I’m going to be straight up here: I’m shit broke. But I love makeup. And when you’re shit broke it’s a little difficult to feed your makeup cravings. But a couple years ago I stumbled upon a way to solve my dilemma.
In case you haven’t heard of it, there’s an excellent show on TLC called Extreme Couponers, and one night I came across it while channel surfing and ended up watching a marathon of it for hours. It was mind-blowing; I couldn’t believe the crazy amount of money people could save by using coupons. Some people were even getting paid a little cash to take carts on carts of groceries out of the store. So I decided to take a swing at it.
At the time, I lived with my parents, so I didn’t have much grocery shopping to do, but I still couponed for my mini shopping sprees at CVS. I just kind of flipped through the newspaper inserts and built my shopping lists around what I found, and when I found makeup coupons, I of course got very excited.
Eventually, I started prepping shopping trips specifically for makeup. The great thing about CVS is how their sales are set up. Very often, you could gain ExtraBucks, which is basically like cash you could use only at CVS, on things you would normally have to buy anyway. For example, you could gain $5 in ExtraBucks when you spend $15 on toiletries, or something of that effect. That’s basically like saving $5 on necessities that you could now put towards treats for yourself, and in my case, those treats were found in the makeup section.
I also found that the coupons that came in the weekly paper inserts would usually line up with current sales going on in the store. Another example: One time I had a coupon for $2 any Revlon lip product, and there was a sale of buy one get one 50% off Revlon lipsticks. So I could stack the coupon on top of the sale, and essentially get that second lipstick for practically free.
There’s a great app my friend introduced me to called Ibotta, which gets you something called a rebate- basically cash back on products you buy. A rebate is kind of like a coupon you use after you already bought an item rather than at the time of checkout. You could get rebates on all sorts of things from Ibotta from a variety of stores by taking a picture of you receipt. And this app has plenty of rebates for makeup- it even has rebates for Sephora and Ulta online.
I’ll walk you through something I am actually planning out right now with the coupons I’ve received recently. I have two coupons that I got from CVS- one is for 40% off any single item and the other is for $3 of $12 worth of cosmetics. So, if I walk into CVS and go buy some L’Oreal lipsticks, I know I’m going to pay $9 for how ever many $12 worth of lipsticks would be. Then I could use the 40% off coupon and one of those lipsticks will now be even less, and I’ll save even more money off this order. Then, after I finish ringing out, I can open my Ibotta app and see that there’s a rebate for $2 back on L’oreal lipstick- even more money saved! Had I obtained any ExtraBucks recently or clipped a coupon for L’oreal lip products in the paper, I could be paying just a couple bucks for $12 worth of lipstick.
Keep in mind that you have to be familiar with the coupon policies of whatever store you’re shopping at, as there are some places who have coupon limits and specific rules regarding stacking. I personally like CVS because of it’s ExtraBuck deals and because it is local to me, but if you are looking into a different place for buying your drugstore makeup, researching what kinds of deals and policies they have is important prior to couponing. It’s a little bit of homework, but honestly it is so worth it- I’ve saved over $30 on makeup in one shopping trip before. It was crazy, but so satisfying. That’s $30 saved to spend on gas, food, or even pay my electric bill- and I still get to have new makeup. Hopefully you found these tips helpful, and you can start spending less and enjoying more makeup at the drugstore. 🙂