Shop Smart

Essie Apricot, Guerlain, NARS Cruella, NARS Rikugien, NARS, Fresh Mask

Most companies have some sort of reward or benefit program; signing up for these programs are some of the easiest things you can do to shop smart. Two of the rewards programs I frequently use are with Sephora and Ulta. For both stores, the rewards program is 100% free and is definitely worth it.

As a "Beauty Insider" for Sephora, you are able to redeem rewards for deluxe samples of popular products and are a shoe-in for a free birthday gift, which changes up every year. Sephora has really started to up their Deluxe freebie game - I was making a purchase earlier this month and I was able to snag myself the Fresh Rose Face Mask, Clarins SunScreen, and two samples of the Guerlain Maxi Lash Noir mascaras. In addition to my deluxe redemptions, I was finally able to get my hands on the Beauty Insider Birthday gift for 2015, which for me included 2 NARS mini lip pencils (Cruella & Rikugien) and mini eyeliner. Be sure to subscribe so you can get emails for alerts of featured deluxe items - yesterday morning there was a free deluxe sample of the Sunday Riley Luna Oil with purchase (I'm still extremely sad that they were out of stock by the time I got through).  

On the flip side - I think Ulta is quickly making its way up as my favorite rewards system. Points earned here can be redeemed as cash credit. This means I save more on full-sized items, rather than using "hard-earned spent points" for sample products that may only last a few uses. The reason why I love Ulta is that you can get both drugstore and high-end products in one place, all contributing towards this money saving tactic. I can pick up my essentials all in one place and ultimately save money in doing so.  

Case-in-Point: I was walking around a new Ulta that was built near the boy's house. I went and picked up some cotton pads and the Essie Apricot Oil. He looked at me with that "You don't need those..." face as I proceeded to the cash register. When I was asked if I wanted to redeem my points (I said yes), my total came out to a whopping $0.28. He was in shock to say the least. I think he's highly considering signing up for his own account there, although I'll be sure to push him to use mine.

Essie Apricot, Guerlain, NARS Cruella, NARS Rikugien, NARS, Fresh Mask

Eight (8) of these items for $.28?! I'll take it. 

What are some of your tips for shopping smart and saving money?