Even though I'm back in the land of working full time again which means more money (I'll shut up about it soon, I promise), for a while there, like nearly 4 years of a while, I was properly skint. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. To go from having disposable income to no income was a bit of a shock and took me right back to 1998 when I finished uni first time round and was poorer than a church mouse. Me and my roomies were all either unemployed or working rubbish jobs that paid peanuts and we used to scrape together a fiver between us to go and buy a huge bag full of veg and a packet of dried soya mince which would be the basis for food for the whole week. That time in my life sucked bad. Like really bad. Luckily this time round wasn't quite as awful as all that, I could afford to eat well, but all the fun stuff that I had previously loved to do was off the cards. As was all the buying of the treats. However I rallied through and found some really excellent budget options that I thought I'd share today. Cos you never know when you might find yourself there too.
Most of it is beauty related, y'all know I love my lotions and potions by now!
First up skincare. The most obvious place to go first was for the Simple skincare range. The majority of their range is really affordable, often on offer in the high street or supermarkets, and most importantly is really nice to use. It's an added bonus that it's really good value for money and a little goes a long way. I traded in my expensive moisturisers and tried out a few along the way. My favourite was the Kind to Skin + which lasted for about 7 weeks in total and cost me about £6. Total bargain. And with added SPF 30, it's a great product to use over the colder months when you don't need full on facial sunscreen protection. In fact, I loved this so much I plan on using it again over the winter as there's really no point in splashing out loads of money when you know something works well.
I would also really recommend trying Superdrug, for all sorts of things really, but especially their Vitamin E range. I used to use the Vitamin E range at the Body Shop but the price point was just that little bit too high and so I looked for an alternative. The products within the Superdrug range are really good, however they do come with a warning - the packaging is absolutely rubbish! On the majority of the products either the lids stopped closing after first use or the product just wouldn't come out and I had to find alternative ways to make it work. Not ideal, but as long as you have somewhere cool to keep them they can keep on being used without any worry (like a bathroom cabinet). The tip top pick of the range for me is their Hot Cloth Cleanser which I absolutely love! It's worth noting that the packaging on this hasn't presented me with any problems at all. For a fiver, I've been using it for months now and it's still going strong, and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I like it more than the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish! Superdrug products are also cruelty free which is an added bonus if this is your thing, and are often paraben and SLS free too!
When it came to shower gels and body lotions/butters I tended to shop around and grab whatever was on offer. The supermarkets often have really good deals and when you're adding a 99p shower gel to your weekly food shop you don't notice the spend so much. A definite tip in this category would be to ask for things like this for Christmas. I did that and got absolutely stacks of stuff which I was delighted by! And it was July before I had to buy a new shower gel which is not bad going for the year at all!
In terms of makeup I have to be honest and say that I just didn't buy any. I already had quite a lot and just used up my own products. When I did need something new I didn't seek budget alternatives as the spending was minimal here anyway. Often this category was where I saved up in order to splurge, particularly when it came to base products, as I think when you find something that works with your face it's best to stick to it. Cheaper alternatives can sometimes end up costing more as they break you out and you end up chucking 'em out. Just not worth it.
My last words of advice are about cotton pads. I know, exciting stuff eh? If you wear mascara on the daily you're going to need something to take it off with and cotton wipes are one of those weird things where buying 'em cheap usually means they shred into your eye - nice! However, after lots of trying and testing I have found two possible options. Wilko dual cotton pads are only 50p for 80! And they even have offers on sometimes like buy one get one free, you really can't go wrong. The other ones I can't find a link for I'm afraid, but if you have a Home Bargains near you, they do the same type of product for 80p. In case you're feeling spendy *chuckles*
If you liked this and would like to know more, give me a shout out in the comments. I'm the champion of budget shopping in all categories and am more than happy to share!