Cutting Corners and Cuticles

If you had told me a year ago that I would ever spend a Saturday morning clipping and organizing coupons, I would say that you don’t know me very well. And that’s because I didn’t (clip any coupons, that is). I did, however, download an app that records my purchases and informs me of sales at local supermarkets, which is about as close as I will ever get to being on a TLC show. What did I discover?

I have long been overpaying for things. Milk, meat, Cheez-Its (no judgement please), tampons, face wash, toilet paper, everything.

Marital bliss isn’t all butterfly kisses and champagne. It’s also long conversations about 401Ks (That’s what they’re called, right?), taxes, and managing to finance this little ol’ thing called life. While I am no expert in financial planning, my husband is a money wiz. He uses a lot of words like “interest rates” and “that’s a lot of money for shoes,” and other things that I’m not keen on. But, since he’s the expert, what he says, goes. Mostly.

In my attempt to be a frugal, responsible wife, I have made a lot of changes. I no longer indulge in Starbucks (you’d be shocked at how quickly those $4 lattes add up), I make dinner most nights (this is monumental), and the only one who gets cute accessories anymore is the dog. No more blow-outs or highlights until my roots are reallllllllllllllllly tragic. I’ve also cut out an expensive habit that I used to treat myself to once or twice a month: manicures.



“Blue Yonder” by SensatioNail

I’ve been going to get my nails done since I was a spoiled 7-year-old sporting sparkly flowers on my toes. It was a mother-daughter activity I relished when my parents divorced: My mom and I would go, and while our feet soaked we would flip through People and USWeekly and gossip about Jennifer Anniston’s new boyfriend or hairstyle. The bill was $40- and this is in the days before gel and shellac came to fruition. When I began picking up the tab, I faced some serious sticker shock.




Let’s talk numbers:

Gel manicure? $30

Pedicure? $25

Tip? $10

Before you grab your calculator, those numbers add up to at least $780 per year strictly to maintain my Lincoln Park After Dark habit. Forget switching to Geico, I was ditching my polish fetish, and fast. 

But sad, bare fingers? Nuh-uh, honey. I may be frugal, but unpolished I am not. I invested in a SensatioNail Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit, and became my own manicurist. While I am no professional, I have to say, I am extremely excited with my purchase. Not only do my nails look good, but I am saving what will inevitably be a semester’s worth of tuition for our kids, just by skipping the nail salon!

Excuse the paleness of my hands. #NoFilter

While I miss the mini-massages, the exfoliating scrub, and the riveting conversations with Sara, I am extremely pleased with the results. The key is in the prep-work. I highly recommend investing in a great filing board, cuticle clippers, and some quality hand cream. For extra shine, I add an extra layer of top coat and leave my hands under the UV light for an extra minute during the last curing process.

I’m no DIY maniac, but I’m pretty satisfied with my at-home mani! Follow me on Pinterest (shameless plug) for more nail and beauty inspiration.


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