How to save money when shopping


Do you know that every time you go to Sephora – even if you buy nothing at all – you can bring home 3 samples each of fragrance, makeup, and skincare? Isn’t that amazing? Thanks to this little “trick” I’ve been able to try different face primers and understand which one was the best fit for my skin. The sample containers are pretty big – you have enough primer for 3-4 times and fragrance for so many! – so you really have the time to test a product and then decide if you want to purchase it or not. I don’t know if it has ever happened to you too, but I bought so many quite expensive products that I hated from the first application : if I have had the opportunity to try them before, I’d have surely saved some money. You can also often obtain free samples on various e-stores.


Value sets are a great way to try different products. A lot of websites sell some – see Ulta, Sephora – sometimes under the term “gift sets”. They can be kits and sets of travel sized or mini version of a more expensive product : for instance, I purchased a set of 4 mini Amuse Bouche lipsticks for only $25, when they cost $26 individually.

Another amazing way to discover brands and products is subscribing to one – or more – of the amazing subscription boxes available. There are beauty boxes, snack boxes, cruelty-free boxes, clothes boxes…you’ll surely find one for you. For instance, I just started being interested in makeup and taking care of my skin and hair, and since I moved here less than 1 year and a half ago I don’t have any knowledge of the brands you can find in the Usa – and honestly, a few months ago I didn’t even know what a primer was. These kind of subscription are helping me discovering products and brands I didn’t know before and some of them are really worthwhile – as BoxyCharm, which I have already talked you about.


Read the reviews if you can’t try a product in person. If it’s a makeup product I usually check both Sephora, Ulta, and Birchbox, beyond the brand’s website and Temptalia if it’s an eyeshadow, an eyeshadow palette, or a lipstick. I especially love this last website! You can even compare 2 different palettes to discover if there are dupes. For me, it’s a great way to save money, since you may buy a palette that has many dupes of a palette you already own otherwise ; I purchased the Too Faced Bon Bons Palette only after having compared it to the Anastasia Modern Renaissance I already had and discovering that they are really different. On Temptalia you can also find detailed reviews and swatches that usually help me decide if that item everybody is raving about is really valuable or not.

Another example is clothing. When I bought my elopement dress on Lulus I read so many enthusiastic reviews that I was like “hey, this brand has to be really good” and in fact it is! I love reading them and discovering if that dress wears smaller or larger, if it fits on petite women or if the fabric is comfortable. And more the reviews, happier I am.


Who doesn’t love coupons? But we rarely find them, right? Well, Honey is an extension for your browser that automatically finds coupon codes you can use. This thing is really incredible! It made me save $10 on a $40 order once. Other times makes you save the 5-15%, sometimes it finds nothing, but it’s really great and totally effortless.


This is something different because it doesn’t really make you spend less – but be patient. The easiest way to use it is to download the browser extension, in this way Ebates will notify you when it can activate the cash back. Sometimes is only the 1% of your purchase, but it can even reach the 10%! Every 3 months, they send you a cash back payment for the purchases posted during the previous quarter – but if you’ve earned less than $5.01 cash back, they’ll carry over your money to the next check. You can even have the money sent to your Paypal account. I also suggest subscribing to their newsletter because the cash back value often changes – for instance, Sephora usually has a 4% cash back, but every now and then it goes up to 8%!


You know when you fall in love with an item but it’s overpriced in your opinion and you think “well, maybe when it goes on sale”? Or when there’s a high-end product you really crave for but it’s too expensive and you want to purchase it for the cheapest possible? It’s highly possible that the item is really going on sale sooner or later, but how can you remember about it and lose time checking it every day? Here comes Shoptagr. Add the button on your browser and save the items you like, then Shoptagr will notify when its price change. Isn’t that great? It works with so many stores – Sephora, Ulta, Mac cosmetics, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and so many others – and there’s also the mobile app to have an even more immediate notification.


This website guys, it’s the holy grail of luxury products – but not only. It works at events, meaning that the items sold change every few days/weeks. They work with different brands and different categories : clothes and accessories for women, men, and kids, furniture and decor for the home, and a wonderful section of beauty. Be aware that when you order from the website you’ll have to wait quite a lot : they start shipping only at the end of the event. But the prices are great! I bought a couple of skincare products from Dr.Botanicals, the Coco Noir Natures Own Light Facial Moisturiser Moisturizer and the Super Concentrate Radiance Boosting Serum – you can see in the link the price on the brand’s website : I spent only $62.77 ($26 x each + shipping), apparently saving $189.40 off retail price! Isn’t this great? Just be sure that the items are returnable, especially if you buy a clothing item, in case the size really doesn’t work for you, because some are final sale, meaning you can’t change or return them.

I hope you found this post helpful! And if you use other interesting ways to save money while buying, let me know in the comments!

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