Category: Shopping Tips

How to Find the Best Deals on Hair Styling Products

Believe it or not, it’s no need to spend a fortune on shampoos and fancy treatments to have beautiful hair. From coupons and online deals to multipurpose formulas, there are lots of great ways to save money on hair care. Plus, you can always go for DIY hair styling.

According to a recent survey, most American women spend about $80 a month on hair care products. That’s over $55,000 in a lifetime!

If you also go to a salon to get your hair done, the costs add up. Not to mention impulse purchases like that cool hair mask you’ve bought for the packaging alone!

A little planning goes a long way toward saving money. Here are some simple tips to find the best deals on hair styling products:

Stock Up on the Basics

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need dozens of products to keep your shiny and strong. A quality shampoo can truly work wonders for your tresses.

Depending on your needs and budget, invest in a premium shampoo and moisturizing deep conditioner.

Make your own hair masks and nourishing treatments using olive oil, argan oil, rosewater, and other natural ingredients.

Buy in Bulk

Once you find a hair product you love, buy the largest bottle. In general, hair styling products tend to be cheaper when purchased in bulk.

Most brands also offer discounts to those who buy two or more bottles at once. You could even get the second one for half the price! Also, look for special deals like “Buy one, get one free.”

Prioritize Quality

Whether you’re shopping for a new conditioner, hair mask, or mousse for curly hair, prioritize quality. It’s better to buy a premium organic or natural hair product rather 10 cheap products packed with chemicals.

Poor quality shampoos and treatments can ruin both your hair and scalp. For instance, they may trigger an allergic reaction that will cost hundreds to treat.

Things are even worse for those who are prone to dandruff, scalp psoriasis, or dermatitis. Certain chemicals in hair styling products can worsen their symptoms and trigger flare-ups.

Shop Around

The easiest way to save money on hair care products is to shop around.

Prices vary from one store to another, and from one brand to the next. The more you research your options, the higher your chances to find a good deal.

Let’s say you have a favorite hair mask. Check its price on the manufacturer’s website as well as on eBay, Amazon, and online beauty stores. Use a price comparison site to save time and money.

The same goes for brick-and-mortar stores. Visit several shops and check the prices before buying your go-to hair mask.

Be a Loyal Customer

Most hair care brands feature loyalty programs that allow customers to earn points for every purchase. Later, they can turn those points into money. Ulta and Birchbox are a good example.

On top of that, you could get discounts just by joining their email list. Companies reward their subscribers with secret deals and special offers that are not available in stores.

Save Big on Hair Styling Products

As you see, saving money on hair styling products isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a little planning. Think about what you need, prioritize quality, and shop around instead of making impulse purchases.

For further savings, look beyond brand names. Many drugstore products contain the same ingredients and work just as well as their more expensive counterparts.

Don’t forget to take advantage of annual and seasonal sales! Almost every brand has at least one major sale each year.

Do you have any tips to share? What’s the best deal you ever got on beauty products? Share your story below!

Winter Gear Guide: How to Select Good Snow Boots

Like it or not, winter is on its way!

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who experiences sunny weather year round, that means that you’re going to need a warm pair of boots to get you through the coldest months of the year.

How do you find the perfect winter boots, though? And, how do you buy them without breaking the bank?

If you want a great pair of winter boots but don’t want to spend a fortune, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will make it easy for you to find good snow boots at a great price.

What to Look for When Shopping for Snow Boots

Whether you’re shopping in-person or online, these tips will help you sort through all the different snow boots on the shelf and find the right pair for you:

Warmth

When winter arrives, your first priority needs to be warmth. This is especially true when it comes to buying snow boots. After all, you lose a lot of heat through your feet.

Boots with traditional linings like shearling or fur are very effective at preventing heat loss. They can also be expensive, though. A lightweight synthetic substitute like Thinsulate will help you stay warm without wiping out your bank account.

Comfort

Of course, when you’re shopping for snow boots, comfort matters, too.

Whether you’re wearing your snow boots with a pair of ski pants and a parka or your favorite cozy leggings, you’re going to want to be comfortable while you’re wearing them.

Make sure your boots support your ankles and don’t pinch your toes. Wear them while you walk around the store (or wear them around your house if you ordered them online) and make sure they’re a good fit.

Waterproofing

Some boots are definitely better than others when it comes to keeping out moisture and making sure your feet stay warm and dry.

Leather boots can be treated with a special spray that will help them repel water and keep your feet nice and dry while traipsing around town.

Boots made of synthetic material are also a good option if you want to protect your feet all winter long.

Grip

Nobody wants to slip on the ice while walking around during the winter. Look for a pair of boots with rubber soles. These will keep rain and snow out, and they’ll provide a better grip, meaning you’ll be less likely to slip and fall on chilly days.

Be sure to check the soles before you buy and make sure they have good traction. Tuff Toe boots are a great example. The traction will help you stay upright when you’re traversing slippery roads and sidewalks.

Functionality

While style and appearance matter, you ought to take functionality into account, too.

One of the most important factors to consider when you’re thinking about functionality is the fastenings on your boots.

Lace-up boots adjust to the shape of the leg, so they can be more comfortable if you’re walking around a lot during the day.

Boots with zippers can be a better option, though, especially if you want to be able to put them on and take them off easily. Pull-on boots are an even more efficient option.

The Perfect Fit

Of course, you also need to make sure your boots fit you properly. These tips can help you find the right fit.

Try Them on with Your Winter Socks

Don’t rely on those thin nylon socks at the shoe store. Try your boots on while you’re also wearing the winter socks you plan to wear most often. This will help you ensure they’re not too snug.

Try Them on at the Right Time of Day

It’s typically best to try on your boots later in the afternoon after you’ve been walking around. Your feet will be slightly swollen at this point, and you’ll be sure the boots fit your feet when they’re at their largest.

Try on Both Boots

This might seem like a no-brainer, but lots of people forget to try on both boots when they’re out shopping. Remember, it’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, and you need to make sure the boots fit both feet.

How to Save Money on Good Snow Boots

Okay, you know what to look for in a good pair of snow boots. But, how do you get that perfect pair while sticking to your budget?

There are lots of ways you can save money without sacrificing the quality of your boots.

Shop Out of Season

The earlier you buy your snow boots, the more likely you are to get a good deal on them. If possible, shop in the early spring when businesses are clearing out their winter stock to make room for new spring fashions.

Shop Thrift Stores

If it’s too late for you to get a good deal shopping out of season, don’t despair. Hit up your local thrift store instead. You’ll likely be able to find a great pair of boots here for way less than what you’d pay at a regular store.

Shop Amazon Warehouse

Want to find a good deal but don’t want to dig through racks at the thrift store? Give Amazon Warehouse a try instead. This is a great option if you want to find a pair of pre-owned boots at an affordable price while shopping from the comfort of your own home.

Host a Clothing Swap

Finally, consider organizing a winter clothing swap with your friends, family, and neighbors. This is a good way to get rid of clothing and boots you no longer wear while also getting great new pieces for free.

Start Updating Your Winter Wardrobe Today

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for good snow boots, it’s time to go out and find a pair that works with your style and budget.

Are you looking to update other elements of your winter wardrobe? Do you want to update without spending an arm and a leg?

If you need to jazz up your winter wardrobe while sticking to a budget, check out the beauty and fashion section of our website today.

You’ll learn all kinds of tips and tricks that will help you save money while enhancing your style.

Twin Essentials- 8 Items You Need to Buy in Bulk to Save Money!

Did your doctor just tell you that you’re pregnant with twins? If so, you might be freaking out a little bit right now.

The news shouldn’t come as a total shock seeing as how the twin birth rate has hit a record high in recent years with more than 130,000 twin births taking place every year. But still, it can be a little bit unnerving when you learn you have twins on the way.

One of the things parents worry about when they find out they’re having twins is all of the twin essentials they’ll need to buy. They aren’t sure how they’re going to be able to afford to buy everything they’ll need to take care of twins.

But you can do it–if you commit to buying in bulk! Here are 8 items you need to buy in bulk to save money when you have twins.

1. Baby Formula and Bottles

Are you planning on breastfeeding both of your babies? If so, there are a lot of different benefits that come along with it.

But it can be tough for a mother to breastfeed one baby, let alone two. So rather than going that route, you might be thinking about using baby formula instead.

If that’s the case, you should start stockpiling baby formula towards the end of your pregnancy and continue stockpiling it once your babies are born. You’re going to have two new mouths to feed, and they’re going to want to eat early and often when they’re first born.

The good news is that there are many baby formula manufacturers that will provide coupons for parents with more than one baby. But you should still prepare to spend a pretty penny on formula and save up accordingly so that you don’t ever run out.

You’ll also want to invest in extra bottles when you have twins so that you don’t ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t have one.

2. Diapers (Lots and LOTS of Diapers!)

When a baby is first born, he or she will usually go through about 10 to 12 diapers each and every day. That number will go down gradually as the baby gets older, but it means that he or she will use more than 300 diapers during its first month.

For twins, that number gets doubled and it equals up to, well, a lot of diapers!

Parents who are expecting twins should ask friends and family members to shower them with as many diapers as possible in the months leading up to the birth of their children. They are definitely going to need them!

And once the babies arrive and they start having to buy them on their own, parents should buy diapers in bulk. You’re going to use them anyway, so why only buy a few at a time?

3. Bassinets

As you prepare yourself for the idea of taking care of twins, one of the things that might really worry you is the thought of purchasing two separate bassinets for your babies. That sounds very inconvenient to parents who are going to be tasked with trying to get two babies to calm down and rest.

Fortunately, you can make the job slightly easier by opting for a twin bassinet that will fit both your babies at once. It’ll allow you to put your babies down together so that they can sleep throughout the day and (hopefully!) the night.

4. Car Seats

Yes, you’re even going to have to think about buying car seats in bulk!

Your best bet is to keep your eyes peeled throughout your pregnancy for baby stores that are selling two or more car seats at a discounted rate. It could help you save a significant amount of money on the cost of car seats, especially if you’re going to buy two sets of them for multiple vehicles.

5. Clothes

Forget about splurging on name-brand baby clothes when you’re having twins.

While you want your babies to look cute when they’re in their outfits, you also need to come to terms with the fact that you’re going to be buying twice as many clothes as you normally would for twins. That means buying clothes up in bulk when you can find a great deal, even if you’re not necessarily buying the brand you might like the best.

You can spend a little extra on clothes for holidays and other special events. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t break the bank trying to fill your twins’ dressers up with designer duds.

6. Burp Cloths

Burping your baby after they eat is important. It prevents your baby from getting too gassy as a result of the air that he or she takes in while eating.

The challenge with burping a baby, though, is that you can run through quite a few burp cloths every day. And with twins, it’s going to start to seem like you just can’t keep burp cloths clean for more than a few hours.

It’s best to buy them up in bulk and then keep them moving through the laundry cycle so you’re never without them.

7. Pacifiers

It might not seem like you’ll need many pacifiers for your babies, even though you have twins.

But once your babies are old enough to start using them, you’re going to find out how tough it can be to keep them clean and usable. They’re going to be constantly falling on the floor and getting all dirty.

By purchasing pacifiers in bulk, you can make sure you always have a handful of them on hand at any given moment.

8. Books

Technically, you could get away with buying the same amount of books for two babies as you would for one. But as your twins grow, they’re going to start to want to have their own things, and it’s going to be up to you to facilitate this.

Books are a great place to start with this process. You can buy up a bunch of books for both your babies and then split them up once they get a little older.

Start Stocking Up on Twin Essentials Now

There are so many twin essentials that you’ll need for your babies. But try not to get too overwhelmed by it!

It might take you some time to get used to caring for two babies, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough. It’ll become second nature, and you’ll come to appreciate all the hard work that goes into raising two babies at once.

Do you want to learn more ways to save money while taking care of twins? Check out our blog to see how to save on shoes, pick out a budget-friendly stroller, and more.

15 Jaw-Dropping Examples of Multi-functional Furniture to Save Money and Space

Trying to find furniture that you can squeeze into your small apartment is definitely frustrating. But just because you have a tiny living space doesn’t mean that you have to cut back on furniture.

More people are choosing to make the most out of their space with multi-functional furniture.

Why not use furniture that serves multiple purposes and helps you conserve space in your room? We’re giving you a list of some of the most helpful multi-functional furniture that you should consider purchasing for your small room or apartment.

1. Workstation and Bed Combo

You have a bed, but maybe you don’t have enough room for a full-sized desk. With a loft bed, you won’t have that problem.

Loft beds are raised above the ground, leaving more than enough room for a desk. Although you’ll have to climb up a ladder to get to your bed, you’ll soon find out that being able to have a place to work and sleep all-in-one is totally worth it.

2. Moveable Kitchen Island

You probably never thought that you could add an island to your kitchen without making it cramped and spending a lot of money. The truth is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make trendy home improvements.

A kitchen trolley can be the perfect fix if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add extra table room and storage to your kitchen. The best part is that when you’re all done having your morning breakfast on the island, you can simply wheel it out of your way.

3. Ironing Board with a Mirror

Let’s face it, who has enough room for both an ironing board and a mirror? If you don’t want two pieces of large furniture in your room, then having a mirror on the back of your ironing board could be your solution.

Iron your clothes on the board, then flip it up to reveal a mirror. Now you can see what a great job you did ironing your new dress.

4. Corner Sofa Bed

Don’t make your guest bring their sleeping bag the next time they stay over. Instead, let them have a relaxing night’s sleep on your corner bed sofa. Sit and enjoy a movie or take a comfortable nap on your sofa.

Top Sofas offer a variety of sofas perfect for small apartment living. To find your next corner sofa bed, visit the site.

5. Armrest Trays

You enjoy having your daily cup of Joe, but you don’t have enough room for an end table or a coffee table to rest your mug on. If you’re into minimalism, you’ll probably be impressed by armrest trays.

Armrest trays are pretty self-explanatory. They hug your chair’s armrest and form a flat surface that you can use to place your drink on. Some even come with a phone holder for maximum convenience.

6. Adjustable Chair

When you’re living on a budget, buying new chairs for your growing child is not ideal. Luckily, with a height adjustable chair, you’ll only ever need one chair for your child.

Use an adjustable chair with your toddler until they reach adulthood. Quickly adjust the chair from a highchair to a regular seat to accommodate whoever is sitting down.

7. Nesting Tables

If you’re looking for convenient space-saving furniture, nesting tables are a great choice. A set of nesting tables consist of smaller tables that fit underneath a larger one.

When you’re having guests over in the morning, simply take out the smaller tables so every guest has a table to hold their coffee. As soon as breakfast is over, put the smaller tables back under larger ones so you can save space.

8. Ottoman Storage

Everyone loves an ottoman – you can sit on it, put your feet up, and you can even use it as an end table. But what if you could use it as a storage unit too?

Ottomans that double as a crate are becoming a popular piece of multi-purpose furniture. Fit blankets, toys, electronics, and more all inside of your ottoman.

The next time you have friends over, they’ll never know that you stuffed all of your clutter inside of the classy ottoman that they’re resting their feet on.

9. 2-in-1 Toilet

Small apartment living usually means a bathroom with very tight space, making it difficult to fit an entire sink and toilet in the same room. Go minimalist with a toilet that doubles as a sink.

A 2-in-1 toilet comes with a sink on top of the tank. When you flush the toilet, the sink activates. Not only does it save space, but it can also save you water.

If you already have an existing toilet, you’ll just need to buy a sink topper to fit on top of your tank. You can even try building your own toilet topper as well.

10. Bed Desk

Whether you work from home or want to have a cozy breakfast in bed, a desk for your bed can make your day much more comfortable. Plus, it even comes with wheels. When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you can effortlessly push the desk away.

11. Hidden Litter Box

Litterboxes take up a lot of room in your apartment that you can’t afford to spare. A litterbox disguised as a table can keep your cat happy while adding a stylish look to your room.

The bottom half of the table is designed to look like a cabinet. However, unlike a typical cabinet, it has a hole leading to a litterbox that your cat can easily step in and out of. The top half looks like a typical nightstand that you can place a decorative lamp or a vase on.

12. Shoe Storage Bench

If you love collecting shoes, you probably don’t have enough room in your closet. With a shoe storage bench, you can store your shoes out in the open without making your space look cluttered.

Plus, it’s super convenient to use the bench as a seat while you put your shoes on.

13. Bed with Storage Underneath the Mattress

We’ve all heard of trundle beds that have drawers under the bed. But have you ever seen a bed with storage underneath the mattress?

All you have to do is lift up the mattress to access a hidden storage space. Better yet, the storage area is big enough to fit extra blankets, sheets and more.

14. Extendable Coffee Table

Typical coffee tables are too short to comfortably use your laptop on. However, multi-functional coffee tables can quickly swap between holding your drinks and holding your work.

When you’re ready to work, lift up the top of your coffee table to extend it to a comfortable height. Some of these tables even reveal a space underneath the lifted top for extra storage.

15. Stackable Chairs

Dining room chairs can definitely get in your way if you’re living in a small apartment.

In order to avoid tripping over bulky chairs, try buying stackable chairs instead. Unstack the chairs when you need them, and store them away when dinner’s over.

Save Money and Space with Multi-Functional Furniture

Full-sized, regular furniture is overrated. Making your room more spacious with less-expensive, multi-functional furniture is the new trend. Impress your guests by adding clever pieces of multitasking furniture into your living space.

If you’re looking for more ways you can live on a budget, take a look at our thrifty lifestyle blog.

Where to Buy Cheap Clothes Online: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Online Retailers

Is there any soul more tortured than that of a shopaholic and fashionista on a budget? On one hand, you love shopping and you crave that next new addition to your wardrobe. On the other hand, you have bills to pay.

We’re right there with you, and we have you covered. Thanks to the glorious internet, there are tons of online clothing stores that are full of the latest styles for pennies compared to what you’d pay at a boutique.

If you’re ready to load up your shopping cart without blowing through the month’s food budget, we have plenty of suggestions for where to buy cheap clothes online.

Where to Buy Cheap Clothes Online: Our Top Sites

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. In this case, we’re talking about a hot wardrobe and cash left in your pocket. These sites make that possible.

ThredUp

If you’ve never tried ThredUp, you need to visit it today. It’s an online secondhand store for clothes and accessories.

Not everyone loves the idea of a secondhand store, but we can assure you that their quality standards are top-notch. Some of the clothes still have the tags on and have never been worn, yet you’re getting them for a fraction of the price.

ThredUp’s clothes range from the lowest point on the spectrum (we’re talking $3 tops) to high-end designer pieces. The same is true for accessories too, so now you know where to go for your next designer bag.

But wait, there’s more! You can sell your old clothes and accessories on ThredUp, too. You can choose to make some cash from your items or you can choose to donate them. Either way, you’re saving a trip to a donation center.

Amazon

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a hot tip since Amazon’s the top online retailer in the country by a long shot. Still, they’ve been putting more and more focus into their fashion selection lately and it’s worth your time to check it out.

For basic wardrobe staples make sure you look for the Amazon Basics brand. They’re inexpensive with surprisingly high quality for the price.

If you’re more of the “try before you buy” type, check out Amazon Prime Wardrobe. You pick out the pieces you’re considering and Amazon sends them to you. You try on your items and choose the ones one want to keep.

Just send back the items you don’t want and pay for the items you do want. No more charging your card for the full amount and waiting for a big refund to come through.

Luxus Wunder

Let’s head off the beaten path a bit. Sometimes your best bet for a bargain is to go overseas.

Luxus Wunder is a site that’s based in Germany but they have a wide variety of US brands too if you prefer the familiar. We’d compare this site to an online outlet mall: tons of great fashions at wholesale prices.

As with a typical outlet mall, you can find options that run the gamut of price ranges, too. If you’re looking for dirt cheap, there are plenty of choices. They also have luxury brands like Burberry, though.

H&M

This is one of those stores whose website saves the day. It has a reputation for catering to teens and young adults. For that reason, many adults don’t set foot in the store when they see it in the mall.

In reality, H&M has tons of options for people in any age range. They’re especially great for simple staples you can pair with anything in your wardrobe.

While the sites above all sell a variety of brands, H&M is a brand all their own. That means their selection tends to stay far more consistent that the selection on the other sites we mentioned. When you find an item you love, especially if it’s one of their basics, you can often find replacements for years to come.

Boohoo

Hopping back across the pond, let’s take a look at one of the UK’s favorite and most affordable online boutiques: Boohoo.

As with H&M, Boohoo sells their own brand of fashion. They specialize in fashion-forward styles that range from activewear to glam dresses for a night out on the town. They boast a great selection along with great quality for the low price you’re paying.

Charming Charlie

If you’re a fan of color, Charming Charlie’s site will probably have you hearing angelic voices and jumping for joy.

The brand’s brick-and-mortar stores are organized by color so you can always find the perfect fit for your outfit. Online, you can enjoy that same huge color selection from the comfort of home.

In the past, Charming Charlie has specialized in accessories and jewelry. While that’s still their largest market, they’ve been putting more and more focus on growing their clothing selection. Their new line is gorgeous and affordable at the same time.

If you’re like us, you love savings on top of savings. To indulge your inner bargain-hunter, Charming Charlie has BOGO sales on their clearance items on an almost constant basis.

Nordstrom Rack

Let’s say you’re someone who loves designer labels and high-end fashion but you don’t want to shell out hundreds for every top you buy. Nordstrom Rack is your new best friend.

Nordstrom Rack is basically Nordstrom’s clearance section: they gave it its own store. You’ll find everything from inexpensive knit tops to some of the most luxurious designers for a fraction of the cost you would’ve paid at Nordstrom.

Finding the Best Cheap Clothes Online

For those of us who love to shop, the internet really is full of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. You just have to know where to buy cheap clothes online and you can find all your favorite styles without blowing your budget. The sites above are great starting points.

For more awesome ways to live your best life on a budget, check out our frugal living blog.

Little-Known Tips for Finding an Affordable Mattress You’ll Love

You know that lack of rest makes you one grumpy and slow person. It affects your health, your memory, and your looks in an unspeakable manner. Fatigue is also a major cause of the more than 100,000 auto accidents and 6,400 fatalities in the U.S. every year.

One in every three adults in the U.S. is short on sleep.

If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s probably time to swap out your mattress. Experts recommend changing your mattress every 7-10 years. And you should do it more often if you aren’t getting the rest you need.

There are hundreds of choices. How do you find the one that is perfect for you? And the bigger question, how do you find an affordable mattress that you’ll love?

Solving Your Sleep Problem

Resting well can be difficult if you aren’t comfortable. Unlike baby and toddler sleep disruption, adults often suffer from distraction, discomfort, or worry preventing a good night’s rest.

A new mattress isn’t going to make your stress go away or turn off your screens for better sleep, but you are going to be a whole lot more comfortable! You can spend anything from $99 to more than $1000 on a new mattress. So what goes into the price difference?

Pick a Mattress Type

The amount of use you’ll get out of your mattress depends on the quality and type of it. The type of mattress you choose makes a difference.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress contains steel wire coiled springs to support and distribute your weight evenly across the mattress. A high-quality innerspring mattress can last 10 years or more, especially if regularly turned over end to end or side to side to distribute wear.

Hint: Despite what the salesperson says, the NUMBER of coils does not noticeably affect wear, but more coils can be more comfortable than fewer. The WIRE GAUGE (thicker is better) is a better predictor of mattress lifespan.

Memory Foam

Foam mattresses might last a decade to 15 years. It depends on their material quality and care. Watch out for the heat retention qualities of memory foam, as many people find them too warm.

Hint: Don’t pay extra for special materials. Viscoelastic foam has been around since the 1960s. It is long-lasting and proven to prevent bed sores.

Latex

Choosing an organic mattress? The lifespan of a latex mattress varies. Although hypoallergenic synthetic latex is available, all natural latex is a popular choice. Many mattresses have a 20 to 25-year life.

Hint: Double-check the warranty. Some mattresses might have little to no replacement value if they wear out prematurely.

Waterbed

These aren’t the groovy, sloshing bags of the 1970’s. Waterbed mattresses come in two types: the traditional type of vinyl waterbed mattresses contained in a waterproof liner in a frame, or the soft-side mattress encased in a foam box and sealed like a conventional mattress. They can last 5 years to 10 years with proper care.

Hint: No longer the popular choice, waterbed mattresses may have a steep priced when you find them.

Hybrid and Pillowtop

A hybrid mattress is a combo of foam and innerspring mattresses. The most common configuration is a layer of foam, coiled spring supports, then another layer of foam. These are often the most affordable mattress type.

A pillowtop is additional padding between you and your mattress. The extra cushion layer can shorten your mattress’ lifespan, as you cannot flip the mattress to even out wear on the coils. The lifespan of the padding can also be shorter than that of the mattress and leave you with uneven lumps and dips.

Hint: A hybrid or pillowtop mattress might need replacement after just 6 years. The durability depends on the quality of the base foam and the coils.

Hard or Soft Option

One factory’s “extra firm” might be a mere “medium” to a different mattress company. There are no standardized measurements of firmness. Find the mattress that suits your sleep habits best based by trying it out.

Hint: Mattresses labeled softer might not be more comfortable, and harder ones might not be long-lasting.

Save on Sizes

Hint: You don’t have to buy a new box spring every time.

If you purchase the same size mattress as your current one, you shouldn’t need to change the foundation. Sure, the fabrics covering the box spring and the mattress won’t match, but who sees them? Use the money you saved to buy a mattress cover and a dust ruffle if it bothers you.

If you downsize your mattress, you gain a few square feet of floor space in your bedroom and reduce your costs. A California King is the same size as two standard twin beds together. Downsize to a queen and gain room for a dresser or two.

Hint: Queen size beds are the “standard size” of the market. They are often the “floor model” or “sale item.” The price difference between a Queen and King is often 50% or more.

Finding An Affordable Mattress Just Takes Research

Do your homework. A common trick of the mattress industry is to make comparison shopping difficult. The same manufacturer might make just three mattress types but label 30 or more distinct models to ship to different stores.

Consider trying out mattresses for 15 minutes or more. If you can’t spend the time in a store doing that, get your mattress from a place with a generous return policy so that you can try it out and send it back if it isn’t comfortable.

Know what you want in a mattress and negotiate for that, not a certain brand name. The same strategies you use for grocery shopping will work to your advantage. Always keep your budget in mind.

Summing It All Up

Finding an affordable mattress that you love is a challenging project but will be a worthwhile investment in a good night’s sleep. Saving money on a quality mattress is a good investment. Leave a question or comment in the box below!

7 Ways to Buy Cute Clothes for Girls Without Breaking the Bank

Moms spend more time and money buying clothes for their children than they do for themselves. The average back to school clothing expenditure per child per year is $131. That adds up!

Part of the problem is that there are so many cute clothes for girls. Gone are the oversized t-shirts and culottes of yesteryear. Girls go to school in moto jackets and tunic sweaters, chambray shirts and leather boots, and jeans in every cut and rinse available.

It’s easy to go overboard.

There are better ways to shop for your kids than succumbing to every impulse buy. Here are seven tricks for filling your daughter’s closet without going broke.

1. Borrow the Big Stuff

Some of the biggest ticket items are the pieces that only get worn once. A flower girl dress and shoes for a wedding, Christmas clothes, and snow pants. Borrowing these low-use items from another family saves you money and gives the clothes another life.

There are also places you can rent dress clothes, whether brick and mortar or online. Not only will you outfit your daughter more economically, but you also won’t have to face a wasted investment every time you open the closet.

2. Swap It Out

Reusing other people’s stuff is a great way to acquire affordable kids clothes. In the era of fast fashion, it also helps the planet by keeping clothes out of landfills.

Organize a swap among your friends or moms from sports and school. Spend a couple of weeks collecting items. Have moms drop clothes off at your house so you can sort them by size and style.

On swap day, it’s a free-for-all, and everyone takes what they need.

Keep an eye out for swaps or clothing bazaars at churches. It’s a similar concept on a much larger scale. They often have tons of gently used baby gear, too.

3. Buy Second Hand

Kid clothes can either get worn to pieces or not used much at all. Kids are picky and choose their favorites based on criteria parents don’t even consider. Shirts might get overlooked for itchy tags, pants get rejected for being too stiff.

Meanwhile, your daughter wants to wear the pilled pony dress every. single. day.

But what’s frustrating for one parent is gold for another. Those unused clothes end up at consignment shops like Once Upon A Child, where you scoop them up for a great deal. You’ll find like-new shoes, girls plus size clothing, and every Halloween costume imaginable.

You might even find a fresh replacement for your daughter’s favorite dress.

4. Shop Next Season

If you can think beyond the daily mom grind and prepare for the future, you’ll save a lot of money buying clothes offseason. Stores have to clear out seasonal stock regularly, which means you’ll save big.

Anticipate your daughter’s growth and buy jackets as they go on sale in Spring. Buy up shorts once there’s snow on the ground. Get in the habit of buying for next year at the end of every season.

Store your haul in clear plastic bins so you don’t forget what you’ve got. Make sure to label them by size and age, and switching out your kids’ closets is easier than ever.

5. Wait for Sales

Stop buying clothes at retail prices. Chances are there are similar cute children’s clothes on sale or even on clearance. You can save up to 70% sometimes.

Target has a regular schedule of sales, especially on holiday branded items. A Valentine’s sale could earn you a peplum top decorated with hearts, which can be worn long after February 14th. Sweaters with snowflakes might go on sale after Christmas but will stay in fashion all throughout winter.

Old Navy is always having store-wide sales. Stock up on essentials when they’re half-price. Always check the clearance racks. Some items get moved to clearance because they’re unworn online returns.

6. Get Less

If you buy less, you’ll spend less. It’s as easy as it sounds.

Instead of buying a pair of leggings in every pattern, get a handful of more basic styles that go with anything. Limit yourself to items that mix and match. If everything goes well together, it reduces the chance of garish, clashing kid-picked outfits.

When your daughter dresses herself, you won’t feel the need to make that disclaimer on your Instagram posts.

Get the most out of what you spend money on. You’ll get every penny out of a pair of shoes your daughter wears until they’re worn out. Invest in three good pairs: a boot, a gym shoe, and a dress shoe.

Size up on items like pajamas and jackets. They’ll last for years, and it doesn’t matter if they’re loose-fitting. Those bedtime bellies will stay covered longer, and you won’t have a stack of coats to sift through at the beginning of winter.

Spend more on neutrals that can be passed between sons and daughters. There are plenty of options all of your children will be happy to wear.

7. Go Online

Your favorite store probably has an Internet presence. You can shop for sales online to access more sizes. Sometimes stores even run exclusive discounts online.

Have the items shipped to your local store to avoid shipping fees. Many websites offer free shipping with $50 purchase.

Amazon rolled out their Prime Wardrobe service with free returns or exchanges. The selection is vast, and prices are low. You’ll have to pay attention to reviews and size charts to make sure you know what you’re getting.

The best online deals happen midweek. You can save around 40% by finding Wednesday sales. Consider setting up an Ebates account for added savings or buying coupon codes.

Websites like ThredUP sell gently used clothes at significant discounts. A search on eBay for clothes NWT (new with tags) will get you a deal on brand name clothes.

There are also wardrobe curating sites for kids, similar to Stitch Fix. You’ll get a monthly box of girls clothes put together by stylists. If you decide to keep the clothes, you’ll save 30% off list price, or you can return the items at no cost.

Get Shopping for Cute Clothes for Girls

Now that you know the tricks, shop smart for cute clothes for girls. Borrow what you can, think ahead, and don’t overbuy.

Affordable kids clothes are just the start. You can save money everywhere. Find more tips for saving money in our Frugal Living section.