My non-negotiables

by Erika Torres

In the past two years, I have managed to cut about $15,000 worth of expenses from our budget. I’ve downgraded my hair stylist, I’ve limited my mani-pedis, I started couponing, we cut our cable bill from $110 to $20, etc, etc.

I have become the queen of bargain shopping.

But despite all this, there are some things I am just not willing to negotiate on. (and yes, I so just ended a sentence with a preposition, but whatever).


I get so much slack from my mom about my inability to sew. My mom has tried to teach me…several times. But I just don’t have the patience! Also, I don’t even own a needle and thread–and you don’t have to buy just one thread–you have to buy several! For whatever color you need to sew. I feel like the couple of bucks that I would spend on the thread–I could just drop it off at the cleaners and have them do it.

I have a bra with a broken strap that I loved, but I have not worn it in like a year and a half because I’m too lazy to sew it and too embarrassed to take it to the cleaners. Whenever my grandmother from Mexico visits, I save all my sewing items and give them to her to sew. Is that lazy or what?

Getting my toe nails done

I no longer go twice a month to get a mani-pedi–but I still go about every two months to at least get a pedicure. I went from spending about $60 on mani-pedis every month to spending about $15 on just a pedicure every other month. I hate painting my own toe nails. I just hate it. I love my manicurist too, she just does a fantastic job.

My mom has painted my toe nails and I’ve really tried to paint my own toe nails, but it’s just not the same. I love my pedicures. And really $15 is not that big of a deal for something that brings me so much pleasure. I’m actually going on about 3 months now without a pedicure, and I’m thinking next weekend is perfect!

Eyebrow waxes

It’s $10. And it is so much easier to get this done than to pluck my own eyebrows. I am seriously just too lazy. I pluck in between waxes just to make them last a little longer, but I still get an eyebrow wax about once every two months.


According to my budget, we’ve spent a little over $600 on Bentley this year. I’m surprised by how low the number actually is (but I think I include his dog treats into our normal grocery bill). But still $600 is a good chunk of change that we didn’t spend on ourselves. We also buy him the uber expensive no-grain Innova Evo brand of dog food, because nothing is too good for our pup.

What are your non-negotiables?


Serene November 3, 2011 - 6:42 am

For me, it’s snacks, cable tv, magazine and books! Haha, I just cannot resist these temptations and I sound like a coach potato!

Hawaii Planner October 28, 2011 - 11:30 am

I definitely have my own non-negotiables. Off the top of my head:
– pedicures
– bikini waxes
– activities for my kids
– comfortable shoes!
– wine

I’m sure there’s more 🙂

Clarice October 27, 2011 - 5:19 pm

Ketchup. I cannot and will not eat off brand ketchup. It’s Heinz or nothing.

Teacher Girl October 26, 2011 - 2:55 pm

I think it is important to know what you will and won’t skimp on. I wrote a little about this in my couponing post earlier this week, but I won’t skim on beauty product brands for my hair and skin. They are just too important. I also will always buy healthy food I love like Greek yogurt even when it is expensive. Oh, and I spoil my Octavian rotten 😉 Just got him a new kitty bed and I feed him the organic food too.

Taylor October 26, 2011 - 1:31 pm

Hmm.. Well, I used to say that my bikini-wax was a non negotiable, but somehow DH convinced me to cut that out of the budget (his idea, I swear!!) I still colour my hair, at home, and I’m currently in search of a new good/cheap stylist… I think Groceries fall under a non-negotiable. Must have
Lac-free milk
greek yogurt
frozen fruit
fresh veg
Protein/whey powder.
Cannot get through my week without these things.

Melissa October 26, 2011 - 12:15 pm

I agree 100% on the pedis. I’ve started doing my own manis, but I can’t part with the pedicures =)

Jennifer October 26, 2011 - 6:31 am

Our dog would be at the top of the list on the non-negotiables. It cost more to get her groomed than it does to get my hair done!

Michelle October 26, 2011 - 6:23 am

I would say that dogs and hair are mine non-negotiables.

I have been kind of depriving the dogs of new toys lately, so I took $30 worth of giftcards that I earned from Swagbucks and put it all towards new toys for them! They now have 2 Kong balls and 2 Konh stuffed animals coming in the mail for them.

jobo October 26, 2011 - 5:39 am

I would say grocery shopping is one of mine. We spend a lot on groceries, and sure, we could coupon (I am just lazy, I know I should!), but besides that, we eat almost all meals at home, and I can’t stand not having fresh veggies and fruit at all times and lots of greek yogurt, so the pricetag goes up for weekly (and sometimes more!) grocery store trips. I would also say pedis too! every other month is about when I go anyway, but there is just something so utterly pampering about it, I just must!


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