Extreme Budget Tips: Toiletries

 Closeup of Toiletries

Flickr Photo Credit: Lawn Meadow

I know this is an extremely expensive area of the household budget. When I was first searching for ways to cut back on this category, these were some of the ideas I was able to put to use immediately.

Markedly cheaper, and very little time involved in preparation.

1.  Hairspray – I didn’t know until a few years ago that liquid hairspray can still be perfectly effective when diluted by up to 50%. Couple this information with the fact that two of my favorite brands of the stuff routinely sell for 98 cents a bottle, and their companies frequently provide coupons ranging from 50 cents to a dollar . . . it doesn’t take long to see the power of this particular strategy.

2.  Shampoo – Most people are already aware it can be successfully diluted by 30-40 percent. For us, the same brands (Suave and White Rain), prices and coupon strategies apply here as for the hairspray tip mentioned above. Shampoo can be used for other things as well. Light stain remover, hand washing of delicates, shower gel, pet cleaning (particularly the lavender scent), and as a substitute for women as a gentle face cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. My favorite? The face cleaner option. This saves a chunk of money compared to my previous expensive option that I can now spend on a decent quality over the counter moisturizing option with sunscreen and retinol.

3.  Deodorant – This product can be rather expensive without a strategy to counteract the cost. Combining a manufacturer’s coupon with a pharmacy coupon (Walgreens is one I’ve routinely seen allow this) can make it possible to pick this stuff up for little to nothing. Another el cheapo option? Isopropyl alcohol in a pump-spray bottle. For traveling, we use the Thai mineral salt crystal. It’s a little more per package, but it lasts forever and doesn’t melt or leak in your luggage.

4. Salt – Use on its own as an exfoliant, stir with warm water for a gargle, or mix with soy oil and a favorite scent for a spa-type skin scrub in the shower.

These are the first four that came to mind. We’ll post more as we think of them.