But by far my most reckless teenage spending habit was beauty products. Like a
At this point in my life, I'm lucky if 90% of my makeup isn't outdated - I don't remember the last time I did one of those "drawer sweeps" like you're supposed to and cleared out all the broken/drying/expired stuff. I actually have nail polish that is so old and gooey that it takes a jar opener to pry open. (But here's a tightwad tip: if your nail polish is a little sludgy, add a couple drops of polish remover to the bottle and shake to thin it a little. Works like a charm!)
The bottom line is, now that I have big-girl bills and a family to buy for, my days of beauty splurges are over. No more product-hopping. But I couldn't just give up my habit that easily ... so I found myself a pretty suitable substitute: free samples!
It's silly, but getting stuff for free gives me a thrill. I feel like a little kid when I reach into my mailbox and pull out a sample. Plus I get to try out a variety of things (and if I like them, which I often do, most samples conveniently come with a decent coupon). As far as beauty products go, I've gotten samples of just about every type of goodie, from hair care to skin care to perfumes to body wash to cosmetics - some so sizeable that they've lasted a few weeks, some from expensive brands.
But the fun doesn't stop there, kids. I've sampled cereal and granola bars and trail mix and fruit snacks, dog treats (don't worry, I gave the dog a bite), instant meals, sugar substitutes. Vitamin and fiber and diet supplements. Wildflower seeds. Scented candles. Cleaning supplies. Diapers. Caulk. And the list goes on ... I've even gotten samples of -yes - condoms and Astroglide. (The condom is still in my drawer, hence Baby #3.) Anyway, I *heart* sampling. I get to try out a bunch of stuff, I don't have a lot of half-empty packages lying around, I love getting things in the mail, and it's FREE. What's not to love?
My favorite sites are StartSampling (you need an account for this one, but it doesn't cost anything), Thunderfap, and Wal-Mart's sample and trial page. Or just Google "free samples" and you'll find a whole bunch of them. You may have to weed through a few, because some of them want you to fill out surveys and sign up for magazines and all this crap - but there are definitely some diamonds in the rough. And though all samples are thrilling in their own small way, once in a while there'll be one you're absolutely stoked about ... like the big honkin' sample of Murad Age Diffusing Serum I got (it seriously lasted me almost a month!), retail value $70 an ounce!
So if you're a product-hopper too, give it a try. It's fun. And after all, we've got to find pleasure in the sample - I mean, simple - things!