No matter how strapped we are financially, I always manage to find little things to do for myself. Sometimes, it really is the little things that make the difference.

These are my top ten little treats on the cheap, in no particular order.

Olives–my local grocery stores have this wonderful thing called an olive bar. I can go and for just a little cash, walk out with a mouthful of olivey goodness. Cost: about $7/pound

Mall walking–living in the land of loco weather, there are times when outside is just not an option. Luckily, we have a large shopping mall in the area. The distance varies from .8 mile around the circle to 1.2 miles walking up and down the entrance corridors. Cost: gas (less than $2.00)

Take a bath–sometimes life just gets too busy and you need to unwind. When that happens, I pop some bubbles into the tub, run the water super hot, and soak all my cares away. Cost: $0-$6.00 based on the additions

Chocolate–not just any chocolate. If I’m planning an indulgence I want some specific treats. Currently on my list: Midnight Reverie. Cost: approximately $3.00

Checking out a new book–even though life gets busy, one of the ways I relax is by reading. Sometimes I hit up the library, others it’s the used book store or on rare occasions the local Borders. I have found many new friends in the clearance section. Cost: varies, usually $2.00-$10.00

Grab a cuppa–tea, coffee, cocoa, take your pick. You don’t even have to leave your house for this one–pick up some cocoa mix from the grocery, brew a pot of coffee and sit back and relax. For an extra special treat, plan a tea party–get out the tea pot and brew up some whole leaf tea to serve with real cream and raw sugar. Cost: varies, up to $9.00 with cream and sugar (makes more than one treat)

Fresh berries and pineapple–there’s nothing like the taste of fresh fruit. It’s juicy, tangy, and sweet. When I need a pick me up, pineapple and berries can almost always do the trick. For a bigger treat, take the berries and cover them with milk or cream and a sprinkle of sugar. Cost: $2-3.00

Tune in–have a date with your favorite CD. Music is such a versitle tool–it can shape or reflect your mood, it can help pump you up or calm you down. However you like it, turn the TV off, crank the stereo up, and let your cares drift away with the tune.Cost: free

Set the mood with scents–there are so many ways you can bring scent into your world. Candles, essential oils, scented lotions, incense, etc. Pick your favorite. Cost: varies

Add in some color–I have a thing for lipstick, and a palette that matches my changing moods. My current favorite is this gloss. Whether I’m looking for red, pink, browns, berries, a little color goes a long way toward making me feel like a million bucks. Cost: about $6.00

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