There are lots of ways to save big on skin care and hair products when you make small changes in your personal hygiene routine. If you aren’t sure where to start, let me share some recent experiences that opened my eyes to areas where I can spend less — a lot less.
Sometimes less skin care product is more
My “save big” campaign started innocently when I wanted to buy hand lotion for sensitive skin. The drugstore carried only fairly large bottles (8 ounces and larger), beginning at $8 or $9. That was more lotion than I needed, and more money than I wanted to spend. So I wandered over to the sample size bins and found the same brand at 3 ounces for $1.99. Two dollars was more in line with my budget. But I also noted that the travel size cost less per ounce than the large bottle. While this is not often the case, it can’t hurt to check the sample size bins when you are buying toiletries, especially when you know you only need a small size — for a specialized product or to try something new.
A little dab will do ‘ya
On my last two-week vacation, I wanted to use only carry-on luggage, so could pack only travel-size toothpaste and shampoo. Although you can carry up to 3 ounces of product, mine were only 1 and 2 ounces. But, I would be in the city, so I planned to simply buy sample sizes during the trip when I ran out. As it turns out, I became very frugal with my toothpaste and shampoo. Not only did I have enough product to last the trip, I brought home both original travel-size containers.
For toothpaste, I used only a small pea size amount each time — the amount many dentists recommend. Back at home, I now use that same tiny amount of toothpaste every day. To save further, you can also substitute economical baking soda, and sometimes simply brush your teeth without any toothpaste at all.
Just say no
During that same vacation, I didn’t have room for my hair conditioner. So I washed and conditioned my hair thoroughly before leaving. During the trip, I used a pea-size dot of shampoo (on my fine, medium-length hair), made sure to rub it in well (even though there weren’t a lot of suds), and rinsed thoroughly. At home, I still use that tiny pea-size dot of shampoo, and also decided not to shampoo every day. Further, it has helped to partly or completely dry my hair without using a blow dryer. Less shampooing and less blow drying means less conditioning is needed. Therefore, I only condition my hair once or twice a week. On bad hair days, when it is less than clean or stylish, there are several tricks to use: Pull hair back in a ponytail or headband, wear a scarf or hat, or use a dry shampoo.
Health problems stemming from the use of anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers have recently been reported in the media. So I decided to dump the liquid soap in our household and go back to using bar soap. I did the same with our shower gel, too. Since I’ve gone back to using bar soap, I’ve noticed my skin is much less dry. Bar soap is far less expensive — the same dollar amount lasts much longer than the same dollar amount of liquid soap. There are fewer harsh, drying chemicals in bar soap, plus it uses less packaging and is more compact, which lowers shipping cost by requiring less fuel to deliver it to stores. So it’s not only better for your health and your pocketbook, it helps our environment.
Small changes can mean big savings
Using these methods, I’ve slashed my costs by 50% to 80% on basic toiletries for personal hygiene such as hand lotion, shampoo, hair conditioner, toothpaste and liquid soap. Try some of these small changes and see if it results in big savings for you.