Quality Frame of Mind
In the US, the quality versus quantity dilemma isn't as straightforward as it is in other parts of the world. What do I mean? Well, in many European countries for example, quality far trumps quantity in many aspects, such as day-to-day products, restaurant fare, architecture, and so on. With what appears to be more disposable income, demand for cheaper product options regardless of where they are made, and our welcoming of trends, quality isn't always the first priority.
Everyone's needs and income are different, but here are some points to keep in mind when thinking about simplifying to a more quality driven lifestyle.
1. Determine if what you are buying will be used often. Whether it is a peppermill or a furniture, if it is being touched or used often, quality is the way to go. With wear-and-tear being a factor, quality material and sturdiness wins out. Also, if there are active kids and/or pets in the house, cheap things don't tend to stick around long.
An example of this for me is when purchasing toys. Toys usually conjure up visions, at least for the me, of color plastic heaps in corners that turn into junk within a few years. It is worth buying well made toys, using sturdy, preferably eco-friendly material.
I'm not as environmentally conscious as I should be, but I figure the landfills are already stocked with old plastic toys from my generation. Living in CA when I was growing up, if you had a yard, you had one of these.
2. What you put in your body is extremely important. Don't worry, I'm not going to go on a rant about nutrition. Only want to emphasize the idea of quality ingredients versus low quality pre-processed foods. Yes, quality ingredients tend to be more expensive, however, we're not talking gourmet feasts for every meal. Make big batches. You can freeze the rest, or use components for another meal. For example, leftover grilled chicken can be used in a sauces, a salad, or even fajitas.
Also, you don't need a ton of ingredients to make tasty food. Quality doesn't mean overdoing it.
There are many cookbooks out and websites out there that offer recipes with 5 ingredients or less (aside from pantry staples). An oldie but goodie that I use is 500 Five-Ingredient Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens).
3. Quality of life. Can't stress how important this is, and it's something that i have neglected for years. Having a career that involves me working from home and being on the computer all day has contributed to my stunt in growth in this department. On her blog The Simply Luxurious Life, Shannon Ables writes a piece called "Why Not . . . Live a Life of Quality?" can explain this far better than myself.
We need to see ourselves as worthy of continiously improving our quality of life. It's a contagious concept that may just make a difference in your circle of family and friends.