Published on January 23, 2021

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As the second round of stimulus checks starts to hit bank accounts, the up to $600 in cash offers a lot of possibilities. Some of the money will go toward necessities, of course, but you deserve a bit of luxury too, right? After all the whole point is to stimulate the economy. Rather than go all in on a flashy but otherwise useless item, take your earnings and buy an upscale alternative of something you know you’ll grab every day.

Soap Worth Leaving in View

Handwashing has never been so important. While that $4 Mrs. Meyer’s dispenser gets the job done, an exfoliating, hydrating bottle from Grown Alchemist not only cleans skin but leaves a lovely aromatic cloud of sweet orange, cedarwood, and sage by the sink. 

Candles That Inspire a Burning Love

If there’s already a Le Labo or Boy Smells on your coffee table, your next purchase should be Diptyque’s tuberose-scented candle from the new Hypnotic collection. Burn this one during “work” time and the others during “home” time to help differentiate the two.

A Pan So Hot It Sears

Those cheap pans at the discount stores seem like a good idea at the time, but they get easily scratched. Cult-favorite brand Great Jones’s Large Fry skillet is made using a nontoxic ceramic coating and stands up to induction, dishwashers, and heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Dry Off Like You’re at a Fancy Hotel

When your old towels are just pushing water around instead of actually absorbing anything, it’s a sign to bring in a new set. Parachute’s waffle series is constantly lauded in the user reviews for being “wonderfully soft” and “highly absorbent.”

Good Detergent That Makes Laundry Day the Best Day

DedCool’s Milk formula is subtle, with notes of bergamot, white musk, and amber—fresh but not noxious. For a little more than $30, the 32-ounce container yields 60 loads of laundry. Nobody’s putting on cologne or perfume in quarantine anyway, so let clean clothes be your new personal fragrance. 

Grow a Green Thumb

Your stimulus check is a risk-free way to dive into the deep end of plant care. A fiddle-leaf fig tree can be really finicky but literally stands above most other plants when cared for correctly. Read up on what it requires before taking the plunge, and don’t overwater it.

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