Save money home pedicures Even my butch sweetheart loves a good pedicure. With all of the problems with chemicals in cosmetics, and especially nail polish, I have been looking for a good nail salon that was more green or organic. They exist, but it’s so hard to find an appointment. Two months ago I did make an appointment at a place where the only thing different in my treatment was the house-made non-toxic polish. No luxuries. This pedicure cost me $90 by the time gratuity and tax was added!

So last month I decided to go to the closest cheap nail parlor and just not let them put their stinky chemical-laden polish on me. I asked for a buff instead, figuring my toes could use a break. Well, the woman kept asking if I was sure I didn’t want polish and when I lifted a magazine to read, which blocked my feet from my view- she threw on a coat of clear polish anyway-lickity split! I didn’t notice until I left.

There are other problems for me with going out and getting a pedicure. Traditional salons are full of floating carcinogenic and lung-irritating pollutants which cause asthma, more serious lung disorders, and brain cell loss for the woman who work in the shops all day long exposed to nail polish remover, polish, nail adhesives and acrylic. Some of this exposure has been linked to birth defects. The woman doing nails next to me at my last experience was about seven months pregnant.

So this time I did it on my own, and I actually enjoyed it. I have secretly been stock-piling nail supplies for when the time came to swear off the shop. I knew I would eventually get tired of long-ahead appointments and high prices for natural salons or just unwilling to set foot into the stinky ones. It turns out that for the price and a half of a regular pedicure (for me at $25 a pop but usually between $12-$35 in most places), you can buy all of the supplies to do it yourself over and over again. Luckily you probably already have most of this stuff in a little kit your mother gave you. Most of it will last over a year.

What’s really needed:

  • A tub to soak, or a large bowl with soapy hot water – relatively FREE
  • Orange stick (I don’t recommend poking thin metal things under your nails) $0.50
  • Toenail clipper (smaller nail clipper may work for most too) $2.00
  • Nail File $0.50
  • Callous shaver or rasp $5.99
  • Cuticle Trimmer (the thin stick kind, not the scissors) $3.29
  • Nail Polish Remover (I recommend a more natural one)
  • Cotton pads or strips $1.99
  • Nail buffer $0.99


  • Almost Natural Nail Polish Remover $6.99
  • No Miss Healthy Nail Polish $6.99
  • Drying top coat $6.99

For the products above, visit

Estimated savings at $25/month are around $263.00/year
Estimated savings for me with my fancy organic spa pedicure problem is over $500.00/year . So, I’ll be trying this for the next year.

I do not recommend the water or sugar-based natural nail polishes. I have been constantly disappointed by them flaking off in a day.

For directions on what to do (In case you’ve always read magazines instead of paying attention) and some swankier products, visit pedicures as About Beauty. Are you up for the challenge?

Moorea Malatt helps people in her business practice, Metamorphosis Life Coaching. She supports women and queers of all genders in balancing finances and relationships with their artistic goals.

Photo credit: stock.xchng.