My hair is a daily chore each morning as I get ready for work. However, I have found ways to save money (and even a little time) on this daily task of caring for hair that I wanted to share with you today.
1) Don't Wash Every Day
I DO shower every day (wink, wink), but I do not wash my hair each day. In fact, I pretty much operate on the every other day schedule when it comes to washing my hair. This saves me time, money (less shampoo), and energy (less drying).
2) Low Amounts of Chemicals
I can wash my hair every other day because I really don't put many chemicals in my hair. I don't wear hair spray or mousse. I put a tiny bit of pomade in and that's about it. I keep a cut that is simple and easy to maintain.
3) Name Brand Shampoo vs Generic
Because I don't use many chemicals on my hair once it is dry I do tend to spend just a bit more on shampoo to buy a name brand, quality shampoo to help with flyaways and volume. I have found the pay back in time to be worth the extra pennies I spend on shampoo. (I usually buy a name brand you can find at the drugstore, on sale, with a coupon.) However, if you're lucky enough to get away with homemade shampoo or generic, by all means, go for it!
4) Salon Cuts?
I am SOOO blessed to have a hair-dresser for a sister. =) So, she often makes housecalls to do cuts and colors for me. (I still make sure to compensate here, but I pay much less than I would in the salon because I don't have to pay the owner as well.) However, if you're looking to get a salon cut for cheaper try booking an appointment at a beauty school nearby. They often have students close to graduation who will give you a great cut for much much less.
5) How often to cut?
I keep my hair at a longer. It's more forgiving if I don't get it cut for 2-3 months at a time. Short cuts need to be maintained much more regularly.
These are just the hair care tips that have worked for me. What do you do to save money on your hair?
Savingstar is a brand new way to use coupons and save money on your groceries.It allows you to load electronic coupons onto your store loyalty cards. When you check out the coupon is redeemed if you purchase the item you have a coupon for. However, the amount does not come off of your receipt at checkout. Instead, the amount is deposited into your Savingstar account and within 30 days (at the very longest) it shows up in your account. After you have accumulated $5 in savings using your loyalty cards and Savingstar you can request a payment. Payment comes to you in the form of Paypal or Amazon giftcards. You can also choose to donate your savings. I just began using Savingstar, so I am by all means no expert, but I am going to share the steps for setting up your account in today's post.
2) Choose the stores you would like to save at.
3) Enter your loyalty card numbers (found on the backs of your store cards) for those stores.
4) Click the e-coupons you want and they will automatically be loaded onto your store loyalty card and redeemed at checkout.
5)Use your card at checkout and the money you save is deposited into your Savingstar account.
6) Periodically check your Savingstar account and redeem your money when you get to a $5 balance.
It is important to note that you CAN stack manufacturers coupons with these e-coupons!
I don't do a full out grocery store trip every week for our house. My husband and I try to stretch our trips to every other week. If we run out of milk, eggs, bread, or essential produce we hit the store on the off weeks for only those items. Some months there are even times when I don't go to the regular grocery store for 3-4 weeks. These months I hit up the following stores for our essentials and stock up items. I have found them to be AMAZING places for some great buys!
Maiers bread outlet - This store is located in West Manchester Township and boasts bread at a much discounted rate to the grocery store. Most items are within date and fresh! THey may have a packaging defect or are overruns. YOu can find bread here for $1 and less. Wednesdays are a great day to get an additional 10% off your total bill.
D&K surplus grocery - This little discount grocery is a wonderful place to stock up on junk food, canned goods, and deli meats and cheeses for our family. YOu have to watch some of the dates on some of the items and look closely at labels but it is worth it to find the "gems." And you CANNOT beat their prices for deli items.
Amelia's - This is a store I don't spend too much time in. However, there is every now and again when I am able to get a good buy on produce from there. Just be sure to check and inspect and wash items thoroughly once home.
Sam's - There are really only certain items I have found to be cheaper at Sam's that my family buys on a consistent basis: pet food, baking goods, parmesan cheese, hamburger and chicken (if in need and not stocked up on somewhere else with a better deal), fish sticks, baby wipes (if not on sale/coupon elsewhere), fruit cups, and some bakery items.
BJs - similar to Sam's but you can stack manufacturer and store coupons here, often making this a better deal!
Drug Stores - I love hitting up Rite Aid for many of our toiletry needs at a fraction of the price. You must watch their ads weekly though.
Farmer's Market - Sometimes cheaper for produce if you're familiar with the market you frequent and know which stands offer the best produce for less.
Where are your favorite places to shop besides the grocery store?
Each month my hubby and I reconcile and adjust our budget together. Part of that monthly budget includes a section for gift-giving. My husband and I allot $100 a month to gift giving. Now, you might be thinking, WOW! That's a lot! But remember, that's $1200 a year. That includes all birthday presents, Christmas presents, and other special occassions. The average American family spends twice that a year on gifts. ($730 alone on Christmas.) Some months like, December, it would be too hard to get all of our Christmas shopping done for $100. So, here's what works 4 me....
I begin my Christmas shopping in January. That's right! In my house I have designated a rubbermaid container for collecting presents to be given to others later in the year. When I am out shopping (which is much less often now that i have 2 toddlers) and come across an item that i just know would be perfect for someone, or see something that is on sale for a great price and I know will make a terrific gift I snatch it up. I take it home, put a post it on it with the recipients name (if I know who it's for) and then stick it in that container. (I also am sure to record the amoutnt I spent under the gift-giving category of our monthly budget.) By June I usually have quite a collection and at least half of my shopping done. Then, in June I really begin to hit hard on my shopping. I begin a spreadsheet of who Ive bought for already and what they will receieve and a list of people yet to buy for and any ideas I have for them. This is the point in the year where I may begin to cash in some of my cashback from the credit card or use my swagbucks gftcards.
Pinterest is a great place I have found for homemade ideas that I can work on thorughout the year and stick them away in that Rubbermaid container. I also have found homemade jams, sauces, and sundae toppings to be something I can make in the late summer/fall and save for gifts.
I find that by doing my gift-giving shopping this way I can buy more for a lesser amount of money and I am not stressed at the last minute thinking of what to get someone. (Although this isn't to say I don't do last minute shopping at all. I definately have these moments too.)
Another option is to start a Christmas Club fund at your bank. My sister puts aside $10 a week into a Christmas Club account. The account makes little interest, but it is an easy way for her to put aside money each week completely designated to Christmas spending. This way when she begins her shopping she won't over spend because she knows exactly the amount she has pre-determined to spend on Christmas.
How do you handle gift giving? I would love to know! Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this post.
I am looking forward to teaching a 3 session coupon class during the month of March. In preparing for the class I gathered together a list of the companies I have found to be the most generous with their coupons. I've included this list (and the link to their contact pages) in this week's Works 4 Me post. About every 6 months I send each of these companies a little note requesting coupons. My note looks something like this:
Dear XYZ company:
I just wanted to take a few moments to write to you and thank you for making such wonderful products. My family really enjoys your _____ (fill in product name). We especially like serving this to guests (or snack time, lunches, etc). If possible, would you please add my name to your mailing list for money saving coupons. Thank you again so much!
In only a few short days you should find some valuable coupons in your mailbox. =) All for the price of a few moments of your time. You gotta love those savings!
Chobani (their coupons came with a personalized card and in 2 days!)