As a medical student, with no job essentially, I don’t have much of an income, if any, at all. However, I still need new clothes, products, food, etc. So, over the years of being in school and on a budget, I have found a few services and sites that I love to use that are a good value, provide me with free products and/or save some time. Here are five of my favorites!
This is a service that links your social accounts and gives you an “influencer” score. With this they also send you surveys for products that you might qualify for to try, given the target demographic of the company. Now I know what you are thinking “I don’t want to do endless surveys for tiny samples” and what I have to respond to that is it is not like that at all!
Influester is higher end, if you will. What I mean is you take a pre-survey if you meet the target demographic and you agree to review the product. The review can consist of as many avenues as you want such as posting on Instagram, Facebook, etc. but what you MUST do is fill out the post campaign survey to ensure you qualify for more freebies. Also, these are not typically sample sizes.
For example, some of the past campaigns I have participated in include a box with
- Estee Lauder including two full size eyeliners, mascara, the eye makeup remover and another smaller eye cream.
- A lifestyle box with a full size Not Your Mothers-Hair mask, a natural bar soap, a coupon for a full-size avocado butter spread, a few other things.
- A box from Bite Beauty with three of their multi sticks.
- Another box from Bite Beauty with three of their liquified lipsticks
- A box from Cleu de Peau featuring one of their liquid lipsticks
- A Loreal box with two new skincare items
- Another Loreal box with two new Revitalift products (currently using and love!)
You get the point now right? The best part about Influenster, is it is FREE (aside from your brief time commitment to review)!
So obviously these campaigns I participated in are directed towards a young adult woman such as myself, but I have other friends who get boxes dedicated to mothers and children because that is what works for them.
What I love most about this is the chance to try new products that I might not normally buy due to there being so many options out in the world! Here is a snapshot of my screen showing my current campaign involvement and what you might expect should you sign up!
Check out Influenster here or by clicking the photo!
Fab Fit Fun Subscription Box ($49.99)
I was a die-hard fan of the PopSugar monthly box way back when subscription box services started, I also subscribed to Ipsy, Birchbox and a tried a few others like Boxy Charm and Love with Food. I loved them all, they were such a great value, BUT I took a hiatus from the subscription box world because
- It was becoming too expensive for my income and
- I was on product overload.
I do still love to watch review videos and unboxings on YouTube in my down time, there is something about them that is so fun! Over this past summer I signed up for Fab Fit Fun quarterly subscription box for the entire fact that they included the new Foreo Luna silicon cleansing brush, I guess you could call it, (It retails for around 80 dollars and the box is only 50 dollars!). Such a great value, right? Because you not only got the cleanser brush but also like five other lux products.
Needless to say, I am hooked now and have kept my subscription going and can’t wait to get my Winter box soon!
The reason this service is so worth it is because it is partially customizable, it includes items that are useful but not necessarily something you would make time to buy separately and it is like a gift to yourself every quarter as well as a great gift for others! Below is a snap shot of my current customizations for the Winter Box-if you upgrade to annual subscription you get even more customizations for your boxes.
Check them out here!
Stitch Fix ($20 Styling Fee + Anything you buy)
Stitch Fix is a styling service for men, women and now kids where you pay a styling fee, which goes towards anything you purchase, take a quiz, speak with a stylist who then sends you a box full of clothes and accessories to try on at home. They allow you to customize how much you want to spend per item, what you are looking for and what your style is. The best part is you get an additional discount if you buy all the items! This subscription does not auto renew and you can choose when you get the boxes.
What I love about this service is it allows you to try on the clothes at home and send back anything you don’t want to keep in a prepaid envelope. It is so convenient for a student or professional who does not always have the time to go shopping. From my experience the clothes are good quality and moderately priced. This service also exposes you to brands that you might have otherwise not been exposed to, as well as items you might not try on at the store but end up liking. I used mine when I started medical school to spruce up my business casual wardrobe. See below for what my last Stitch Fix in which I kept everything entailed.
Check them out here for $ 25 off.
Bark Box (For the furry companion)
Bark Box, if you are not familiar, is a subscription service for the fur babies. I have a dog and a cat, but the diva cat does not play (except if enticed with catnip) nor eat treats, so the Frenchie gets all the goods.
I love Bark Box because my dog LOVES Bark Box he knows when the package is his, most likely through his enhanced ability to smell (lol). The price I believe can vary for the Bark Box depending on what plan you choose but they do have an option to get toys that are strong chewer friendly and provide various types of treats, about two full bags per box. The boxes are also themed for the human enjoyment or at least they amuse me.
Here is my dog super excited about his most recent Grinch themed box!
Check Bark Box out here!
Poshmark is different from the others listed here in that it is actually an app or website where you can buy gently used or boutique items from independent sellers or sell your own clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories. It has kids, men and women items as well as most brands and sizes. It is basically shopping people’s closets.
On this app you do have to be careful if you are trying to buy higher end items, sometimes people try to sell knock offs, but this is against the guidelines and the site has safety’s in place if you want to buy, for example, a designer bag that is over $500.
I have bought so many things on here at great prices and everything has been in fantastic condition, think Jeffrey Campbell flats for $30, Lululemon Define Jacket for $65, and Free People Shorts for $20 (with tags!)
I also sell some of my closet on here to make a little extra cash, which if I am being honest often does not actually make it back to my account because I am always just using it towards purchases.
I love this app because it always me to shop second hand and save money on my favorite labels all from my home as well as sell some of my used items that I don’t wear anymore. Here is a screen shot of my homepage listing some of the brands and trending items so you can see what it is like.
If you want to a $5 credit on your first purchase feel free to use my referral code “sdc514”
I currently use all of these services or sites and highly recommend for anyone to try them out regardless if you are on a budget or just want to try something new!
Do you have any sites or services that you use and love? Let me know if there are any others I should try out!