What do you get when you combine a manufacturer’s coupon, with a store sale and in-store coupons??? An AMAZING, if not FREE, deal!!! Yes that’s right folks – coupons really DO save you money. LOTS of money! I’ve been couponing back before it was “hip” to do so …before the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”, before there were coupon classes, coupon websites and all the other amazing resources we couponers have available to us now.
Now its easier than ever to make coupons work for you – saving money off of your grocery bill each time you go to the store and not just for groceries folks! But I’ll explain more about the grocery couponing in a later blog post. (Disclaimer: even tho I’m a die-hard couponer, doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder or any other similarity to those on the TLC show.) There are LOTS of coupons for beauty, skincare and haircare products, and they are quite often substantial amounts off each product. So, I’ll lay out the key factors to helping you save money on all of your beauty purchases.
First thing is being flexible and willing to try new products. Most often when companies release the limited time products and or colors, they will frequently put out coupons in the Sunday Papers, In-store coupons and in Magazines. The flexibility comes into play more often in getting products for “free” – because usually companies don’t offer HUGE discounts for the top selling/regular products – its always the ones they are just putting out. You can still save a bundle on your regularly used “core” products, but if they’ve been around for awhile – chances are that the coupons available on those are not sufficient enough to get them for free. Although – keep your eyes peeled on blogs and websites, because once in a blue moon you might be able to find one of those for free too!
And although I definitely have my “core” beauty products (ie my foundation, mascara and certain color of lipstick), beyond that I’m always willing to try something new especially when its for free or at a greatly reduced price. That’s how I’ve discovered so many great products – because the great ones aren’t always necessarily the most advertised ones. That’s definitely something to remember. Because as you’ve read from my Beauty VIP Products blog post – one of my faves is Wet and Wild Eyeshadow and Blush. And when was the last time you’ve seen a Wet and Wild Commercial??? For me – don’t think I ever have. And that’s another reason they’re able to keep the prices so low, not because it isn’t a quality product! (Gee, they should be sending me free products for all this free advertising I’m giving them, right? haha just kidding!)
And with certain stores (Rite Aid, Ulta, Walgreens) offering money-back guarantees if you don’t like your product, its a win/win situation! (By the way – products usually must be returned within 30 days with a store receipt) That more than makes up for the fact that they often lack testers for their products – YOU get to be the tester at THEIR risk!
2. Sunday Papers
I also buy a couple Sunday papers each week (well, actually 4 ). But I figure, since I have a family of four, that’s more than reasonable. Although I will tell you I buy the Sunday papers, not because of beauty (manufacturer) coupons but largely for the grocery coupons. The beauty coupons are just icing on the coupon cake! So while organizing my coupons – I’ll have a special “beauty” section that I will keep separate from my grocery coupons – so I have these coupons at the ready for any “impulse” buying. Cause you just never know when you are going to be out looking for something else – and find your fave lipstick or mascara on sale or clearance – gotta be ready to double up the sale with some manufacturer coupons!
Also in the Sunday Papers, aside from the manufacturer coupon inserts, are the weekly ads for your local stores (ie Fred Meyer,Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc) – and each week they’ll have special deals on certain brands of beauty products. The stores I’ve scored the BEST deals on beauty would definitely be Walgreens, Rite Aid and ULTA – because with each of these stores they’ll offer their sales, PLUS store coupons and often store rebates! And you’re able to use ALL three in a single transaction on a single item (note – only 1 manufacturer item per product per purchase – sometimes with a max of 4 in a single day. Check the terms and conditions on the coupons and store policies for specifics – cause in no way am I trying to promote breaking of/or abusing of the rules pertaining to using coupons.)
There are a few blogs that I check frequently, and you can actually subscribe to the ones you enjoy so it will just show up in your email everytime there is a new post. One that I love is http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ – this one is pertaining mostly to my area, so you might want to google coupons sites for your specific area and find one that appeals to you. With these blogs – they do most of the work for you! They tell you which coupons you need and where to get them, to get any specific product for a certain price/free. Definitely a lot easier than when I first started couponing!
And it never hurts to keep abreast of certain magazines that will offer great coupons on beauty products – some of the ones I’ve seen that offer great beauty coupons on a regular basis are In Style, People StyleWatch, Allure, Glamour, and last but NOT least – “All You” Magazine (which is exclusive to Wal-Mart only). I have a few subscriptions – so I’m definitely cutting out any coupons that are available in those magazines. And if you find yourself buying a couple of issues of any specific magazine throughout the year – you might want to weigh the price of a subscription against buying say 3 in any given year at the store. You’d be surprised how cheap the subscriptions are offered at vs store price. So definitely do your homework – on your blogs/magazines etc….
And for me – when I’m “trolling” the coupon websites etc its usually for grocery coupons – but I always have my “beauty product” radar on! So that’s when I’ll discover greatly reduced/free offers. Several coupon websites, blogs and even Facebook offer printable coupons on many of the top beauty brands – so check their websites and their Facebook websites as well. Several stores I’ve signed up for email and text coupons – so when a new set of coupons come out – I get them directly to my email inbox or to my phone via texting! Talk about techie couponing~! (Currently a few that I have coming to my inbox are Target, JcPenney, Fashion Bug, Ulta, and LOTS more!)
3. Check your Clearance Sections
Sounds so simple – but how often are you in a store for a specific item, buy it and leave? Wander over to the clearance section in any store and see what’s offered – often products are being clearanced to make room for new products. And to get rid of them quickly retailers will offer them at a huge discount, these products still qualify for your manufacturer coupons (and sometimes even store coupons – refer to store/coupon policies for specifics).
4. Do Your Homework
Armed with all of the above information – make sure you have the necessary coupons clipped, and your list neatly laid out and in hand so when you get to the store you know specifically which brands and products and sizes are the ones that match up with your coupons. Don’t rely on the store to always display their sale prices – I’ve been at the stores several times when these tags are missing, but if you have your list and your coupons it won’t matter.
5. Stay Current with the Sales and Coupons
As often the sales change weekly and even some coupons can – this is a key step. Another key factor if your seriously looking to score on these great deals on beauty products is to always be aware of the sales and coupons in your area. If you’re randomly checking sales once a month or say, when you run out of a product – chances are you will have to pay full price. What I always do is when checking the sales/coupons, if I find one of my core products a huge discount – I’ll pick up a couple and put them away till I run out of my current one. Ensuring I never have to pay full price. This also applies in the free product situations – if you are staying current with your sales/coupons – you’ll be able to score those free deals before they expire or even run out of stock. Which often does happen when a product is offered for free – you’ll see stock depleting fast in your store if you don’t jump on the deal as soon as possible.
In the event that you aren’t able to get it before they run out of stock, sometimes certain stores will be able to offer you a rain check for the item at the sale price. Make sure and show them your manufacturer coupon at the time they issue the rain check – because certain stores will staple that coupon/coupons to the rain check and even if the manufacturer coupon is expired they’ll still honor it because they were out of stock. And for those of you with smart phones and app stores – I have a Coupon App for my phone (that I got for free) and it alerts me to all the deals and FREE stuff in my area – dining, coupons, shopping etc! Its a priceless resource!
6. Prestige Cosmetic/Department Store Brands
For those of you trying to score the top department store brands (Nars, Mac, Clinique etc) at lower prices, there are ways but you won’t find them as inexpensive as your drugstore brands. Often certain stores do offer clearances at the end of season on these top brands. Stores I’ve seen that offer great deals on these higher end cosmetics would be – Ulta, Sephora and even Cosmetic Outlet Stores. Also consult trusted online store (ie Amazon) and you just may find great deals on those higher end cosmetics and even cosmetics that have formerly been discontinued. So keep your eyes peeled – you can score on these – but its a little more challenging and not as often.
Well that’s all for me gals. If I can think of anymore tips- I’ll definitely update this list. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two and enjoy scoring some AMAZING beauty deals in your area! Feel free to share any great/free deals you’ve been able to score – I’d love to hear about it! And remember girls – we can always keep it glam while also keeping it inexpensive~!