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How I Save Money on Skincare & Beauty

How I Save Money on Skincare & Beauty | Writing Between Pauses

Having skincare and beauty products as a hobby can be, well, expensive. And if you guys know me, you know I'm not one of those people who can just buy, buy, buy without a second thought. I worry a lot about overconsumption, especially of products as long lasting as makeup, and it can be very easy to get into a "collector" mindset about things (like palettes) without thinking of how you'll actually use them. 

That being said, like all people, I love trying new things. Even though I try not to buy very often (maybe once a month, if that), I do have some tips for saving money and getting the most bang from your buck. 

1. Shop at TJ Maxx & Marshalls. 

Hands down, this is the best tip I can give you. If you're in the mood to buy makeup or skincare, TJ Maxx and Marshalls are the two best stores to do it. I buy almost all my face masks here--in fact, some of my favorites are from Marshalls! As well, if I need a new moisturizer or face wash, I check TJ Maxx and Marshalls first. They often have high end brand lipsticks and palettes. You have to be fast though! I've found the best times to shop are Tuesday mornings and Saturday mornings, both right at opening. However, your stores might be different! 

2. Use Influenster.

If you don't know what Influenster is, it's a website where you review products, answer surveys, and quality for VoxBoxes, aka PR boxes. I write a lot of Influenster sponsored posts with products I receive; if you want to start a beauty blog or a beauty Instagram, it's a great place to start getting products sent to you without cost! I've often used these posts to leverage other brand sponsorships. If you link your social media networks, you're more likely to qualify for VoxBoxes. 

3. Save the leftover serum from face masks. 

I save all my old jojoba oil bottles, rinse them out, and use them to save serum from masks. I then use this as my night serum; it often contains all the good stuff I want to buy a fancy serum for. But I've already used the mask! I usually squeeze the face mask a little bit into the package, then squeeze the package out into the jar or container I'm saving it in. You can also buy packs of dry face masks on Amazon and reuse the serum this way. Either way, that $2.50 mask you bought at Target becomes a serum you can use at least 5 more times. Score! 

4. Get samples. 

If you go to Sephora or Ulta to purchase a basic (like your foundation or powder), don't be afraid to ask if they have any samples. Often, I'll get a whole bonus pack of skincare and beauty samples thrown into my bag. Asking nicely goes a long way and gives me the opportunity to try a lot of new things at once. As well, at Sephora, you can ask for a sample of just about everything; I knew a girl once who designed an entire facial for the evening, then bought one mask at Sephora and got samples of everything else she wanted to use! 

4 Genius Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time & Money

Every Sunday, I do meal prep. This isn't something I've always done and to be completely honest, I dread it every single week. It's something I cannot do when Forrest is around because he loses his mind the moment he sees food. 

This is my way of saving: meal prep isn't fun. I won't pretend it is. However, I always thank Sunday me when Wednesday rolls around and Forrest is scream-crying because he has a fever from his molars and I just cannot cook

If you're like me and you end up buried up to your eyeballs by halfway through the workweek, then these meal tips are for you. 

1. Set aside one day, two hours, and do it. 

This is the most basic of basic tips, but meal prep doesn't have to take an entire day. In fact, I beseech you: don't torture yourself by meal prepping all day. Here's how I typically meal prep: 

  • I make my husband's lunches for the week (always stir fry). 
  • I make my husband's breakfasts for the week. 
  • I make something we can use in meals every single day (like a huge batch of roasted veggies or a bunch of rice). 
  • I make something I can grab as a quick lunch every single day (like pasta or chicken). 

That's it. I don't make huge batches of overnight oats or cute little jars that take up way too much room in my small fridge. I don't torture myself. Don't torture yourself. Set aside two or three hours in one day, plan a menu for the week, and execute it. 

2. Remember to actually eat the things you prep. 

Okay, another really basic tip: remember to eat all this stuff. Whenever my husband forgets his lunch, I basically want to start tearing the doors off our house. (I don't. But I want to.) Remember to keep a list on your fridge or phone of what you have prepped, as well as a rough outline of things you can make every day. I personally do not like to do a menu plan for each day because, guaranteed, by Tuesday evening, I will rebel. Instead, I just make a list of what I have and what possible combinations can come from that. 

3. It's ok to be simple. 

I recently started following a budgeting program and one of the most revolutionary tips was, dinners don't have to be over-the-top insane, crazy. Dinners don't have to be three or four courses. BLTs and salad is fine. Chicken and veggies is fine too. You don't need to go crazy! It's healthier, and will save you money, to not feel like you have to prep a ton of food for each dinner. My advice is to go after simple meals and items. Chicken with rice and veggies can be just as delicious as a huge, hearty, steak-and-potatoes meal. My husband's favorite dinners are stir fry days, when I literally just reheat roasted veggies with some teriyaki sauce, add some chicken, and cook some chow mein noodles. Minimal effort, truly. 

4. Stretch what you make with bulk items. 

When I prep rice and vegetables for the week, I make sure to have things like pre-cooked chicken, beef, and meatballs in the freezer. I usually keep a batch of turkey meatballs and beef meatballs frozen and thaw as needed. I also cook ground beef with peppers and onions and freeze in bags to use for spaghetti, tacos, lasagna, and more. Chicken is easy to cook in the oven, cool, and freeze in individual servings to be de-thawed as necessary. Having these things in your freezer can be added to your weekly prepped items, like rice and roasted vegetables, for a quick lunch or dinner. Keeping canned goods (like black beans, corn, and chickpeas) on hand can also be a quick addition. 

When you meal prep ahead of time, you save yourself time and you save money. None of these items are particularly expensive and if you shop sales, you can get good deals on ground beef and ground turkey to cook in advance. 

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