There are certain purchases I like to refer to as, budget busters. There are things that you stop buying when you lose your job and you have no money. You let your hair grow out, stop waxing your stache, wear your disposable contacts for two months rather than two weeks and none of your clothes fit anymore because you have been living on ALDI cake mix (see below). However, I have learned a few tricks over the last several months on how to save money on some of these items or services.
- Double Coupon Day!!! I recently discovered that Pick N Save has a double coupon day on Wednesdays. This means that any coupon you bring in counts twice. Last week I saved $12.00 using only clipped coupons. It seems that many grocery establishments have a similar promotion, so ask your local store.
- ALDI. The concept makes sense. No cart boys, no plastic bags (you must bring your own bags, which is sustainable as well), limited cashiers and no fancy displays. A box of cake mix costs 89 cents. Now, don’t go living off ALDI cake mix, but 89 cents can’t be beat!
- Restaurant.com. For those of us who like to dine out (that is an understatement for me), this site is great. I can’t say I have taken full advantage of it yet, but certainly intent to.
- Think about students! I recently had the opportunity to be a hair model for an apprentice. She cut and colored my hair for… wait for it… FIVE dollars. These services at the salon where I was “modeling” would normally cost over $130.00 and so I was thrilled. Now, when you work with a student there is always that chance your hair wont turn out the way you want, but for someone who is unemployed… it might be worth the risk! There are also student prices at some salons, where you only pay $10 bucks for an eyebrow wax or $15.00 for a pedicure, so check out your local cosmetology schools.
- Samples. I know it sounds cheesy, but if you are in need of new perfume or eye shadow, ask for a sample. At the department stores there are bags filled with little 1 oz perfume samples, and I know my Mary Kay rep gives out sample color palettes that include eye shadow and blush.
- 1800contacts. I recently learned that when buying contacts online, 1800contacts will match any competitive price you find. So, google your brand of contact and see what comes up. Last time I saved $48.00 by doing this.
- Wait for the coupon. There are many stores that offer HUGE discounts like “spend $75.00 and save $30.00,” and so essentially you get more stuff for less money. New York and Company does this ALL the time, so keep your eyes open.
- Swap it! When my friend lost 20 lbs, I got to take all of her old pants. Not that I am proud of getting her “before-the-weight-loss-pants,” but they look great on me, and were free! Case in point, when I lost a bunch of weight several years ago, I gave all my old clothes to my mom. Need a new outfit? Ask a friend. Something doesn’t fit… give it away.
I hope these tips were somewhat helpful, and please share your own money saving ideas below!