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Some things are worth splurging on – and here are 12 examples

Last time I ran into a friend at Starbucks, she acted like she’d caught me redhanded.

“Ooh, the Discount Diva is buying coffee!” she said. “Busted!”

Truth is, there are plenty of things I let myself splurge on once in a while. Some things are just worth the money, as long as I’m not going over budget.

Makeup primer. I mostly use regular drug store makeup. It’s less expensive than the higher-priced stuff at department stores, but it also tends to wear off faster. Wearing primer underneath helps it last longer.

I splurge on Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($20). My eyeshadow used to wear off by noon. Now I have to wash it off at night. I just got into all-over facial primer, too. My friend swears by Younique Glorious Primer ($39).

Insurance. It’s not glamorous or fun to spend money on insurance, but neither is going into debt when something goes wrong. I don’t skimp on coverage amounts.

Amazon Prime. The money and time I save shipping last-minute birthday and Christmas presents to friends and family around the country is worth the annual fee alone. But you also get unlimited streaming of movies and TV, plus free digital books from the Kindle Lending Library. You can get a 30-day free trial membership at, then you’ll be charged $99 for a year.

Child care. These are your babies we’re talking about!

Good food and drink. People will wear the most expensive clothing, drive a flashy car and mortgage the most expensive house they can. But when it comes to nourishing our bodies, we often buy the cheapest stuff we can get our hands on. High-quality, yummy food is literally the staff of life.

Lasik eye surgery. I had it done. Holy smokes, what a difference. My sister-in-law had it, too, and agrees it’s the best money she has ever spent.

A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, right? When it’s time to shop for these, don’t rely on customer reviews alone. Really take your time trying out different models. Bring your favorite pillow to get the full effect.

Jif peanut butter. I’ll eat generic foods all day long. But I’m a peanut butter addict and nothing tastes better.

Too Faced mascara. I got a free sample of this stuff at Ulta Beauty once and it changed my life. It’s a tubing mascara, which means it literally wraps around your lashes and creates tubes. When I wash my face, the mascara actually comes off in stretchy tubes instead of liquified streaks. The stuff does not smear. It’s awesome ($21).

Pets. Quality dog food is expensive. So are vet bills. And I just dropped 50 bucks to give our turtle’s tank a makeover. But just try putting a price on the love and joy they bring.

Chemex coffee maker. My husband got one for Christmas, and everyone who tries it tells us it’s the best coffee they’ve ever tasted. And anyway, you’ll end up saving money overall if you tend to buy your coffee on the go.

It looks like a glass beaker. You pour hot water over the top of the coffee grounds using a kettle. In 1958, it was actually added to a collection in the Museum of Modern Art as one of the best-designed products of modern times.

Good shoes. Tall heels and flimsy flats can wreak havoc on your feet, legs, spine and back.

I spent my whole life wearing Payless shoes, then suddenly splurged on a pair of Clarks. I could feel the difference through my entire body after one day.

Got consumer questions or tips? email, tweet @DiscountDivaSam or “like”