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When a woman announces that she’s attempting to get out of debt and she itemizes her expenses for others to examine, one of the first lines that is scoffed at is that of the weekly or bi-monthly manicure/pedicure. I understand this.  Manicures and pedicures can be expensive. While this is dependent on things like their frequency, where they’re obtained (high end salon versus strip mail nail joint), what services are performed (acrylics or gel nails, airbrushed designs), those little things add up and can make a big difference in a monthly budget. But telling a woman who’s used to getting her nails done to give it up cold turkey is like telling a smoker to just stop smoking. It’s typically not possible.

Compounded with that, women like to feel pampered. Getting manicures and pedicures is one of the cheaper ways to accomplish that feeling. So what’s a woman who’s trying to be frugal to do? There are a few ways to answer that question:

  • Learn how to do an at-home manicure. This is something that took me years to do and quite frankly, I’m still not perfect. But I’m a lot better. I’ve even tricked people into thinking I had them done! What helped was going to a beauty supply store and asking for advice. While the products are a bit more expensive than what you’d find in the drug store, in the long run, it’s less expensive than trying 18 different products that don’t work.  I suggest investing in a good quality base coat, top coat and 3-4 colors (I recommend OPI or Essie brands) as well as an orange stick, a good nail file and buffer, toe separators, and polish remover and cotton balls. You can Google directions on how to do an at-home mani/pedi or visit Frugal Beautiful for her step-by-step instructions.
  • Look for coupons. In our local Clipper magazine, there are always coupons for money off mani/pedi services at salons in the area. Are they the best salons? No. But if you’re looking for the experience or the feeling of being pampered and you’re not particular about where you go, then this is the route for you. I’ve found that the coupons are typically for $20-$25 for a mani/pedi, which is a pretty good price. I’ve taken to bringing my own nail polish so when the polish eventually chips, I can fix it myself and the colors match.
  • Gift certificates. My mother is an extremely difficult person to shop for. As a default for Mother’s Day (and sometimes her birthday), my sisters and I will purchase gift certificates for her to her favorite salon. If you know that you can’t live without your mani/pedi, why not suggest to people that give you gifts that you would appreciate a gift certificate to a local salon? If you get 4 gift certificates at $25 each, that’s $100 or about 7 manicures. Don’t forget, if you’re using a gift certificate, you still need to provide the tip (this goes for coupons as well)!
  • Use a beauty school. I’ve never done this myself, but I’ve heard that beauty schools will offer full services for a deeply discounted price because the students are performing the services. For instance, a manicure at a beauty school near my house is $6 and a pedicure is $12. For $18, you can have a mani/pedi for about $10-$15 less than you would at a strip mall nail salon and the discount is even greater compared to a higher end salon.

I appreciate wanting to have nice hands and feet. As a writer, I spend most of my day typing, which means staring at my hands. I want something nice to look at! However, as a frugal person, I don’t want to break the bank to accomplish that.

What are some inexpensive ways you’ve discovered to keep your nails looking nice?

Article publié pour la première fois le 09/01/2012

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