From deodorant to shaving cream, unisex clothing to dry cleaning, women pay more than men for their everyday essentials. Here are easy ways to save money on the products you buy most:
1. Use Coupons + Gift Cards
Follow your favorite stores on social media and subscribe to their mailing lists for up-to-the-minute deals you can save money with. Another great way to save money is by purchasing discounted gift cards (and alternately, selling gift cards you’re not going to use): Websites like Gift Card Granny sell unwanted gift cards at discounted prices (up to 85 percent off!).
2. Plan Ahead
There are always huge savings at the end of every season – stock up for next winter at the end of this winter, and keep track of your fave store’s semi-annual sales for crazy-amazing clearance prices. It’s also worth researching trailblazers who are helping women save money: Phil Masiello, for instance, is changing the way woman buy razors at 800razors.com.
3. Calculate Your Splurges
Let’s say you buy two different tops: One cheap, one expensive. If you calculate the cost of the tops based on how often you’re going to wear them instead of their initial cost, you might find the expensive top you’re going to wear hundreds of times costs less in the long run than the cheap top you’re only going to wear twice!
4. Try Before You Buy
How many times have you purchased a product and it turns out not to suit your needs? Before you purchase, see if there are samples available you can take home, or purchase a trial size. If you like it, you can buy the full-size version, and no harm no foul if you don’t.
5. Speak Up
Have you ever bought something and then the following week it popped up in a sale flyer? Instead of throwing up, mosey on over to the store with your receipt and ask for a price match. (I mean, c’mon here people!)
6. Buy Multipurpose Products
All cosmetic companies now make 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 products, which will help you save money and space in your makeup bag. “Don’t let companies limit the way you use a particular beauty product,” says Miranda Reiter, Certified Financial Planner and founder of She & Money. “Use conditioner instead of shave gel, use baking soda and peroxide as toothpaste. Just because the packaging doesn’t give you permission to do so doesn’t mean you can’t.”
7. Buy No-Name Brands
“I’m one of those girls easily pulled in by pretty packaging,” says Sonia Baghdady, fashion/beauty coach for “Veria Living Live” and founder of Style Confessions. “But don’t discount the drug store when it comes to beauty.” Take mascara for example: “The biggest difference you’ll find between some higher priced mascara and their drugstore counterparts is the wand.” Baghdady suggests indulging in one tube of the higher priced mascara, saving and washing the wand, and using it with a drugstore brand instead. (This will save you roughly $22 per tube!)
8. Go DIY
Very few things are more relaxing than getting your nails and toes done at a salon, but if you do this regularly it’ll run you roughly $1,000 per year (and depending on the add-on services you choose, maybe more!). Invest in your fave colors and maintain your fingers and toes at home. This will save you about $850+ per year! Save more by hosting mani/pedi get-togethers with your friends and swap colors.
9. Reuse / Repurpose
Jon Lal, smart shopping expert and founder of BeFrugal.com finds that women can save oodles of money if they reuse and repurpose items they already have. For example, using old tees and socks for rags, purchasing reusable cloth napkins instead of disposable, and using strong paper towels on your Swiffer handle instead of expensive Swiffer brand cleaning sheets. “They’re nearly the same size, and you can get it wet with a bit of water or cleaner first if you’d like,” he says.
10. Download Apps
There are plenty of apps out there to help you find the best discounts on everything from beauty products and clothing to travel and accessories. For example: Ibotta is a free mobile app where you can earn cash by purchasing your fave products. (Their users earned more than $5 million last year alone, and all on items they already buy.) When your balance reaches $5 or more, you can have the money transferred to your Paypal account or a gift card.
Many of your favorite stores likely have apps customized specifically for their customers to help them save on what they purchase most (For example, Target’s Cartwheel app).
What are your fave ways to save money on the essentials?
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