Penny Pinching Moms: Five Dallas Spots for Budget Friendly Pampering


All moms know the importance of self love and taking time for themselves-but mom guilt, time, finances, or a multitude of other reasons prevent us from taking a couple hours to put ourselves first.  Personally, my biggest obstacle is the financial aspect-my husband encourages me to go out and get a relaxing spa treatment (my favorite way to relax and unwind) but I am cheap budget conscious and feel guilty spending money on something so frivolous.  

Over the years I have found ways to overcome my hesitations with spending money on myself and partake in regular “me time” and not spend an extravagant amount of money.  If you can manage to find the time and don’t have a lot of discretionary money to spend (but desperately need some pampering) here are my top five budget friendly spots in the Dallas area to treat yourself.

Dallas Budget Friendly Spas


Groupon/Living Social/Travelzoo/Gilt City

Ok, to be fair-this isn’t exactly a specific spot and pretty obvious to everyone.  While I have found Groupon and Living Social to be a total hit or miss on spa treatments both Travelzoo and Gilt City have featured some of the better spas in the Dallas area, places I would never visit if I was paying full price.  Think the spas in the Omni, Four Seasons, or The Crescent. Additional bonus with these deals are that you often are provided access to their entire spa area including saunas, plunge pools and steam rooms.

Tip on tips: While these deals are often at an amazing price-a 20% pre-discounted value tip is still required (and collected upon check-in) so be sure to add that into your calculations prior to purchasing.

Reflexology Centers

Have you ever driven by a place with a sign on the door saying, “$29.99 Special!  70 minutes Massage” or something similar?  Often called a foot spa, reflexology centers, or some play on the word foot (Sole Therapy, Barefoot Lounge, etc.) these places are the real deal.  Caveat about these places-they aren’t always in the most relaxing environment because it is a shared space, often the dimmed rooms will have 10 or so chairs so I just pop in some headphones and listen to relaxing music that allows me to zone out.  The men and women who work at these types of locations massage my feet for a blissful hour or more leaving me completely relaxed and refreshed. Some price points include back/shoulder/head massage fully clothed so wear something slightly fitted if you want to add that on (often for the same price-just a different division of time focused on each area).  Another HUGE bonus-they are often open late, until 10 p.m. so I can still sneak out after the kids are asleep for the night and they will never miss me!

Tip on tips: I personally prefer to tip over 20% on these services-if I were to get a 70 minute massage anywhere else it would be well over double the price and I’m pretty grateful these places exist.

Parker Massage School

For those who feel uncomfortable being in a shared space or want a more traditional (clothes off) massage, the Parker University School of Massage is a great alternative.  For $35 you will receive a 50 minute massage from a student who is completing their training hours to become licensed.  Downsides to this type of massage is that the environment is not spa like (waiting area is clinical feeling, rooms are bare bones) but once I am laying on that table and the lights are dimmed and I’m listening to the relaxing music, it doesn’t feel any different to me.  I have never had a bad massage there and it seems as though the students truly are trying to make every effort to provide the best service possible.

Tip on tips: These students are not allowed to accept tips so the total cost is $35.  The best tip you can provide them is honest feedback on your evaluation form after your service.

Aveda Institute of Dallas

There are a ton of beauty schools in the Dallas area but this my favorite one, hands down.  As far as the salon, you do have to be understanding that these are all students (under supervision of an instructor) so they often take longer than a well experienced stylist.  I’ve also had to have an instructor “fix” a cut before for me but I’m of the opinion it is just hair and will grow back (not to mention, 90% of the time my hair is in a ponytail) so the salon is not for everyone.  What makes Aveda Institute different  is their spa area where when you walk in, you are totally transported to a zen-like spa.  The music is relaxing, the lighting is dimmed and they must pipe in some sort of aromatherapy because I am obsessed with the scent of this place.  Recently I had a 90 minute facial for only $45 and it was one of the best facials I have ever had-budget friendly or not!  Services are varied throughout the week but if you can pop in for a spa experience, it is well worth it.

Tip on tips: tips are not required but appreciated and can only be provided in cash to the student directly so be sure to hit up the ATM prior to your appointment.

King Spa/Spa Castle

Now for my absolute favorite spa experience in the Dallas area.  Typical entrance to either location is around $45 which allows entrance to their facility for 24 hours and full access to the bath house, saunas, spas and bade pools.  $45 isn’t a small chunk of money either but if you are patient there is a Living Social or Groupon deal for either one every few weeks cutting that price by nearly half.  Both locations have a gender specific bath house where you will enjoy different spas at various temperatures and a cold plunge pool.  Bathing suits are not allowed so you must feel comfortable with nudity and I promise it is not anywhere as weird as you might think it will be.  If you are not someone who is ok with being nude in front of strangers-you still have the ability to enjoy the co-ed bade pools (think hot tubs with crazy powered shower heads that can massage all parts of your body) with a swimsuit and all of the different dry saunas throughout the facility.  I personally have never enjoyed a spa service at Spa Castle, but have indulged on a scrub at King Spa-for $120 I have an entire layer of skin scrubbed off me and every single one of my muscles kneaded and massaged into submission leaving me feel like a brand new woman over the course of 90 minutes.  Both King Spa and Spa Castle are open 24 hours a day so my girlfriends and I often meet up for a late night girls night staying until the wee hours of the morning.  If you find yourself too tired to drive home, there are designated nap areas.  

Tip on tips: The price of the massages and scrubs is included in the price so no need to worry about adding another 20% to the cost of the price, justifying the splurge even more!

I’m always on the hunt for deals and discounted spa services, not paying full price allows me to fully take advantage of my precious me time and not feel (that much) guilt.  What am I missing-any other deals or tricks I should be aware of?


  1. Hi Cassidy, great post! Could you take another look at the tip on tips section under King Spa? It’s very confusing and needs to be edited. I’m not sure, but I think you’re trying to say that the tip is included in the $120 cost of the scrub, but the way it’s written, it makes it sound like the scrub is included in the admission price. Thanks!

  2. These are such great ideas! I’ve heard about the massage schools but nice to hear a recommendation and the Aveda school sounds fantastic too! Finally, I may be able to start getting some pampered me time again soon!


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