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1. Consider cost per ounce
Krazy Coupon Ladies are often taught to buy the smallest size when using coupons to save the most money, but since perfume coupons are a rarity, you may want to consider buying bigger bottles to get the cheapest price per ounce, particularly if it is a signature scent that you know you won’t grow tired of.
2. Walgreens points
Every Krazy Coupon Lady knows that the more Walgreens points you redeem at one time, the more they’re worth. This sounds great in theory, but to maximize the value of your points you have to redeem 40,000 for $50. Maybe it's just me, but figuring out how to spend that much in a single trip to Walgreens without paying for things I can get for free was a little overwhelming—that is, until I visited their perfume section. While the selection isn’t large, they have great brands in stock. If you don't see what you want, make sure to check their website, as the selection is truly second to none. By cashing in my Walgreens points I was able to get a $70 bottle of my mom's favorite perfume for only $20 out of pocket!
Perfumania has both brick-and-mortar locations as well as an online store, and since they only sell perfume, it’s a great place to go for special deals. They often run promotions for half off or buy-one-get-one select merchandise, and their website has a year-round clearance selection. If you combine these deals with a discount code, your savings can really add up. Past codes provided by RetailMeNot include 20 percent savings, free shipping and $10 off specific brands.
4. Overstock and outlet stores
Stores like T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack are some of my favorite places to get perfumes. I have seen markdowns on everything from Givenchy and Burberry to Marc Jacobs and Estee Lauder. The drawback of these stores is that they usually don’t have samples to smell, and opening the packaging is a big no-no, so it is best if you know what a wide range of perfumes smell like if you plan to shop there. Your other option if you see an amazing deal is to make the purchase and go to a department store to see what it smells like before you open the packaging. You can then return the bottle if it is not to your liking, but make sure to double check the return policy before you try this out.
5. Department stores
There are some brands that you can really only get at a department store, so to make sure you are getting the most out of your purchase try out the following strategies and be sure to use them together for the biggest payoff:
- Coupon codes: Although many department store coupons exclude beauty products, not all do, so make sure to do an Internet search for coupon codes before you check out.
- Gift with purchase: Around the holidays many perfume companies will often include handbags or makeup cases as a gift with purchase. Brands like Clinique and Estee Lauder are known for having great year-round gift-with-purchase promotions that usually include mini makeup items and lotions.
- Gift set: It often costs the same amount or just a little more to get a promotional gift set as it does to just buy the bottle, so make sure to check out the full range of products available. The best part about department store gift sets is that they often let you have the gift with purchase when you buy either the gift set or just the bottle, so this is a great way to double dip on the freebies!
- Free samples: I tend to be the saver in the family, but I learned a new trick when I was out with my husband getting a Christmas gift for his sister. Every year we get her a new perfume to try, and during checkout he asked if he could have some samples. The cashier happily included a few sample-sized mini tubes of various women's perfumes. He politely asked if he could have some men's samples as well (why should girls have all the fun) and scored us another handful. Believe it or not, it took us a couple of weeks to get through all the free samples he got that day!
6. Duty-free shops
If you’re taking a trip out of the country, head to the duty-free shop, where they carry a wide variety of designer perfumes. The savings may not be huge at only 20–30 percent off retail, but I have seen some duty-free shops with hard-to-find brands that rarely go on sale or come with promotional items.
7. Estate sales
Estate sales are like glorified garage sales. They are usually held when someone in the family has passed away or when a family is downsizing. Unlike garage sales, the entire household is usually for sale—from the furniture and the dishes to jewelry and perfume. I have seen almost full bottles of high-end $80 perfume go for only $5 or $10 at estate sales, so the potential savings is huge. This option may not be for everyone since the thought of wearing the perfume of someone who has passed on might be morbid to some, but my philosophy is waste not want not! A list of estate sales in your area can be found here.
This is a guest post by April from Grand Blanc, MI
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