I’m a glam girl on a budget. If you follow me on Instagram or have read my blogs before you probably know this. My priority, financially, is to pay down my student loans so I’m careful with all my extras likes clothes, makeup and hair products.

This can definitely be tricky working in the beauty industry because I WANT EVERYTHING that I am around. Luckily, there are some things I can do to help save money on what I buy. Here are the ways I save money at my favorite stores.

Tips For Staying Within Your Budget:

Ads: I’m a big fan of the traditional glossy paper ads in the Sunday newspaper. But many stores offer their ad online or their mobile app as well. Ads are helpful in price comparisons. If there’s a toiletry item that I need to restock I like to see if its on sale at any of the stores around me or if I can get any deals.  I’ve found that most of the time drugstores will have the same brands on sale, then its a matter of what coupons or points I have to redeem.  Looking through the ads saves much more time than actually driving to these places to check prices.

Coupons: Both the physical and electronic versions. If you don’t have Target Cartwheel, get it now! Its free to download and the more you use it the better deals you can receive. When I first starting using it I thought it was lame but now I am able to use it quite a bit. Places like CVS and Bed, Bath and Beyond accept multiple coupons in the same transaction, so I take all my coupons and they tell me what I can use.

Points/rewards systems: There are many places that offer some type of beauty rewards. CVS Pharmacy and ExtraCare Beauty Club, Ulta Ultamate Rewards, and Walgreen Balance Points and Beauty Enthuisiast Program are the ones I use the most. Drugstores tend to be higher in price but you can get rewards quickly and use them on almost anything in the store. With these systems you get coupons or rewards (that equal money off!) based of the number of points or how many times you shop. At Ulta, your points equal a dollar amount that you can use towards any item whenever you choose. OH- Starbucks has a rewards program too, how could I forget? You earn 2 stars for every $1 you spend on the app or registered card. You also get something free for your birthday!

Deals: BOGO deals are my friends! Ulta is my favorite store for BOGO deals. They frequently run a “buy one get one 50% off” sale on some of my favorite brands, like NYX and L’Oreal. Lots of stores have some time type of BOGO at some point throughout the year. Keep your eyes open for them!

Social Media and Emails: Many companies, stores and brands post sales or discount codes on their social media sites. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and subscribe to emails!

Sale Racks: Sometimes the idea of sorting through a sale rack is too much and I want nothing to do with it. But to be honest, I’ve found some good things on those racks. The end of a season is a good time to look because this is when a store is making room for the next seasons clothes. They mark items down so they can get them out and new stuff in.

Cashback: I don’t use my credit card often but it does give me cash back that I can use towards paying my bill or purchasing something on amazon.com.  Cool, right?

Price Matching: Certain stores offer price matching with their competitors. A paper ad, mobile ad or email are usually sufficient for getting the matching discount. Some places advertise this, otherwise ask.

Waiting & Willpower: A lot of times, when I see something and its a little more than I want to spend I make myself wait.  I do this a lot with clothes.  If I still really want it, I know it’s worth the price.  If not, then I can wait for it to go on sale.  Clothing almost always goes on sale at the end of the season. You just have to hope your color and size are still available, though.

Knowledge: I always pay attention to prices of products at certain stores. When I’m in need of something I have a pretty good idea of where I will find it cheapest.  I know I can go to Target and get a good price on a toiletry item I need in the next few days. Especially when there isn’t a sale and I don’t have a coupon. Cosmetics and toiletries are usually a few dollars cheaper at Target than at a drugstore like CVS. But there isn’t a point system at Target. So, it’s up to you what is a better deal. Sometimes I choose CVS anyway because it’s closer to my house and I don’t want to drive farther. Whatever works, but knowledge is power.

Little savings add up.  Even if its a small percentage off, I still consider it a win.

Keeping a budget can be hard so I definitely use these methods when trying new products I’m not sure I will like. As well as when I am buying clothes for the salon that I know may get dirty or stained. Why pay full price for those, right?

What methods do you use to stay within your budget?  

Happy Shopping!

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