This Week’s Top Ten Coupons: Free Drinks, Fashion Steals, and Beauty Essentials

It’s only Tuesday and already I’ve snipped a ton of amazing deals in the SnipSnap app this week. What am I shopping for lately? For starters, I’m constantly on the hunt for summer clothes since my summer wardrobe is old and I’ve donated many things to charity. I’m also on a continuous caffeine kick (what else is new?) and I have a few BBQs and get-togethers coming up, so coffee and low fuss party food coupons are a must. And, in addition to revamping my wardrobe, I’m also cleaning out the old makeup bag and searching for new beauty find to take me into the summer season. With everything I’m shopping for, I”m definitely in luck: my Mall, Coffee, and Beauty coupon bundles are bursting at the digital seems with amazing deals. Check out this week’s best coupons for a beautiful summer.

FREE Cotton Low-Rise Hiphugger at Victoria’s Secret:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.21.55 PM

$10 off $50 Purchase at Aeropostale:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.21.41 PM

$5 off $25 Purchase at Old Navy:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.20.35 PM

FREE Small Cherry Berry Chiller or Frozen Strawberry Lemonade at McDonald’s:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.20.48 PM

FREE 25 Munchkins with Purchase of 25 Munchkins at Dunkin Donuts:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.21.01 PM

$25 Hair Cut for First Time Clients at Ulta Salon:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.21.15 PM

50% off Lenses with Frames Purchase at LensCrafters:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.19.42 PM

$2 off any Sally Hansen Cosmetics Purchase of $10 or more at CVS:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.19.55 PM

$10 off Aquafresh Teeth Whitening Trays at Walgreens:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.20.09 PM

2/$4 Starbucks Coffee at Walgreens:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.20.23 PM


Prom 2013: Top Ten Ways to Look More Beautiful for Less Money

I want to tell you a story about my senior prom:

I had senior AP science lab with a girl who bragged for weeks about the $700 prom dress her father had bought her from a very popular store in the mall. Daily, she chronicled the whole expensive dress-shopping experience for everyone at our cat-dissection table and, by the time the bell rang each day, I was the one feeling a little shredded. I did not have $700 to spend on a prom dress. I had about 100 bucks saved up from my after school job to pay for my entire prom ensemble.

I decided I’d look just as good as $700 Dress Girl by refocusing my priorities. I started running and worked my butt off for a few weeks. I recycled a very beautiful ($100) gown and matching shoes I’d worn to a cotillion a few years before. My mother performed some alterations on the dress so it fit like a glove. I booked an appointment at a hair school for an inexpensive, professional hairdo. I bought a lot of cheap makeup at the drug store with coupons I’d clipped from the Sunday paper and read a few Internet tutorials about how to create a flawless face. I painted my own nails and bought $5 faux diamond accessories at Claire’s.

The end-result? I felt like a million bucks and received a ton of compliments on my look. $700 Dress Girl was mortified when 3 other students (who did not sit at our science lab table) showed up to prom wearing her exact, same, $700 gown.

Please, don’t make the same mistake as $700 Dress Girl. If you want to look like Cinderella at your prom, but you’re also on a Cinderella budget, you’re totally in luck. In fact, you’re in the position to do much better than I did, because you’re living in the age of mobile couponing. Check out my top ten tips for looking fantastic at prom on a teenager’s budget:Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.26.26 PM

1. Stay Away from Dress Boutiques: When I started shopping for prom dresses, I made the mistake of going to all the same, over-priced, designer boutiques everyone else was shopping at. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a prom dress! You can find much prettier, trendier dresses at stores like Forever 21 and H&M. Check out this dress I wore to a wedding recently; it cost $15 at Forever 21!

2. You Probably Don’t Need New Shoes: Here’s the thing about your prom shoes: you’re not going to wear them. You’re going to take them off as soon as you hit the dance floor. Chances are, you have a pair of black pumps in your closet that are perfectly suited to whatever dress you’ve picked out. Wear them! (They’ll look great; I promise!) Don’t waste money on shoes you’re only going to wear for 15 minutes.

3. Get Your Makeup Routine Down: Look, you should have a fabulous dress for prom, but, let’s be honest: it’s all about the face. Nail your makeup, because your friends will be taking pictures of you, not your dress. Set aside a pre-prom hour to do your makeup well and jazz it up! Nothing says prom like a fabulous red lip.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.30.17 PM

4. Take Care of Your Hair: Find a beauty school near you and book an appointment with a stylist-in-training. There are tons of naturally talented men and women who can do an amazing up-do even when they’re still in school. You’ll get your hair done for half the cost and your styllist will shower lots of attention on you, because you’ll be one of his or her first clients.

5. DIY: Paint your own nails. Make your own jewelry. Need a coverup for a chilly night? Head to the craft store and buy a beautiful piece of fabric for a fraction of the cost a shawl will set you back at the department store.

6. Recycle: What do you own that you can repurpose for prom? Now’s a great time to see if Mom will lend you her diamond earrings or her string of pearls. Costume jewelry can get ridiculously expensive; see what friends and relatives will let you borrow that’s the real deal. (Hey, it’s what celebrities do for the red carpet!)

7. Work up a Sweat: Trust me, you’re going to feel the best in your prom dress (whatever it costs) when you feel the best about you! Find an online workout routine and get on those crunches for a few weeks. Ditch the junk food and try some healthy snacks like fruits and nuts. The stronger, fitter, and more well nourished you are, the more beautiful you’re going to look and the more confident you’re going to feel. And taking better care of yourself doesn’t cost a thing.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.34.25 PM

8. But Don’t Spazz: Take your time getting ready but don’t freak out about every little detail. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re defeating the entire purpose of prom. You’re absolutely going to look your best when you’re relaxed and happy. (You’ll take much better pictures, too.)

9. Go Natural: Want to whiten your teeth? All you need is a little hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Want to exfoliate? Simply mix some granulated sugar with olive oil and scrub. Want extra-shiny hair? Coconut oil conditioner will do the trick. Don’t waste money on spa treatments when it’s practically free and way more fun to do them yourself with a group of girlfriends at home.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.34.13 PM

10. Mobile Coupon! Prom shopping presents so many opportunities to save with your smart phone. If you’re buying a new dress or new shoes, make sure you SnipSnap some deals before you hit the stores. There are tons of fashion and beauty coupons in the SnipSnap app right now, so it’s impossible not to save on every part of your look, from head to toe. Going out to eat with your friends afterwards? Make sure you snip a restaurant deal and you could collectively save a ton of money at your table.

Want more ways to save? Follow me in the SnipSnap app and subscribe to my Prom 2013 coupon bundle, where I’ve hand-snipped dozens of deals to help you do prom on a budget and have one, unforgettable night.



SnipSnap Vs. Shopular: Mobile Coupon Showdown

Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 6.15.41 PMRecently, I blogged about the birth of new shopping/mobile couponing app Shopular. Shopular curates a collage of sale ads from stores near you, so you always have a heads up on sales and you can strategically plan where to buy your next winter sweater, depending on which offers are currently going on where. I like Shopular – a lot. It’s become one of my essential shopping apps; I consult Shopular before I even enter the mall, so I know which stores to hit and which store to skip (I don’t buy anything if it’s not on sale or I don’t have a coupon). The app does a great job scouting sales even I haven’t heard about. I scored a great a deal on a gorgeous black moto bag at Urban Outfitters recently, and I wouldn’t have done it without Shopular.Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 6.15.28 PM

Shopular works well as a sales navigator, but not so much as a mobile couponing app. For one thing, many of Shopular’s “coupons” are actually just ads for store promotions, repackaged to look like exclusive offers. A good chunk of Shopular “coupons” will tell you “No Coupon Required!” when you click on them to redeem the deal. Which feels very misleading to me. I think it’s important to keep track of what’s a store sale vs. what’s a store coupon. In my book, coupons trump store sales, because, oftentimes, you can combine a coupon with a store sale to get an even greater discount, as is the case with many Ulta store coupons.Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 6.15.49 PM

I also don’t love that Shopular doesn’t consistently offer store coupon staples, like the $3.50 off $10 and 20% off total purchase coupons you’ll always find for Ulta in SnipSnap.

Then there’s the question of which app’s coupons are, on average, a better value. Right now, there’s a coupon in the Shopular app for $10 off a $40 purchase at Bath & Body Works. Which sounds like a great deal, until you snip this coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase at Bath & Body Works in the SnipSnap app.

I guess the bottom linScreen Shot 2012-12-27 at 3.46.23 PMe is that, with Shopular, as with shopkick, you’re not only getting curated look books and store ads, you’re getting curate coupons too. The coupons you’ll find in Shopular are not necessarily the only ones out there. They’re not necessarily the highest-value. And they might not actually even be coupons.

I think Shopular’s fantastic and I wouldn’t go shopping without it. However, for mobile couponing, SnipSnap is my absolute mainstay, because I’m the one who gets to search for and select the very best coupons for my shopping needs, from thousands of other coupons uploaded by other real life shoppers like me.Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 3.46.15 PM