Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking Killer on A Limited Budget and a Few 50's Tricks Thrown In

I don't think it even crossed my mind when I entered into money struggles a short time ago that I'd one day be able to use such experiences to help others. My vanity, however, kept me from every looking poor. Even when I was at my lowest...with literally nothing, I looked fabulous and was mistaken for being wealthy.

I knew what we all know... that if I truly let my hair, weight, makeup, grooming etc.. go, I'd look frightening.

I found a way. I made a way. I became the queen of cooking meals for nothing and grooming without a dime.

I've made one of my favorite dresses out of an old sheet (you can buy sheets at goodwill for $1 as fabric as well) and my nails that I do myself look better than most salons.

I color my own hair.... with peroxide 3%. less than a dollar a bottle. ;)
and I use pin curls in my hair at night to set it to avoid heat damage.

 My hair has grown sooo long doing this. The salons lie when they tell you you have to trim or use's just their way of making a profit. I do not let them trim my hair and I am so glad.

I'm going to take you through each area of the grooming budget today and tell you how I manage.
While yes, when doing my budget last week, it fun to imagine setting aside higher amounts in each area, it was foolish and silly of me. I am much better of staying in the low low budget I've learned to live in before.

Here are my grooming secrets and the amount I alot each month on the above. ;)

Lips - I truly love being a Mary Kay consultant because I can order samples. Samples come in sets of 6 for only a dollar. That allows me to change out my colors often and always look fabulous. Your welcome to sign up under me if this appeals to you. I also get most of my skin care...etc.etc.. through samples until I sell enough to get it for free. (When you order a certain amount you get a certain amount in free products) So literally, if you sell well, you pay nothing for your own skin care. This helps me tremendously. Contact me on my website if you are interested in signing up and I will be happy to give you further details. This is not an ad though so keep reading for more money saving tips.
For everyone else, my suggestions are as follows - Lips - find a color you like in the $ section of walmart. They always have brands that are very small or go to the dollar store directly and pick out there. Some dollar stores have limited selections so you will have to gauge if it's more ideal and cost saving to pay closer to $2 an item at walmart or $1 at the local dollar store.

Ideally you should be able to break down as follows:
Lips - $1
Nails - if you're not comfy painting yourself buy the press on that come with glue at the dollar store $1

Hair care - $1 brands
Face care - I love mk samples but you can also get this at the dollar store
Tootpaste/brushes etc etc even loofas  $1
Perfume - my pic - either mary kay samples or chanel 5 imitation at dollar tree.
fake tanner - either dollar store or... Tea. you can get a nice stain on your skin with two tea bags soaked in water.
Tanning lotion. I'm more for natural but a friend of mine used to have an amazing tan. She used crisco. her skin was soft and lovely. My old favorite makeup remover, skin moisturizer etc was coconut oil myself.

dresses - my new passion is sewing. Learning to alter, repair and fit clothes saves you SO much money. You can literally take friends hand me downs, go to garage sales for 10 cent items etc no matter the size and fit them to yourself. You throw away/give away etc so much less because you can fix every tear, etc. My skirt I'm wearing today has been restitched so many times it's funny. I just love it too much to give it away and it looks brand new. Once you do learn to sew.... keep everything mended and nice. You no longer have a good excuse to look frumpy. ;) My favorite sources of fabric.. sheets etc. Get creative. Even use old items of clothing for fabric. Not all items called for in sewing patterns are necessary. Decide what you truly need and have fun. I love that I can make a matching handbag, headband etc for each dress.


My other area of savings.... is in food.

We spend FAR too much money eating out buying pre made etc etc.
I have REALLY felt this and our budget has suffered terribly with me being sick.
I paid $6 last night for a Bertolli soup for my hubby to make me when honestly, I could have trusted him to throw a can of soup with 1/2 can water 1/2 can whipping cream, a little basil, some garlic salt and 1/4 cup splenda and had something that tasted better.
I also paid for breadsticks with cheese and it really would have been simpler to have him wrap a few mozzerella sticks with bisuits and lathered them with butter mixed with garlic salt and herbs.

When you cook for yourself, you control the taste, you control the calories. You control the cost.
When you buy packaged it not only costs you financially it may be affecting all of the above.

Have the following in your cupboard most of the time and can literally make just about anything.
Even if you have nothing.

Sugar or splenda
Salt or replacer
Butter or other
Onions - make everything taste better
baking powder
baking soda
Your favorite spices (secret... most spices in recipes aren't necessary have your favorite salty, sweet and hot ready and season to your liking. I do love garlic salt, splenda or sugar and hot sweet mustard and use them to season pretty much everything) oh and cinnamon and vanilla

Whipping cream (so much richer than milk for eggs and creamy soups, custards etc. Then you also have it when you need it for recipes which is often. I recently did atkins and cream is allowed where Milk isn't.... just a thought ;)
Cream cheese ( I always get fat free whichever is your preference
Cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

and if you like to bake
chocolate squares or chips
evaporated milk
sweetened condensed milk
powdered sugar
brown sugar

your favorite veggies (green beans etc) fresh green peppers, broccoli, etc.
Beans if you like - refried/black/baked etc
several cans of tomato or tomato sauce packets (just sweeten with sugar and salt for any pizza etc sauces)
Fruit cans or fresh  love to simply slice strawberries and mix with sugar and cinnamon for french toast etc. bananas fried in brown sugar, butter and cinnamon are to die for and cheap.. ;)
cornstarch - good to have on hand as well as cornmeal
I like to have yeast because once you've made bread.... it's hard to stop. You do have to set aside several hour for rising but the smell is heavenly. If you fear yeast recipes at least try a homemade biscuit recipe... no rising time required and it's lovely. I make my own tortillas even. It's so fun once you learn to go at it.

That's it. Pick you favorite meats and have fun. You have enough here to cook even without meats and it will cost you so much less to have the food you need to always cook than it does to go out for each meal and buy premade.

I can make a meal for less than a dollar versus the soup and breadsticks meal last night... $16!! Even with my hubby feeling so proud and beaming about how good it was.. the idea of
canned tomato .60
cream .30
perhaps some butter .20
homemade bread and a cheese stick $1

sounded sooooo much bettter in my head. I've gotten so used to making meals for nothing that it hit me hard this week. My pocket book isn't pretty. I'm cranky and honestly, so ready to be up feeling better. The fact that I can type so well today is progress. So hopefully within the next few days I'll be back and to my normal self.

I am so grateful to be self employed.I really did hate the feeling of being sick all week and knowing your boss may not be so understanding. This was definitely a hurt the relations with my boss kind of week.

So... the fun part... I hope you all picked an item that you normally wouldn't spend on and started your tallying where you were able to save here and there. I picked out a lovely new dish set for $50 and a silverware set for $20. So far I've been able to stop myself from buying a pattern $8, mc d's meal - $7.

That's $15 towards my goal. :) It's really quite fun to get control of your impulse spending. Pick your item and start disciplining yourself today.

Buy a stocked cupboard and an old cookbook.

Start cooking. It willl save you tremendously.

Much love Always

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