Ipsy Subscription: The First Three Months

This past September I finally gave in and signed up for an Ipsy subscription. After seeing friends and bloggers talking about how awesome the service is and after realizing how great the 10$/month price is, I just had to try it out for myself. Ever since I got my first bag in October, I have been wanting to write about the Glam bag, but I decided to wait until I had received a few so readers could get a better idea of what they would be getting with Ipsy. First, I want to say that the value of the glam bags is great. You get at least one full size product a month, which alone is usually over $10, along with four other products, usually sample-sized. The value of the bag is always over $10. The quality of products that I have gotten so far has been good too. I haven’t received an item yet that I don’t like. The Ipsy subscription service is great for those of us on a budget or anyone who loves to try out new products. And what I really love about Ipsy is that the beauty quiz they have you take when you sign up really reflects in the products you get each month. I also just received my fourth Glam bag on Saturday and I’m loving the products in it as well. Somehow, they’ve managed to send me items that I’m either really into at the moment, like eyebrow products currently, or something that I need. I’m totally sold on this subscription service!Read More »

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10 Links To Help You Take The Semester Head On

In need of some new organizational skills? Struggling with knowing how to best study? Wanting some fresh motivation to take with you to class? Well, I have some great links here to help you with all of that and more. I know how hard it is to stay organized and on top of everything when the semester gets in full swing, but I’ve been able to greatly reduce my stress and improve my performance in class by doing some of the very things that these links talk about. So whether you’re trying to dramatically change your study habits so your grades go from Ds to As or you’re just wanting to refine some of your organizational skills, these great links can help you do that this semester and beyond.

  1. How to Read a Textbook (Because we all know reading textbooks can be pretty boring)
  2. 10 College Studying Don’ts (How-to’s are great, but sometimes we don’t realize the mistakes we make)
  3. The Ultimate Guide to College Organization (This girl has got some pretty great tips that cover a lot of ground)
  4. 12 Habits of Highly Productive People (Maybe you just want to be more productive in general. These tips will definitely help)
  5. 10+ Must Have Apps for College Students (Apps can make your life so, so much easier)
  6. 9 Things to Bring on Your Next Library Study Binge (For finals, or midterms, or what have you)
  7. The Best Study Tips for College (We covered the don’ts, so here are some do’s)
  8. How to Get Your Best Grades in College (Here’s an article for those needing to improve their grades)
  9. How To Develop a Routine and Stop Wasting a Time (Developing a routine is a fantastic way to up your productivity and organization)
  10. How to Make Your College Paper Stand Out (In a Good Way) (These are fabulous tips on writing papers that have worked for me as well)

How to Buy Textbooks and NOT Empty Your Bank Account

Attention all college students! Since this week is probably your first week back and you’re looking at all the books you have to buy for class, I’m sure you’re also probably freaking out over all the ridiculously high prices. Seriously, some of those costs are criminal! I don’t know how anyone can justify pricing a book at $300, but yet it’s still done. However, I have good news for you budget-savvy people: there is a way to save money on textbooks. You don’t have to go back to school already broke and eating ramen until your next paycheck because of textbook prices. Yay! I’m going to show you how this is possible with the method I use for saving the $$$ on the books I need for school.

The first thing you want to do is make a list of all the books you’ll need for the semester. Keep it looking nice and neat. It will help with the whole process. I like to write the list out, organizing by class. You’ll want to leave some space in between the individual books so you can write down comparative prices.

Next you want to start looking up your book prices. I usually check three places, sometimes four, for my textbooks. I use my university’s bookstore, Amazon.com, and Chegg.com. Sometimes I also check a local store that sells textbooks. I look up each book in each place, finding the best price, and then I write that price down and where its at. So, for example, if I’m getting a biology book, I would check for the book at my bookstore, Amazon, and Chegg and write down the prices for all three places. I have a picture below of my system for this.

Once I’ve gone through all the books I need, I read through my list, highlighting the best prices, and then I order my books from those places. Pretty simple system, right? Of course, it isn’t necessary to write everything down like I do, but if you like being really organized and methodical like myself, then the list is very helpful. And trust me, going through the trouble of checking every book at multiple places really is worth it. If you check out the photo of my textbook list (top right corner), I ended up saving $126 by making sure I was finding the best prices instead of buying everything at the university bookstore. Also, I rarely rent books because most of what I need for class are materials I plan on keeping, but renting books can also save you even more money, especially renting from places like Amazon and Chegg. I also get very few books from my university’s book store in general because their prices are almost always more expensive. And although it may be a bit more convenient to be able to walk to a store on campus and get everything I need, rather than waiting for books to be delivered, I find that having more funds in the bank feels much better! (Plus, I know we’ll all need that extra money for coffee and energy drinks when tests and papers hit.)

I know that my textbooks for school may not be as expensive as what others need, but even when I’ve had books more in the hundred dollar range, I’ve still saved a lot by making sure I was getting the best price possible. For example, I remember one semester my book total was around $500, but I dropped it to around $300 by shopping around instead of getting them all at one place. I also buy used books 99% of the time to save money as well and I’ve always been happy with their quality.

The System

In summary, keep a list of the books you’ll need and compare the prices at multiple places. Also, don’t buy new textbooks and don’t ever buy them all at one place. Shopping around and finding the best prices really helps bring the total cost of textbooks down. If you have any questions or more tips about saving money on textbooks, or more information about where to get textbooks,  let me know in the comments below!