I definitely know how it feels to be skint. Fortunately, every cloud has a silver lining and I've learnt the fine art of economising. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me cope over a duration of six months on the dole.
Don't overlook high street brands.
Yes, it's lovely to add some MAC or Benefit to your collection, but there are some great high street bargains that do exactly the same for less. I absolutely love the Natural Collection range from Boots; especially their lipsticks! You can't go wrong at £1.99. Other favourites include Rimmel's Stay Matte powder for £3.99, Collection's Felt Tip Liner for £2.99, and the infamous Lasting Perfection concealer by Collection.
The Internet is swarming with bargains. I also like to read positive reviews before parting with my cash (which I can't do whilst browsing Debenhams with an overly eager shop assistant
stalking me breathing down my neck!). Fragrance Direct is an absolutely amazing website for saving money on perfume and cosmetics. I can't recommend it enough! Everything Five Pounds is another website I browse frequently. EBay is a little more expensive for finding beauty bargains, but still worth a look.
Staying organised is definitely cost effective. Maybe it's the Virgo in me, but I love organising and compartmentalising my things. It's easier for me to see what I actually have and stops me spending money on things I don't need.
Watch where you shop.
Charity shops and Car Boot sales are absolutely essential for living on a budget (well, they are for me!). I saw a black coat in Peacocks once which I liked, but couldn't afford (£18 is too much on benefits), luckily I bought the same coat in a Car Boot for £1.50 the following week. "One man's junk is another man's treasure" etc. The 99P Store and Savers are sometimes great alternatives to the likes of Tesco or Boots, although I recommend writing a list beforehand so you don't end up hoarding crap you don't need - thus, defeating the object.
Find alternative solutions.
That time of the month? Before splashing out on expensive new skincare products, raid your cupboards. Lemon and honey work wonders for your complexion. Lemon is full of Vitamin C and general goodness and honey works as an effective moisturiser (which takes away the sting!). Porridge oats are also great for exfoliating. Buy an empty spray can from Wilkinson or Boots (Wilkinson is probably cheaper!) and fill it up with natural ingredients. Or use an old jar.
Hope these help you as much as they've helped me. Happy bargain hunting!