Luxurious Substitutes for the Frugal Mom

I rolled my eyes at this too ‘your privilege is showing, ma’ let me preface this by saying that I know that this may come across as a little bougie but I’M TRYING TO BE HELPFUL SO GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK OR MOVE ON YOU RELENTLESS SANCTIMOMMY.

Babies are expensive and despite all of my ‘oh, I’ll NEVER do that’ talk pre-real-life-baby-human creation, it turns out my kid has sensitive skin, a picky palate, and little girl clothes are just too cute to not spend every dollar bill I have on them.  Saving money in areas I was once frivolous has been a lesson in humility and I’m still working on it.

Guilty Purchase:  Fancy Face Wash

Annual Savings $60

Philosophy’s Purity is the only skin care product I’ve ever spent any real money on (except that one time I got talked into a Rodan + Fields skin care system, which I really wanted to love and to turn me into a dewy beauty queen despite the hefty pricetag but y’all if I remember to take my eye makeup off it’s with Lubriderm and toilet paper so, I’m the wrong kind of girl, and that’s a story for another day). Purity smells like good self-esteem and I enjoy the sight of it on the edge of my bathtub. I buy about 2 of the medium sized bottles (24oz) per year, which run about $44 each. My husband and I use the same beauty products, so it’s easy to rationalize since I have to share, but still $88 a year is a lot for soap used only on my face.

Trader Joe’s $5.99 (8.45oz) All-In-One Cleanser  I lovelovelove Trader Joe’s but the stuff in this aisle I usually skip on my way to $3 wine, until in a moment of desperation, avoiding the mall, I decided to try this face wash (and her sister moisturizer). It’s mild and makes my skin feel just as smooth and clean as Purity. I also find that I use a more reasonable amount of cleaner with the pump than I do rationing myself with the pour top of Philosophy, but that’s my own issue with moderation. I go through about 1 bottle every 2 months, so 6 per year, which is a total savings of $52 per year.

Cetaphil $9.49 (16oz) is AHHHmazing for sensitive skin and is so gentle, I can use it on my sweet babe’s sensitive face to avoid the ridiculously expensive prescription skin creams she needs when she gets a rash. It can be used with or without water, which is totally weird to me, but it’s true. One of the 16oz pumps lasts between 4 and 6 months, so replacing my fancy face wash with this saves up to $60.  While you’re at it, buy the store brand.  IT’S FINE.

Your Baby’s Body Wash $1.78 (28oz)$8.92 (18oz)  taking a long soaking bath is my FAVORITE thing.  My peace, my creativity, my composure, all comes from the bathtub.  When my daughter hit 2, I got tired.  I started taking baths with her at bedtime and skipping my steamy lounge after bedtime, because about 64% of the time, I fall asleep in her bed anyhow.  AND THAT is how I came to only use my baby’s bath wash as my primary face cleaner.  I don’t really know how much quicker I’m using up the baby shampoo since we’re both using it, but I like to think of it as practically free since I’m buying it anyhow.  Plus the big generic pumps often BOGO at the big box stores or subscribe at Amazon or Target for a monthly discount.  is AHHHmazing for sensitive skin and is so gentle, I can use it on my sweet babe’s sensitive face to avoid the ridiculously expensive prescription skin creams she needs when she gets a rash. It can be used with or without water, which is totally weird to me, but it’s true. One of the 28oz pumps lasts between 2 and 4 months, so replacing my fancy stuff and sharing with my toddler also saves up to $60.  Again, buy the store brand, you snob.  IT’S FINE.

Guilty Purchase:  Expensive Mascara

Annual Savings $80

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara is 100% the best mascara I’ve ever used and to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give it up completely.  They say you should replace your mascara every 3 months (LOL) so in theory, at $24 a pop, this mascara will cost you almost $100 per year.   Guys, that’s like half a year’s worth of fancy diapers for my kid’s sensitive butt. Does that mean I have to say goodbye to my gorgeous eyeball hair? No way! Make-up has come a LONG way, y’all.

NYX Super Luscious Mascara $7: If you don’t know and love NYX as a frugal  cheap SMART mama, let me show you the way. Started as a pro-only company, available only to professionals at trade shows NYX is now owned by L’Oreal. Cruelty free, PETA approved, and lawd, the price tag is delicious. So, let’s say you really do replace your mascara every 3 months, you just saved yourself $68 a year. If you’re like me and replace it only when it runs out and adding a little saline solution to the tube no longer works, you’ll still save yourself like $35 a year. That’s a BABYSITTER for a movie you’ll fall asleep in on an elusive date night.

Maybelline Great Lash $4: The pink tube, y’all. You had it when you were a teenager and it still makes all of the lists for pretty-OK mascaras. This one doesn’t do it for me as much as the NYX, however, with a little backup, it’s not too bad. Guys, get yourself a lash/brow comb and USE it. Clumps happen and for $4, just comb that shit out and move on. If you bought this cheapy every 3 months, you’d spend a whopping $16 a year on mascara, saving $80.

Guilty Purchase:  Salon Haircuts

Annual Savings:  $300

I know, I know.  DON’T CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.  I get it and sometimes you just can’t and sometimes you deserve a little pampering — we’ve got options y’all, relax.  I choose to wear my hair long and wild, partly because I am long and wild and partly mostly because I’m lazy.  A professional cut at my favorite salon runs at least $75 with tip and that’s only if I can say no to that scrumptious anti-frizz creme that makes my hair smell like heaven and look like spun gold.  Assuming I opt for a trim every 8 weeks in lieu of the recommended 6 weeks (as if anyone has the time for that), that’s $450 a year just to not look like a mangy lioness.  I’m okay with lioness but not mangy, I’m not an animal.

Beauty School ($25)  Check out your local beauty schools.  There is an Aveda Institute in New Orleans that offers student cuts for less than $20 and they’re supervised by instructors, so you’re probably safe.  If you still want that professional snip every 6-8 weeks, you’re cutting that $450 basically IN HALF, saving $225.  Now if you’re really brave and can do a little maintenance at home, like my lazy ass, you can push those visits to 3-4 months without anyone being the wiser, so now you’re down to $100 per year, the cost o a good pair of scissors, and a moderately marketable skill that will make you millions of imaginary dollars on your hypothetical YouTube channel.  Girl, you’re practically famous.

DIY bang trim (FREE) Get yourself a good pair of scissors, a glass of wine, and a little courage, you can do this.