Little Ways to Stretch Your Budget

I have a philosophy when it comes to saving money:  The more money I save, the more stuff I can buy.  Here are some ways you can save cash by making the most of stuff you’ve already bought…

Hair Conditioner You Hate:  If you bought a conditioner that just doesn’t work for your hair, use it to shave your legs.  OK, it might not be as convenient as shave gel, but you’ve already paid for it – you’d might as well use it.

Gunky Concealer:  Some concealers are too pasty and can look “cakey”, especially under your eyes.  Blend them with a tiny bit of oil-free moisturizer or eye cream to get a smoother texture.

Chalky Lipstick:  Lipsticks are not all created equal.  Some are too dry and make it look like you have melted wax on your lips.  Instead of tossing it in the trash, try applying a layer of lip balm underneath. (Carmex works great.)  It might “mute” the color a little bit, but that’s better than throwing away something you just bought.

Got Oil?   Oil-absorbing sheets are nice (and conveniently packaged), but Kleenexes work pretty well.  Use the palm of your hand to press the Kleenex onto shiny spots.  Just don’t use the kind that have built-in lotion!

Aging Nail Polish:  If your nail polish is starting to get pasty, add a drop or two of nail polish remover and shake the bottle up – a lot.  (Basic nail polish remover, not the ones with conditioners.) This is really a “quick fix” kind of thing and won’t exactly bring it back to brand-new, but can help you get another use out of your favorite color until you can get its replacement.

Stuck-In-There Lotion:   Manufacturers put products in bottles that make it impossible to get all the product out.  It’s clever, but annoying.  But, if you warm it up a little bit in the microwave, you’ll be able to get more of it out.  Note: Don’t microwave any containers with “metallic” patterns/lettering/parts.

Bad Bronzer:  If you bought a brush-on bronzer that’s too extreme or just not “you”, try using it as blush instead.

Be Eco-Friendly:  Reuse not-recyclable product packaging whenever you can.  Lots of products come in zip-top bags that can be used for keeping used printer ink cartridges from making a mess until you get them to their recycling destination.  (Those little, tiny ones that hold “replacement buttons” for clothing are great for protecting memory cards.)  Other containers can be used to dump your lip/eye pencil shavings into so they don’t end up all over your bathroom floor.  Even when bottles are recyclable, sometimes the lids aren’t.  Lots of those lids are absolutely perfect for touch-up painting jobs around the house.

Get Crafty:  Lots of beauty-product rejects can be used for craft projects. Makeup sponges, cheap eyeshadow sponge applicators, and other things can be “re-purposed”. Throw them into a plastic bin and put them in the garage or closet. You might be surprised how often they’ll be useful.

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