Dumpster diving : clean, safe and economic.

Veggie couscous salad

Dumpster diving is super in right now because it has been demystify. A couple of years ago, anyone who saw someone dive into a garbage automatically assumed that it was an homeless person looking for a few pieces of food. I started doing dumpster diving one year ago after some of my friends found crazy amounts of fresh food totally untouched in the groceries’ stores garbages.

How to properly do dumpster diving!

  • Facebook groups: There is actually a lot of facebook groups dedicated to dumpster diving in a bunch of cities. There is one in mine and people who works in the groceries stores write on these groups when they just threw food in the garbage and what they threw. That way people who are interested can go right away and get the food.
  • Plastic frenzy: A lot of the food that is thrown away is actually totally covered by plastic and/or a box. You already know how companies wrap their products with many layers of plastic. So, it’s absolutely clean and hygienic to pick it up and cook it yourself.
  • Manage the expiration date: A lot of the apprehension behind dumpster diving is the following question: If the grocerie store thinks this product is no longer good for the customers why could I still eat it? Well, for many reasons. First, because these companies have very high standards of quality to respect, but it doesn’t mean that the food is dangerous to consume. Normally, you can still eat the product 3 days after the expiration date. Of course, I wouldn’t eat meat from a dumpster or a product that looks funny or smells weird. Use your judgment.
  • Choose the time you go to the groceries stores: Because it’s still not orthodox to go through the dumpsters you should choose your timing carefully. I personnally prefer to go after the closing time. But, if I receive a message on a facebook group I go right away since the food will be fresher and you are sure that you don’t have to search through the entire garbage, it will be just at the top.

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Makeup: When it’s worth paying more or not!

makeup
Coral lipstick by Kate Von D and lilac lipstick by coloupop.com.

I used to buy makeup to the drugstore or Sephora without really shop and look elsewhere if I could get better deals for the same quality. I started looking online and asking my friends where they would buy makeup. Also, with time, I learned which products are worth paying more for and which aren’t. Here are my tips for each beauty products!

MASCARA

Personnally, I think mascara is not worth paying a lot for. I already bought a 25$ mascara at Sephora and it wasn’t better than my 10$ Revlon one. In fact, when I’m broke I buy the great lash mascara by Maybelline for 6.99$ and it works perfectly fine (I even already red an article by a famous beauty artist saying that it was is favorite mascara) !

LIPSTICK

For the lipsticks, I wouldn’t buy very cheap brand that I don’t know of just because you put this product on your lips all day and sometimes all night. I like to use the color sensational ones from Maybelline, they are approximately 12$ in Canada. They stay all day even if you drink and eat (of course you have to do some touching up during the day thought). What I like also about them is the crazy choice of colors and the fact that the brand always keeps their classics while renewing their selection.

I also discovered a website that sales lipsticks for as low as 5 and 6$. It’s called colourpop.com, they also give you a 5$ discount for your first order. I did tried their products and I absolutely recommend it. A friend of mine got a very big order from them and gave me one of her’s ultra matte lipstick in Lychee color (lilac). I tried it one day at work and all my colleagues kept asking me if it was MAC. And hell no it wasn’t MAC! The trick is to get with a group of friends and pick a few items each that way you can split the shipping fees.

I really am a lipstick girl that’s why I have another tip for you about the subject. I already received a Kate Von D makeup kit as a gift and honestly it’s a great present. These kits include various small lipsticks of many different colors. It’s perfect because you don’t have the time to get bored with the color since it’s just the right size once your done with it you wouldn’t wear it anymore anyway or the color wouldn’t be fashion anymore. These kits still exists and it’s a deal for all the products you get: 30$US for 3 lipsticks and 3 nail polish. Plus, it’s very good quality they stay all day and the colors are really nice.
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Wear black/white/grey for an easy and cheap wardrobe

When you need new clothes or you feel like you lost your style my tip for you is to get a few black/white/grey pieces that are cheap. It’s easy to look fancy and expensive with those colors since they are classics and even the cheap brands can’t ruin a little black dress or a v-neck white t-shirt.

So, I listed a few pieces of clothing that you can get in those shades in very cheap stores or in frips.

Essentials in black, white or grey

Turtle neck from Winners, 16$.
Turtle neck from Winners, 16$.

Turtle neck

Wearing a turtle neck is very in right now. I love the professional look it gives. It’s easy to wear with leggings, skirts, pants and even jeans. I love to match them with bright jewellery and a dark lipstick. This one is from winners for as low as 16$, it’s got a low turtle neck, but the high ones are very nice too.

Ivory and black one piece from Dynamite, 35$.
Ivory and black one piece from Dynamite, 35$.

One piece

One pieces are one of my favorite outfit to wear. It looks fancy or casual depending on how you style it. This one from Dynamite is very sexy by being open in the back. I wear it with nothing else since it’s dressy already in my opinion. You could add big silver earings with it or a bunch of wood’s bracelets.

**Tips: It’s way more beautiful to wear this outfit without a bra, I wear silicone stickers on my nipples. It doesn’t move and it looks natural. 

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Hot underwears for a few dollars!

hotunderwears
Left part of the photo: Winners, 2.99$ and 3.99$ for each pantie. Right part of the photo: La Vie en rose, 3.60$ for each pantie. 

Buying underwears is a must even if you are broke. What if you can get cute and comfortable underwears for a few dollars only. Of course you can.

  • Winners

    At Winners you can find pretty much everything you need for a ridiculous price compare to other stores (most of the time). In my opinion, the best deals at Winners are with the underwears and the purses/bags.I regularly buy bras and panties/tongs at Winners for their price and their look. I paid a Warner’s bra 12$ and panties 3.99$ each. Deal!For their bras since I am a 32B there is not a lot of choice, but when there is something comfortable and pretty I get it and I never paid over 15$ for it.

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Balancing your budget

Budgettable
Budget table
It’s always useful to have an idea of what are your spendings if you want to reduce them. I made myself a table where I write all my main spendings and that way I see where I should cut and how much money I can actually save.

The one I put as an example is for 2016 that’s why it’s not entirely filled because I fill it out as the time goes and as I spent.

Reducing your expenses

By filling out this table you can see where are your biggest spending and try to decreased them. Here are my tips for every expense.

  • Rent: I used to live alone in a small 1 1/2 appartment and pay a crazy price. Now, I chose to live with roomates and it’s way cheaper. Also, the appartment is much bigger and nicer.
    You can also rent by months on Airbnb, my friends did that in Vancouver and it was the cheapest option, but you have to move every month or so.
    If you are in University you can choose the residences of your school it’s normally cheaper and they include wifi, cable, etc.
  • Transport: When I was living in a rural area with my parents I had a car and luckily I had no other spending because having a car when you don’t have a good paying job is very expensive. It basically sinks all your savings.
    Now that I live in a big city I gladly pay for my bus/metro pass monthly for 80$.
    In occasions, I use Uber instead of regular taxis because it’s way cheaper (be careful on holidays they raise the prices).

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Travelling tips for low budgets

Yosemite, California, May 2014.
Yosemite, California, May 2014.
Travelling the world is now at everyone’s reach. I took the plane with my family for the first time at six years old and I took it alone for the fisrt time at sixteen years old. I always loved discovering big cities, eating crazy new food and meeting all kinds of people.

Of course when you are on a budget you can’t just leave everything and take the first plane available. However, with preparation and a little bit of savings you can leave for a month and have a blast!

These are the steps I take when I’m set on leaving to travel!

Save money from every paycheck to a saving account. Every paycheck I receive I take 100$ from it and I put it in a saving account which I don’t touch. This account has a goal and when I spend the money in it it has to be directly for this goal (to travel).

Shop for the plane tickets early so you can get deals. I am very strong on expedia, but there is also kayak and trivago who are good websites to compare plane tickets’ prices. Be careful, when you use the same computer days after days to look for a particulate destination the website will record it and it might give you higher prices. So, always verify with another computer or cellphone as well.

Try to do camping when on your trip it’s so much cheaper. Of course it depends what kind of trip you are doing, but when the temperature allows it and when you can equip yourself you really should consider camping. In america it will cost around 30 to 40 $ for one night and one space and the number of person doesn’t matter as long as the size of the site allows it.

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Purchasing Christmas gifts without loading your credit card

Black friday/cyber monday deals, see below for details.
Black friday/cyber monday deals, see below for details.
The holiday season is probably the most expensive time of the year. There is no reason to get crazy and load your credit card for Christmas, but at the same time it’s always nice to get the people we love a little something.

The way I do it is I choose to whom I will buy gifts and the amount of money I will spend. Personnally, I only buy gifts to my boyfriend, my parents and my sister (I am really broke remember?). For my family members I spend 30$ for each and for my boyfriend around 80$.

Here are some tips to reduce your spendings

  • Use your employee’s discount (or the one of a friend): People who are working in retail normally have an employee’s discount and it can be very profitable. Why not use your’s or the one of a friend if it fits with the gifts you wanted to get.
  • Buy during the black friday week to get the deals and pay less: Black friday, cyber monday… during thanksgiving the sales are at their peak. I like to buy online during this time because I dislike the vibe of madness in the stores.
  • Select to whom you are giving gifts: You don’t need to get every each of your friends a present and you don’t have to participate in every gifts exchanges. You can easily and politely explain to those who could feel harmed.
  • Do gifts exchanges instead of getting something to everyone: With your group of friends, coworkers or family members you can choose to do one gift exchange instead of getting something for everyone. It’s cheaper for everyone and it can be fun as well (you can make a themed exchange).
  • Team up: If you and another person both will give a gift to the same person why not team up together to get something more interesting and cheaper for you both? You can also do the other way around, buying one gift for two people. That way you can buy something more high-standard that you know they will both use.

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Cutting on your food’s expenses

IGA

There are many things we are buying and consuming that we don’t actually need. I remember buying a 40$ bracelet that broke the third time I wore it and even if it didn’t break it was too big for my wrist anyway. What a waste of money! Back then I was living at my parents’ house so I didn’t really care about my excessive spending.

Now, I am on my own and I have to follow a strict budget to get by. So, I need to be much more disciplined. I learned to cut some unnecessary expenses and I changed some of my habits that were too pricey.

Consequently, I share with you my tricks and ideas if you want to do the same and end up with more money at the end of the month!

This article is about cutting on your food’s expenses because it is possible to do so without starving yourself.

  • No more «every morning» coffee/tea: A lot of people love to start their day by going to Starbucks or McDonald’s to get their hot beverage. It’s a strong habit that costs you about 2.50$ every day, wich would be 12.50$ a week and 50$ monthly. What I do is pretty easy and a lot of people have already understood. Buy yourself a reusable mug (10$) and make your own coffee at home. If you are cheap like me you can buy instant coffee for 4.99$ on sale and you are good for a month!
    Money saved: 45$
  • Bring your lunch to work: Again it’s about habits you have everyday, going to the restaurant at every lunch time is extremely expensive. Let’s say you go to Subway and take only a 6 inches sandwich, it will cost you about 6$ (35$ a week, 140$ a month). Then, if you make your own lunches you will pay for the groceries of course. If you buy a pack of 6 sandwiches (4$), meat (5$), salad (2$) and tomatoes (2$) you have 6 sandwiches for 13$, so it costs you 43$ for the month.
    Money saved: 97$

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