Welcome to Makes Me Happy Mondays round two!
When you say "frugal kitchen", many people immediately start thinking "rice and beans" or "boxed mac & cheese six days a week". And that makes them depressed.
Rice & beans certainly have their place in a frugal kitchen (usually cooking up into a heavenly smelling quesadilla filling or the like), as does the self-discipline to say "no" to things that just aren't worth the cost.
But being frugal doesn't have to mean giving up all your beloved luxuries. It just means not taking them for granted.
For example, I like good coffee. (Green Mountain Rainforest Nut and Hawaiian Kona with a touch a honey and whole raw milk are going to show up on the morning coffee bar in heaven. I guarantee it.)
Being frugal doesn't necessarily mean I have to give up those coffees, though Maxwell House or Brand X would certainly be cheaper. It just means that instead of drinking coffee all day like you can with the cheap stuff, I have just one cup in the morning. I take my time and I enjoy it.
I am convinced that being cognizant of and regularly thankful for our little splurges is healthy for us, physically, mentally and spiritually. Think about it - who gets more out of their coffee? The Starbucks addict who drinks three giant cups of insanely expensive brew per day in an oblivious rush, or someone like me who budgets in and appreciates one cup of home-brewed decadence a day?
Everyone's luxury is different. For some people, it's always keeping real butter on the table or using imported olive oil to cook with. Maybe it's only buying good beer or getting pizza once a week from the best pizza shop ever.
I encourage you to pay a little extra attention to your habits this week. Think about what you take for granted and what really says "indulgent" to you. Look for ways to highlight or savor what really makes you happy in your kitchen.
What luxuries hold a place of honor in your frugal kitchen?