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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\jhorton on October 01, 2013
Applying hairspray at photo shoot

When it comes to money, the internet can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. 

Flash sales? Worst enemy. 

Product research? Best friend. 

The other day as I was purchasing a bottle of hairspray (don’t judge, I live in Texas!), I was thinking about how much money I had spent on things that I didn't end up liking. I'm not talking about big things, but rather the “small” purchases. Like, hairspray. Or shampoo. Or _____ (you fill in the blank). 

The thing is, when I walk into a drugstore, I get distracted by pretty bottles and nice labels (and, frankly, anything shiny). And I buy things with the intent of “trying them out” to see if they work. Because this bottle of shampoo is going to be the one to FINALLY make my hair look like that. Yeah, we all know how that story ends.

So, back to the hairspray purchase, as I was about to purchase the most expensive bottle of hairspray I have ever owned, I didn’t have a single doubt in my mind that this would actually save me money. Why? Because Ifelt like I already knew what I was purchasing. 

I first read about this particular brand of hairspray on a beauty blog run by a hairstylist (shout-out to Kate over at The Small Things Blog!), but I quickly dismissed the thought of buying “salon-quality” hairspray. I’m very much a drugstore-quality hairspray kind of girl. 

Bottle-after-bottle of failed hair products later, I finally decided to do a little research, only to find that people love this hairspray. (I mean, LOVE.) So fast forward a year, and here I am asking, “Where have you been all my life?!” to my amazing new hairspray. (Which has replaced a total of three products, ultimately saving me counter space AND money.) 

So why I am telling you a silly story about hairspray of all things? 

Because when you’re strapped for cash, you have to REALLY look at where your money is going. And the beauty of the internet is that, odds are, anything you are considering trying has been tried before — and likely blogged, vlogged, tweeted, or pinned. And while hairspray may be completely inconsequential to you, I’d be willing to bet there’s something that you can save money on by doing a little research first. 

In fact, while it’s not surprising that consumers spend time researching big-ticket items, new research show that consumers are increasingly researching purchases of smaller, everyday items. PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that 73 percent of U.S. consumers research information about clothes, shoes, toys and health and beauty products before buying those items in stores. 

So the next time you see someone furiously Googling in the hairspray aisle – don’t judge! They’re probably just trying to save a buck. 

Now it’s your turn! What small purchases could you save money on by doing a little research. Is this something you do already? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post!


Beth - Washington DC says:
August 13, 2015

I recently had a 'forced' hairstyle change and had to learn all over again how to manage natural hair in a stylish way! Needless to say, the amount and variety of products that I have bought can stock a new drugstore!! And in the end, each new one I tried, I always returned to a single particular brand....90 percent of what I bought turned out not to work for me. Lots of wasted money and now very little counter space!! Thanks a lesson well learnt!!

Chris says:
August 13, 2015

In two weeks we will have 3 kids in college. All 3 have Mac Books that will need extended warranties. Some intense internet research and a call to our insurance agent provided the absolute best value for a policy (Google "Inland Marine") that covers the most foreseeable needs for college aged coverage - spills, drops or theft. Occurrences, the manufacturer warranty will not cover. +/- $30/year per computer. Couldn't write that check fast enough!

MonicaVinChicago says:
October 06, 2013

Thanks for this! It made me stop, think, and realize that everytime I walk into a drugstore/pharmacy, I need to keep myself in check. These are the kinds of places I can blow so much cash and end up not really using all of the products I paid for! Then again, it is always great to find something that works for you and pay for it with confidence knowing you will use it and benefit from your hairspray! Thanks again for your post!

Simon Elstad says:
October 02, 2013

The internet has certainly opened up information and leveled the playing field as far as researching products is concerned. I think I research most of my purchases online to see whether I can get the best deal somewhere else!

Veronica says:
August 14, 2015

I teach people how to find subsidized housing and include a small segment about budgeting and am always talking about how much you can save by critiquing small item purchases. I always go after coffee to go purchases. It's amazing how much someone can save by making coffee at home!

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