Like many of you, I am a mom. This means I am always taking care of my family, and often put my own needs on the back burner. To further compound this, I also work from home.
While working from home enables me to be available for things like field trips and sick days, it also means that I miss out on some great workplace perks. For example, many of my friends’ offices offer in-house gyms, catered lunches, and social hours. Some even bring in massage therapists once a week to let employees unwind and destress.
If there’s anything I need after working over a keyboard all week, it’s a great shoulder and back rub. Luckily, there are a few tricks I’ve found to snagging a cheap massage anytime I really need to relax, but can’t afford a big splurge.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to save money on massages, and treat yourself in the process.
Be a Guinea Pig
Even though I live deep in the suburbs, there are three massage therapy schools within a 10-mile radius of my home. There, I can schedule a great student massage for around $35 an hour and availability is usually excellent.
While each school runs its student massage program differently, you can usually expect that you’ll get a fantastic massage from an enthusiastic, upper-level student. They are typically being observed by a faculty member, too, so they’re striving to do their best. Oh, and schools usually don’t allow tipping, either.
Student massages make for an affordable self-care option, as long as you live fairly close to a school. Massages are usually available during school (business) hours, too, making them a great choice for work-from-home moms who have a bit more flexibility in their schedules.
Watch for Local Deals
Some of the best massage prices I’ve found have been on local deal websites, such as Groupon. There, I can often snag one or more treatments at savings of up to 80%, depending on the provider.
If you opt for a platform like Groupon, be sure to compound your savings efforts: use online coupon codes or sign up for emails to get added discounts on local deals. You can also use an online shopping portal like Ratuken to get an additional percentage back when you buy.
Hop Around Town
Many massage studios and spas will offer introductory massage prices for first-time customers. If you’re more concerned with price than consistency, this can be an amazing way to save money on massages.
I’ve found that in my area, I can usually get a one-hour deep tissue massage for about $40 with an introductory client offer. Sometimes, they’ll even let me take advantage of that same offer once every six or 12 months.
Forgo the Spa
There’s nothing quite like enjoying an afternoon at the spa, but your wallet might sting a bit afterward. If you want to get a great massage without the financial pinch, stray away from the plush robes and lavender candles.
For instance, some of the best massages I’ve received have been from reflexology studios. I won’t mistake them for the Ritz, but they offer relaxing table massages from thorough, experienced therapists all the same… and at a fraction of the price.
Enjoy a Free Massage at Home
I’ll admit, getting my husband to give me a real massage can be challenging. If I either can’t schedule a massage or don’t want to spend the money, though, he’s a pretty solid option.
We’ll exchange backrubs every once in a while, especially if one of us has had a long week or is sore post-workout. Whether it’s just a foot rub or a full-body rubdown, it’s a great way to snag a free massage without ever leaving home.
If you’re like me and you enjoy a great massage every chance you get, you are also well-aware of the expense. As a mom who also works from home, remembering to practice self-care every chance I get is pretty important.
Of course, so is watching the family budget, so I am always finding ways to book relaxing massages at a fraction of the cost. Whether going the student therapist route or occasionally searching around for local deals, you too can save serious cash on your next massage (or 10).
–By Stephanie Colestock