Trim Costs with Cheaper Kid's Haircuts
Let me preface this piece by saying that I'm not above cutting my own kids' hair. We often cut their hair (especially the boys') and in the summer, we prefer to shave it down for coolness and to avoid tick dangers. I have found great results with a mid-range WAHL haircutting kit, complete with all the bells and whistles. There are times when it is not appropriate to cut their hair: My daughter is entering tweendom and needs somethings stylish, my youngest needed his first “real” cut and had more cowlicks than I could handle, etc. How do you manage to keep up the coif and keep it under budget? Start with these simple tips:
Use a Coupon – This should be a no-brainer, but I'm amazed at how often I forget. Many of the larger chains offer incredible savings on cuts via clippable coupons in your local paper inserts. Great Clips, for instance, drops the cost of their kid's cut from $11 to $6 at several times during the year (right before school, for example.) You must have the coupon, however.
Get a Group Rate – Plan on bringing in all four kids and the hubby for a trim? Schedule a time in advance on a day when they don't do much business. Ask if they can give you 20% off for having all the cuts done on the same day. (Don't forget to tip.)
Use a Barber – Salons aren't the only ones equipped to handle clean-up. Our local barber has been doing boys' and men's cuts for decades, and he still charges rates from the 70's. You'd be surprised at how all that experience can translate into a gift for keeping the little ones still. (And they get to sit in that “Big Boy” pedestal chair!
Hit the Beauty Schools – You may not trust a beautician-in-training with your hair (although I've gotten nothing but fantastic results), but that doesn't mean your toddler can't take the risk. With prices at 25-50% off retail, you can get all the kids' hair done! (And if there happens to be a “mishap” just blame it on that rowdy preschool classmate. Kidding.)
Cruise the Retirement Circuit – Someone's Grandma used to be a hairdresser. The key is to finding them (ask around.) Since zoning ordinances may prevent private individuals from conducting hair business from their home, it may not become a regular thing. But for an emergency trim or for in-between cuts, that “has-been” stylist could really come in handy! Sometimes they will forgo payment entirely in lieu of a nice trade (the same goes for any private stylist – not just those who are retired.)
Stay creative and remember that you only have a few short years where the kids won't care how their hair looks... and that means a smaller hair budget!