DIY Makeup Remover for Pennies!

Do you ever feel a little ripped off when you purchase your eye makeup remover?  Well sorry to say you should!  Most store bought removers consist of some type of oil, water and a bunch of chemicals that frankly you should not have on your face to begin with and are totally unnecessary in removing makeup. 

Once you start to make your own you will 1) wish you started doing this years ago 2) swear to never buy store bought again 3) recommed this to your friends and family.

Based on the size of bottle I use I would guess that my eye makeup remover costs me approximately .50 cents per bottle compared to my past costs of around $10.00 or more a bottle.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Baby Oil (you can find some with added vitamin E which is a nice addition)

You want to find an empty bottle and you will be aiming to fill it only 75% (as you want room in the bottle when you give it a shake).  Measurements can be "eye balled" but you want to add 25% water, 25% EVOO and 25% baby oil.  Give it a good shake before each application and voila! You are ready to go.  If your eye area feels too oily after removal just give your face an all over wash or just leave it to absorb into your skin (remember its all good stuff!).

Below is a how-to video I found on YouTube.

If you have any great DIY budget beauty tips please let me know via email our The Kamikaze Shopper Facebook fan page.

Happy Cleansing,

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day

I am always looking for new ways to reduce my grocery bill and feed my family healthier foods. I came across this recipe online and I just had to try it. For some reason making bread always intimidated me but the simplicity of this method made it so I could not resist at least an attempt. 

In my household we eat alot of bread. With school lunchs alone we can go through a loaf in a day or two. I normally purchase a two pack of bread and this week it ran me $6.29 and I had to buy two packs. With this recipe the cost is approximately .50 cents a loaf. The savings and health benefits are undeniable! One tip a maker of this bread mentioned is taking the loaf and making buns to freeze for sandwiches which I just may try.

The concept is simple: you take a few minutes to mix up some ingredients. You don’t knead the bread and instead let it rest for at least a few hours and then you can refrigerate it for up to two weeks to have fresh Artisan Bread with less than five minutes’ worth of work at any given time. Being a family of six I just used the whole mixture to make 2 larger loafs. It really was easy and delicious and the options of additional ingredients to jazz it up is endless!

Recipe for Homemade Artisan Bread
Makes 3 loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other course salt (Not regular table salt)
6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose
flourcornmeal for pizza peel (optional)

I personally used a baking sheet for my bread as that is all I had and it worked just fine.

So whether for school lunches or aiming to impress your dinner guests this recipe is sure to please.

Happy Bread Making,

Source:  Artisan Bread 5 Minutes a Day

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner - 7 Cents a Bottle!

As I was cleaning my kitchen today I thought it would be a good idea for me to share with you a great trick to saving a lot of money off of your bottled kitchen spray cleaner.  For years I did what everyone did and picked up my bottle every week or two and the average cost per purchase was about $3.00 plus taxes. I got tired of wasting so much money on it and thought there has got to be a better way.

I started with purchasing a 4.25 litre bottle of Pine Sol for approximately $11.00 (buying the largest size often gives better value for household cleaners).  I made sure to keep my last empty bottle of cleaner solution with the spray nozzle or you can buy a new spray bottle at the dollar store or general retailer.   I added 4 tablespoons of Pine Sol cleaning solution and then filled the bottle with warm water.  As you use this method you can increase or decrease the amount of cleaner you add to suit your desired solution strength and bottle size.  Keep in mind any of your favorite all-purpose cleaners will do – I just like Pine Sol as my house smells so clean afterwards.  Also make note the general cleaning solutions such as Pine Sol, Mr. Clean etc are not safe for all surfaces so when in doubt do a test area before using a new solution on your surfaces.
By making your own cleaner using this method you can get approximately 70 bottles of spray cleaner out of your 4.25L concentrated bottle.   The price per bottle is 7 cents as opposed to the standard $3.00 a bottle!  Buying 70 bottles of pre-mixed cleaner regular retail costs appromiately $210 or use this trick and pay $11.00 that is a $199.00 dollar savings.  I bet there are alot of better things you would like to spend that $199 on.

Happy Cleaning,

Specialty Coffee at Home on Budget

Did you try that pumpkin pie flavored coffee that was so popular around Thanksgiving and fall in love with it? Or the Holiday inspired lattes? Delish,right? Well, you can continue (or start!) to enjoy those special coffee flavors without breaking your budget right from home.

 For the pumpkin pie spice coffee, just add about a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to your dry coffee grounds when you make coffee. Over time you can adjust spice amounts based on your desired flavor strength – better to start with less and add more as you go along.

As for the peppermint mocha, add peppermint candy. Stir you hot coffee with a left-over candy cane. Or, crush a couple candy canes or other hard peppermint candies and add then to the dry coffee grounds. The hot water will melt them.  Combine coffee with half a cup of hot chocolate for a great cafĂ© mocha at home. A little sprinkle of cinnamon on freshly brewed coffee is a real treat.

Often you can find coffee flavor syrups at Home Sense or Winners which retail for approx. $10.00 a bottle which add a great kick of flavor to your java.

So don’t feel like the outrageously priced Starbucks, Second Cup or any other coffee houses are your only options to get your specialty coffee fix. Do a google search also and you will find other at-home recipes to inspire you.  Experiment with other spices, candies, and flavoring extracts to come up with some new favorites your taste buds and monthly budget will thank you.

Happy Brewin',

Meatless Monday - Great for your Pocketbook!

Can substituting the meat you eat just one day a week really have a significant impact on your monthly budgets?   You bet your pork chops it can!

A one-time World War I effort used to ration the production and consumption of meat, “Meatless Monday” households of today started a resurge of popularity as the realization came to more people of the financial, health and environmental benefits of having one day a week completely meat free.

According to Meatless going meat-free just one day a week can save the average household 10-20% or more off of their weekly grocery bill.  Do the math for your household and you will see what a monthly savings this can be for you.  For our family this is an average savings of approximately $30-$40 a week!  Looking online for meatless Monday recipes will provide you with tons of inspirational, easy and delicious meals and I will also be spotlighting family tested meatless Monday recipes on this blog.

Environmentally also the impact is massive. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.

The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health also promotes the health benefits of a meat free day. Just one day a week without meat can reduce your saturated fat consumption by 15% and in turn can lower reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

So the benefits are clear – the change is easy….so why don’t you go meatless this coming Monday – save your pocketbook, your health and the environment!

Buy or Sell Gift Cards - Make Money...Save Money

Did you know that just last year alone Canadians spent a whopping $6 billion-dollars on gift cards?

As a professed shopaholic I can’t fathom the idea of having a gift card and not wanting to spend it almost immediately but according to $1-billion dollars in gift cards went  unspent in Canada last year alone (yes you read that right)!   It’s hard to image that much hard earned money given to retailers without product or service redeemed in return.  Seems so utterly wasteful but luckily there is now a fix to this problem!

In the past these abandoned gift cards landed in a drawer or tucked in a wallet collecting dust but now thanks to Canadian based CardSwap in a matter of a couple simple steps you can sell that gift card to someone who will appreciate it and you are left with money in your pocket.

Benefits to buyers are that these cards are often listed at a discount as low as 10 to 40 per cent off the value of the card.  Buying these cards at a reduced rate can really add a significant savings over time. Often you can find cards to retailers that you probably frequent often from Wal-Mart to your local grocery store.  It really is a wonderful means of reducing your monthly expenses.

The seller makes money; the buyer saves money and CardSwap takes a 6 per cent fee for the transactions (minimum of $4.50). What a fab concept! The whole process is a win-win for everyone. 
Happy Swapping!
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