Cheap Is Chic

It’s no big secret that the global economy is gasping for air. And that can certainly put a pinch on your just-for-fun funds. But it doesn’t mean you have to hunker down under a gray cloud of boredom. There are plenty of things you and the gang can do for a good time. No need to reach too deep into your wallets!

Dinner and a Movie
Round up the crew for pizza and movies at your place. Stash the carryout menu! Instead, hit the supermarket for shells (pita bread works great for pizza), sauce and cheese. Have everyone bring their favorite toppings and start the party in the kitchen. Heat the oven to 450 F, and let all your friends pitch in on the pizza assembly line. Bake about 10 minutes or so, then serve up some slices. Dessert? Try popcorn sprinkled with cocoa powder, cinnamon and sugar and munch on it while the movie rolls. Pssst…dim the lights.

Stay-at-home Spa
Get together with a pal for some pampering and a fresh glow. In a small bowl, mix up a moisturizing facial scrub of one-fourth cup brown sugar, plus one tablespoon each of sea salt, olive oil, honey and milk until it’s like a grainy paste. Apply with fingers in a circular motion to a clean face and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing.

For a soothing foot soak, fill the bathtub up to your ankles with warm water. Toss in a handful of baking soda or Epsom salt, plus a dash of essential oil or vanilla extract. Sit on the edge of the tub and sink your feet in. Afterward, dry those tootsies, and polish each other’s toes with an eye-popping color while listening to soft music.

Swap ‘n’ Shop
Turn your bedroom into a department store. Clear your closet of all the clothes and accessories you never wear. Tell your friends to do the same, then gather up the goods for a grand giveaway gala. Stack all the sweaters neatly on a chair, group the shoes together, put jeans into a neat pile, hang belts over a door, display jewelry on a shelf. Make it look like an uber-chic boutique. After setting up, it’s time to shop…um, swap. No price tags because everything is free. Go at it, girls!