Guest Post: Lavish Frugality

The Oxymoron

Lavish frugality. What a pair of words. The first time I mentioned it to a friend, he instantly said this is an oxymoron.

An oxymoron describes two contradicting terms put together. We have all stumbled upon it before. At school, at university, in advertising or when we have placed an order with our favorite Asian restaurant: “I’d like to have chicken sweet and sour chicken, thank you.”

Additionally, the terms lavish and frugal do not seem to go together at first.

Many understand frugality not only to be modesty and a cautious behavior, but also celibacy and the renunciation of certain enjoyments. As opposed to this, there is the concept of “lavish lifestyle”. Especially, nowadays this term has a negative aftertaste and stands for the frivolous and overly generous consumption of money, things and resources. Those who have a lavish lifestyle live very richly and wastefully. So how do these two terms fit together?

Cheers for enjoyment

What is minimalism?

If you look at Instagram, Pinterest and the lifestyle magazines, you will quickly notice that the current trend is towards minimalism and sustainability. There are two great documentaries about minimalism on Netflix and sustainability is receiving much-needed attention. It seems as if these two lifestyles always went hand in hand. When it comes to minimalism, you actively ask yourself:

“What do I really need to be happy?”

It is not about reducing your possessions to a certain number of things or living in an empty apartment if possible. It is about making room for the important things in life and sorting out everything that is not important or even burdensome.

What is sustainability?

When it comes to sustainability, your own consumption and lifestyle are optimized so that you live as resource-efficiently as possible. It is a matter of aligning one’s actions in order to preserve the natural regenerative capacity of the systems involved in satisfying one’s own needs.

Lavish frugality

The idea of “lavish frugality” is not about saving money come hell or even throwing money down the drain. It is not about minimizing or adding to your possessions. It is more about balance.

After having dealt with the topics of minimalism and sustainability, after several unsuccessful clean-ups and tidy out actions à la Marie Kondo, I had to realize I love beautiful things. It just makes me happy to sit on the couch in the evening and look at my wall full of well-stocked bookshelves. If this makes me happy, why should I reduce myself to twenty books?

Please do not get this wrong. I am still reducing, and it makes perfect sense and joy surrounding yourself with the things that make you happy and that you use. However, the joy of life should not suffer. Not everyone is a minimalist. Nevertheless, that is not bad either, because sustainability is also possible if you have a lavish lifestyle – if you define it correctly!

The sustainable, lavish lifestyle

We are surrounded by advertising all day long, whether on television, social media or by friends and acquaintances who arouse desires and needs in us without knowing it. Hence, everyone’s spending is likely somewhere between what we can afford and what we think we are owed. For everyone, money is synonymous with work and drudgery (more for some, less for others). Moreover, students in particular know the feeling of being torn between their studies and part-time jobs, only to start their professional life with student loans debts.

Create new, repair or buy used

The solution is that what you cannot afford financially, can be recreated, repaired or used for little money.

 There are now countless ways to add very beautiful items to your wardrobe without having to immediately spend huge amounts of money or invest in fast fashion. A capsule wardrobe is fine, but if you want to expand it, you can do that. In addition, if you switch to second hand, you also get the opportunity to breathe a second life into a beautiful piece and at the same time, you protect the environment. Those skilled enough can upgrade their favorite pieces themselves with a needle and thread. Therefore, you almost have an individually tailored piece of clothing for a few euros.

Books, whether for private reading enjoyment or for studying, can also be bought second-hand or borrowed from the library, if you know in advance that you will not necessarily have to have them in hard copy on the shelf later. You can also join so-called book hikes, in which a book is passed on to the next person after reading, so that it travels from person to person and hopefully gives you hours of joy.

Thanks to the corona lockdown (regardless of whether it is number one, two or five); we are forced to spend more time in our own four walls. You can have cabin fever and the furnishings lose their appeal. But isn’t this the perfect time for a self-painted picture that will be placed prominently over the sofa, as if you had bought it for several thousand euros in a gallery? Existing pieces of furniture can often be upcycled in a few simple steps and with little material and transformed into truly unique pieces. Each of us has seen at least one Ikea hack and thanks to YouTube and Pinterest there are no limits to the imagination of turning our own furniture catalog home into a dream house à la McGee & Co.

Not just consumption

However, lavish frugality is not just about shifting consumption to more sustainable and therefore cheaper alternatives. But to actively enjoy one’s life. Sit on a park bench with the first warm rays of sunshine with your homemade coffee and just watch people passing by? Having digital lunch breaks with your best friend or having a movie night with your loved one in the evening, including self-made popcorn. Why not just celebrate the nice idleness and sit on the balcony with a beautiful teacup (bought on eBay) and just read your favorite book again? Or treat yourself to a lush bouquet of self-plowed flowers.

Find the balance

In lavish frugality, one finds the balance between luxury and the essential. Instead of snacking on a pack of cookies every day (absolutely no problem in lockdown, trust me), just go to the patisserie and buy a wonderful, but sinful piece of cake. Alternatively, go to the trouble of strengthening your bed linen and ironing it, only to have the feeling of hotel bed linen in the evening when you slip under the sheets.

A cheap wine tastes much better from the crystal glasses bought at the flea market and you instantly feel like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey.

True luxury costs little or nothing – and you do not have to miss anything. It is enough if you think a little more about what kind of priorities you are setting. Even then, it is possible to behave freely and decadently at any time, even without overdrawing your own budget or painfully missing the missing millions in your bank account.

Lavish frugality means that you reinvent the rules for yourself, let yourself drift, create and develop without exploiting the environment and its available resources or having to miss anything.

Feel free to enjoy life to the fullest!

Guest Blogger: Julia

Check out Julia’s Blog: www.zeitistrelativ.com

Follow Julia on Instagram: @jezabel_botanica

Cooking with Jasmin – Indian inspired Chicken Curry with Naan Bread

Hey my loves,

a couple of weeks ago my bestie and I wanted to try out a new recipe and we decided it would be super fun to cook an Indian inspired chicken curry dish. My bestie really wanted to try to make her own Naan bread so we figured what better to eat with Naan then a chicken curry. We looked online for a couple of recipes and ultimately ended up with a mix of a few different ones. I personally do not like coriander so we skipped it in our recipes, but you can always add it to your version of the recipe.

Chicken Curry Recipe

This recipe serves around four people and is great with rice and a side of naan bread. We really enjoyed it and I can personally say it tasted a lot better the next day and we think it is crucial to marinade the chicken longer than an hour, I think 12 hours would be perfect for the softness of the chicken and taste.

Like I mentioned we added some rice and self-made naan bread. We really wanted to make our own an we used the following recipe:

If you happen to try these recipes out let me know what you think. I would love to know.

XoXo, Jasmin.

Meal Plan With Me

Hey my loves,

in today’s blog post I am going to share with you one of my meal plan session with you. I will tell you how I plan everything and will lead you step by step through my progress.

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Scheduling of the Week

At first I will have a look at how my week will look like and maybe even plan it some more. If I’m pretty much certain how often I will be home for meals and how many meals I need I will set my weekly budget, which for the most part is around 25-30€, and on occasion sometimes a little more or less. It really depends if I need to stock up my pantry or not, but I usually have to stock it up every other month.

Looking Up Recipes

After that I will get out some of my recipe books and have a look trough them. I am doing Weight Watchers and am on a low carb, low cholesterol diet, so I always have to make sure that my meals are in my points and also, that I have at least one meal a day that is nearly carb free. Would you like some recipes? I could write a post about my favorites.

I then will write down some of the recipes that sounds good to me for the upcoming week and then I will take a look if they have somewhat similar ingredients or not. If they don’t I usually opt for ones who do. When I have a solid base of recipes, which usually are for a full week (if I’m at home for my meals) 4-5 dinners.

I should also mention that I cook in the evening, since I am not a big fan on eating a warm meal for lunch, because I tend to feel tired after eating. I also am still figuring out the right portion size for me and my lifestyle, so I tend to have less dinners, than week days, because I always have leftovers.

I have a Pinterest board with some of my favorite recipes!

Writing my Shopping List

I don’t really write down the meals for an exact day, since I like to keep my options open, when I want to eat what recipe. I also don’t plan my lunches and breakfast, because in the morning I tend to eat some bread with cheese or if I got the time some oatmeal and for lunch I usually eat salads mixed with various vegetables and sometimes fruits.

When I’m done with researching recipes, I will have a look through my pantry and freezer to find out what I still have and need to buy. After finishing that I will write down everything that I have to buy for my dinners and add the groceries I need for my salads and breakfasts. I usually just snack on some veggies or fruits if I feel hungry in between my meals.

Also when I’m in Uni I swap out my lunch for a low carb sandwich or some fruit and veggies. Like I said, it’s easier for me to keep my breakfast and lunches open, since every day is not like the other.

This is pretty much all I do to meal plan, sometimes if I’m being super lazy I just choose recipes I know by heart, which aren’t many but are enough for a couple of meals. But i just like to try out all the different recipes.

I hope you enjoyed this entry! Let me know in the comments any tips you have or how you meal plan.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin