Friday, March 14, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

This week is a little odd for me as I didn't go shopping at all! Well, except for Claire's at the mall. I really didn't mean to shop in there. It was a complete accident. I totally fell in and once you're in, as a mother of an almost four year old who has hair like this:
Well, I can't really be blamed for my actions now can I?

I knew you'd understand.

So I thought I'd discuss something that has come up in conversation in my real life: When does saving money end up costing you more in the end? Ever experienced this? Well, of course you have, you're normal. There are some things I've learned NOT to skimp on because I end up paying for my tight-waddedness (yes, that's a word. Look it up!) later down the road.

Case in point:

I pay $37.00 to get my hair cut. I know some of you just hit the floor because your heart stopped and all the blood ran out of your head. That's okay, I'll wait.

Good, you're back. Anyhoo, I've spent years - make that DECADES - getting my hair cut at those convenient, walk-right-in, low-end chop shops, never spending more than $10 or $12 on a cut. And it showed! Let me tell you a little something about my hair. See my daughter's hair up there? Well, double it and you've got mine. Add in the coarseness of a horse's tail and the frizz of a 70's Troll doll and you've got yourself the "before" picture of any "OMG! Who let you out of the house" troubled-hair product.

After explaining in great detail, the personality of my hair and how I wanted it cut, I would end up with a haircut that never really resembled what I was going for. Why didn't I just go back and have them fix it? Most places offer a free fix within seven days but I ask you - WHY would I go back to the person who messed it up to begin with? That never made any sense to me. Add to the fact that I almost always took the blame for "miscommunicating" what I wanted to begin with.

As a result, I ended up paying to have someone else fix it or waiting for it to grow out a little so I could go back and try again. This resulted in more haircuts during the year than needed. And, of course, more money spent.

I finally decided one day that I'd had enough and went to a "real" salon. Not one of those upscale, high-end "our perms don't stink" salons. No, really more of a middle of the road kind of place. It was there that I met Cyndi.

Cyndi just "knows" my hair. She has this sort of clairvoyance with follicles like I've never seen. The first time she did my hair (color & cut) I literally jumped up & down, let out a joyful noise and gave her a hug. NO ONE has done for my hair what Cyndi has done! As a result of staying loyal to Cyndi, I am no longer going back in, here & there, having my hair fixed. I get a cut maybe two to three times a year now. That's all it needs. Though I pay more per cut, in the long run, I am saving money paying more for these few cuts a year than I was paying for the several fix-its I was before.

Well, I spent more time on my hair than intended. That happens in front of the mirror as well. I didn't even touch on shampoos and conditioners. Don't even get me started on saving money on Suave and VO5. I've been that route before, too, and it's just not pretty. I'll spend a little more in that area as well.

But, now that I think about it, since I've been shopping at CVS - thanks to MoneySavingMom - I'm getting all my shampoo and conditioner for FREE anyway!

Other areas I won't skimp:

Carseats - Three years ago, we spent $300 on a Britax carseat for our daughter because Britax is rated #1 in carseat safety. To us, this is non-negotiable. We simply will not skimp on our children's safety. This carseat will take our son through the next two years. This comes out to .16 cents a day spent on this carseat. Well worth it.

Wood Toys - Specifically, Melissa and Doug wood toys. I'm not a toy purest or anything. There are plenty of plastic toys in this house but when I can buy a Melissa and Doug toy, I do. Yes, they are more expensive than other wood toy brands but the Melissa and Doug brand have shown me that they can weather the wear and tear of constant toddler play. I have found most of my Melissa and Doug playthings either on sale or I've been able to use a store coupon, making the purchase an even greater value. All of my daughter's Melissa and Doug toys are in excellent condition and ready to take on years of play with the boy.

Lysol Wipes - Would it be cheaper to just buy a generic brand of cleaner in a bottle and a rag? Sure, it would. But in a two-story house with three full baths plus a kitchen, I like to keep a tub of wipes in each. This makes quick clean-ups easier and faster (meaning, I'm more likely to do them) as opposed to setting aside a day/time to clean those areas (not as likely to do). My time is of value, too. Why Lysol and not the generic version? I've tried the cheaper brands but, in my opinion, having to use three or more wipes to do the job of one Lysol wipe is not saving money, so I go with the brand name. Plus, I'm likely to find them on sale somewhere and there's almost always a coupon in the paper for Lysol products.

I used to use cloth baby wipes on my daughter soaked in my own kid-friendly solution. I'm not opposed to using this technique with cleaning solutions. If anyone has a cleaning solution recipe they'd like to share, please do so. I'd love to hear it!

There are other areas I won't skimp on but I think I've gone on long enough. Now, I'd like to hear about the areas or items that you have found trying to save money on has actually cost you more in the end.

Bonus: Be sure to come back later in the week. I feel a Bloggy Giveaway coming on!


Jenni said...

One thing I found that worked really well was using the Lysol concentrated liquids. Pair that with a Dollar Store spray bottle and dilute with a little bit of water...disinfects any surface (even gets stains out of carpeting!) and shines mirrors, sinks and patio doors. I love it! I need to get another spray bottle so I can keep some in my bathroom as well as my kitchen. Did I also mention you can mop the floor with that solution too? Anyway, just a little something that I found that works and doesn't break the bank :)
As for baby wipes, I commend you for making your own...I'm too lazy (read: busy mom of three under the age of 5!).
Loved your blog about the are hilarious!


Heidi @ GGIP said...

I agree that there are definitely cheap things versus frugal things!

I am lucky that I have a cheap salon where all the stylists actually do a nice job.

Candace said...

Wow! I can't get over the hair!
Great post!

Anonymous said...

I love your hair story. Last weekend three of my girls and I all got our hair cut. I spent the same amount to get all three of them done, as I did to get mine done. Theirs at a Walk-In place, and mine at a Salon.

I agree with you completely... it pays to get a good haircut!

~ Amy @ Memoirs of a Mommy

NeedANap2 said...

Your hair story was funny, cute hair on your daughter. :)

I bought Bounty Basic, thinking if it works well-cool b/c it's much cheaper! Ha on me, those paper towels are horrible. It might be ok for basic cleaning or something. But I'd rather get 1/2 of a sheet of regular Bounty.

Lori said...

How funny about your hair! It is the one place that I spend more than I usually would, but the same as you, $37 a cut. My hair is kept short and is extremely (EXTREMELY) thick. I am one of those people who would kill for "thin" hair so I pay to have it thinned.
Once I found my salon and Marla, there was no way I would go anywhere else!
I enjoyed reading your blog, very funny! (I found you through Money Saving Mom)

Anonymous said...

I don't skip on certain products either. Love the hair thing. My daughter has frizzy with that!! $37.00 for a hair cut, I pay for $45 for mine 4 times a year.

Mrs. Nichole Jordan said...

I to pay more to get my hair cut...
But I dont get it cut buy every 4 months or so... so its about the same cost as those who get it cut once a month or more... lol
good job!

Monica said...

I'm with you one the hair!! I have huge naturally curly hair and a bad cut can set me back a year- you know what I mean. Sometimes frugal is not worth it:)

Jennifer said...

Good for you and makes perfect sense!! There are some things you just can't skimp on no matter how Frugal we are!! Mine: Olive Oil, I refuse to buy less than the best!!

Laurel said...

London's hair will never cease to amaze me. By the way, I need Cyndie's number--fast!

yogaqueen said...

I know it is a lot but I pay $125-$140 every six weeks to get my hair done. I have long hair with highlights and low lights. I also spend the money on a full pedicure every month with the cute flowers and all. My job as a yoga instructor has me in the public eye seven days a week and when I look my best, I feel my best. Besides who wants a yoga instuctor walking by there mat with nasty, funky, dry feet!

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