Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
There are plenty of ways to save big on skincare and hair products when you make small changes to your personal grooming routine.
If you’re not sure where to start, let me share some money saving tips based on personal experiences that have opened my eyes to areas where I can spend less on hygiene.
Using the following methods, I have reduced my costs by 50% to 80% on basic personal hygiene toiletries such as hand lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and the soap. Try a few of these small changes and see if they add up to big savings for you.
1. Buying in bulk doesn’t always save money
My “save big” campaign innocently started when I wanted to buy a hand lotion for sensitive skin. The pharmacy only sold fairly large bottles (8 ounces and up), starting at $8 or $9. It was more lotion than I needed and more money than I wanted to spend.
I wandered around the sample size bins and found the same brand at 3 ounces for $1.99. Two dollars was more within my budget. Surprisingly, the travel size costs less per ounce than the large bottle.
Although it’s not often the case, it can’t hurt to check the sample size bins when shopping for toiletries, especially when you know you only need a small size. a specialty product or want to try something new. Even though the smaller bottles are slightly more expensive per ounce, you’ll save spending $2 on a skincare product you use, rather than $9 on a bottle you end up throwing away nearly full.
2. Use less of each product
On my last two weeks of vacation, I only wanted to pack hand luggage, so I could only bring travel size toothpaste and shampoo. Although you can carry up to 3 ounces of product, the bottles I purchased only held 1 and 2 ounces. I would be staying in one city so had planned on buying sample sizes on the trip when I ran out.
Turns out I’ve become very frugal with my toothpaste and shampoo. Not only did I have enough product to last the trip, but I brought home the two original travel size containers.
For the toothpaste, I only used a small, pea-sized amount each time – the amount recommended by many dentists. Back home, I now use the same small amount of toothpaste every day.
To save more, you can also substitute economy baking soda and sometimes just brush your teeth without any toothpaste. Learn how to save money by making your own toothpaste.
3. Remove unnecessary products
During that same vacation, I had no room for my conditioner. So I thoroughly washed and conditioned my hair before leaving. During the trip, I used a dab of shampoo on my fine, medium-length hair, making sure to scrub it in well (even though there wasn’t much suds) and rinse it thoroughly. My hair looked great despite using far less product each day.
At home, I always use that little pea-sized dot of shampoo, and I’ve also decided not to shampoo every day. I also partially or completely dry my hair without using a hair dryer. Less shampoo and less blow-dry means less conditioning. Therefore, I only condition my hair once or twice a week. On bad hair days, I pull my hair up in a ponytail or headband, wear a scarf or a hat, or use dry shampoo.
Using less product daily has allowed my hair product bottles to last longer, which has saved me money every year.
4. Go back to bar soap
When health issues from using antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers were reported in the media, I threw out the liquid soap and shower gel in our house and went back to using bread. soap.
Since using the bar soap again, I have noticed that my skin is much less dry. There are fewer harsh and drying chemicals in bar soap.
Bar soap is much cheaper than liquid soap because a certain amount of bar soap lasts much longer than the same amount of liquid soap. Plus, it uses less packaging and is more compact, reducing shipping costs by requiring less fuel to deliver it to stores.
In summary, bar soap is not only better for your health and your wallet, but it also helps our environment.
5. Buy generic brands
Skin and hair care products span a wide price range. You can spend double digits on tiny bottles of organic skin cream or shampoo. But fancy packaging and “natural” ingredients don’t always guarantee products are safer or more effective.
You can often save money on the store brand version of a product (like generic dandruff shampoo versus Head and Shoulders) rather than the brand name. Compare the ingredients; they may not be so different. Try a cheaper brand for a month and see if you notice a difference. If you don’t, you can switch to the cheaper bottle and reduce your hygiene costs.
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