The Bookworm Challenge discussion

GETTING TO KNOW THE WORMS > Question 7 - Greatest extravagance

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message 1: by Mathew, Point giver (new)

Mathew Smith | 185 comments Mod
What is your greatest extravagence?

message 2: by Mathew, Point giver (new)

Mathew Smith | 185 comments Mod
I spend way too much on coffee! I can only drink the expensive coffee from the local 'fine foods' store...the inexpensive coffee at the grocery store is not an option anymore. I made the mistake of moving myself into a higher coffee bracket. It happened just before Xmas. I went out and bought some of the 'good' coffee to serve everyone that came over during the xmas season. Well, it was so good that I bought another pound...and another...and probably another. After the holidays I tried brewing up some good old Maxwell house and almost vomited! If I wanted dirty water I would have just dipped my cup in the sink and drank the dishwater!
Now I am stuck in that gourmet, local, organic, whatever, expensive coffee world and I can't get out!!!

We have also been told we are too extravagent with our kid's shoes. We will spend upwards of $100 on a pair of shoes for one kid, even though we know they are going to grow out of them in six months. What?! They need 'good' shoes.
Our shoes you ask? I have a pair of runners that I found in the clearance bin at Sears about two years ago, and a pair of boots that are falling apart that I also found in the clearance section, both for a combined total of about $20!

message 3: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments You should roast your own. Coffee, not your kid's shoes. Buying green coffee beans is cheaper than buying ready-roasted and you are in control of freshness and flavor. You don't even need a fancy coffee roaster - a popcorn maker (the West Bend Air Crazy) does the trick for about $20.

message 4: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments I don't really go in for extravagance. Sure, I like nice stuff, high quality clothing, tools, musical instruments - but I very rarely pay full retail prices. I buy most of my "extravagant" stuff at thrift and pawn shops, garage sales, eBay and craigslist.

message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 379 comments No real extravagances. . . except maybe travel. And I do drink good coffee, but I buy my beans at Trader Joes (sorry, I know you don't have that in Canadia) and the price isn't bad.

I like really good chocolate, too--but that's not the really expensive stuff, just the 80% + kind.

But travel. . . we travel cheaply (usually) but we do it a lot.

message 6: by Melki (new)

Melki Wow, I can't think of anything. I buy a lot of books, but they're almost all used. My expensive-looking sweaters came from Goodwill - 3 bucks each. Once every three to four years I buy a pair of new L.L. Bean hiking shoes, but I don't consider that an extravagance since they last so long.

message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 379 comments On reflection, probably my biggest area of extravagance is in the realm of backpacking gear. Yeah, we'll spend $400 go get a tent that weighs a few ounces less. Though not very often. And actually the $400 tent dropped us a good 1/2 pound. Totally worth it :D

message 8: by Melki (new)

Melki Oh, actually, I just thought of something. I spent 700 dollars last summer in a thankfully successful attempt to keep my dog alive. I suppose that's an extravagance, but I thought it well worth the price.

message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephanie-somanybooks) | 658 comments Mod
I hear you on the coffee thing... My daughter started working at Starbucks this past summer and we are now totally spoiled for the good stuff. I've told her several times that we really can't do without her weekly free bag of coffee, but I think she is looking for a new job so we may be in trouble!

I'm too frugal for any really extravagant purchases, but I do splurge once a month on getting a mani/pedi and I do have a semi large collection of Vera Bradley purses, though to some those are really not too extravagant either... I just have a lot them!

message 10: by Mathew, Point giver (new)

Mathew Smith | 185 comments Mod
I am also an extravagent tipper, or so it seems. The last few times we have went out with others I've noticed they tip maybe 10%... or in some cases more along the lines of whatever change they have.
If the service is good we shell out the big bills...key word, bills. That might only make sense if you are in Canada, we do not have $1 or $2 bills anymore. 20% is a good start for me.

message 11: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments Ok. I spend money on boots. I do construction work for a living and most of my hobbies involve outdoor work (gardening), shop work (DIY projects), and rugged terrain (nature photography), so I am wearing boots 80% of the time. In the course of a year, I wear out a good pair of boots - the heels and soles anyway, and it costs about as much to get them re-soled as it does to buy a new pair, so I end up buying new for the pristine soles & heels, fresh leather, and an uncompromised footbed. I buy quality boots because they last much longer - a good pair of Wellingtons ($85-200) lasts me much longer than a pair of cheap ($20-40) surplus combat boots or work boots.

My other extravagance is high end vintage analog cameras. I would gladly pay craigslist and eBay prices for high quality cameras, like my Minolta SRT 102 (one of the best 35mm SLRs ever designed) or my Graflex Crown Graphic view camera (photojournalism industry standard for half a century). These are cameras that, when newly released, cost as much as a car. That they still function as well as when they came from the factory is a testament to their quality.

message 12: by Mathew, Point giver (new)

Mathew Smith | 185 comments Mod
I've lost my camera. Last seen - January 2013 in the trunk of our van. It was a silver point and shoot type, um, maybe a Canon? The lens thing doesn't open by itself anymore, you need to poke it with a pen or something. For the last year we've borrowed my Father in law's Canon Rebel (to take good baby pictures!) my wife and I feel we NEED a decent camera. No more point and shoots.

message 13: by Rebecca (last edited Feb 19, 2014 10:04PM) (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 379 comments Worm, I really have liked the cameras in the Panasonic Lumix family. They are sort of a mid-way between P&S and Serious Camera--both manual and auto controls (you want auto for those wildlife shots), etc. My FZ47 doesn't shoot RAW, but is excellent in every other respect, and won't require a second mortgage. But I also have to say that my brother-in-law, who is a professional photog, carries a good point-and-shoot and makes very good use of it. The key is one with a good lens, etc. (He uses it partly for the macro capability, which is pretty limited on the DSLR unless you buy more lenses).

message 14: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments Lumix is a good bet - the Leica lens system is really top notch. I've been using one for 4 or 5 years now. I also have a Nikon One J1, which further bridges the gap between compact and DSLR. It is very compact and you can buy an assortment of lenses for it, if you want to expand its capabilities. I have not used it much because its a little on the complex side. I've never been much of a Nikon fan anyway, so that could be part of my hesitation at using it.

message 15: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Pimm | 8 comments Well I totally understand the kids shoes thing, but for me they run in walmart specials. but WINTER CLOTHES, nope they need good gear. I mean $145 for the ski pants, $155 for the coat. now the other kid needs a coat and its on sale for $115. Thats just this past 12 months. and yep if i spend less than $100 on gloves and mitts in a year i am doing good.

As for myself. I am allergic to coffee so my own extravagance is tea. I drink alot of cheap Red Rose. But when i want something good, its loose teas with real cream brewed in my ceramic tea pot under the tea cosy and into my beautiful cups. Love my TEAS!!

message 16: by Mathew, Point giver (new)

Mathew Smith | 185 comments Mod
Didn't realize how coffee snobby I was until last week. We were down in Disney World and they have terrible, just awful, coffee. They serve this stuff that tastes worst than instant!
Then, just to annoy me personally (I believe), they added a Starbucks shop to each park. Really adds to the charm of the Magic Kingdom when you have a Starbucks on Main Street. Anyway, I thought this would be a blessing, BUT, turns out they don't brew up any of the 'Blonde' coffee...there is the Bold, the Pike's place, and up here in Canada at least, there is a lighter 'Blonde' blend. I'm not really into the Starbucks to begin with, but, I can at least swallow the True North Blonde blend.
Anyway, the point is that you really have to go out of your way to find any decent coffee in the wonderful world of Disney. Ah, me and my extravagences.

message 17: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 260 comments Not sure whether to list my New Rock boots, mountain bike or the amount of money I spend on groceries where I try to by local and organic whenever there is the option. Not to mention the money I spend on glasses, or the regular visits to the nail and hair salons (which of course adds up over time) or the money I spent on my holiday next week.

Or my up and coming extravagance of my own snowboard, boots and bindings that I'm planning to get when back...and the new cycle gear I want to get.

Oh and the money I've spent on tattoos...

Think my entire life is an extravagance!!!

message 18: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments Save on organic groceries, grow your own - then it's local and organic.

message 19: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 260 comments I would but I live in a flat with no garden or balcony and the waiting list for allotments is 5 years or some such :-S

message 20: by Mathew (new)

Mathew Carruthers | 72 comments Look into hydroponics. Easy to build your own systems to fit into an apartment. Or try window box gardening. Good way to grow herbs and salad greens.

message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbl) | 154 comments I would say travel but we travel coach and don't stay in expensive hotels. We did invest in a time share. Most my travel off the continent has been to complete mission projects short term so while I got to go overseas it was for physical labor rather than vacation.

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