admin / May 29, 2008

The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Pedicures

Warm weather means slipping on the sandals or the flip-flops. It also means that our feet and toes are on full display. One way to get perfectly groomed feet and nails is to get a pedicure. And you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to achieve the perfect look. Here are some tips, product recommendations and my step-by-step guide to getting a pampering pedicure at a Budget Smart Girl’s price.

Let’s Get Started
My philosophy is if your feet feel good, the rest of you feels pretty darn good too. And one way to make your feet feel great is to soak them in warm, fragrant water. Sometimes I’ll use bubble bath, and another option is to add some Epsom Salt. Check out the Epsom Salt site for some more tips on the ultimate DIY pedicure www.epsomsaltcouncil.org

Herbal Soaks
Another favorite treat of mine is to throw herbs from my garden into the water. I love lavender, lemon verbena, and just about any kind of mint. And these days you can buy herbal bath blends at bargain prices. I found this company that sell just that, and at prices that make me smile, www.bohbonsoapco.com. Check out their herbal tea mixes, yes, they’re just $4. Also, I learned about this company while I was working on another article and it’s a lovely site to do some browsing www.alchemistsapprentice.com
And if you really want to indulge for just pennies, throw in some marbles or pebbles into the bowl and roll your feet over them.

Things to Make Your Feet Feel Better
After your feet have soaked, it’s the ideal time to get rid of hard skin on the heels. And who better than Dr. Scholl’s to provide us with all the good stuff for doing just that. See what’s available at www.drscholls.com and be sure to click on pedicure tools.
And to keep those heels looking pretty all the time, I apply body butter to them. I’ve also been using the nail butter from a company called Essencia. They also heel butter too, check out their products at www.essenciaonline.com. And sometimes I’ll use a jojoba or olive oil on the cuticles too.

The Right File
And don’t just use any file on your nails, here’s a product that prevents them from splitting. www.crystalfiles.com.

Keeping It Under Wraps
For me, the favorite part of my at home pedicure is putting on some great smelling body lotion. And one way you can get the lotion to really sink into your skin is to put your feet in plastic storage bags, or plastic wrap and then wrap them in towels you’ve warmed in the dryer. A word of warning here, don’t try walking around the house once you’ve got the plastic bags or wrap on your feet. I did this once and almost took a nasty fall.

The Fun Part
Once I’ve let the lotion soak in, it’s time to paint my nails. One thing I’ve found is that some nail polish won’t adhere to your nails or chips easily if you have even the smallest trace of lotion or oil left on your nails. One thing I’ve been using to combat the problem is an herbal facer toner. In fact, I bought it by mistake and after I realized it might be too drying for my face, I thought I’d use it for a pedicure. I put some toner on a cotton ball and dab it across each toenail before I apply polish.
And if you want to experiment with some fun colors but don’t want to break the bank, check out one of the Budget Smart Girl’s favorite finds, yes, ELF to the rescue again. www.eyeslipsface.com They have nail polish that sells for just $1. And I also use their body lotion and butters for my feet. Lots of great fragrances and just $4. They also sell other pedicure related items too, so be sure to check them out. And no matter where you buy your supplies, be sure to order two sets of everything. No, I’m not going against the principle of being a Budget Smart Girl, but it’s a good idea to keep one pair or scissors, files, etc, for your fingernails, and another set for your toenails. Toenails and feet are usually more susceptible to fungus that can easily spread to your hands and fingernails.

Relax and Watch the Paint Dry
Sometimes I have trouble waiting for the polish to dry, but I’ve found it’s a great time to just relax, listen to some music, or read a good book. And not to mention think about all the money I saved by not getting a pedicure done at a spa.

admin / May 29, 2008

Oh No, Not Carrots Again!

One day I was in the middle of making dinner when I realized I was preparing carrots and broccoli. That shouldn’t sound too alarming. After all, they’re good for us. However, the scary thing was I’d served those same two vegetables almost every night that week. I only hoped that no one else had noticed how repetitious dinner had become.
It’s all too easy to fall into a routine of cooking the same foods and making familiar dishes that we could throw together while wearing a blindfold. And nothing shouts budget food more than serving the same old, same old, over and over again. My epiphany that day made me pull out my cookbooks to search for some new ideas.

It’s a New Season
One thing I love about spring is new vegetables are hitting stores and farmer’s markets. Just take a stroll through the produce department and pick out one vegetable you haven’t tried before or haven’t served for months.
Last year I found a recipe that used beets. When I was growing up, we always added beets to dishes like salads, but when I saw this recipe, I realized I hadn’t eaten one since I was a teenager. I not only bought beets so I could try this new recipe, but for the first time in my life, I cooked beet tops and served them as a side dish.
Summer’s here, more vegetables will become abundant and hence cheaper, and it’s the best time of the year to take a chance on something new at the dinner table.

Don’t Forget the Frozen Food Section
I’ve found the frozen veggie section another good place to visit if you’re looking for new ideas. I’ve found packages of mixed vegetables like green beans, slivered almonds and pearl onions. Combinations I wouldn’t think about using on my own.

Don’t Forget the Canned Food Section Too
I’ve also found some great finds in the canned vegetable section too. Things like green beans with dill added to them. Even if you don’t buy them, it gives you some idea on what types of seasonings you can add to vegetables.

Change the Way They’re Cooked
Okay, I didn’t give up cooking carrots and broccoli completely. They are favorites of mine, but I did start varying the way I prepared them. I combined the two together and steamed them. I’ve added a low fat cheese sauce to the broccoli. And I even tried adding a low fat spread and a sprinkling of ginger to the carrots.

A Recipe to Try
Last week I bought some tomatoes that looked like they were going to be tasty on a salad, but after the first bite I knew their looks had been deceiving. My first thought was to turn them into soup but then I came up with this recipe. It’s light and makes the perfect meal when the weather turns warm.

Baked Tomatoes with Blue Cheese Risotto (Serves 4)
4 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons low fat spread or butter
I tablespoon low fat spread or butter for the topping
½ cup of arborio rice
1 ¼ cups boiling vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a shallow ovenproof dish with cooking spray. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and remove and throw away the flesh and seeds.
Melt the butter or low fat spread in a skillet and add the chopped onion and cook for about three minutes or until the onions are transparent. Add the rice and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t brown or burn. Slowly add the vegetable stock, about ¼ cup at a time. Keep adding the stock until it’s all been absorbed and continue cooking the rice for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove the rice mixture from the heat and stir in the blue cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each tomato with the risotto mixture. Sprinkle each tomato with a dusting of breadcrumbs and a dollop of low fat spread. You can top each tomato with more blue cheese if you like.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Serve the tomatoes warm with crusty French bread.

admin / May 27, 2008

The Blog-Waste Not, Want Not

Anyone watch Good Morning America this morning? I don’t usually watch TV in the mornings, but I just happened to tune in today while I was getting ready to go out.

Not being a regular watcher of GMA, and judging by the segment I watched, they’d obviously asked viewers to send in their tips for saving money on food.

One lady was an avid coupon clipper. She only bought an item if it was on sale and if she had a coupon for that item. It looked like she was a pro at it. She had a file folder full of coupons and when she left the store she actually carried it on her shoulder.

Another viewer said she bought wheat berries and ground them into flour, which worked out to be a lot cheaper than buying a bag of flour. She then used the flour to make her own bread. Another viewer and her husband had a swimming pool in their backyard but thought they could put it to much better use. They filled in with dirt and now plan to plant a vegetable garden.

I can’t remember who was being interviewed in the studio about this segment but she was talking to Diane Sawyer about how we shouldn’t throw any food away. What a Budget Smart Girl. It’s true anything can become another meal. Leftovers can be added to other foods etc. I was just thinking the other day about the way my mom would roast meat on Sunday and tip all the fat into a jug. The next day when it was solid and yes, somewhat jelly like underneath, she’d spread it on bread or toast and eat it. It was an awful thing to witness, but she said both her grandmothers did that and nothing went to waste. Seems like we’re back to following our grandparents and great grandparent’s way of life. And yes, maybe being a Budget Smart Girl will be back in vogue.

And thinking about people growing vegetables in their backyards, I just saw a story about people who are finding oil in their yards. Yes, makes you think of the old TV show The Beverly Hillbillies doesn’t it? Last week I was listening to the radio and the reporter said we could soon see oil at $200 a barrel. Yikes, what will a gallon of gas cost? And if you think things are bad here, in the UK a litre of gas costs five pounds. I’m not sure what the exchange rate is today, but that must mean it’s close to $10. Hey, get out into those backyards and start digging!

admin / May 21, 2008

The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Yoga

Sticking with a budget, no matter how ‘good’ you are, can be stressful. And if you’re like me, someone who’s running around trying to do a hundred things at once, it’s nice to unwind now and then. A favorite way to do just that is practicing yoga.
In fact, I’ve given yoga a couple of attempts. I’ve signed up for classes only to find that most of the poses are beyond my range of motion and I’ve given up. And yes, lost the money I paid for the class. I then decided to give yoga a try at home. There’s less embarrassment for me and it costs a lot less too. So if you’re looking for a way to unwind, here are some bargain ways you can practice yoga in a class or in the comfort of your own home.

A Class Near You
In my neighborhood it seems like a new yoga studio is opening up every month. And that’s good news. There are a couple of pluses to going to an individual studio rather than signing up for a class at a health club. One, if yoga is all you want to do, it’s usually cheaper than joining an expensive club. Two, most newly opened studios want to get you in the door and therefore usually offer you a free week of classes. In fact, sitting on my desk right now are invitations for a week’s free yoga to two different studios. It’s a great way to try out the facilities, the instructors, and you’ll know if you really like this form of exercise.
If you are going to sign up for classes, ask if they have a pay as you go plan. I know a couple of yoga studios let you drop in and pay on a class-by-class basis. That way if something else comes up, you don’t miss a class or lose your tuition. Secondly, ask what, if any is their cancellation policy. Some give you a partial refund if you can’t finish all the classes.
Check out this site with links to yoga classes in your area www.yogafinder.com

Do It Yourself Yoga
I’ve found lots of great resources if you want to give yoga a try at home.
DVDs
One company I always turn to for my exercise DVDs is Collage Video. Great customer service and you can return any of their products, yes, even if they’re opened. You can also get free mini clips of any DVD, check out their Web site at www.collagevideo.com
And don’t forget your local library for all types of exercise DVDs. It’s the best way to test-drive them without investing money.

Yoga Sites
I found these yoga related sites-
www.iyogalife.com this is my favorite site, here you’ll find a newsletter you can sign up for, plus reviews.
www.yogatoday.com and this site has some great free stuff.
www.yogalearningcenter.com

A word of warning here; if you’re going to practice yoga all by yourself at home, especially if you’re new to yoga, and like me, not that flexible, proceed with caution. It’s not really budget smart if the paramedics have to stop by your house and transport you to the ER.

Music
If you like listening to music while you practice yoga or you’re just looking for a selection of music to relax to, this site has a wide range of styles www.serenitysupply.com

Equipment
One place I think has some of the best deals on yoga equipment is Target. They sell the Gaiam line of products that I really like. And here’s another site I found that has some good prices www.yogadirect.com
I’ve also found you can substitute lots of yoga props. I did buy a mat and brick, but use a towel instead of a strap for some of the poses. And here’s a tip I always give when you’re looking for exercise equipment, check out garage sales. Lots of people invest in equipment and then give up. You might also be able to find yoga DVDs there too. And if you’re buying secondhand mats, give them a wash with some antiseptic soap or spray. Supposedly yoga mats harbor lots of bacteria.

admin / May 20, 2008

Budget Smart Outdoor Foods

One of my favorite summer activities is packing the picnic basket and heading to one of the local parks. And apart from the cost of the food, it’s free entertainment. Whether you’re planning a picnic or a cook out, here are some of my favorite picks for summertime budget smart food.

Hamburgers with a Twist
Everyone loves a hamburger and they’re easy on the budget. However, the biggest drawback is a plain hamburger can be shall we say, tasteless. Think about all the new ways you can serve a hamburger. How about putting the topping inside the hamburger before you cook it? I’ve tried filling them with foods like blue or feta cheeses. I’ve even mixed in caramelized onions. And another time I used ground turkey and filled them with roasted red peppers. The little extras don’t cost that much but they make the hamburgers taste gourmet.

Not Just Coleslaw
A couple of years ago I realized whenever I packed a picnic or had a cookout, there were two dishes I served every time, coleslaw and potato salad. I knew if I was getting bored, other people must be too. So I headed to the kitchen and started experimenting. I tried adding one or two new ingredients to each batch. Things like sun-dried tomatoes, Vidalia onions, fresh dill, roasted red peppers…of course, not all in the same recipe. And one combination everyone seems to comment on is a potato salad made with sweet potatoes. And as for coleslaw, I’ve used broccoli slaw and blue cheese dressing. I’ve also used a regular coleslaw mix and added either crushed pineapple or chopped mandarin oranges. I’m also experimenting with a recipe for coleslaw using all fruit…I’ll be sharing it with you soon.

Potatoes
I’m a big fan of potatoes and a BBQ wouldn’t be complete without some thrown onto the coals. Here’s an herb butter recipe I’ve been using for years. Add some to each potato as it comes off the grill.
Fresh Herb Butter
½ cup of a trans free spread, or if you’re not watching your cholesterol, even butter.
1 cup of fresh herbs. You should be able to find them in the produce department now. I know my own herb garden is already blooming, especially the chives. Any combination works, dill’s great if you’re serving fish. I like basil, thyme, etc. Chop it all together.
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Place the spread/butter in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything’s blended. Cover and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. This works great on just about any vegetable too.

Quick Picnic Fare
Sometimes the only drawback to a picnic is getting the food organized and packed so everything arrives safely. I sometimes put together this quick and easy sandwich that not only travels well, but it’s great because it’s supposed to be on the ‘soggy’ side. You can even make it the night before.
I like to use bread like a flat bread like a foccacia, and don’t use a loaf that’s pre-sliced. You want to slice it in half horizontally. On both halves, spread either some olive oil or pesto sauce. Then you just start layering on whatever you like. Turkey, cheese, peppers, artichokes, olives, etc. When you’re done, put the other half of the bread on the top and press everything together and then wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap.
Put it on a plate and then place it in the fridge. Next put something heavy, like two 28-ounce cans of tomatoes or a gallon jug of milk, on top and leave it overnight. When you’re ready to head out for the picnic just slip it into the cooler. Once you’re at the picnic site, just unwrap it and slice it into wedges. Serves 4-6.

admin / May 19, 2008

The Blog-This Really Fits the Definition of Being Budget Smart

I was chatting with one of my cousins the other week. He always has at least one great story to tell me about his daughter who is almost ten. My cousin and his wife are trying to teach her about saving money and just opened a savings account for her at the bank. He took his daughter along there one Saturday and it just so happened that they took a short cut through a store and she noticed they had the stuffed animals she collects.
My cousin said his daughter stopped and said she’d like one, so he reminded her she had her own money with her. With that, she announced maybe she was getting too old for that ‘kind of stuff’ and off they went to the bank to deposit her money.
Well, the story doesn’t end there. She managed to get her dad back into the store and how strange, she realized she wasn’t too old for stuffed toys after all. But oops, her money was now safely in the bank and that meant that dear dad would have to use his money to buy a toy.
We both laughed about the story, but after I finished talking to him I started to think just how smart she really is. Just like many millionaires she was actually trying to use other people’s money to achieve her goal, while not jeopardizing her own money to get the things she wants. Dad might end up poor, but she’s going to have money in the bank. Seems like she’s already showing signs of being a Budget Smart Girl.

Turn $451 into a million…that headline got my attention. The article said if you’re 30 and save $448 per month for the next 35 years at an 8% annualized return in a retirement account, by the time you finish working, you’ll have a million dollars. Imagine that, you’ll retire a millionaire. The article also offered tips about ways to find an extra $448 per month. Yes, it’s getting harder these days to shave off a dollar here and a dollar there, but one of the tips mentioned cutting down on your entertainment budget. And that got me thinking about the way we spent our weekend…we headed out on our bikes and went biking around on the trails in our neighborhood. We got exercise, fresh air, didn’t use any gas or wear and tear on the cars. It was a fun afternoon and it didn’t cost us a penny. It’s made me think about other things you can do for free right in your own backyard. I’ll let you know what ideas I find.

admin / May 14, 2008

The Budget Smart Cook Loves Pantry Standbys

The Internet has been abuzz with tips for trimming your food budget. An idea that seems to show up regularly is using up all the items that are sitting in your pantry. It’s a great tip but as we Budget Smart Girls know, stocking the pantry in the first place plays a major role in saving money. Here are some items to keep on hand for those impromptu meals.

Pasta
I keep a couple of different types of pasta on hand at all times. It might be spaghetti, penne, even a box of lasagna. One of the quickest meals to put together is any type of pasta dish. And I always fall back on using pasta when I’m in a lazy state of mind. It could be spaghetti with marinara sauce…also great to keep in the pantry. Another favorite idea is to toss any type of pasta with cubes of mozzarella cheese, chopped tomatoes, olives and a generous sprinkling of basil. And if I’m in a hurry and can’t wait for rice to cook, I’ll often substitute pasta, especially in something like a stir-fry.

Soups
While I’m not a fan of canned soups, they do come in handy for quick meals. I keep a couple of soups like lentil on hand all the time. For a quick meal, you can add cooked chopped sausage…. Italian sausage pairs really well with lentils. You can even add vegetarian sausages too. I like to serve this with a tossed salad and some crusty French bread. You’ve got a perfect meal that took you less than 10 minutes to put together.

Tuna
Tuna’s great to have on hand all year round, but it’s a must when summer arrives. When tomatoes are in abundance, there’s nothing simpler than a tuna salad served in a tomato. I also like to make salad nicoise using tuna, olives, green beans and chopped, boiled Yukon Gold potatoes.

Curry Simmer Sauces
Although I like to make my own curry sauces, sometimes I’m in a hurry, yet crave something spicy, and it’s great to have something standing by. My pantry always has a couple of jars of various curry simmer sauces sitting on the shelves.

Tortillas
Another item I like to keep on hand is a package of tortillas. So many quick meals can be made using them, quesadilla, burritos and enchiladas.

Beans
The pantry shelves are never without at least three or four types of beans. You can make just about anything with them, soup, dips, fillings for burritos, homemade veggie burgers and chili.

Bread
I always keep a couple of packages of frozen bread dough in the freezer and not just because it comes in handy if I run out of bread. I often use it to put together a calzone or pizza.

Not Just Pantry Standbys
Who says the pantry only means non-perishables? Here are some other items I like to keep on hand.

From the Freezer
One item you’ll always find in my freezer is a couple of packages of stir-fry veggies. Sometimes they’ll be the store brand variety, or sometimes I’ll make my own.

From the Fridge
I’m never without a box of eggs and at least two varieties of cheese. Combine these two ingredients and the possibilities are endless. An omelet, frittata, strata or even a savory or sweet bread pudding.

admin / May 13, 2008

The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Garage Sales

It’s garage sale season again. You might be the buyer or even the one holding the sale. Either way, here are some tips for successful bargain hunting or selling.

For the Buyer
Scout the Papers
Most people place ads in their local newspapers the week before their actual sale date. This gives you plenty of time to look through the listings and see what’s being offered and if it’s even worth the drive to the neighborhood. If anything does catch your eye, make a note and plan your route starting with the most promising sale first.

Don’t Impulse Buy
I’ve done this myself and it’s tempting…buying items you don’t really need, but they look good and the price is right. I can guarantee these are the items that will end up in your own garage sale a few months later.

Take Measurements, Take a Tape Measure
If I’m looking for items that need to fit into a certain space, I’ll make a note of the measurements and take a tape measure along with me too. Buying something that doesn’t fit in your house and you can never use, no matter what the price, isn’t very budget smart.

Negotiate
Most of us are shy when it comes time to make an offer on items, but at garage sales it’s almost par for the course, so don’t be bashful. I always tell myself the seller can only say no or tell me he or she is willing to split the difference. And you’ve got more room for negotiation if you buy more than one item, or head to the sale on the last day.

For the Seller
Get Organized
Don’t leave everything to the last minute so you have to rush around pricing everything an hour or so before the sale.

Give Perfect Directions
Make sure everyone knows how to get to your sale. And don’t forget to put signs up in the most heavily traveled area in your neighborhood.

Have Some Cash
Make sure you have plenty of cash to give as change, dimes, nickels, quarters, and plenty of dollar bills.

Be Secure
I hate to say it, but not everyone heads to sales to buy things, but rather they look for opportunities to make some money for themselves. Don’t let anyone in your house. I’ve had people ask if they can go inside to try on some piece of clothing or could they go inside and make a phone call because their car won’t start. These might be honest people, but why take a chance? I now take a phone outside with me, another great security move anyway.
Also, decide ahead of time if you want to take checks. I’ve never had any bounce, but I’ve known people who have. If you don’t want to take a check, make sure you write cash only on a sign where everyone can see it.
And keep your money close to you at all times. My favorite was a box with a lock, but if someone calls you away to ask a question about an item, there’s always a risk of it getting stolen. Now I wear an apron with pockets and keep the money with me at all times. Also, if I’ve just sold a lot of items or a large item and have at least $50, I’ll take the money inside the house.
Another tip, make sure you put the money into the bank asap. And if you can, have a helper, you’re less vulnerable if someone’s with you.

Do Some Research
Check out what the product retails for and compare your item. Is it new? Is it still in the box? And price everything clearly.

Give Away a Few Freebies
I always have a box at the end of the driveway and put a sign ‘free items please take’ on it. It’s the first thing that greets your visitors. It could be items you were going to throw away anyway. Flower pots, kid’s toys, paperback books etc. I’ve found people feel almost obligated to buy something if they’ve taken something free from you.

Have a Plan for Leftovers
Don’t drag everything back into the house. Hold the sale close to the day that local charities will be in your area picking up merchandise. And don’t forget to keep receipts for next year’s taxes.

admin / May 12, 2008

The Blog-Why I Love Trader Joe’s

If you live near a Trader Joe’s store and haven’t shopped there, do so.
There are two Trader Joe’s about ten miles away from where I live and while I’ve shopped at both of them about four times, the other day I realized I need to go there more often.

So what brought me to this conclusion? My mom went shopping there and bought me back The Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. It’s part sales flyer, part culinary diary. It doesn’t just tell you what’s on sale and how much, but offers you a detailed and mouthwatering description of each item.

I tell you this for two reasons. One, you won’t believe the prices of some of the items. Here are some examples. A 15-ounce package of marinated fish tacos with poblano cilantro salsa for $4.29. Joe’s Chile Lime Chicken Burgers, 16-ounce box of 4 is just $3.49. Gourmet Grill Pack, Grill Ready Veggies, no additives or preservatives for $3.99. And there are plenty more bargains like these.

And two, just reading through the descriptions can give you plenty of ideas about putting together your own meals using low cost ingredients.

And speaking of another place to get some good buys on food; try World Market. I stopped by there the other day and noticed they were selling more of their own brand name products now. I bought a bag of salsa flavored tortilla chips for just $2.99. Gooseberry jam…yes, a favorite of mine from childhood, for $2.99. And although this wasn’t their own brand, I thought it was a great buy, smoked Gouda cheese for just $2.99. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen for any kind of smoked cheese. At the supermarket the cheapest price I’ve found is $4.99. All of which goes to prove that the supermarket no longer has the best deals in town.

And if you have tried shopping at either of these stores, give them a try.

admin / May 7, 2008

The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Mineral Makeup

These days you can’t miss the commercials for the mineral makeup products that have hit the market in the last few years or so. My first reaction was it’s a fad, a craze, and just another reason to take our money. However, I started to do some research and heard only good things about this type of makeup. The only problem was when I looked at the prices they were almost double the amount of their regular counterparts. As you know all us Budget Smart Girls like to get our money’s worth. So I set out to find if 1) mineral makeup is really worth the extra money. And 2) where I could find the best deals.

Perfect Skin for Everyone
The first thing I found out…and this was great for someone like me who has sensitive skin and prone to red blotches, is even if your skin is far from perfect, you can still look like nature blessed you with a peaches and cream complexion. I really didn’t believe it so I decided to try it myself. I have to say it covered the redness in my skin perfectly. I also tried a mineral blusher and liked the more natural look that gave me too. They also say it’s great for anyone who has eczema and rosacea.

It Can Even be Good for You
If you’re worried that makeup isn’t good for your skin, and yes, we girls still wear it, than mineral makeup can take away those worries. In fact, it’s even good for you skin. It sits on top of your skin, doesn’t penetrate it, which means no more blocked pores or that ‘caked’ look. It allows your skin to breathe. And best of all, because it doesn’t contain moisture like liquid foundations, preservatives don’t need to be added because bacteria growth is almost non-existent.

Sun Worshippers Rejoice
Another plus, it’s called mineral because it contains minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. And guess what? They’re natural sun protectors.

Hectic Lifestyles
With summer just around the corner most of us will be dealing with sweaty faces and disappearing makeup, but not if you’re wearing the mineral kind. It doesn’t cake, gets a better finish and is idea for a hectic lifestyle. And who doesn’t have one of those these days.

Fewer Ingredients
If you’re like me, a label reader, you might worry about all the strange sounding ingredients you see on the bottles of some makeup. Mineral makeup has the fewest I’ve seen and I don’t need a degree in chemistry to know what they are.

Budget Friendly
And here, my fellow Budget Smart Girls, I’ve found the best reason of all to buy mineral makeup. It goes further, lasts longer and hence you buy less. In fact, I found a little goes a very long way.

Some Brands to Check Out
ELF. You can get mineral, foundation, concealer and blusher and all for $5 each. www.eyeslipsface.com
Mixology www.mixologymakeup.com I love this line too and you have to try the eye shadow. it’s great. It’s organic. Mixology creator, Rachael Ward, says every woman should be allowed to feel beautiful without being broke. Spoken like a true Budget Smart Girl. I love the fact you can get samples for $7 and nothing costs more than $21.
Another line you might want to check out is Alima www.alimacosmetics.com. Once again you can order samples and there’s a jar return program too.

Check out the new Budget Smart Girl Store Dismiss