No girl should ever have to wait until a special occasion to get that much needed manicure or tan that pasty ass. Social coupon sites based on group-buying power to gain huge discounts on local services have exploded – making it possible to pamper yourself like a socialite (minus the drug problems and daddy issues).
How it works:
It’s as easy as signing up for one of the many discount sites (I’ve given you a list of my favorites). These discount diamonds will email you daily deals personalized to your interests. I personally unsubscribe from the emails to avoid being tempted into purchasing things that I don’t really need (like that bootcamp class that went unused and expired – total waste of money grr). Plus they’re annoying, so I just access the sites when I’m looking for a specific deal, OR use the site’s mobile app to make it even easier.
Important tip to note: Always Yelp the business before you buy to make sure that the company is well reviewed in the service you’re seeking.
Manicure/Pedicures: These are very common offers, and a lot of times you can find nail salons offering deals that are right in your neighborhood. •example: $19 mani/pedi (regular price $41)
Tanning: Spray and bed tans are frequently discounted. Check the salon’s website to ensure that they have premium beds, or call
and ask what kind of bed you’ll have access to. If you’re getting sprayed, ask the receptionist to book you with someone who really takes their time or is popular with clients. •example: 3 spray or premium bed tans for $39 (regular price $117)
Teeth Whitening: I used a Groupon for a place called “magic smile” and didn’t see any difference at all (hmm, I wonder why), so make sure you go to an actual dentist for this to ensure you leave with all of your teeth. Also check that you’re buying an in-office procedure like laser whitening and not something that you’ll need to take home and do yourself (because you’ll never do it). •example: $149 laser whitening at a dentist office (regular price $899)
Laser Hair removal: This was the best money I ever spent, and I spent alot less than some of my poor less frugal hairy friends. I paid $99 for 3 sessions – six were required, so after purchasing two, I basically paid $200 for an $800 service. Lately I’ve seen coupons for 6 sessions for $99 at different “spas”, but I strongly suggest going with an actual laser center and yelp the business to find reviews…because the only thing worse than a hairy bush is a patchy bush.
Acupuncture/Massage/Chiropractor: Always great deals – this is where yelp is important, as well as being mindful of location. It’s likely that a spot located on prime 5th avenue real-estate is going to offer you higher quality service than a business on a side street in Chinatown. Go this direction and you may just end up getting poked with a stick in a creepy guys basement. •Example: acupuncture and 30 min massage at well respected office $80 (regular price $130). One hour massages usually run around $45-$50 (reg $120)
Dentist: I love that I can get a cleaning, x-ray and a full exam worth over $200 for $49. Screw you dental insurance! I have zero love or loyalty to anyone making my gums bleed, so this works for me. I’ve always chosen offices that are in good locations (like near central park) with new, clean looking offices. Bonus if there are photos of the staff on their site – because lets face it, a good-looking dentist is one thing that doesn’t hurt.
Facials/Botox: YES! Some amazing doctors and spas offer coupons just to gain new clients (even though we will likely dump them for the next great deal – thanks dummy!) Anytime you’re allowing someone to mess with your face, I suggest you do your research. It is possible to find discounts from well-known spas, so if microdermabrasion is being offered by “Bob’s Good Time Day Spa” at a great price…you might want to reconsider. I’ve had uh, friends who have also found great doctors giving deals on botox and other facial rejuvenation procedures – but again, it’s advised to check them out on yelp and leave this stuff strictly to the professionals so u don’t end up looking like you’re surprised. All the time.
Using your coupon: I always advise the business that I’m using a coupon when making the appointment so it’s in their system, and oftentimes they’ll get your coupon number over the phone so it’s all taken care of. Otherwise, just be sure to bring your confirmation email with you when you go for your service, and TIP 20% on the regular price if you’re getting a service that you would customarily tip on like a massage or facial. Remember TFM is teaching you how to save money, not be cheap!
My favorite sites:
Yipit – The first resource I use when scouring for a deal. Search what service you’re looking for, and it combines deals from 45 sources into one site. They also have a great app.
Groupon – The originator. Great deals, plus you earn $10 in groupon bucks when you refer a friend! Yay!
Lifebooker – The best site for beauty deals. Period.
Lifebooker Loot - Site dedicated specifically to top beauty deals in nyc. They always have good ones.
Cheers to 5 star living on a budget