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Lately, I’m all about taking money saving to the next level. Once you’ve become a pro at taking your lunch to work, skipping the fancy coffehouse coffee, and have reduced your electricity and water usage, it’s easy to plateau on saving more money.
But there’s one room in your house that’s easy to find ways to save more money. The bathroom!
If you think about it, you probably spend a lot of time here everyday. Showers, brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, styling your hair, plus…you know.
But did you ever stop to think what a sinkhole bathrooms are for your money? Today, I am going to show you several ways to stretch your dollar to save money on personal care items.
Lather, Rinse, STOP.
I am fully convinced that shampoo manufacturers directed people to “lather, rinse, and repeat” only so they could sell more shampoo.
Maybe shampoo wasn’t as good as it is now, but really, unless your hair is really dirty or greasy, one sudsing should do it. Of all the tips I am going to show you, this is probably the easiest way to save money on personal care!
Also consider how much shampoo you’re using. If you regularly have huge gobs of suds when washing your hair (or when using body wash for that matter), you’re probably using too much. Cut back a bit to make your bottle last longer.
You also might be able to get away with not washing your hair everyday. Skipping a shampoo a few times a week will really make your bottle last.
Take Care of Your Razors
Razors are expensive. But there are two ways you can make the costs a bit more manageable. Well, three if you want to give up shaving all together!
The first is to take better care of your disposable razors. By simply rinsing and drying the razor when you’re finished shaving, you can extend the life of your razor, sometimes by several weeks.
Rinsing the razor washes away the hair and dead skin particles, which can clog and dull the blades. Drying the razor prevents rust from forming on the blades, which obviously doesn’t sound very comfortable to shave with! A few seconds of maintenance really helps you to save money on personal care!
If you really want to lengthen the life of your razor, you can also dip it in rubbing alcohol or give it a quick blast with a blow dryer when you’re finished to help the blades dry. You should also store it in a dry place to keep it dry when it’s not in use, but let’s be honest, if I remove my razor from the shower I am never going to remember to bring it with me when it’s time to shave!
Another option for saving money on razors is changing how you shave. Disposable razors or razors with changeable cartridges are convenient, but those refills are expensive! Instead, consider getting a single blade safety razor and blades. Your initial investment in the razor might be a bit more than a disposable razor, or razor with refillable cartridges, but you will end up saving a ton on the razors. As you will see in other examples, opting for more sustainable options in the bathroom not only helps the environment, it helps you to save money on personal care too!
And ladies, don’t think this is just a suggestion for men! You can use a safety razor too and bring in the cost savings.
Save the Toning for Your Workout
I’m going to let you in on a secret that the beauty industry doesn’t want you to know: toners aren’t necessary. That isn’t to say they’re a complete waste either. They can be a nice second step to cleaning, particularly if you have acne-prone skin.
But if you have fairly happy skin without often getting blemishes, you can probably skip the toner.
Whether or not you opt to use toner, you can definitely skip the $20 or $30 bottle. For a cheaper substitution that’s just as effective, grab a bottle of witch hazel instead.
Because I do have acne-prone skin, I often use witch hazel to remove the extra dirt and oils from my face. Even after cleansing with my favorite wash, I am always amazed by how much dirt and gunk comes off with a swipe of witch hazel.
If toner is something that works for you, by all means, keep at it. Just skip the department store beauty counter and head to the drug store instead.
A (Chick) Pea-Sized Amount
If you read the back of a toothpaste tube, it says to use a pea-sized amount for children. Well, you can pretty much apply the same directions to yourself to save money on personal care.
Maybe a chickpea is a better guide. But the point is, you don’t need to cover your toothbrush bristles from end to end. At that point you’re not really doing much more to clean your teeth; you’re just foaming at the mouth.
To stretch your tube out a bit longer, try using a bit less and see how it works for you.
Finish What You Have
Cheap beauty products are often my Achilles heel. When I want a small treat (often to avoid purchasing a larger treat!), I often head to the beauty section of Target or the drugstore to pick up a new lip balm, nail polish, or moisturizer.
I don’t spend that much but in my excitement to try the new product, what I had been using often gets pushed to the back of the cabinet. And there it lingers and slowly dies until I finally throw it away.
I don’t know how much money I’ve wasted this way, but I know it’s a lot. Go ahead and treat yourself when you need to, but don’t forget to finish what you previously bought!
And don’t forget the free samples, gift sets, and other toiletries that cross your path and fill up your bathroom drawers. I probably have at least ten travel size toothpaste tubes that I’ve received from the dentist over the years. I started saving one or two for when I actually travel and use up the rest.
If you figure you can get a week or so out of a travel size tube, that’s over two months when I don’t need to buy toothpaste! Certainly I’m not going to retire from those savings, but they’re otherwise just taking up space in my bathroom drawer. Might as well use them and save a few bucks in the process! It doesn’t get much easier than that to save money on personal care!
Ditch the Disposables
As I mentioned before, getting rid of single-use products are a great way to save money on personal care. Disposable products like cleaning wipes and makeup remover pads are convenient, but they’re pricey. Instead, consider a homemade option. Not only are they cheaper, they’re better for the environment. Another advantage is that by making them yourself, you control the ingredients, which is especially nice if you’re trying to reduce chemicals in your life.
For a simple tutorial on DIY cleaning wipes, check out this recipe from Ashley of I Don’t Have Time For That. Castille soap, essential oils, and some reusable cloths are about all you need. Keep a jar in all of your bathrooms and not only will your wallet thank you, so will the environment.
Instead of using makeup remover wipes, you can use witch hazel (which I do sometimes when I’m feeling super lazy and don’t wash my face). Another option is to make a bottle of makeup remover and use a washcloth or reusable cloth to remove your makeup.
Try a Cheaper Swap
When I first started writing about living a more frugal life, I shared a story about how I started shopping at the department store beauty counter for my makeup. I reasoned that I was making more money than I ever had before so I could splurge.
When I finally stopped to think about it though, I realized the results I was getting with a $25 bottle of foundation were no different than a $5 drugstore bottle of foundation.
It pays not to be brand loyal with your beauty products. Sure, have a couple of favorites, but be willing to try new products and shop at new stores if it’s going to help you save money.
Or Skip It All Together
Simplifying your beauty routine will definitely save time, but it will also save money!
Take a few minutes to do some beauty routine decluttering. Are there steps in your makeup application that you could skip? Do you really need all of the haircare products you typically use?
By ditching what you don’t need, you have fewer products to replace, which means more money in your pocket!
Save Money on Personal Care While You Shop
When you do need to purchase new toiletries, check out your newspaper or Coupons.com for coupons.
True story: I found a coupon for three bottles of a name brand of shampoo for $6. Those bottles got me through an entire year. $6 for an entire year of shampoo? Not a bad way to save money on personal care items!
Use grocery rebate apps like Ebates, Ibotta, Checkout51, and SavingStar to get cashback on select brands or at select stores. And if you use my referral links for Ebates and Ibotta you’ll get a sweet welcome bonus to get you started on your savings! (If you’re not familiar with how rebate apps work, check out this post.)
Things You Shouldn’t Skimp On
I’m all for stretching a dollar to save money on personal care, but sometimes that’s not a good idea.
You need to clean your contacts everyday, and you can’t get them clean if you reuse your contacts solution. Dump your solution when you put your contacts in and let your case dry out during the day. When it’s time to take your contacts out, put some fresh solution in your case to get your contacts nice and clean. It’s healthier for your eyes, and it will keep your contacts seeing clearer for longer.
All contacts have a lifespan, whether they’re dailies, two-weekers, or monthlies. Know how often you’re supposed to change your contacts and stick to your schedule.
Not doing so risks eye infections, and potentially eye damage if you really let it go too long. If you need some motivation to change your contacts regularly, do a web search for what happens when you don’t. Ick.
Sure, we pretty much all have had times where we stretched our contacts past their expiration, and a few days or maybe even a week isn’t terrible, but if you’re regularly doubling the amount of time that you wear your contacts, you’re really taking chances with the health of your eyes. It’s not worth it. Change your contacts on schedule and keep your eyes happy.
You need to take your medications as your doctor has prescribed. Period.
I know we’ve probably all been on antibiotics for one reason or another, and once we start feeling better, we forget to take our medication. But you have to finish. Antibiotic resistance is real and scary.
Your doctor prescribes your medication for a particular reason: to manage symptoms, to treat conditions, and to prevent recurrence. Don’t try to stretch out your medication to save money or save a few doses in case you get sick again in the future.
I know medicines can be expensive, so if you’re struggling to pay for your prescriptions, talk to your doctor to see if there are other, more affordable options; or talk to your insurance company to see if there are any prescription programs you could take advantage of. You can also look at the manufacturer of your medicine to see if they have any rebates or programs to help people make their medications more affordable.
Save Money on Personal Care: Happy You, Happy Wallet
I hope I’ve got your wheels turning on how you can save money on personal care. And I bet you’re itching to rummage through your drawers and cabinets to see what you can use up and get rid of.
I’ve said it time and again, but small changes like these add up. You don’t need a drastic lifestyle change to live more frugally. Simple, manageable tips like these ones to save money on personal care will put more money in your pocket, which means more money to do the things you love.
What did I miss? How do you save money personal care items such as makeup and toiletries? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to pin this article to refer back to!