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Toiletries can be an incredibly expensive part of a monthly budget. Whether you tie your self-care products into your grocery budget or keep them completely separate, it’s difficult not to see the ridiculous amount of money being spent on shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and soap.
Nobody wants to see their dollars slip away just for the sake of clean hair and teeth. After all, there are plenty of other amazing things you could be spending that money on, especially since the average household currently spends $600 a year on toiletries. We can easily cut this amount back by following a few simple tricks.
1. Use Receipt Scanning Apps
On top of these rewards programs and coupons, you can also stack on receipt scanning apps. They pay you to take pictures of your itemized receipt. Each app is completely different, meaning you may have to purchase a certain product category (such as groceries) or you may have to shop at a certain retailer. Some are much more lenient where it doesn’t matter what you buy or where you buy it. In any case, these apps can help you save on toiletries along with other self-care products.
One of the most popular apps in this category is Ibotta in which you can get anywhere from $.25 to a few dollars of cash back on certain items. Purchase a specific product at one of their partner retailers and take a picture of the entire receipt. Wait up to 24 hours for your receipt to be verified and get your cash back. Once you reach a minimum balance of $10, cash out for your favorite gift card or directly to your PayPal account.
Another one of my favorites is Yaarlo (bonus code JASON799 for $1 sign-up bonus) since they don’t care where you buy your products or what you buy. Just as long as you keep the receipt, you’re going to get cash back. You’re always going to get .025% of your total purchase price. It may seem small, but for larger purchases this amount can definitely add up.
Last but not least is bevRAGE that gives you cash back on alcohol. Earn cash for taking pictures of itemized receipts with wine, liquor or beer from restaurants, retailers or convenience stores. For example, you can get $3 in cash back on any brand of 24-pack of beer. The offers differ depending on where you’re located. Use bonus code FRUGAL to receive an extra $1 when you scan your first receipt. Although this one isn’t specifically related to self-care products, we thought it would be a fun one to throw in.
2. Use it All
The first step to saving money on your toiletry purchases involves cutting out any waste. Perhaps you bought a type of shampoo that isn’t your favorite, or maybe you hate working to get that last little bit of conditioner out of the bottle. Whatever the case may be, wasting perfectly good products is like throwing money in the trash, and can cause your “personal care” budget to skyrocket.
A quick solution to those almost empty toothpaste bottles is getting is getting a toothpaste squeezer. They only cost around $7 on Amazon. Although the amount of toothpaste you’re saving is quite minimal, it can add up over time. The good news is that you’ll only have to buy the toothpaste squeezer only once.
If you want to go all out, you can by a size-adjustable squeezer for a little bit more. These work on all types of tube products, such as conditioner, shampoo, body wash and toothpaste. If you don’t feel like investing in one of these products, you can always add a tiny bit of water to hand soap or shampoo to get the last little bit.
3. Use It Wisely
The amount of shampoo and toothpaste that people use is another factor that can be adjusted in order to help you save money. Most of the time, a dime-sized amount of shampoo in your hand is plenty for people with shorter hair. The majority of people don’t consider this when washing their hair.
As for toothpaste, you don’t need to use anything bigger than a pea-sized drop on your toothbrush. Furthermore, studies shows that using too much toothpaste at one time can cause minor indents in your teeth. Not only are you going to be saving some extra money, but this way you’ll be preventing some added damage to your teeth and gums.
Being mindful of how much product you are using during any one session can really cut back on the amount of toiletries you use over time and help you save some cash.
4. Switch to Reusable
Feminine hygiene products don’t have to be a monthly expense. Many women have made the switch to cloth pads or menstrual cups. This can drastically add up and help you save a lot of money every year. In addition, these reusable options are better for the environment and are just as comfortable as their disposable counterparts, if not moreso.
5. Sign Up for Samples
This is by far a favorite of mine. There are so many companies out there who are just dying to hand out free personal care samples in order to promote their products. The only thing you have to do is fill out some information such as your name, email and address of where you want the samples to be sent to.
There are a number of websites that are devoted to finding all the freebies out there so that people like you and me can snatch them up. We can use this information to sign up to receive samples by mail, which can be used to cut down on the cost of toiletries. As a bonus, signing up for free samples means you will have the opportunity to try out lots of new products at no charge.
Below are a handful of websites that do all the hard work of rounding up freebie deals. Just be sure to create a free email address specifically for this purpose in order to keep all the junk mail that comes with freebie sign-ups out of your regular inbox.
You can also check out our top 10 freebie site list.
6. Snatch Up Freebies While On Vacation
Anyone who has ever gone on a vacation knows about the adorable little bottles of shampoo and conditioner found in nearly every hotel. Next time you are on vacation, why not snatch those up and add them to your “sample stockpile”? Room service workers in hotels usually leave too many as it is, and anything left behind simply gets thrown out for health reasons.
To expand upon this, try having your family and friends gather up these tiny toiletries for you. Nearly everyone I know heads out of town at least once a year, and most of them probably leave those little shampoo bottles sitting right where they were to start with. Take advantage of this by asking everyone to bring any unused products back to you.
7. Clip Coupons
Extreme couponing has become a huge deal, and many people take it quite seriously, devoting hours of time to it each week. However, you really don’t have to be all that extreme to score some incredibly cheap (and sometimes free) toiletries.
To get started, you’ll need to get your hands on a Sunday newspaper, and you don’t even have to pay for one. Instead, try asking around until you find someone who reads the paper, but doesn’t want the coupons. A great way to snag these is at your local restaurant or coffee shop on Sundays.
Next, you’ll want to sign up for rewards cards at both CVS and Walgreens. This will allow you to accumulate ExtraCare Bucks at CVS and Register Rewards at Walgreens. Both are like cash that you can turn around and spend on virtually any item in the store. Additionally, make sure you are signed up to receive promotional emails from both, as they often send out valuable coupons.
Each week, stop by both of these drugstores and grab one of their weekly ads. Watch the weekly ads for both drugstores until you find an item that meets the following criteria:
- Is of use to you.
- Is a good deal (typically offers ExtraCare Bucks or Register Rewards).
- Matches with a coupon you already have.
Don’t Buy It Just For The Coupons
While you can buy a product that doesn’t meet these 3 requirements, we try to focus on not purchasing products just because it has a coupon. Therefore, it’s wise to only buy products that you’re going to use.
Stack the manufacturer’s coupons (from the paper) with any store coupons you may have (from promotional emails) and use both on specials that are being run that week. If you don’t have a store coupon, you can still score some great deals using just the in-store deals in combination with a manufacturer’s coupon.
This all sounds confusing, and that’s because it is! However, once you get the hang of it, the amount of time you spend on these money saving concepts will dramatically be reduced and will be worth your time. If you need help getting started, try following one of the many sites out there that show you the best coupon match-ups each week. These include Slickdeals, Frugalistic Mom, and I Heart CVS.
By using all or some of these tips, you will be well on your way to saving hundreds of dollars a year on personal hygiene products without ever once sacrificing the color of your teeth or clean hair. Have more tips for saving money on toiletries? We would love to hear them in the comments section below! Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!