7 Tips for Handling Expensive Necessities

Let’s face it, some products are necessities.  Now, by necessity, I do not mean that in a time of financial crisis you would choose this item over eating.  What I mean by necessity is a product that you have found which best addresses a beauty concern or need.  For me, that product is Korres Cherry Lip Gloss (which is usually $17 a pop).  It’s the only solution I’ve found that prevents my lips from painfully chapping and splitting (even during non-Winter months!).  I simply have not come upon a better or cheaper alternative to the benefits of this product.  But, how does frugality fit with what some might consider a splurge?  Here are 7 tips I’ve found that have helped me handle hefty beauty necessities:

1) Identify what’s a necessity and what’s not.  For me, the Korres lip gloss is a necessity.  When my previously favorite Burt’s Bees balm quit working, my lips began to crack and peel like crazy.  By happenstance, I tried the Korres lip gloss with cherry oil and it worked wonders!  On the other hand, I adore Philosophy’s Amazing Grace body wash/shampoo, but, I can make do with a cheaper alternative.

2) Budget.  Figure out how many bottles or tubes or jars, etc, of the product you need per year, divide the cost by 12, and sock away that amount every month.  If you work your beauty needs into your budget, your budget won’t take a beating when you buy that item.  I figure that I use about 1 tube of Korres gloss per month, so I make sure to budget enough to buy 12 tubes a year.

3) Stock up. Keep an eye out for sales and discounts on your necessity and stock up when they roll around.  If you’ve planned well, you should have the money on hand to buy in advance.  This year, I was able to buy 4 of the full-size Korres glosses for only $5.60 each because Sephora was offering them together in a gift-set and I had a 20% coupon.  Since I know that Sephora offers this sale annually, I wait for it and stock up.

4) Don’t pay for shipping.  Along the lines of #2, if you stock up when something is on sale, you’ll likely hit the retailer’s minimum for free shipping.  I try my best to never pay for shipping.

5) Take advantage of loyalty programs.  Sephora and other stores have great loyalty programs that are worth taking advantage of if you can do so without splurging on unnecessary items.  I’ve gotten in trouble doing this in the past, so be careful!

6) Use eBay.  A few months before the Sephora sale, I found a tube of Korres lip gloss in my favorite shade on eBay for $10 with free shipping.  I had a great experience, but be careful.  Some sellers have no qualms about selling a used item but describing it as new.  To avoid this, I bought from a reputable seller and closely inspected the item when it arrived.  I’ve had a lot of fun using eBay over the years, but have also had my fair share of sucky sellers.

7) Ask for it as a gift.  Something like lip gloss is the perfect gift to ask for when you know your birthday or a holiday is approaching.  My family knows me well enough that I usually get Korres lip gloss as a gift.  This year, my sister sweetened the holiday pot by giving me Philsosophy body wash/shampoo!  Getting a beauty necessity as a gift is a win-win for both parties; you get what you really want and will really use and the givers gets the pleasure of seeing you truly enjoy his or her gift.

Got any more tips for handling hefty beauty purchases?  Please share!

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