)Stir to mix and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavour to mature.

Tomato mixture 

Bread 

4)Slice baguette into approximately 1/2 inch thick slices

5)Lay flat on a baking sheet

6)Coat with butter/oil.

7)Bake until golden or desired crispness 

Bread coated in melted butter




Top bread with tomato mixture just prior to serving to avoid bread becoming soggy.

Bruschetta 


MUSHROOM CROSTINI 

If you were to ask me the true difference between crostini and bruschetta I’m not sure I could answer clearly. Both have Italian origins, both involve slices of grilled bread and both are often topped with similar items. That being said, I’m totally comfortable with calling bread topped with tomato bruschetta,  but topped with mushrooms not so much. So I’m calling it crostini.

This recipe is almost identical to the bruschetta one except for the preparation of the topping so I’ll focus on that.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 20-24 pieces)

12 OZ of fresh mushrooms -feel free to use canned ones 

1/4 cup of finely diced onion 

2 tbsp of brown sugar- I used coconut sugar 

2 tbsp butter

1/2 of a baguette 

Ingredients 



WHAT TO DO 

Mushrooms

1)Heat butter, sugar and onions in a skillet until onions sweat (become soft and translucent) 

2)Add mushrooms and Sautee until browned.

Onions,butter and sugar mixture 


Mushrooms being sautéed 


Bread

See 4-6 for bruschetta 

3)Top bread with mushrooms just before serving

Mushroom crostini 


CHICKEN SOUVLAKI/KEBABS 

Kebabs are always a favourite of mine for parties. Who doesn’t enjoy eating bites of food off a stick? Something about it is just so much fun. Lol.

The inspiration for this came from a blog post by Closet Cooking who created this recipe after tasting something similar while on vacation in Greece. The chicken is flavour education with the tart lemon and spices and topped with tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Mediterranean yogurt based dip infused with herbs and spices. It is served with meat or used with pita bread or vegetables as a dip. You can make it yourself but it is also widely available in most supermarkets  (I bought mine).

WHAT YOU NEED (makes about 15)

1/2 lb Chicken breast/thighs boneless

1 large lemon

Minced garlic or garlic powder 

Tzatziki

WHAT TO DO 

1)Cube chicken and coat with juice of lemon, garlic and any other seasonings and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2) Skewer chicken Bake until cooked

3)Drizzle with Tzatziki-I also served some on the side.

Chicken souvlaki 


OLIVE BAR

This one was easy-peasy. I saw an amazing olive bar at Whole foods and knew I had to recreate it even if on a micro scale. I bought a container of mixed olives and worked with that.

WHAT YOU NEED

Various olives- You can use as many types as your heart desires

Containers- to display the olives

WHAT TO DO

Distribute the olives in their various containers along with spoons and display. I used a wooden cutting board.

Olive bar 



CHEESE AND MEAT BOARD

I have to say, that out of all the dishes on this menu, this is the one I was most excited about. Cheese and meat boards or antipasti boards are becoming a bigger and bigger trend in the foodie world making appearances on lots of restaurant menus. But these amazing appetizer boards are well established in Mediterranean cuisine. 
WHAT YOU NEED

Cheeses- At least two types but as many as you wish. I used Asiago, Gouda and sweet onion Swiss cheese by Laughing Cow.

Meats- At least two types or skip it if you want a strict cheese board. I used sliced turkey and turkey salami

Extras- I used purple or red grapes, almonds and some crackers

Board- This can be your cutting board, a marble board, slate board, metal board etc. Whatever you have. I used a rectangular board and most that I’ve seen do the same but this can work on a circular or oblong board as well.

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO

1)Arrange your cheeses and meats on the board. I tried to create something visually pleasing by placing the cheeses at differing heights and placing the meats in between.

2)Place your extras to fill in the empty spaces

Cheese and meat board


PREMADE items

To round out this Mediterranean inspired fest I purchased some items to cut down on prep time and stress.

Pastries 

I bought a box of frozen mini pastries which came in four flavours: spinach and cheese, red bell peppers and cheese, sweet onion and cheese and mushroom and cheese…there was a lot of cheese.

Assorted savory pastries 

Dessert

All the dessert was premade. Desserts are satisfying to make but boy will they eat up your time. I purchased some Biscotti, a tasty Italian treat often eaten along with coffee. I also bought some French Creme cheese pastries which I warmed in the oven and served.

Biscotti 

Cream cheese pastries


A few more shots of the finished table

The evening was great, spent with family and friends. There was good conversation and tasty food. As I say I always recommend doing some things yourself and getting help with others when entertaining,  it makes everything a bit easier.

I hope my Mediterranean inspired Soiree gives you some ideas for your next event. Have an awesome day and Happy International Womens Day to all!

Off Price Retailers- Are they worth it?

19 Feb

img_3399

T.J.Maxx bag filled with Off-Price retail purchases

 

 

Marshalls. T.J Maxx (T.K Maxx). Ross. Big Lots. Home goods.

 

We have probably all heard these names before and probably shopped in one of these stores a few times. These types of stores are called “Off-Price Retail Stores” and they continue to grow and expand their base.Some are massive multi-billion dollar companies and some are stand alone stores. I’m sure we can all think of a local store that sells off-price items.

But, are they worth it? I did a similar article examining Outlet malls and whether or not they are worth it if you are interested.

The first thing we must do is define an Off-Price retailer. What makes a store just that? An off-price retail store is described as one that sells high-quality items at lower prices.  If you go back to the origins of outlet stores, this is a similar concept.

So… how do these off-price retail stores do it?

This is an important question. How can these stores sell quality items at bargain prices? Especially around the same time, similar items are found in department or brand stores? Immediately you think that something is wrong with the merchandise. It’s either damaged or lower quality or fake right?

Well here are two major ways these types of stores acquire their merchandise.

Overstock

This is what occurs when a company overestimates the demand for a product. For example, if a Department store might order 500 pink floral dresses but it turns out only 200 sold in the expected time.  Off-price retailer buyers swoop in and purchase the remaining 300 dresses at a discounted price. The company will then resell them at a profit to themselves but at a discount to you, the consumer. Everyone wins.

Irregular Items

An irregular item is one that is less than perfect. For example a dress with a red zipper instead of a black one or a shirt with the buttons sewn on the wrong side. These items, in the world of retail, are deemed unworthy to be displayed and sold full price in department stores and brand stores. They are, however, perfect for an off-price retail store where they will be sold discounted. Everyone wins again.

 

But the question remains, is it worth it?

To give some perspective here is an off-price retail shopping scenario:

You go into “OffpriceretailerX” and see an amazing top. Its cobalt blue with a watercolour inspired print, half sleeves, and a loose fit, just how you like it. You pick it up and realise it’s extra small. You wear a medium. So you go over to the medium and search and search. Nothing. Okay, you can wear a large, it will be more comfortable that way. So you go to the large section and search. Nothing. Hmm. Determined you decide you can squeeze into a small. You’ve lost 5lbs recently anyway, so you go to the small section and look. You look and look and …nothing. At this point you are exasperated. You walk through the entire section until your eye spots the shirt. Yes! You grab it! You hold it up and look at it!. It’s a 3XL. It is far too big.

If you had gone into a department store, there is a good chance that same top would be hanging on a rack with a bunch of tops that looked exactly like it. They would be arranged front to back from XS right through to 3XL. You would ask the clerk to get it in your size and he would do just that and take it to the checkout for you and ring you up. No hassle. But, you might pay 3 ½ times as much.

This is the bane of an off-price shopper. Getting a good deal is a downright treasure hunt. There is always a missing size (yours) or a missing colour (the one you want, obviously) or you want six of something and there are only five.

Shopping off-price can be exhausting and tedious and sometimes completely unrewarding and you can find yourself tucked away in a corner sitting on the floor picking through every, single stationary item trying to piece together a set. (I swear it wasn’t me) Yes, this type of retail therapy can land you in actual therapy and it is a major turn off for some. BUT, when you get that deal. When you get that Stella McCartney perfume for 20% less and when you find the perfect pair of ankle biting blue jeans for under $20, it all seems worth it. It makes the digging and rifling worthwhile. For some of us at least.

So let’s review our points:

1)Off Price retailers sell you real, quality items-This is in comparison to many outlet stores which are now producing lower quality items specifically for outlets.

2)They sell it at a reduced price- This is why we look for bargains, we hope to pay a bit less for what we want without completely forfeiting quality.

3)They can be difficult to navigate-There is often a surplus of merchandise packed in and overflowing in most cases and no matter how diligent the staff appears to be, everything always looks picked over.

4)You won’t always get what you want-In these types of stores, you get what you find not necessarily what you go looking for because the stock is often piecemeal.

5)It may not be perfect- As mentioned, some of this merchandise may have some damage or imperfection which landed it in that store in the first place.

To answer the question as to whether or not it’s worth it, it depends on you. Are you willing to hunt through random unrelated items to get the one you desire? Are you okay with having an item that may have an imperfection? If the answer is yes, then it is totally worth it because as I said, when you get that deal there is no better feeling.

If you prefer to know precisely what you are getting and want a fairly hassle free experience then stick to retail and perhaps wait for your favourite stores to put on sales if you want a good bargain.

Thank you for reading. Happy shopping and have an awesome day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Snack-Energy Bites

8 Feb

img_3387

Health Bites

Hello and welcome to another post on a delicious, healthy snack. Today I make energy bites also known as healthy bites, energy balls, health balls etc. These treats are pretty genius because they are easy and quick to make, easy to carry on the go and you can make so many different flavours.

I made three flavours today: Peanut Chocolate, Fig, Cranberry, and Coconut and Prune and Molasses. Let us begin. These are all oat- based but they don’t have to be. The measurements are fairly vague as you can add as much of what you want.

WHAT YOU NEED

Peanut Chocolate

img_3331

1)1 cup of peanut butter

2)2 tbsp of cocoa powder (unsweetened)

3) 1/2 cup of honey

4) 1 cup of oats

 

Fig, Cranberry, and Coconut

img_3339

1)1/3 cup of shredded coconut

2)1/4 cup of dried cranberries

3)1/2 cup dried figs(or dates)– about 5 or 6

4)1/2 cup oats

5) 1/2 cup of honey

 

Prune and Molasses

img_3341

1)1/2 cup of prunes– about 5 or 6

2)1/2 cup of molasses

3)1/2 cup of oats

4) 1 tbsp chia seeds

WHAT TO DO

1)Prune and fig paste

Place 1/2 of the prunes/figs into a food processor or nutribullet with a very small amount of water (approximately half tsp) and blend until paste forms. Each paste will be added to the respective ingredients to act as an adhesive in the mixtures.

 

Fig paste and Prune paste

2)Chop remainder of prunes and figs to add to respective ingredients.

3)For each set of ingredients

Combine in a large bowl until a stiff consistency is achieved, you need it to be able to hold its shape. You can add a bit more honey or molasses or oats to do this.

 

img_3349

Peanut Chocolate ingredients

img_3354

Stiff Consistency

img_3355

Fig, Cranberry, and Coconut ingredients

 

 

img_3359

Consistency

 

img_3361

Prune and Molasses ingredients

2)Place mixture in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to firm up.

3)Remove from the refrigerator and roll into balls- I made mine approximately 1.5 inches in diameter and got approximately six from each.

Formed energy bites

4) I coated each bite in extra ingredients just to be a bit extra. I coated the peanut chocolate ones in cocoa powder so they looked like chocolate truffles. The Fig, Cranberry, and coconut was coated in shredded coconut and the Prunes and Molasses in Chia seeds. This step is optional.

img_3393

I’m so glad I decided to make these. I am always looking for cheap, easy healthy snacks and this one is a gem. I love Luna bars and other energy bars but they do not come cheap. This is a great way to get a similar type of snack except you get to decide exactly what goes into it.

Love Crepes

1 Feb

Hello and welcome to Febuary, the month of love (I suppose). When it comes to Valentine’s  I tend to not be impressed by cutesy pink lovey dovey stuff but I do like the ideal of doing something nice for someone you love whether it be your mother, sister, best friend or significant other. 

Love crepes




This recipe is one for red velvet crepes smothered in a Nutella ganache. Decadence in the form of breakfast. Nutella is an excellent crepe filling (my favorite ) and I thought making it into a rich sauce would be a tasty twist know top of these crepes. I used the recipe from Joy of Baking but adapted it to make it red velvet flavoured.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Crepes

This makes about 2 servings of 10-12 heart shaped crepes

1) 1/2 cup of flour

2) 1 tbsp of white sugar

3) 1 egg – brought to roomtemperature 

4) 1 50mL (approx 2/3 cup) of milk.

5) 1tbsp melted butter

6) 1 tsp vanilla extract 

7)1 tbsp cocoa 

8) Red food colouring – use as much or little as you like.

Ingredients 


Ganache Sauce 

Note this recipe isn’t very precise, you can add more or less of each ingredient you suit you.

1) 4 tbsp of Nutella – only 2tbsp pictured here 

2) 1/4 cup of milk 

Ganache ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

 Crepes

1)Blend ingredients in a food processor /blender /nutribullet until it forms a smooth watery batter. 

Crepe batter




2) Place batter in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

3) Place a skillet on high heat and add a bit of butter letting it melt and spread over the entire surface of the pan.

4) Place the cookie cutter on the skillet then pour batter to fill in.

Pour batter into cookie cutter 




5) Allow to cook until edges appear browned then remove cookie cutter (to avoid burning the metal)

Remove cookie cutter 




6) Flip crepes and allow to finish cooking. Make as many as you like, they will be stacked.

Stacked crepes


Ganache sauce

1) Bring milk (or heavy cream) to a boil in a save pan or heat in microwave.

2) Pour over Nutella and mix until a smooth mixture is formed.

Sauce



Finished crepes and sauce




You’re done! Feel free to serve the sauce on the side or Pour it over the crepe tower allowing the sauce and crepes to merge flavours.

Covered in sauce



Ready to serve



These. Were. Delicious. Do you hear me? Delicious! I could honestly see this being served at a cozy, kitchy but trendy cafe in some trendy city. Lol. The mild cocoa flavour in the crepes is complimented by the delightful hazelnut flavour from the Nutella. The crepes are light and moist and the sauce is rich. This is a winning combo. 

Make this for someone you love and have an awesome day! 

Healthy Snack- Chia Pudding Pots

26 Jan

Today’s recipe is an easy versitile one, so easy I almost feel guilty for calling it a recipe. This is chia pudding which is actually super trendy these days, something I didn’t realise until I decided to do this post. 

Chia Pudding Pots


FunFact: I used to work at a health food store way back in the day. I’m talking wayyyy back. I was a university student and the owner was a nutritionist. The name of her business was “Chia Seeds” . She explained to myself and all the others who would be working there that the chia seed was small but powerful. It had so many benifits for something so insignificant in appearance  (it was a bit of a life lesson too)
So what IS chia?

Chia is the seed of the chia plant which is a member of the mint family. The seed is very tiny, like sesame seed size and it is rich in nutrients including omega fatty acids, some vitamins and minerals. 

Chia seeds have long been popular among the “health food” set but recently has become far more mainstream making a massive debut on pinterest(lol). Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, health bars and cereals. However,  a notable property of chia seeds is the fact that they become swollen and gelatinous once exposed to liquid. This makes for a great puddding. A healthy, nutritious pudding. 

I will be making 3 variations of chia pudding today ; vanilla spice, chocolate and berry.But really the options are limitless.

WHAT YOU NEED  (for each)

1) 1/4 cup of chia seeds (I used black chia seeds , yiu can use white ones if you like)

2) 1/3 cup of vanilla almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer)

3) 1 tbsp of honey – add it to your preference

4) 1/4 tsp of assorted spices– I used cinnamon and nutmeg

5) 1 tbsp of cocoa powder

6) Assorted berries– I had strawberries and blueberries 

7) Containers for storage (I used small jelly jars but for more practicality you can use small resealable plastic containers)

8) Blender/Nutribullet 

Ingredients 

WHAT TO DO 

 Pour almond milk into container and add honey and mix.

Vanilla spice

1) Add chia seeds and spices then mix in well.

Add chia seeds and spices
Chocolate

3) Add cocoa powder and mix

Cocoa added




Berry blast

4) Chop fruit and add a few pieces to the mixture and stir.

Add fruit




5) In your blender/nutribullet etc blend the fruit with a bit of water forming a slurry.- I did it separately for visual effect.

Fruit slurry


6) Place your mixtures in the refrigerator and let them sit for a few hours,  until a gelatinous consistency is formed. I left mine overnight. 

Your treats are ready to eat!

Ready to eat


These are great healthy “to go” snacks that you can make long ahead of time. You can play around and try a multitude of flavours. These would also make an amazing dessert for a dinner party. It’s different but tasty.

The chia seeds become fluffy and gel like and it truly tastes like a pudding. The different additions all go well with it because the chia seeds lend to sweet flavours.

Definitely try this one and definitely have an awesome day! 

Where to Travel- Orlando

23 Jan

Hello and welcome to my “Where to travel” series. Throughout the first part of the year, I will be posting on various travel destinations,  giving my personal reviews, experiences, and advice on where to go and what to do.

This concept began as an idea for a single post where I would simply list a few places I thought would be great to travel to, stating what to do there etc, but alas it became way too involved. So instead I decided to break it down into multiple posts doing one place at a time but doing it in depth.

Today we begin with Orlando

 

Wonderworks, an attraction found on International Drive Orlando 

Orlando, FL

Orlando is a city located in central Florida and is probably best known internationally for the presence of dozens of theme parks. But this popular vacation spot has so much more to offer.

I have been visiting Orlando on and off since I was six years old. In more recent times, my family and I have been going yearly and with good reason. Orlando is a great place to have a vacation.

 

 

WHY:
Orlando is fun! For a lot of younger, hardcore travelers looking for organic deep cultural experiences, an Orlando visit may seem almost laughable, but don’t knock it till you try it. Orlando has a lot to offer and I think of it as a slightly more family-friendly version of Las Vegas. There is something there for everyone no matter what your specific interest is. There are things to do and see for the art lover, the thrill seeker, the foodie, you name it!

 

 

WHEN:
Any time of year. Orlando is in Florida and because of this, it enjoys fairly warm weather year round although it does get cooler from December to February. Additionally, Orlando has events going on all year so you pick whenever works best for you.

 

 

WHERE (to stay):
A hallmark of Orlando is the plentiful resort/villa/condos up for rent. Many of these are timeshare locations so if you or a family member owns one, be sure to check and see if the company has a location there. I think staying at a resort adds the overall Orlando experience. Many of them are located in a similar area which is close to lots of attractions particularly Disney parks. There are also a lot of hotels to chose from. They go from 2 star to 5 star and you chose based on your budget and preference. The areas I recommend staying include  Lake Buena Vista area (close to Disney), International Drive and Kissimmee, but really anywhere is pretty close to most things.

 

WHAT (to do):
Theme Parks

Theme Parks are probably what Orlando is best known for and indeed it hosts a massive number of parks with all the Disney parks and Universal Studios as well as lesser known ones like Wet and Wild water park and Bush Gardens. There is something for everyone whether you like roller coasters or prefer more relaxing rides.

 

Shopping

Orlando also has some great shopping especially if you like outlet malls. There are two major outlet malls: Orlando International Premium Outlet mall and Orland Vineland  PremiumOutlet mall. There are also multiple other malls and shopping complexes dotted around, for example, the mall at Aventura.

Premium Outlet mall at Vineland 

 

Entertainment

Apart from theme parks, there are lots of ways to be entertained in Orlando. If you like shows, there is a Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs and the Blue Man Group performs at Universal Studio. There are a number of art galleries including Pop art Gallery at Disney Springs

Pop art Gallery at Disney Springs 

 

DINING

You cannot go hungry in Orlando that’s for sure. There are clusters of all the popular American eateries such as Golden Coral, Applebees, Olive Garden etc. There are also numerous dining experiences at places like Disney Springs and Universal Boardwalk and International Drive.

A few examples:

Disney Springs

Bongos Cuban Cafe

Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe

Morimoto Asian Cafe

Wolfgang Puck Cafe at Disney Springs 




International Drive

Banshoo Sushi Bar

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

 

TIPS

If you are particularly interested in the theme parks, a visit outside of the summer months is recommended. Many families vacation in Orlando because it is kid friendly and the most popular time to travel is summer so everywhere gets extra packed. However, everywhere is always kind of packed so be prepared for lines no matter what.

If you are doing the Disney Parks, there are buses that transport you free of charge to all the Disney Parks and Disney Springs so you can get around easily that way

IRide Trolley- This is a bus service that uses these cute San Francisco trolley-style buses. The iRide trolley has two routes that basically run the length of International Drive (I-Drive). On this route, you can get to major shopping areas including the two main Outlet malls, as well as the countless attractions, restaurants, and stores along International Drive.

I-Ride Trolley

Lynx- This is the other common bus service in Orlando. While iRide is more tourist oriented, Lynx is used by everyone including locals and that means it goes a fair amount more places than the iRide trolley. You can get to some of the theme parks as well as other malls using Lynx. Be sure to buy a day pass or even multi-day pass as you will likely have to switch buses a number of times while there.

Car Rental- This isn’t an absolute must when visiting Orlando. I have done trips with and without renting a car. Thanks to iRide trolley, Lynx and the fact that many things are clustered together e.g along I-Drive, you can have a great trip without renting a car, however, it definitely makes things easier. It means you can leave whenever you want and avoid long wait times and multiple stops. This is important especially if you have a tightly packed schedule.

IDrive website- International Drive has a website where there are loads of coupons offering savings and deals at the many businesses along International Drive as well as ideas on what to do there. Check it out.

 If you’re thinking about visiting Orlando be sure to use some of these tips and be sure to have an awesome day! 

HOW TO MAKE A LUXURY PURCHASE

18 Jan

Chanel classic flap in black (large)




This blog is titled Poor Party Girl and my catchphrase is Entertaining and living fabulously on a Budget. One might think my goal is to always buy the cheapest versions of things and never making luxury purchases. But it’s not. In fact, my whole aim is to be able to live the way you want: travel, entertain, eat and shop no matter your budget. It’s about being savvy vs plain old cheap, it’s about saving here and there so that when you want to make a more expensive purchase, you can.

 
This brings me to today’s topic; making a luxury purchase. Let us begin with a definition of luxury. Luxury is defined by Investopedia as an item which is not necessary for living but is deemed as highly desirable. Luxury items are associated with a certain status as they often signify some measure of financial success. Additionally, some luxury items are subject to “luxury taxes” though it varies depending on where you live. Luxury items may be anything from private jets and recreational boats to designer handbags and shoes. For my purposes, I am referring more to smaller luxury items but certainly this can be applied to any luxury purchase.

 
Maybe it’s a Chanel classic flap in black caviar leather or perhaps it’s a pair of Valentino Rockstud heels… we all have those dream items. The ones that merely seeing a picture of them ignites a spark in our stomachs (no I do not mean heartburn, lol). We also have that moment when we see the price and get that sinking, dreadful feeling. 

Depending on our age and stage in life we have varied budgets, indeed there are things I can easily purchase now that four years ago, would have been a fleeting wish. However, we are all on some kind of budget and luxury purchases are often the last thing we think to buy and we often cannot afford to stroll into a department store and pick up the latest designer handbag. Oftentimes those who do find themselves either with significant debt or no savings. I’m sorry but I’m not going into debt over a handbag. So then, how do you make a luxury purchase while remaining on a budget?
I have some tips that I have accrued over time and inspired by luxury YouTuber Chase Amiee (a favourite of mine).

1)What Do You Want?
Make a list of all the luxury items you want. All of them: shoes, bags, clothes, car, boat, plane, basketball team. All of it.

2)What Do You Really Want?
Go through your list with a fine-toothed comb deciphering what you actually want. Do you really want those designer shades? Yes? then leave it. Do you actually want a Rolls Royce? No? then cross it off. What you should have at the end is a far more concise list of items that are more attainable and that you actually want to attain.

3)Prioritise
It may seem like an oxymoron to suggest prioritising a list of luxury items but you must do this. For example, if my list contains ten items I’m sure there are four or five that I want more than the others. Place these at the top of your list. These are the ones you will focus on first. By doing this you will find you may be able to narrow down your list even further.

4)Research
Research all the items remaining on your luxury list. Research the company, the reviews, the cost. Making a luxury purchase can be viewed as an investment and you don’t make investments without doing some background checking.

5)Refine your list
After doing your research you may find your luxury item dream list is even shorter or has somewhat changed.
A few tips to use when refining your list:

Resale

If for example, you like to collect designer handbags as fashion pieces you may want to purchase something from a permanent collection rather than a limited edition. Even though many of us make luxury purchases planning to keep them forever, these are the types of items people often sell. You will generally get better resale on a classic item rather than a trendy one.

Use

This is in the same vein as the previous tip. If you are spending two months’ worth of your salary on a pair of shoes, you want these shoes to last long and still look current. This is why choosing a more fashionable vs trendy style is better.

Quality

“All the Glitters is not Gold”. I swear, if I had a dollar for every time I saw that play out in real life, I would be able to buy all the items on my luxury wish list in one go. But I digress. Luxury items are often high quality, that’s what makes them so luxurious. All of the finest materials are used by the most skilled craftspersons to make your deluxe item. Wrong. Believe it or not, some brands charge disproportionately high prices for their items. I don’t get too upset when I get ripped off buying a drink at the gas station, but a luxury item is not the same as a $2 beverage. You want to make sure your purchase is what you are paying for especially if you plan to resell.

6)Make a Plan
 Now that you have your list that you have tweaked and refined it’s time to get your life in order. You need to find a method of going about making your purchase:


Set a Time Frame

You need to decide over what period of time you want to make this purchase. This is typical goal oriented behaviour, you set the goal and work towards it. An example is 1 year. You can decide that over the next 12 months you will save up enough for a bag.

Use milestones

This is another way of setting a timeframe. You may decide to reward yourself with a pair of designer boots you’ve been eyeing for months when you complete your Bachelor’s degree.

Start Saving


Start a luxury savings account

That’s right. Open a savings account dedicated just to your luxury purchase. Put a designated amount of money e.g $50 a month into your account and don’t touch it until you have saved enough to make your purchase. 

7)Making the Purchase
By the time you have saved enough for your dream item many weeks to months or maybe years would have passed. Reassess and determine if you still want to make this purchase. A lot may have changed. You may simply no longer want that item or there maybe something else you want more. You may decide to continue saing for a bigger purchase or even transfer the money saved to another cause e.g travel fund or mortgage payments.


8)Buy it and enjoy it

After much deliberation, planning, plotting, scheming and more deliberation you are ready. You have earned it and it will likely be another year or two before you can make a similar purchase. So do it and enjoy it. Walk into that store and let them serve you champagne and canapes. Have a glass of wine if you are purchasing online. Sleep with your item like it’s a teddy bear if you want to. Make your purchase with no regrets because you have worked towards this.

Hopefully these tips will inspire you to start working towards your luxury purchase whatever it may be. Have an awesome day!

Valentino Rockstud heel in black

%d bloggers like this: