Tracking down cheap or free: Part 1

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  With so much economic uncertainty, many are scrutinizing their monthly expenses for areas where they can save.

The nation's recession has forced many to cut out the luxuries. But what if you could get some of those luxuries like a facial or non surgical face lift for under $20.00? How about a complete dental cleaning and X-rays? You can find it, if you know where to look.

These deals are as close as your community and technical colleges. If you have the time to spare, you can beat the recession by getting services for cheap or even for free.

A cut and color in the hair salon can cost over $100. If you're willing to take a chance on students willing to learn, the cost doesn't have to break the bank.

"Prices usually run about a third of what you would find in the normal salons," said Paul Tompkins, Moultrie Technical College Cosmetology Instructor.

While they are students in training, they've had plenty of practice, typically students who take appointments are in their final semester and have spent hours getting it right on classmates and mannequins.

"I do have certain people that call and request to have their hair trimmed by me, you learn your clientele and the better you learn them, the more they want to see you and spend time with you," said Torrie Johnson, Cosmetology student.

Supervisors watch every snip. "We oversee each job and make sure the quality and service is great," said Tompkins.

A trip to the spa can also be expensive and considered a luxury when budgets are tight, but at Moultrie Technical College prices are a third of what you would typically pay.

"They are told what the problems are with their skin, what conditions they have, what can be treated, not cured, but treated here at Moultrie Tech," said Penny Copeland, Moultrie Tech Aesthetics Instructor.

The college spa offers everything from a facial, to microdermabrasion, to a chemical peel, to the latest non surgical face lift that retrains muscles in the face. A treatment that is typically $150.00 could be as little as $15.00.

"Our President Tina Anderson, she loves this program, she tries to stay on top of what's new," said Copeland. Many employers have cut dental plans. X-rays can be costly, but not at Darton College. A dental cleaning including x-rays is only $20 if you've got the time.

"Our appointments run two to four hours in length and many times it takes more than one appointment so if you've got the time we're a really good deal," said Dr. Stacey Marshall, Darton College Dental Hygiene Instructor.

Betty Frazier got involved when her niece was in the program, but keeps coming back.

"It's thorough, and I know its going to be done properly because it's going to be inspected," said Betty Frazier, a patient.

Students in their last year do everything from the cleanings to the X-rays. It's a requirement for their graduation and gives them the opportunity to see a variety of problems before they take their first job.

"We love to see new faces, we need patients who haven't been to the dentist in a little while because that's a really good learning opportunity for our students," said Marshall.

Time is money, but if you have a little to spare, it could end up saving you a lot of cash. Beauty services are not the only deals around. You can also find reduced prices to keep your car running along with your heating and cooling units.

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