My Treat

I’m economising extremely, so treats are almost non-existent. Almost – but not completely.

When I was working out my budget back in February, when my husband had just left, I realised that it would be unsustainable if it didn’t include the occasional treat. I might be a big fan of rubber chicken, but…

What is a treat anyway?? Naughty but nice? A little extra, outside the norm? Anything made of chocolate? Something you deserve, after the kind of day you’ve just had? Or all of the above?

So, I buy a packet of chocolate biscuits every week (dark choc digestives, Aldi, 49p for 16 = 3p each). I have mini ice lollies in the freezer (£2.69 for 8 = 34p each). I have pizza on a Friday night (£1.69 – I eat half and freeze half = 85p per meal). I have a glass of something alcoholic on a Friday night and a Saturday night. Those are my treats – I look forward to them.

And the whole point of treats is that I don’t have them all the time. A treat becomes incrementally less treaty the more often you have it, until it becomes a habit and you hardly notice you’re doing it. Or worse, you come to expect it and get peevish if you can’t have it – that’s a sort of anti-treat I think.

If it happens every day, it’s not a treat any more. £2.50 a day for a coffee on the way to work = £25 every two working weeks, or near enough £50 a month. You could buy a reasonable bottle of champagne for that. Every month. But somehow a bottle of champagne every month is extravagant, but a coffee every day is normal. Drop the coffee and treat yourself to the champagne!!

But sometimes it’s the moment before the treat that’s the best bit. Winnie the Pooh knew this (I love Winnie ther Pooh):

“What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?”
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best-” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

Is it only a treat if we feel a bit guilty about it – if it’s ‘Naughty but Nice’? Hands up who’s old enough to remember the advert for cream cakes? (Today’s fun fact – the slogan was written by Salman Rushdie, who was an advertising copy writer at the time! And why on earth did they feel they needed to advertise cream cakes???)

I used to work in a tea room, and if someone ordered a pot of tea we had to ask if they would like some cake. People would invariably say ‘I know I shouldn’t, but…’ It was like a mantra. I felt like screaming at them – If you know you shouldn’t, then don’t! But if, on the other hand, you fancy a piece of cake, then have a piece of cake and have it  unapologetically. Have it with gusto and enjoy every minute of it. There can be nothing more pointless than having a piece of cake and feeling that you shouldn’t (or feeling that you have to pretend that you shouldn’t). Have it, enjoy it, and know that you’re enjoying it. It’s a treat.

And of course treats don’t have to cost any money at all. So go ahead, treat yourself. You deserve it. And remember to enjoy the moment just before, that’s even better than the treat itself.

Much excitement – baby has arrived!!

If you’ve enjoyed this and would like to read my other posts, head up to the Home button top left.

If you’d like to see what I’m going to ramble on about next, scroll on down and Follow me.

If you think other people might enjoy it too, scroll on down and Share.

And if you like it, Like it!!

Photo by Abhinav Goswami from Pexels

6 Comments Add yours

  1. oldhowie says:

    Hey baby treat, heard it from you first sis

    Like

    1. I know!! Exciting times.

      Like

  2. anglosvizzera says:

    Congratulations! Hope to hear all about it soon…

    I remember “Naughty, but nice” too – I expect the Milk Marketing Board needed to counteract the then ‘new’ dietary advice to avoid saturated fat, and fat in general – advice which we now know was not based on any real science and has led to decades of people avoiding fat and eating more carbs (laced with sugar to make it palatable). The food industry jumped on board and produced low-fat this and that…and now we have chronic diabetes and obesity as a result. Thank goodness people like Dr Aseem Malhotra, Zoe Harcombe and others with influence etc are finally getting the message across to the higher powers that we need to eat ‘real’ food, cut the grain carbs and sugar and increase good fats, which include saturated fats too.

    But prior to that dietary advice we were also exhorted to ‘Go to work on an egg…” until eggs were demonised as they actually contain cholesterol! They’re ok now too, though 🙂 (…unless you’re a vegan, of course…)

    Then we had to battle with “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play”, as well as, “Milky Way – the sweet you CAN eat between meals without ruining your appetite”…never mind ruining your waistline, health etc – by which point we had been brainwashed into thinking that what used to be treats can be enjoyed every day.

    I remember being given a few (old) pennies on a Friday, probably once a month, to get a few sweets on the way home from school. That was a treat, as was the odd cream cake (thank you, Salman) that my mum bought very occasionally (probably at the end of the month when she knew how much money was left over.)

    But you’re quite right – it can become very easy to move from the occasional treat to it becoming a habit. We started to have a G&T on a Friday, “Gin Friday”, as a weekend treat, but as we accumulated more bottles of gin that were either gifted or bought on impulse, we had to initiate (HAD to!) “Gin Tuesday” to try and make room in the cupboard. But we haven’t lapsed into a daily G&T, probably as we no longer work and therefore no longer ‘need’ or ‘deserve’ it.

    As a treat today, we’re popping down to our favourite beach on the Dorset coast as the school holidays haven’t yet begun and it’s usually only populated by a few elderly people and pre-schoolers with their mums. It will only cost the petrol and the car park, which is cheaper after 2pm. We might ‘treat’ ourselves to a cup of tea from the kiosk though 😉

    Like

  3. I’d forgotten the ‘Mars a day’ advert!! It’s a wonder we’ve made it to the age we are as healthy as we are!! And what about ‘A finger of fudge’!!! I’ll have jingles for chocolate in my head for the rest of the day now!

    Like

  4. evasundene says:

    Love your writing! Know what: Treats with a touch of guilt feeling make it even better… Anyway, I will subscribe. Have a lovely weekend! Eva from Norway – living in Fuerteventura.

    Like

    1. That’s great Eva. Really happy that you enjoy my blog!!

      Like

Leave a Reply to evasundene Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.