Let’s face it – times are tough. Gas prices are through the roof, prices at the grocery store are higher than ever, and minimum wage is basically a joke. In the economic climate that we live in, most of us don’t have a whole lot to spend on things like clothes, accessories, cosmetics and other fabulous non-essentials. But wait a minute – who said looking fabulous has to cost tons of money? Believe me fashion-istas, it doesn’t! In fact, I’ve spent years as a student figuring out tricks to save money and it isn’t as hard as you would think. It takes a little extra effort, but with a few quick tips, you can be on your way to saving cash today.
So how do you do it, you ask? Surprisingly, retailers are making it easier for us to save money than they ever have before. They know the economy is not in good shape and they know that people aren’t spending their disposable income on their products anymore. This means that their marketing geniuses are hard at work creating new ways that can help their businesses prosper. Their solution – “To get people to spend, we have to let them save.” So let's get started.
1. Subscribe to your favourite stores' e-mail list.
Before you scroll down and completely ignore this step, take a breath. I know that some retailers are notorious for sending tons of e-mails (some send two or three a day), but this is actually a GOOD thing! Retailers want you in their store, bottom line. E-mail is a terrific way for them to let you know what promotions are happening in their stores each week. Most stores are offering terrific promos because they are hurting for sales. This is your chance to cash in! The e-mails may become annoying, but they let you know when your favorite products are on sale. The biggest bonus of subscribing to e-mails is that a lot of retailers are now sending printable coupons for you to use in their stores. Some retailers give good coupons. I cannot stress that enough!
Some examples of coupons I've received include:
- 30% off my entire purchase (on top of in-store promos)
- 50%, 40% or 30% off one item
- buy $40 worth of merchandise, get $20 dollars off (like 50% off)
So how do you start getting e-mails? Some stores will ask you to subscribe to their e-mail list when you are in store, but you can go online to their website and they usually have a link somewhere that will allow you to subscribe. So what are your favorite stores? Head in-store or online and sign up to start saving!
2. Join in-store loyalty and rewards programs.
Almost every store has one now – a card that allows you access to some sort of dollar accumulating, percentage saving reward program. Mind you, some are not as good as others. But joining the loyalty program at your favorite store does pay off in the long run. Some programs offer you access to save a certain percentage off your purchase year round. For some, the more you spend, the more points or dollars you accumulate - which you can put toward a future purchase. Some also invite you to member only exclusive sales. If your favorite store has a card, I highly suggest getting involved with it. Although it may seem like there is no immediate value, eventually you can spend those accumulated dollars and it feels fabulous!
3. Shop on the other side of the border (if you can!)
I know I shouldn’t necessarily be encouraging that you go to the U.S. to shop, but quite frankly, things are expensive (as we’ve covered), and if going over the border means saving a couple dollars, I am all for it!A lot of items that you can purchase in Canada are often less expensive in the States. Also, the sales tax is half of what ours is. But buyer beware – do your research! Some stuff is actually more expensive in the States then it is here. But if you are smart about it, you can end up saving quite a bit more with a quick trip to our neighbors south of the border!
4. Shop on eBay!
eBay can be a saver’s paradise if used properly. I’ve purchased high end makeup items at 50% off on numerous occasions. Some sellers allow you to make bids or “Buy it now”. I usually try to find the most inexpensive “Buy it now” and commit to buy that. However, if you are competitive, you may enjoy competing with others to get your favorite product dirt cheap by bidding on it. I’ve seen some products sell for a dollar! Yes, a single dollar. eBay is also a great place to find a pair of designer shoes you have been eyeing. Some sellers will auction designer items that are lightly used, giving you the chance to bid and get it at a highly discounted price. If you are savvy and smart when you bid or buy on eBay, you can save tons of money!
5. Find a “dupe”
A “dupe” is a term used to describe an inexpensive alternative to an otherwise expensive product. For me, I hunt high and low for makeup dupes. Some of my favourite products happen to have prices that aren't so favourable. For most high end makeup products, you can find inexpensive alternatives. This means that instead of spending $32 dollars on a blush from Sephora, you can usually go to the drug store and get something pretty similar for $10.
There are tons of different ways that you can save money. These are just some of the ways that I have been able to save for myself. In this blog I will continue to share new and fun ways to save money. I will also share some of beauty and shopping secrets I have learned over the years and introduce you to my favourite products. So read along, and enjoy!