Saving Money on Toiletries

Toiletries can be expensive to buy and may be overused by family members. This is a guide about saving money on toiletries.
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21 found this helpful
August 17, 2011 Flag

I, like so many other woman, will try almost anything. Then I noticed companies are betting on just that! Shaving cream for one example: it softens, has aloe or tons of other promises. Maybe they do, but is it worth the extra money you pay for it?

I have found left over hair conditioner works just as well. In fact, when you see buy one get one free, you have just landed the best shaving cream you may have ever had.

Razors are another example, I know they have the really expensive ones that have the strip of shaving cream right on it. Easy yes, but after a few showers it has melted away. The shaver however is still usable for quite some time. I also have found it's cheaper, WAY cheaper, to buy the razor with one extra replacement blade than buying just refills. Just get the one that they want you to love which almost always comes with one replacement blade. When done, go back for the starter one again.

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The pharmacy where I go, or my local Target has 5 blades for $12-15. Right next to it is the razor with 1 blade for 5 dollars. You do the math.

If you watch the sale papers for that store, they run specials on these all of the time so you can even save more. What's better anyway, a new clean razor or the old soapy one you have? Deodorant, shampoo, any hair product like gels, sprays, it's all the same paying for a pretty package is costing you money.

Ladies, hair is hair, teeth, shaving it's all the same. Let's not let the advertisers laugh, because it says "For Women". Read the label if in doubt, I have never found a difference. I laughed when I thought about sharing this, because most of us have been guilty at one time or another, until I walked into a local small market, the kind with just a few items on the counter. It had those energy drinks (I don't use them), and couldn't help noticing one was marked for the strong man, the other for I assume the rest of us. I read the label and they were exactly the same - everything including size. It had male images, but in this world - really? A man needs more energy than I do?

Laughing away, I decided to share some of the other things I do use, being a wise consumer instead of a "mark". Have a great day, ladies!

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By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh6 found this helpful
July 13, 2011 Flag

It was a beautiful sunny day in the Caribbean as my family and I headed to the beach. Before we hit the water, I spent ten minutes covering a wriggling and impatient boy with SPF 50 sunscreen. From there, I argued with him every hour as I "wasted" ten more minutes of his time reapplying the sunscreen. To my dismay, I didn't put a pale skinned youngster to bed that night. Instead, he was a lobster burned from the sun that had permeated his sunscreen. Why? The expiration date of our sunscreen had expired.

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It only took one day to learn my lesson. Now, no matter how much the sunscreen cost, if it's past the expiration date I throw it out. Expiration dates are printed on products to ensure that consumers receive the full benefits of their products. However, there are times when an 80% benefit is acceptable and throwing away a product because of the nearing expiration isn't the best option. However, in the case of our vacation it's important that we receive 100% of the sunscreen's abilities; therefore, the expiration dates are extremely important to us. It's a call that you're going to have to make.

To Expire or Not to Expire

Over the counter medicines typically do not "go bad" after their expiration dates, but they will lose some potency. However, most studies show that they still retain 90% of their potency five years after their expiration. Examine the importance of the medicine, and determine if you're willing to throw it out or continue to use it. Keep in mind that liquid medicines are less stable than pills, so use your judgment when evaluating the product. If it smells or looks different, discard it. Do not take more than the dosage states in order to make up for the lessened effects.

Most personal care products also lose potency after their expiration dates. Chemicals in the products leach into the packaging or dissipate into the air, leaving the products less effective. Since these aren't medications, you may not notice the lessened effects and may not receive any benefits from the products. Products like toothpaste, skin care, and anti-aging products will fall into this category.

When bacteria can enter the product, adhere to the "after opening" expiration date closely. Makeup should be discarded within three months of opening no matter how expensive. Other products like eye drops, saline solution, and creams can also be bacterial hiding places. While the products still do as they were intended, they may do a little more with age.

What If There's No Date?

The FDA regulates the inclusion of expiration dates. For products that do not require dosage instructions and will hold their effectiveness for three years, the FDA does not require expiration dates. Therefore, some sunscreens may not have one while others will. To avoid any problems with unmarked products, upon purchase use a marker to write the month and day on the product. You'll know when the sunscreen is nearing its three year mark.

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12 found this helpful
July 31, 2011 Flag

I searched high and low in every store and could not find a good, old-fashioned poofy powder puff. I use Gold Bond Power in various and sundry places and had been using my hand or a wash cloth to apply it. In the midst of searching another store, my husband suggested I take an old sock and fill it with powder and use that. WOW! What a suggestion!

When I got home, I found a cotton anklet that needed a job and put about 1/2 cup Gold Bond Powder in it. I twisted the top and tied it off with a rubber band. I poofed power in all the right places, and it didn't make near the mess the other ways had done.

My husband! The inventor of poofy powder socks.

By Elaine from OK

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June 27, 2012 Flag

Do you ever wonder how much of a product, such as lotion, gets thrown away when you can no longer squeeze or pump any more out? I did.

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May 12, 2014 Flag

When you can't squeeze any more lotion out of a plastic tube, save what is left inside by cutting the tube so you can dip it out with your finger. I trim the tube so the top will fit over the bottom and this keeps it from drying out. It works great for me.

Use All the Lotion in a Tube

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9 found this helpful
November 2, 2011 Flag

I can't see very well without my glasses, so I put a large "S" on my shampoo bottle and a large "C" om my conditioner bottle with a waterproof marker, now I can tell one from the other while I am in the shower.

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7 found this helpful
March 5, 2010 Flag

We always save the soap, shampoos, toothpaste, and lotions we get at hotels when we stay in them. They come in handy when we run out of out regular soaps and things, especially when we can't make it to the store right away.

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9 found this helpful
June 16, 2010 Flag

Get all the product that you paid for out of the bottle or tube before throwing it out. Plastic tubes are easily cut in half with scissors. Then you can reach in and get out the toothpaste, lotion, or whatever is in it.

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October 8, 2009 Flag

A dime sized shampoo works great for me, even when my hair is long, and it saves money too. Just put a dime sized plop of shampoo in your hand, rub it, and spread it over your damp hair, and nope, it does not usually lather in your hair.

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1 found this helpful
January 30, 2009 Flag

A large portion of our grocery budgets go to non grocery personal care items. How do you save money on toiletries like shampoo, soap, lotion and other personal care products? Here are tips from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own ideas here.

Saving Money on Toiletries

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2 found this helpful
April 12, 2007 Flag

We live on a limited income, and shop at Dollar General stores often. There, we buy DG brand antibacterial soap for bathing. A 40 oz. bottle cost $2.

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4 found this helpful
September 8, 2011 Flag

My mother-in-law taught me this during our visit this summer. When you have a stiff tube of product such as shampoo, moisturizer, or sunscreen and there's too little cream left to squeeze out, you can cut the tube crosswise into two sections.

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0 found this helpful
March 26, 2010 Flag

How do you get hand lotion, liquid soap, etc. out of plastic pump bottles when you get to the bottom and know there is some left in the bottle?

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November 24, 2010 Flag

To keep the contents from drying out, I put the container in a small sandwich bag. I also do this with bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion that are too low for the pump to get to the contents.

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1 found this helpful
March 8, 2011 Flag

Instead of buying a clip for squeezing out your toothpaste, conditioner tubes, etc., put the tube down on the counter and with the handle of a screwdriver or hair brush, push from the bottom up to the cap end.

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0 found this helpful
May 9, 2007 Flag

It's surprising how much product is left when you think the last drop has been squeezed from that tube of facial cleanser, moisturizer, or hair gel.

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May 6, 2009 Flag

Do you love your bath salt, but it is never enough, and it costs too much to continually replace? You can mix your current bath salts with equal amounts of baking soda to give you more and it also softens the water even more for you.

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1 found this helpful
September 16, 2013 Flag

First of all, I use the cheaper brand. Alberto VO5 around here is usually just $1 a bottle and sometimes on sale for less. Their conditioners seem like they mix more reddily with water.

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0 found this helpful
June 6, 2007 Flag

Can't get lotion out of that tube? There's plenty left after you've squeezed as much out as you can! Cut the end off with scissors. For small tubes, your finger can get the rest out.

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1 found this helpful
February 5, 2013 Flag

Most people don't realize that the main purpose of a facial cream is to seal in water. The best way to save money on your creams is to mix a little water in your hand with your cream or lotion and apply gently to a slightly damp face.

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1 found this helpful
October 29, 2012 Flag

When applying moisturiizer or hand lotion to your face or body, do this. Wash first and have your skin a little damp (not wet), then apply the lotion. You need a very little bit by using on damp skin. The bit of dampness make your lotions soak in faster.

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0 found this helpful
July 7, 2012 Flag

Some kids don't know what a normal amount of shampoo, conditioner, or showergel is. They tend to use way too much.You can just buy a plastic pump bottle for each different product to refill over and over, and tell them that 1 or 2 pushes is enough! This helped me save loads and loads of money.

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This is a really simple and quick way to get all your toothpaste in the tube up to the dispenser. Just hold the tube front and back, then place the back end on the counter edge.

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0 found this helpful
July 28, 2010 Flag

Re-use those 2 oz. energy drink bottles you've accumulated to put lotion samples in if you make your own lotions. They are perfect for purses because of their size. You could also refill them with shampoos and conditioners to take along camping or on trips.

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December 3, 2004 Flag

Here's a simple method to use less shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Transfer the shower products into pump containers Each push is a measured amount that prevents waste.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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January 18, 2008 Flag

Anyone have any hints on pouring hand/body lotion into ceramic lotion pump jars? Usually the lotion is too thick to just pour in, and I always make a mess. I have some really cute bottles, that I would like to fill with different lotions. I have tried adding baby oil to thin it out, but it didn't work, and eventually separated from the hand lotion.

Rose S. from Malvern, PA

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March 10, 20090 found this helpful

Put your lotion into a plastic storage bag. Cut off a corner and squeeze the lotion into your dispenser. Wipe your hands with the bag to moisturize them for days afterward. I just did this a few weeks ago. Worked great and easy clean up.

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0 found this helpful
November 21, 2004 Flag

Do you have any tips on how to use all of a product or get the most out of a product like toothpaste or shampoo? Post your ideas below or send them to daily@thriftyfun.com

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March 2, 20060 found this helpful

Anything that comes in a plastic tube has a bit left in it after the last squeeze - and if you cut the tube open you can get a few more applications. To keep from drying out once you have cut the tub - close with a paper clip/hair clip.

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March 26, 2010 Flag

I treat myself to a very expensive facial care system that includes 2 small pump bottles; one for the morning and one for the evening. One bottle normally does me 2 months. Near the end of the bottle, the pump no longer reaches the cream, but I can see that there is still cream there. I turn the bottle over and allow the contents to drip into the lid that comes with the bottle. By doing this, I get an extra 2 - 3 weeks of cream. Since this is quite expensive to begin with ($30.00 for one 1.5 oz bottle on sale), the extra I gain is very welcome.

By Robin from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Answers:

Getting The Last Out Of Pump Bottles

I have also had the same problem at times and I've extended the pump tube by adding a piece of drinking straw to the end. This usually does the trick in getting the rest of the cream/lotion from the bottom of the bottle. (12/12/2006)

By Mel

Getting The Last Out Of Pump Bottles

I like the St Ives Apricot scrub and when it won't come out I just take scissors and slice the end off and get the rest out.

Another thing I do is mix a cheap hair conditioner with an expensive one. Like Suave (1.00) with Thermasilk. I don't like wasting the stuff in the bottoms of bottles. I turn them upside down and add to something else, always. I had 2 conditioners that were empty so I mixed in a bit of water and got the rest out and added it to my leave in hair conditioner spray. I find this works a lot better than just having the leave in conditioner by it's self.

(12/13/2006)

By TrayJ24736

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