Ways to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

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Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you're all excited for the upcoming weekend! I'm back for part 2 of this week's smart spending mini-series. Today's post will be focused on how to stretch your dollar out as much as humanly possible, to ensure you're getting all your money's worth and more. You can find part one's post on how to save money when buying makeup here.

I look for a good deal wherever I can. I am all about coupons, even if it just means saving pennies. Before going shopping, I scour the internet for whatever discount codes or coupons I can find to ensure that I'm making a smart purchase. Over time I've gathered some tips have proven tried and true to me time and time again when buying makeup, so now I am sharing them with all of you! Without further ado, lets dive in.

  1. Coupon codes: It took me a long time to learn that coupon codes are bountiful and readily available on the internet. I almost always find some kind of code when shopping online from Ulta or Sephora. Ulta almost always offers $3.50 off $15 codes to save you some cash instantly. But for the most part, I've found that most codes from makeup retailers give you additional samples, especially so for Sephora. I discover a lot of new favorite products through testing samples out, so this is perk is a huge plus in my book. To facilitate finding the best coupon codes for you, browse through the ones listed on the Retailmenot website - just beware that some codes will not work. Alternatively, if you use Google Chrome or Firefox and would rather download a browser extension, I would highly recommend using Honey. This extension automatically tests out coupon codes for you to save you the hassle of sorting through dud codes.
     
  2. Rebate websites: It's honestly shocking how much money I save through cash-back websites. I personally am a huge fan of Ebates. By shopping through this website, you receive a certain percentage back in cash simply by making a purchase as you normally would! Ulta and Sephora usually offer anywhere from 3-5% cash back on Ebates. However, on occasion double cash back is offered through Ebates, meaning you can get anywhere from 6-10% back from your purchase! Ebates also offers in-store cash back deals as well that you can access by paying for your purchase via credit card. Since using Ebates, I've already been sent a $20.68 check in the mail from my cash-back savings. If you want to sign up for Ebates, consider using my referral link here. I am not sponsored by their service by any means - this is 100% honest feedback from my experience own personal experience!
     
  3. Gifts with purchase: One of the major perks of shopping at Ulta is that they often offer free gifts with purchase. If you're planning on dropping some dough all on one brand, consider waiting until a sweet gift with purchase is offered. I once got a Clinique cleanser with my purchase of a bronzer! Ulta also offers giant bags of miscellaneous samples a few times a year with a $50 or $75 purchase, so that is totally worth waiting for as well.
     
  4. Subscription services: If you're a newbie to the makeup world and are looking to beef up your makeup collection on a budget, consider testing out a subscription service. There are so many available on the market right now to choose from (Ipsy, Glossybox, Boxycharm, Sephora Play and Birchbox are just a few!) I was subscribed to Ipsy for about two years when I was first getting into makeup and I absolutely loved it. For only $10 a month, I was able to test out a variety of amazing beauty products. This is a much more affordable option than paying for full-sized products that you're not even sure you'll like or feel skilled enough to use initially.
     
  5. Makeup sets: The makeup box sets that debut around the holidays are a fantastic way to test out many different products on a budget. These often contain generous sample-sized products that you can test out at a completely reasonable price before committing to purchasing the full sized version. I'm a huge fan of the Sephora Favorite sets - they've helped me test out makeup from a ton of different brands to determine which characteristics of products (finishes, shades, etc.) work best for me personally.
     
  6. Check price per ounce: Always be sure to compare the price per ounce when considering buying minis over full-sized products. Sometimes price-tags are misleading, and buying multiple mini versions of a product is actually a better deal than purchasing the full sized version. In these cases, the full-sized version has a more expensive unit price than the minis. A good example of this is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer available from Sephora. The full-sized product is $36 for 1 oz. However, the travel-sized version is $16 for 0.5 oz. If you bought two travel-sized products, you'd spend $32 for 1 oz rather than $36 - a $4 difference! Be sure to be wary of that pesty price per ounce to save yourself some money in the long run.

That completes this week's mini-series on how to be a smart consumer when purchasing beauty products! I hope you learned something that will help will be a more conscious shopper in the future. Be sure to leave any helpful tips you have in the comments below!