There is no denying that the high cost of living these days can put a real damper on what we’re willing to spend money on. Oftentimes, we’re more concerned with the everyday costs of groceries, petrol, bills and the like that special treats such as cosmetics and a night watching a movie are out of the question.
Are there really ways to treat yourself to something nice, whilst still making room in the budget for the necessities? Of course there are! Here are 5 ways to save money on beauty products, entertainment and food.
1. Sign up to receive special offers via coupon companies like Shop A Docket
You’ll have access to an extensive range of savings all over the country, and you can take part in savings whether you’re at home or even out of town and on holidays interstate. Categories you can search under for great offers include Automotive, Hair and Beauty and even Restaurant deals. With coupon savings, you’ll also get that added thrill of finding a bargain, and the great feelings that come from that, such a satisfaction in staying within your budget, a sense of responsibility for not over-spending and a feeling of achievement in knowing you can take care of your family and still manage to enjoy your money.
2. Buy staple items in bulk
If you’re one of those people that like buying new brands to “test them out” only to run short of money when you need to purchase what you actually went to the shops for, you need to stop! Make a list of what you use regularly, and buy those items – in bulk – first. That way, you’ll have covered yourself by buying what you need, and if you feel like you need to buy that new brand of detergent, you can buy it without feeling like you need it to work out for you. Stocking up on staples like olive oil, toilet paper or green veggies means you will never be without household basics.
With coupon savings, you’ll also get that added thrill of finding a bargain …
3. Don’t be so quick to throw away unfinished items
This is especially important advice if you’re one of those people who has a ton of makeup stashed away because you never finish them. You’ve either grown tired of the red lippie you use, or decided it’s impractical for everyday use. You then abandon said lippie for a more neutral colour, only to discover your new favourite red shade in the shops a few weeks later. You need to remind yourself during these times that you have perfectly fine cosmetics (or clothing, or toiletries) at home, and that you don’t need another slightly different shade of essentially the same thing. Do a quick mental inventory of what you have at home and ask yourself if what you’re buying is really necessary.
4. Sign up for loyalty programs
Aside from signing up for deals from coupon companies like Shop A Docket, you could also sign up for loyalty programs from your favourite stores and restaurants. Hair salons and restaurants are great at sending out vouchers for their clients’ birthdays, and many stores offer loyalty cards that allow customers to gain points with each purchase, which then culminates in a savings of some sort on any one of their products. Because you’ll be doing this through only your very favourite stores, you know you’ll never be disappointed, and, by waiting for the points to rack up, you’ll feel like it’s your “reward” for diligently waiting for the bargains to come your way rather than satisfying your instant gratification urges.
Do a quick mental inventory of what you have at home and ask yourself if what you’re buying is really necessary
5. Think outside the box
There are no hard and fast rules to how you can save your money – you just have to get a little creative at times. Are you a bookworm? Why don’t you check out a secondhand bookstore and purchase your next favourite novel for a fraction of the retail price, or better yet, get a library card! Love the theatre and going to museums? Why don’t you check out the latest exhibit on their free admission days? Can’t afford a trip to Paris (yet)? Why don’t you hold a Parisian-themed dinner party with your friends and ask everyone to bring an appropriate plate? At the end of the night, you can even suggest a movie in the same theme!
These are just some of the many ways you can save some money on the fun things in life such a beauty, food and entertainment, without feeling like you’re missing out. Remember, you can even combine these tips and really get more bang for your buck. The most important thing to realise, though, is that your money is yours to spend in the way you want to, and you shouldn’t feel pressured or feel you need to defend your spending habits to anyone other than your financial advisor. Happy saving!
This article was written in collaboration with Shop A Docket.
Featured Photo Credit: the justified sinner via Compfight cc
Erica is a Sydney-based writer and digital marketer, and can often be found pounding away on a keyboard, writing about everything from travel, lifestyle, well-being and anything in between. When she is not writing, she is STILL writing, developing copy and content for websites and marketing collateral. Erica is passionate about film, literature and culture (high brow and low brow), as well as pro-social causes supporting cultural engagement (counting travelling as one of them). In her spare time, she loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book, go for a nice dinner with friends or spend time with her partner.