budget buys – under $10

For when you want to be a consumer but also don’t want to feed too much into the capitalist agenda. Trick – all your consumerist tendencies feed into the capitalist agenda. But actually, these are just some of my favourite and most-used things that I think everyone could use that are also under $10 because my wallet still hurts after the holidays.

Budget Buys

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue ($9) – When you want that Glossier aesthetic but you can’t afford that Glossier aesthetic. I actually love this moisturizer because my skin gets super dry in Waterloo (something something water issues) so I use this at least twice a day. It also lasts for a while even with regular use and the little container is pretty adorable. The gel itself is lightweight and even a shade of Millennial Pink. Classic.

Spiral Hairpins ($6) – Regular bobby pins are pretty useless when it comes to throwing up buns that actually stay up because my hair is annoyingly straight. I thought I’d give these a shot because I am easily manipulated by online retailers but these actually work really well. My mom has super thick hair (thanks for not passing on those genes, mother) and she uses just 2 of these spiral pins to keep her hair up all day. You just have to make sure that you’re screwing them in angles that allow for maximum hold otherwise they’ll be almost as useless as regular bobby pins.

Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipstick ($5) – I pick up a few whenever I see them go on sale and they’re a pretty solid cheap drugstore brand lipstick if you’re not looking for anything matte. The formula is nicely pigmented and they smell like berries. My personal favourite shade is 111 – Kiss of Life.

Muji Lint Brush – Screw lint rollers that never get all the lint off your clothes. My biggest gripe with rollers (other than the fact that they’re useless half the time) is that I can’t just keep them on me for when I need some lint rolling on the go – and I always need lint rolling. Even the travel sized rollers are too bulky for my needs, not to mention they need refills and are not great for the environment. This lint brush fits into even my super slim bags and is way more effective than a roller.

Dot Grid Notebooks – I find that dot grids are less obtrusive than lined notebooks and these notebooks are pretty cheap. I got mine in 2 sizes, a Small ($3) and a B5 ($4). I find that I definitely retain more knowledge when I handwrite my notes. For the price, I’m not expecting very high-quality paper and these notebooks are solidly average. The paper isn’t smooth like my Rhodia notebook but it is thick enough that there isn’t bleeding from my pens.

Parabo Press Prints (FREE! Just pay shipping!) – Surprise! Free + shipping totally counts as something under $10. You get a set of 25 prints on heavy matte card stock and they’re so so lovely. You can get them for yourself or gift them to friends. They’re a much nicer alternative for photo prints and the paper is great quality.

Elephant Cutlery Drainer ($10) – We have no counter space and the dish rack that I own does not come with a handy cutlery section for draining. We looked everywhere for some that could maybe go in the sink but we only found super basic (boring) wire mesh baskets that were $15 – no thank you. I stumbled upon this drainer on Amazon and it’s so cute but more importantly, it works really well. The elephant actually drains and water doesn’t pool in the container.


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Look how cute he is!


Cleaning Brushes ($10) – This might only be a necessary and useful purchase if you also have things like metal straws and zucchini spiralizers which are hard to clean and possibly will shred your fingers if you get them too close. We actually use these brushes a lot and they’re very handy when you’re cleaning things with small blades that are normally hard to access. If you don’t find yourself frequently frustrated by sharp blades and long metal tubes, this might not be the purchase for you.

Twik Leggings ($10) – I bought a pair of these last year on a whim and as soon as I put them on I was never going back to the cheap cotton leggings I was wearing before. They’re made of nylon and spandex so they’re stretchy and thicker than cotton leggings but super comfortable. I have 3 pairs now because I was immediately obsessed.

Miniso Ab Roller ($4) – I dragged Mike to Guelph to check out this store (basically a budget-friendly version of Muji?) because I am a sucker for the aesthetic and also because Instagram has nailed their advertising algorithms. I picked up this ab roller because I was woefully mistaken about the state of my core and I actually thought that I was capable of using it. It’s a great core workout if you want to hate yourself whenever you sneeze the next day, would definitely recommend picking one up if your New Year’s Resolution was to cry more.


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Yes I definitely do my workouts on this fluffy rug. Why do you ask?


If you try any of these out let me know what you think! I’m also always looking for more neat things (Buzzfeed’s compilations are a guilty pleasure of mine) so let me know what your fave budget buys are!
– Vick

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