Ready to stock up on sunglasses, bug spray and more? You can get quality products — on a dime — with these tips to scoring the biggest summer deals.
Spend $25 less on the best sunscreen.
We all need sunscreen to protect our skin, but you don’t need to pay a lot to get the best one! In fact, a recent Consumer Reports comparison study found that Trader Joe’s $6 Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+ nabbed the top spot for quality — tying with a La Roche-Posay lotion sunscreen that sells for more than $30! Other low-cost options that performed well: Banana Boat SunComfort Clear UltraMist Spray SPF 50+ ($11.49, Amazon) and BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel SPF 50+ ($16.25, Amazon).
Prevent bug bites for under $5.
You can keep biting bugs at bay with a pricey device that emits a bug-shooing scent over a wide area ($20–$50) or an electric bug zapper ($30– $80). But all you really need is a topical repellent — and a recent study found the ones that work best cost under $5! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent VIII ($7.97 for 2, Amazon), which contains 25 percent DEET, fends off mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and chiggers and DEET-free Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent ($5, Amazon.com) uses essential oil to successfully ward off mosquitoes.
Slash 50 percent from Rx eye protection.
If you’re among the 67 percent of women who wear prescription lenses, a pair of sunglasses can cost a wallet-draining $150 to $400! The money-saving trick? Buy an inexpensive pair of regular sunglasses at the drugstore (starting at $6). Then get replacement UV-filtering prescription lenses put into the glasses at a discount eyeglass retailer like Walmart (starting at $54). Or ship them to an online retailer, like LensDirect.com (starting at $69). You’ll get the same protection at less than half the price!
Lock in hair color for a third of the price.
Sunlight, chlorine and more frequent showers all make your hair dye fade faster in summer, and the cost of recoloring can add up — unless you use a shampoo that’s formulated to prevent dye molecules from being released from the hair shaft. And this special shampoo doesn’t have to cost a bundle: In a recent comparison study, a $5 bottle of TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo was named the most effective at preserving hair color, beating out similar shampoos that cost two to three times as much.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.