Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….




Hi there, Mingy-Me here, back with some more money saving tips and ideas to keep those pound/dollars in your pocket!

Whilst in my last post, I extolled the virtues of the supermarket Basics products, this only applies to certain categories.

When it comes to products that you imbibe or come in contact with your skin, you need to be a little more discerning.

Things like fabric conditioner, washing liquids, soaps etc, if you are buying these from a store, I would normally go for the ‘sensitive skin’ skus or ecologically sound products.

That said, some of these can be quite expensive, so here are a couple of things that I use on a day to day basis that don’t cost very much at all.



At £9.49. this two cloth pack may seem a bit expensive, but you don’t need to use any detergents with them at all.  Just wet, wipe, buff and job done!  Suitable for all glass and windows.



This Astonish stuff is fab.  I think it’s made of silica (sand) so with a bit of elbow grease you can pretty much tackle anything in your home.  It contains essential oils so it smells great (i.e. not of chemicals or heinous bleach) too.  It also lasts for ages :-).


First of all, when using commercial products, you don’t need to use anything like as much as is recommended on the packet.  Use half maximum, I’d even go as far as one third.

Also, when I lived in Australia, unless their laundry were really filthy, they would usually just wash with water, so that is also worth a try if only for lightly stained items.


If you are really green, dedicated or just plain skint, you can always use things like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice to make your home shine.

Regardez sil vous plait 🙂

Lots of stuff on t’internet about this, and definitely worth the effort if you have the time.


I think I’ve said before, I like nice products, but what I don’t do is waste ’em.

So if you come to the end of that expensive tube of shampoo or conditioner, don’t just chuck it out.

Take a pair of scissors or a sharp knife and cut/divide the tube into 3 equal sections.


Take a look in the bottom section and you’ll see at least two if not up to five additional applications left to use up :-).


Throw away the middle section, slide the bottom bit into the top bit to keep it intact and voila!  A good few extra hair washes that would have otherwise ended up in the bin!


The same goes for lipsticks. Don’t deprive yourself of your favourite Chanel colour (mine is No. 45 Aventure), but don’t just chuck it out when you reach the bottom. Buy yourself a good lip brush then, use it all up when getting ready at home and take your new one out in your make up bag.  I guarantee that you will get at least as many applications out of the bottom as you did the top so essentially you are getting twice the bang for your buck. So you can buy another colour ;-).  One for you Miss Lippy!


Don’t shell out for a darker summer foundation if you already have some autumn/winter product left.  Just buy a tinted moisturiser (Laura Mercier does a good one) and mix a bit in on the back of your hand before apply.

So why not just buy the foundation, you might ask?  Because you can either use it like this, use it  on it’s own, or if you really want to block out the sun without looking like Caspar the Friendly Ghost, you can mix some into some Factor 50 facial or baby block and still look all brown and burnished whilst being totally protected by the sun. Bargain!

Have some left over sun cream or after sun from your holidays?  It actually loses it’s potency once opened, so don’t clutter up your cupboards and save it for next time, just use it up as body lotion and buy new next year.

Get into the discipline of using every bit of your toiletries up before buying new.  I used to constantly have about 10 body lotions on the go before subsribing to this way of being.

Bought something that you don’t like very much? Give it away with love or use it in some other way.   Shampoo that leaves your hair dry can be used as bubble bath, conditioner that does the same can be used as fabric softener for hand washed woolies OR (and this is ace), I used some to condition a sheepskin rug after washing it in the bath with shampoo!  That saved me a fortune at the dry cleaners!  Body lotion can be used up on your lower half where you can’t smell it as much or (depending on the fragrance) you could add a bit of your favourite essential oil and see if that improves it.

If all else fails, lob it.


Don’t spend a bomb on expensive scrubs, facial or otherwise!

For body exfoliation you can either (a) use a body brush (Body Shop sells ’em), (b) a scratchy/abrasive sponge (most supermarket stock these at around £1 a pop) or (c) grab a handful of basic salt (or sea salt) and scrape it over  your rough regions and get the same result for pennies.

Caution, be careful you don’t get any in your, erm, intimate areas as that will smart somewhat 😦 ouches!

Or, if you’re feeling very creative you can make your own with sugar or salt and oil!

Here is a lovely concoction from Le Zoe Musings:

Now I know it looks expensive, but that’s because the classy Ms Kellie makes everything look a bit high end, but these kinds of formulas are miles cheaper than the mass market offerings, have no artificial additives or chemicals and smell amazing.  Plus you can personalise them according to your mood and they make great gifts too!

For facial exfoliation, there is much in your larder that can be used to remove dead skin, such as oatmeal/porridge, ground almonds, lemon juice/rind, honey and avocado.  You will find formulas for 10 homemade scrubs via the hyperlink below.  They can however, be bit messy so time it so you can bath/shower afterwards ;-).


I have to say, when I’m feeling a bit flush or putting together my Christmas wish list, I do love a bit of Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Soufflé Body Creme, but I can’t afford to use it every day so whilst I have to look at more economical alternatives (never cheap, darlink!), I always make it my business to smell good!

Palmer’s  Cocoa Butter is my cheaper alternative and arguable smells just as nice and a bargain at round £4-5 a bottle or jar.


Back in the day, before I knew better, I used to slather Baby Oil over my wet body (easy, tiger…) after a shower then towel off afterwards.  Nowadays I still use the same technique (great if you’re in too much of a rush to apply lotion/cream) but I make my own all natural body oils instead.

I learned about this years ago from a book called ‘Aromantics’ by Valerie Ann Worwood when I was studying massage and aromatherapy.  This little ripper (as the Aussies say) of a homage to the human body, and full of different formulas for every mood/ailment, from PMT to aphrodisiacs.


One of my favourites is her ‘Rescue Formula’ which consists of the follow:

9 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil

6 drops of Ginger

3 drop of Ylang Ylang

Mixed in with 30ml vegetable oil (you can also use sunflower, avocado and coconut oils)

Obviously you can double or quadruple this amount if you want to make a bigger bottle, but once you learn a bit about and understand essential oils, the world is your oyster.  You can make formulas to pick you up, calm you down, make you feel frisky etc.  There is even a massage formula for erectile disfunction!


Are you one of those people who empties the tea/coffee/sugar caddies when staying at a hotel, on the basis that you’ve paid for ’em and they’re yours, so there?

I’m not necessarily recommending you do that (though I have to admit I’m partial to some of the European conserves so a couple of jars from breakfast have sometimes found their way back to Blighty with me… :-)), but if you do, no doubt you also take all your toiletries too.

But, and this is a BIG BUT, do you ever use them?

Until recently I had a cupboard practically full of bloody hotel soaps.  Not cheap ones either, there were tablets of Ren, Burts Bees, Bliss, Acqua di Parma, all just festering away taking up valuable space in my bathroom.

So I decided that until they were all gone, I would not buy hand soap for my bathroom.  I’m only halfway through my stash and I must have saved a good £50 on hand wash, so check your cupboards and save those pennies!

Finally if saving money isn’t enough to motivate you to try any of these ideas out, think about this:

Total up any money you save, then you can legitimately without any guilt or recriminations, use it to buy shoes/boots/perfume/expensive/chocolate/a little something from Liberty of London scarf hall.

Sheds a completely different light on the situation, yes?

More money saving ideas to come, Happy Saving! x


6 thoughts on “MISS MINGY PANTS MONEY SAVING TIPS 2 – Mean, Green Saving Machine

  1. Big on vinegar myself! 🙂 Last year when we depended public assistance Access Florida ( food stamp ) for the first time EVER I cleaned my house with nothing but….. Apple Cidar is even great for absenses and other dental probs in older pets.

    • I think the amount of money we sluice down the sink is outrageous, money we could spend on stuff that we actually like! Crazy hey, good for you!

      • you don’t have to tell me. HAAAAAAAAAAA. It was ghastly GOING without the other stuff. One of my hubby’s cousins who is a hair stylist, actually sent me a care package of girly things. IT was sweet of her. Nothing much BUT ALOT when you were doing without all those little things. JUST incredibly thoughtful given our circumstance! And the vinegar, HEY, it works for all kinds of stuff! Clean smell too!

  2. ^ Sheeeeeeeeesh…. ^we depended ON public assistance Access Florida ( food stampS )^

  3. Apologies have just figured out how to do the ping backs/weblinks. God I am SUCH a luddite!

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