A few months ago, I did a post on small savings – all the wee little ways I try and save some moola here and there. I loved all the comments from posts and there’s been a requests for more – so I’ve decided to try and make this a little series. Thus presenting – Small Savings, Part Two! A few more of my favorite ways to save a little money, and some great reader suggestions from Part One are included at the end too.
Spafinder via Costco. I love massages. LOVE! There are few things more relaxing in the world to me. Unfortunately, though I adore spas in general, they are a splurge and I always agonize a bit over the price. My method of making the bill hurt a little less has always been to buy Spafinder gift cards at Costco. They are available at $80 for a $100 Spafinder gift certificate, giving you an instant 20% off. And a ton of really great spas and hair salons take Spafinder – not just Watercourse but my favorite spas in Las Vegas too (Canyon Ranch at the Venetian and the spa at the Mandarin Oriental).
Final note – these gift cards are only available seasonally so when they pop up, I try to stock up a bit (they’re up online now). If Costco is out though, I can always find at least a 10% coupon code for Spafinder on the web. Try here.
Comcast. Is it sad that two of the major “must haves” of my daily life are cable television and high speed internet? Pitiful as it may be, our Comcast bills are pretty high each month – yet we’re basically trapped, since we can’t give up cable or internet. So every ~12 months or so, I log into Comcast live chat and negotiate our bill down a bit. I’m polite, tell them that our full bill ($170 or so) is just too high, and reference their promotional rates in our area for the same package (usually around $99). I never get the bill taken down to the $99 but typically they meet me somewhere in between, and I usually get more channels added each time as well. I re-negotiate every 12 months because the contracts are usually for a year. This is a very low pain negotiation (for those who mentioned being nervous in this post to negotiate) and a great way to practice! If you have questions on this, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Library. I love reading and I have an unruly, huge book collection. Can I make a little confession here and state that one of the reasons I have so many books is that for the longest time – I avoided the library? Too many high school aged memories of out of date books, musty smells and difficult to navigate catalogs. About a year ago though I ventured into our local library out of curiosity and was amazed – it was so beautiful inside, with a coffee shop and tons of bright natural light and spaces to read. I could reserve books online and then pick them up a few days alter, all bundled together and held for me. Amazing! I was so in love with it all that I actually joined the board. Now, I still buy a lot of books on Amazon, but for books that I suspect are a “one time read” (like the Sookie Stackhouse series), I go to the library. A great way to save a lot of money on books.
And now, here are a few reader contributions from Part One of this series – there were so many great ones (I encourage you to go and read them all) that I’m sorry I couldn’t include more!
Cee also mentioned that she loved the library: Libraries are like my second home. Aside from textbooks, I think I own two paperback novels. I just can’t bring myself to spend money on them when I can just wait a few days.
Urban Fashion Jungle recommended pre gaming (a trick I liberally employed in grad school) – To save money when going out we typical pregame at the house so we buy our own bottles. This works for me since I live in the Downtown area and drinks are NOT cheap. After three drinks I could have purchased a 750ml of alcohol. Just sayin’.
Couture Coco on cleansers: I switched to a normal priced brand natural unperfumed face cleanser and saved my money for expensive day + night creams that get to stay on my face instead
Pret a Porter P on saving $$ on dry cleaning : I like The Laundress wool/cashmere shampoo. it’s much cheaper and less damaging (cracked buttons) than taking knits to the dry cleaners. I’ve even seen on their website/blog of them home washing chanel jackets and wool blazers, but I’m not so brave myself!
Stephanie Nguyen on cleaning supplies: Vinegar + water is the ultimate cleaning solution (especially for people with dogs)!
Ella Pretty on home brewed drinks when going out: I like my home-made coffee and tea better than store-bought ones…so I buy the dixie insulated paper cups with lids – and make my own tea or coffee before heading out.
Dagmara on saving on furniture: Oh and I practically bought all my furnishings secondhand on craigslist or at antique shows.
Thank you all for reading! And please leave some more of your favorite ways to save money in the comments – I adore reading them and I’ll make sure to keep including contributions in further posts.