Want to Save Hundreds on Service-Related Expenses? Go to School!

aaron_image1A family member recently told me she is considering going to a state university to get some dental work done. Due to the work being performed by dental students, she is hoping to save hundreds in expenses.

This got me to thinking about the time when my parents took my older brother and I to a beauty school to get our hair done. It was likely a lot cheaper than traditional barbers/stylists and saved our folks a buck or two.  I didn't mind going there too much (even though there were a lot of girls) until one visit my stylist cut my ear. I understood it was just an accident, but my parents never took us back.

Even though I had a bad experience, there are some pluses for “going to school” and saving on service expenses:

  • more affordable
  • work is being performed by someone eager to please (fresh in their field)
  • even though the service is being performed by someone less experienced, it is likely being supervised
  • you get to help out a student by providing real-world experience

There are other schools you can take advantage of cheaper services and save. Here's some that I came across:

  • Auto schools. Crystal at MoneySavingMom went to a nearby vocational high school to get her car fixed.  She ended up saving about $200 on the repair (and only paid $30 in labor! Where can you get that kind of deal?)
  • Massages. Go to a vocational school for all your massage treatments and services.
  • Beauty schools. Like when I was younger, a great way to save on your must-have hair-cuts (unless you don't have any hair) is to hit up a beauty school. I've heard that Aveda Institutes are fairly inexpensive and you aren't allowed to tip (shame!).
  • Preschool care. Along with auto programs, some high schools/colleges offer preschool care at an affordable rate for students who are considering early childhood education (thanks to comments at MoneySavingMom!)
  • Appliance/computer repair. Again, a local tech school may be more than willing to help you out in this department too AND may only charge for parts.
  • Optometry needs. You can get frames/eye screenings at a nearby school of optometry for a fraction of the cost you might pay at a nationwide retailer.

Have you ever gone to a nearby high school or technical college to get any of these services? Are there other services you have gotten there? 

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  1. I haven’t tried any of the local schools for services. There is a beauty college that I’ve often thought of using for haircuts. Half the time, I cut my own hair, so the beauty college would be an improvement. I’d probably get my nails done, too, just to make it more of an experience.

    There is a nearby dental school that used to offer low-cost dental work and still might. I’m already not the best dental patient, so I haven’t tried this yet, either.

    You have a good list of ideas in your article.

    • Thanks Patti!

  2. These are all very creative ideas. I know someone who hired students of a nailart school for their event and saved tons of money and everyone enjoyed getting their nails beautifully done.

    • Great idea too! Thx

  3. In a former life, I was a cosmetologist, so I was the girl who had the potential of cutting ears. :-) I never think about going to them now, but I should. Really, they’re very well supervised and although the risk of coming out with a “mistake” is a teeny bit higher (although, I’ve been to regular salons where the “unsupervised” beauticians suck at their jobs too) I think people can be pretty confident with them. It’s also a great place to do a girls’ birthday party. One of my kids’ friends did that once, and the girls had SO much fun getting their “professional” manicures and hairstyles.

    • Haha.. so you know all about cutting ears ;) Yeah, they always seemed to have a supervisor roaming around..

  4. My parents also took me to beauty schools and we paid less than $4 for our hair cuts. I was kind of ashamed that my parents took me there, because I always felt cheap.

  5. I go to a beauty school for hair color and cut, some visits have been better than others. The biggest pro is the price is a fraction of most places and the products are high quality. Definitely recommend to those who can be flexible.

    • I suppose that is a drawback – the inconsistent service.

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