The fourth installment in the series on living on one income is all about beauty and style. You can look like a million bucks on a small budget with a little research. Don't cut back to the point that you don't feel like you have what you need to look and feel great. Look for acceptable ways you're comfortable cutting back. Here's a list of places you can try to cut the budget.
1) Look for ways to cut down on products you have in your house. When you know what you have on hand you are less likely to buy duplicates of the same products.
2) If you have a large family, buy in bulk when you can.
3) Watch for buy one get one free deals at your local grocery or drug stores. Sometimes you can get better deals at drug stores and grocery chains than even at discount or bulk outlets.
4) Watch how much you use. Do you heavily overuse shampoo or body wash? A little goes a long way.
5) Shop at dollar stores for basic items like bar soap, talcum powder, baby oil, toothpaste, lotions, etc. They often have well known brand names.
6) Buy generics wherever you feel comfortable.
7) Research women's magazines and web sites for recommendations on best discount store versions of make-up. Many professional make-up artists rely on favorites like $3 Maybelline Great Lash mascara. Rimmel, N.Y.C, Wet 'n Wild and other low-cost make-up brands offer high quality, long-wearing products you might really like if you try them. Experiment with different brands as needed.
8) You can spend a fortune on face creams and moisturizers. If you look at the national surveys many of the favorites are available at your local WalMart or Target. Rather than buying one of every product in a line, pick one or two that cover the basics.
9) Buy small refillable containers you can use for travel rather than buying travel size products. If you do the math you pay an exorbitant amount for travel-size products, nearly the same price as you will pay for the full-size counterpart. Plus you save on the waste of travel-size packaging.
10) Try to stretch out manicures and pedicures. You can usually get away with every two to three weeks if you do a little tidying up on your own.
11) Do some research to find a good hairstylist who has yet to make it to the big time. You can save big bucks. Stretch out your haircuts an extra week or two and over the course of a year you could save a couple hundred dollars.
12) Plan your wardrobe, don't impulse buy. Get the basics and focus on maximizing what you have. Buy great accessories at thrift stores and on clearance. You'll be able to totally alter basic looks with shoes, a scarf, hat or great jewelry.
13) Do a clothing trade with friends. Everyone gathers, bringing things they don't need or use and you can all swap.
Saving money, even in increments of 10 or 20 cents can really add up over a year or more. Last year I figured out that if I got my haircut by my former stylist near my parent's home I could pay for my visits to my parents and haircuts and highlights and still save several hundred dollars over the course of a year compared to what I pay in the city where I live.
If you are creative and look for out of the box money-saving strategies you too can save BIG bucks on your beauty and fashion budget.