How to save money on personal care
Inspired by my challenge to live on $50/week, I discovered all sorts of ways to save. Here I want to share my tips for saving money on personal care items.
1: Take advantage of rewards
A lot of stores have rewards programs, and all you have to do is sign up for free. If you frequently shop at a pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, or similar stores, sign up for their free rewards programs and earn points every time you shop. Those points can then be used towards further purchases. Also, those stores tend to give discounts to members, so you can find a lot of special deals that change every week. Take advantage of those deals, even if that means buying more than one item at a time. Things like toothpaste, detergent, shaving gel or shampoo will always be needed, so you can't go wrong buying in bulk.
2: Use coupons
There are a lot of sites and tips for couponing, and for good reason. Coupons are a great way to take a few $$ off your expenses. Sites like coupons.com have a great collection, but few of them are actually worth the time it takes to go through them. I usually ignore anything that's under $1, since that doesn't seem worth the ink on my printer. However, if you spend a little time to combine them properly, you can save quite a bit of money. Also, sites like Walmart have an integrated coupon center, so you can clip coupons as you shop online.
3. Make a list
Make a list of things you don't need just yet, but will in the future. My focus here is on personal care items, but household items and grocery items can fall into this category as well. See how much you spend on them from your usual store, and then compare to see if you can get them cheaper online (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, etc.) These sites also deliver for free as long as you meet a certain minimum ($35 at the moment) so it's worth combining or waiting until you have enough to meet that minimum. I favor Walmart because they also accept coupons and make it incredibly easy to apply them to your purchase.
4. Get your haircut at a beauty school
Getting your hair cut or styled can be rather expensive business. Instead, why don't you check out a beauty school like the Aveda Institute where students cut your hair and supervisors make sure that everything is up to the highest standards? It is cheap, though it may take longer because after all students want to make sure they get it right, and some work faster than others. I've had very good experiences there with trimming and styling, and they have many locations where it's easy to get a same day or same week appointment.
5. Replace shower gel and liquid soap with bar soap
Shower gels and body washes can quickly add up, whereas for just a few $ you can get enough bar soaps to last you a whole year. Even better, make one of these wonderful soap pouches and use every last bit of that bar soap, so nothing goes to waste. It's wonderful for exfoliating, too! In addition, you can also make liquid soap from bar soap, and get creative with scents and essential oils if you feel so inclined.
6. Use the Dollar Store!
You can find a lot of things at the dollar store that will be much cheaper than at your regular store. It's worth making it a priority to check out the products they have, as sometimes you can get the same brands and/or quality as you would in a regular store!
7. French manicure, DYI
If you want to give your nails a sexy makeover but need to keep things on the budget end of things, these tricks are AMAZING. If you can't get the lines right, don't go off buying the French manicure pencil or any of the other expensive tools that have "French Manicure" in the title, just go get yourself a couple of bandaids. Have a look at this guide for details.
Also, if you happen to not have any white nail polish, but have some old clear nail polish and some old white eyeshadow lying around (I did, just this evening :) ) you can crush the eyeshadow and mix it into the nail polish. Makes for a wonderful new nail polish! Obviously, this doesn't need to be white, you can be creative :)