Whether your self-care includes a spa day, a workout, a salon visit, or a therapy appointment, investing in products and services that help you feel good is essential. Self-care is important, but it can be expensive, so here are my tips for saving money on your favorite products and services.
Fitness and Wellness
Work out at home
- Gym memberships dig into your self-care budget, costing hundreds of dollars a month, not to mention the requisite apparel. Because of the Pandemic, you may have already invested in home equipment like hand weights, a jump rope, or even a Peloton. Maybe you should ditch that pricey gym membership and commit to working out at home for good!
- And don’t forget to incorporate the great outdoors. A walk or run is free and exercising in nature has countless benefits. To enhance your experience, try Walk Your Way Calm, a book/journal from Prevention Magazine and Biophilic expert, Jennifer Walsh.
- Need more motivation? You can find tons of quality free workouts on YouTube – I like BodyFit by Amy, Fit with Mik, Juice & Toya, and MadFit – or free apps like the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout® App.
- If you want curated classes and have a fitness watch, consider an online workout program like Fitbit Premium or Apple Fitness+. Or check out offerings from your favorite celeb trainer, like Jillian Michaels. These paid apps are in the $20/mo range, with savings offered if you sign up for a year.
- Meditation is known to improve overall wellness by teaching you to be mindful and to relax your nervous system. It also happens to be one of the most affordable ways to care for your mental health.
- You can find free meditation podcasts on Spotify and Apple like Meryl Arnett’s The Mindful Minute podcast, Tara Brach’s meditations, or Chel Hamilton’s Meditation Minis, among countless others. You can even find specific meditation podcasts for sleep, stress, depression, meditations designed for kids, and more.
- Insight Timer is a popular app with over 80,000 free guided meditations that will help you manage stress in all areas of your life.
- Apps like Headspace and Calm are popular paid apps, but they both offer a handful of free meditations that you can try if you’re just getting started.
- It takes practice to build the “mental muscle” needed to meditate successfully, so don’t be discouraged if you’re slow to adapt.
Save on Services
- Sites like Groupon have hundreds of deals from local wellness service providers, including spas, medical services, and salons. You can find incredible savings of more than half off services like massages, cosmetic treatments, and skincare from local businesses.
- Check Coupon Cabin (We’ll both earn $7 when you make a qualifying purchase with this link) for eligible Groupon promo codes for even more savings!
- Pro Tip: Many local spa and fitness deals enable you to book your appointment directly on the Groupon website—no need to contact them to set up an appointment or present a voucher when you go in.
- If you live somewhere that has a tourist season, check out local spa deals when the tourists aren’t in town. Spas will be looking to drum up business when it’s slow, so you may find deals.
- It’s also worth seeing if any spas in your area offer discounts for locals.
- Many spas charge more on the weekends than during the week. Look for lower prices during non-peak days or times.
Get your money’s worth
- If you are going to splurge on a day at the spa, make time to take full advantage of everything that comes along with your treatment. Most spas allow guests to have an entire day’s access to the available amenities, like the steam room, sauna, cozy robes, and copious cucumber water, even if you had a less expensive treatment.
- No matter how much you save, facials, mani/pedis, and skin treatments can cost a lot. Investing in some high-quality products to use at home can save you money in the long run. Set the tone with candles and low lighting, and treat yourself to some TLC at home for a fraction of the cost. Don’t know how to DIY? Let Youtube videos be your guide.
- Pro Tip: Earn cashback on your spa day supplies when you use a site like Rakuten. At the time of this writing, you can earn 3% cashback at Ulta, 6% at The Body Shop, and 2% at Sephora.
Skip the styling
- Some salons charge extra to style or blow out your hair after a cut. If you’re like me and prefer to style your hair at home, ask if there’s an extra charge for styling and forgo it.
Wash your hair at home
- If you’re getting a haircut, wash your hair at home beforehand if your salon offers a dry cut at a lower price than a full service which includes a hair wash. It may feel nice to have your hair washed, but taking care of this yourself can save you a few extra bucks on the service. Plus, you don’t need to tip for the shampoo. I would also suggest doing your own deep conditioning, rather than payin for it at the salon.
Buy in bulk
- Some salons offer package deals that allow you to pay for multiple appointments upfront at a discounted price. Research your local salons to see what kind of deals they offer.
- The same is true with some spas. If you’re a frequent guest of a particular spa, they may offer deals or discounts as a reward. Some spas will allow you to purchase a series of services at a discount, like five treatments for the price of four.
Avoid the add-ons
- Whether at the salon or spa, it might be tempting to buy a product after the technician uses it during your service. However, keep in mind that these products can come with markup. Make a note of the product, and try to find it online or at a beauty supply store instead.
A Teachable Moment
- Check local beauty schools in your area for discounted services conducted by students – often as much as half off average prices. Trusting a student may sound scary, but chances are good that a trainer will be hovering nearby ready to jump in if needed. The discounts are often worth the jitters!
Research your insurance coverage
- Your insurance may cover a variety of mental health and wellness services, so if you require services, make sure you’re aware of exactly what your policy includes. If your insurance offers mental health coverage, search for in-network providers and then call the provider directly to verify that they accept your insurance.
- Note: I know that this is often harder than it sounds. Many of the top providers simply don’t accept insurance these days, so you may have to pay out of pocket to see your favorite provider.
Find a low-cost clinic or graduate school
- Some psychology graduate schools will provide the general public with discounted therapy sessions, often for less than $30. These sessions are generally conducted by a student under the supervision of a professional. Do a Google search for graduate psychology departments near you or visit the Association of Psychology Training Clinics website.
Consider telehealth services
- Telehealth appointments are increasingly popular since the pandemic, and some insurance companies have been incentivized to offer lower copays. If telehealth services are available to you, you may save time and money by utilizing them. Telehealth can often be used for wellness services like mental health and nutrition assistance.
Try mental health apps
- Another option is therapy apps, like BetterHelp and TalkSpace. These services are substantially less expensive than traditional therapy, with BetterHelp coming in at $320/month for 4 sessions, and TalkSpace at $260/month or more. This is much less expensive than paying out of pocket for traditional therapy if therapy is not covered by your insurance.
- Therapy apps also run frequent promotions for new customers. You can find these ads as you browse online and these promotions are also very commonly offered on podcasts.
- Mental health care is very serious and very personal, so I want to note that I have not tried these platforms and my mentioning them is not an endorsement.
While self-care is important, it’s also become a massive industry. You don’t have to fall for the hype by spending more money than you can afford in an effort to care for yourself. There are many simple and free acts of self-care available like having a relaxing hobby, taking regular baths, or spending time outside. Research shows that these simple acts can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.