Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How I Save CA$H on Cosmetics!

I have a cosmetic addiction and I am not afraid to admit it!  I have always loved beauty products but with becoming a blogger and vlogger my addiction has grown and grown.  Out of necessity I have slowly learned some awesome ways to get really great deals on cosmetics and beauty items. Here are my top tips!

  1. Clip coupons! There are coupons available online at many places.  I usually use coupons.com or I check brand websites for coupons like lorealparisusa.com
  2. Get a loyalty card at the store where you shop the most.  For me I have loyalty cards at CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid and KMart.  They all have programs where you can earn rewards.  These rewards can be used like cash to use on your beauty purchases. (More on this in a bit)
  3. Keep up with the sales! I usually check the sales papers online before I plan to make a purchase. If you don’t want to hassle with looking at individual sites, check out: http://nouveaucheap.blogspot.com/  G. does a great job of posting the weekly beauty deals and also links coupons as well.
  4. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! I cannot stress this enough.  I am sure all of you have either heard of or seen shows about extreme couponing.  In these shows you see them plotting out their trips to the store and in some cases calling ahead to make sure there are enough items in stock for their huge haul.  I am not suggesting we go to extremes with this but it is good to have a plan as to what you are going to buy and which coupons you are going to use.

Now that I have shared my general tips, I will breakdown how I get deals at each of the retailers I frequent.

How I use my ExtraCare card for great deals at CVS!

I think CVS is one of the best places to get a great deal on beauty products.

First and foremost, they have a beauty club which is free to join.  Each time you spend $50 (retail) in beauty products you earn $5 in extra care bucks (ECB’s) which can be used on any purchase!

Secondly, they have the magic coupon machine! There is a red scanner in each store where you can check prices on items but you can also scan your extra care card and it prints out coupons! There are some really great ones that come out of that little magic machine.  You can also access these coupons by signing up for an online account and linking your extra care card.  I usually print my coupons out before I visit the store because I like to plan my purchases.

Speaking of the online account, make sure they have your email address! I get usually one or two coupons a week emailed to me from CVS.  Usually they are for 20-30% off non sale items but hey if you are really in need of something like cleanser etc. every little bit helps.  Sometimes they send coupons for $5 off $25 and my favorite $6 off of $30 in beauty products!

You can stack CVS coupons with manufacturer’s coupons for extra savings! You can only use one of each for each product though.  Sometimes you might get an awesome cashier who will help you out but that is not the rule.

CVS usually has at least one cosmetic brand that has a special running like spend $15 in Revlon, earn $6 back in ECB’s.  These usually have a limit like 1 or sometimes they go as high as 6.  You can use CVS coupons and manufacturer coupons to get the total spent down to below what you are getting back! You can then turn around and use your ECB’s on your next purchase to do another deal. 

An added bonus to these spend $X get $X back is that if there is more than one deal allowed they will give you an accounting at the bottom of your receipt and as long as the deal is going on you can keep making purchases and earning!

This is what it will look like on the bottom of your receipt:
Spend $15 in Revlon, Get $6 Back in ECB’s
Amount toward this reward: $17.97
Amount needed to earn reward: $12.03

So I only need to spend $12.03 more in Revlon to get another $6 ECB’s! Good thing I have another two CVS coupons:  $5 off $15 and $3 off Revlon to combine with my beauty club $5 reward! So if I were to purchase say $15 in Revlon items I would only spend $2 out of pocket and get $6 back in ECB’s.  SCORE!!

Do you see how planning comes into play? 

There is also an accounting of your beauty club spending and your Quarterly spending.

I forgot to mention, you also earn 2% of your quarterly spending back in ECB’s as well!

Let’s talk about Rite Aid. 

Their loyalty card is called Wellness Plus and you earn Up rewards on your purchases.  These work the same way that CVS ECB’s do with one MAJOR exception.  You do not get them right away.  They do not print with your receipt for immediate use.  You have to wait until the following morning for them to be available and they are linked directly to your card.  You don’t have to worry about losing them but there is no instant gratification.
Rite Aid also has an online portion where you can link your card and actually load coupons directly to your card.  This is a great service but unfortunately, there aren’t many beauty coupons to be found. 

One great feature of Riteaid.com is their video values section.  Here you can watch short videos from companies and earn coupons for your time.  You do need to have access to a printer though as you cannot load them directly to your card.  There are beauty coupons each month and they are usually really great! For example, they had two Wet N Wild coupons this month as well as several Revlon. 

Rite Aid does promotions such as Nail Extravaganza and Eye Extravaganza. (I hope they do lips next!) The Eye Extravaganza is going on right now and when you spend $30 on eye cosmetics you get $10 back in Up Rewards.  That doesn’t sound like a great deal at first blush BUT they also have coupons to go along with the sales on their FB page.  These combined can make for some amazing deals! They do limit it to two Up rewards per customer and like CVS there is an accounting at the bottom of your receipt.
I work the deals the same way I do at CVS at Rite Aid so there is no need to go into detail here. Just see above.


Wags has a balance reward program where you earn points on things your purchase.  You don’t earn on everything though, just those which are offered that week.  For example, I purchased some items last week and the only thing I earned on was Pond’s BB cream which offered 4,000 points.  Each 1,000 points translates into $1 but you can only redeem at the $5 mark.  You also earn 500 points for every prescription you fill.  (I think there is a program like that at CVS and Rite Aid but I fill my prescriptions at Wags).
I have to say that Wags doesn’t offer as many good deals as CVS and Rite Aid so tend to not shop there as often.


Kmart also has a reward program called Shop your Way rewards and I think you can use it at Sear’s stores as well.  It is like Wags in that you earn points on your purchases and you can redeem them for $ off of your bill.
What I like about Kmart is that they often have B1G1 half deals like the drugstores but their base prices are lower than the drugstores which equals savings even without coupons.

If you get a prescription filled every month, watch the sale papers for deals when you transfer a prescription.  I have done it at both Kmart and Rite Aid and earned $25 on something I was going to get filled anyway.  FREE MONEY PEOPLE!

As always, thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Here is my latest savings rampage for your viewing pleasure.

XOXO, Tara B.  

1 comment:

  1. Great idea! I should apply this one..As it is really important to save up and not end up spending more on cosmetics.