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Save $30 by doing your own manicure/pedicure at home

Updated on August 23, 2012

Everyone is looking for ways to save money in this tough economy; especially stay at home moms like me! One of my favorite things to do on the weekends was go get my toes done. I would pay anywhere from $40 to $60 for a spa pedicure, manicure, and eye brow waxing. Obviously, this habit was expensive and the first thing on the list to go when I decided to leave my job to stay home with our daughter. After a lot of practice, I have found some simple ways to maintain my nail health while saving the cash.

Getting Started with Basic Tools

An at-home pedicure doesn't have to be high tech or fancy. You really just need some nail clippers, nail file, cuticle pusher, toe separators, and polish. You can spend a little or a lot on these items depending on the quality level you prefer. I bought a good set of tools just so they last. Cheap tools can damage your nails or break easily requiring replacement. I have a "tool box" that contains these items:

  • Nail clippers
  • Cuticle clippers
  • Cuticle oil
  • Burts Bees Foot Cream
  • Pumice stone
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Toe separators
  • Clear nail polish
  • OPI nail polish


I usually do my toes right after a bath or shower, but you can soak your peds in a tub of warm water to help soften your skin. There are several types of foot soak powders or soaps that can soothe tired or achy feet. Dr. Teal's is cheap and effective; I was given two bags after completing a triathlon and have loved it ever since. It has a subtle scent and dissolves quickly. If you have really bad heels with deep cracks or dryness, a heel treatment might be necessary too. These products usually contain a mild acid that removes the dead skin.


Thoroughly scrub toes, arches, and heels with a pumice stone or foot file. I keep mine in the shower so I remember to do it daily. I am prone to dry heels from wearing flip flops, sandals, or going barefoot every day. A good sugar scrub helps smooth feet and legs by sloughing off dead skin.

Clip, file, and buff!

Clip your nails straight on your toes and fingers. Use a nail file to shape them up and remove sharp edges. Use the cuticle pusher to gently push back skin that it overgrowing the base of the nail. Trim excess cuticles with special clippers. Rub cuticle oil around each nail. A nail buffer can be used in place of clear polish if you'd rather leave nails unpainted. It will make nails shiny and smooth using different rough surfaces on a block.


Spending a little extra money on a good bottle of nail polish is well worth it. This is the one thing I would suggest splurging on. A good polish, like OPI, goes on smooth and even. Cheap polish can have uneven color pigments and can stain your nails. Cheap polish doesn't last as long and can cause more damage. A good polish will last on your nails and last in its bottle. Use the toe separators to keep from smudging wet paint. I sit on the side of my bath tub to get into a good position to paint my nails. Use nail polish remover to touch up spots on your skin or spots that have heavy coverage. If you're really bad at painting, you can use tape to give you some boundaries.


To keep your feet soft and smooth, use foot cream or lotion nightly. I use Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream every single night. Rub in your choice of lotion and put on an old pair of cotton socks to lock in moisture and keep from making a mess on your carpet or bed. Use a hand cream nightly; I try to use lotion after every hand washing as my hands dry out from being sensitive to soaps and perfumes.


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