This is a topic near and dear to my heart, indeed. Here are a few things you should know about me: I hardly ever buy any beauty products at full price unless it’s something I set aside money for, or really, really need (read: facial cleaner, toner, moisturizer, etc.) This post will cover a variety of money saving tips I’ve accumulated over the years alongside my ever-growing makeup collection.
1: Pick one loyalty program and try to buy the majority of items at that store. For me, this is CVS. If you purchase makeup, you’ll automatically be added to the “Beauty Club” which gives you $5 in extra bucks per every $50 you spend. Remember to use your CVS card with every purchase so you’ll be credited for your purchases. If you don’t have a CVS in your area I’m sure other drugstores offer similar programs as a means of making themselves appealing to customers and attracting business.
2.) Become a walking dictionary of retail values and sales prices. One store might sell an item for a few dollars less than another. Obviously, weight the pros and cons of purchasing something where a loyalty program exists, and purchasing the same item where one doesn’t for cheaper. If you’re going to purchase, say, a hairdryer, which is $49.99 at Target and $52 at CVS, go with CVS as the coupons you’ll gain from Beauty Club and your overall monthly spending will likely more than make up for the difference between the two prices. However, if it’s a much smaller item such as a nail varnish, the difference between paying $2.99 at Target and $3.99 at CVS is a lot more of the total cost, and an extra dollar at CVS won’t really make or break your monthly savings.
3.) Make sure you’re getting all the coupons you can! If you sign up for emails from CVS.com, they’ll send you coupons through your email which you can either print out, or send directly to your CVS card. Often these coupons can be combines with other ones, and may or may not be applicable to items which are already on sale.
4.) If you have a % off coupon that won’t expire for a while, think about doing your monthly shopping in one fell swoop rather than wasting the coupon on one or two items. Always make sure to look at the dates on the coupons and plan in advance. Conversely, if you know you’re not going to need a larger drugstore trip until after the coupon expires, do spend it on what you need rather than letting it sit in some corner of your apartment, home, or handbag until it’s forgotten.
5.) Browse the drugstore often! Sometimes specific brands (Physicians Formula comes to mind) will have sales. Also, if the company attaches a coupon right on to the product’s packaging, that can almost always be used at the register in combination with the drugstore’s own sale.
6.) Always use common sense when making a purchase, and become skilled at quickly adding up totals and calculating savings in your head so you won’t be taken by surprise by a higher-than-expected total.
7.) As tacky as Black Friday sales can be, do check to see if your favorite companies are having online events. “Cyber Monday” is a newer, and far improved alternative to standing in line Friday morning with a crowd of terrifying, rabid shoppers. Plan your online purchases around sales. Make a habit of checking websites around each holiday for free shipping or site-wide savings. Also, make sure to like (or at least check) companies’ social media pages because they’ll sometimes have “fan only” sales that won’t be advertised outside of their fan pages.
8.) Assess where most of your excess spending is going, then create some sort of budget for yourself. It doesn’t need to too strict or formal, but if you have some idea of how much you’re willing to spend on cosmetics per month you’ll have an easier time prioritizing your purchases and making sure you don’t go over your allotted amount. Be realistic about your priorities. If you’re going to be spending over your budget every month then that isn’t a realistic budget. Personally I’d rather have a higher budget that I aim to spend under than a lower one I go over every month. That’s just me, though! Another tip: Keep track of what you’re saving, not just what you’re spending, and make the budget apply to how much you would have spent had you paid full price. That way you’ll be more inclined to be sale-savvy, and you’ll get into the habit of keeping track of your spending. (And you’ll realize just how much you can save per month if you make an effort to learn the ins and outs of royalty programs, etc.)
9.) I’m not even sure this needs to be said, but… don’t spend money you wouldn’t spend otherwise just because there’s a sale! (Do, however, wait to purchase the things you want until there’s a sale going on, as mentioned in tip 7.)
10.) Gain familiarity with makeup through internet browsing. We live in exciting, digital times. Take advantage of this! Learn everything you can about products you’re interested in prior to purchasing them. Become a more discerning critic of cosmetic quality, and familiarize yourself with the outlandish claims and marketing gimmicks cosmetic companies sometimes employ before making a purchase so you won’t spend money on something that doesn’t actually perform up to your expectations. Also: Read reviews online before buying anything! If you have a smart phone, don’t be afraid to pull up a product reviewing website such as makeupalley.com while in the makeup aisle if you encounter a product you’re not yet acquainted with.
Do you have any tips of your own? Comment!