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Money Saving Monday: Personal Hygiene

No one wants to be stinky. Least of all me. Everyone would much rather be spring daffodil fresh.
I get that.


And yet, if there is a spending category I find myself frugal hacking my way through, this would be it. Because as much as I don’t want to be a dirty bird, I don’t exactly buy into the whole artificial scents and substances thing either. The marketing that tells us if we don’t buy xyz in the new fresh rain smell, we will somehow be a social pariah. Pfffft to that. I’ve found I can DIY, cut back, and substitute my way into significant savings without compromising hygienically or becoming publicly odiferous.

Deodorant. I wrote about this when it was still an experiment. It’s now a hands down success. More than that, I’m on my same small starter container. It requires a just a dab, and I can confidently say, I do not smell. With my friends, I would know. Trust me. Thank you baking soda and coconut oil in your re-usable canning jar. I could add an essential oil, but I don’t. I’ll never need Secret again.

Shampoo. I don’t know that I will ever make my own, nor will I ever go ‘without ‘Poo’ as some have. I prefer a happy medium, every other day approach. My shampoo costs 1/2 as much or lasts 2X as long. Take your pick. Either way, my hair doesn’t suffer and I spend less.

Soap. Making soap is complicated and unless you have a cheap source of coconut oil, it gets spendy. Certainly when compared to Irish Spring or Dollar Store alternatives. However, side by side with the local $4 a bar sensitive skin stuff we were buying, home made is the winner. As we’ve gotten better at sourcing our ingredients, the price has come down further. Our soap making supplies and molds all came from the Goodwill. And never underestimate the usefulness of home made soap as a last minute gift.

Diva Cup. Last weekend, I found myself engrossed in an all-girl, late-night, probably-too-much-wine, conversation about the

Solution. It’s amazing I didn’t scare anyone away. I’ve refrained from going in to details about these in the interest of my male readers. Boys: Stop Reading Now. I’m a fan. Economical. Easy. Yeah, it get’s a little more ‘involved’ than we may be used to, but post adjustment period (*snerk*) this thing makes my life (or at least a week of it) a lot more manageable. The Husband loves that he hasn’t had to make any emergency drug store runs since The Cup has come to town.

Toothpaste. I am not vain about many things. Teeth and hair would be the two though. I’m cavity free and intend to stay that way. I am particular about my toothpaste and the use and over use of fluoride. I alternate between with fluoride and

, employing the time old tradition of price checking, waiting for a sale, using a coupon when the sale is in effect and stocking up on 6 months worth. If it works for Chocolate, why not toothpaste?

I’ve got troublesome skin. I used to throw money at the problem, buying a lot of products, that still left me with the same troublesome skin. At a visit to a pricy Aesthetician, she recommended basic and gentle in general, Cetaphil specifically. I’ve tossed (recycled rather) all the bottles and expensive products a couple years ago. This is cheap and easy and works just as well, if not better than anything I’ve used.

Everything Else. The Husband requires certain items. His own shampoo for one. But, that might be because I don’t share. We both need razors now and again. The point is, not everything can be made at home and sometimes stockpiles run short. In those cases, Amazon Reward Points combined with a Prime Subscription come in super handy. It’s spending without money leaving my pocket.

Remember that trip to the Aesthetician I mentioned? That’s because I used to spend a whole lot more on personal upkeep; waxing, facials, pedicures, highlights. These were easy things to convince myself I deserved. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with a little R&R, in fact we could all probably use more, a hot bath and some epsom salt in your own tub does the job just as well as a $100 facial or a $25 pedicure. Whatever the method, the results are fleeting, so get the most bang for your buck.

Me? I’m happy to keep smearing my way to a less smelly self, until months from now when I have to mix a new batch of home made deodorant.

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Nancy Smith

I use the Walgreens version of Cetaphil and find it’s just as good as about half the price! I really like it.


In the course of writing this little ditty, I discovered the Amazon price is almost $2 cheaper than what I’ve been paying. :\ Dag burnit! Comparison shopping via blogging, I guess.


3 cheers for the DivaCup. I switched last summer and I can’t go back, it’s so much nicer. I do have to back mine up with pads sometimes, but I’m trying to build up a stash of cloth ones instead of disposable.

I may have to try Cetaphil. I’ve been trying to find a better/cheaper way of dealing with my acne (I still look like a high-schooler some days, which stands out amongst my peers who don’t hate makeup).


Steph – do try the Cetaphil. It really ain’t bad and lacks the gross chemical or perfumey smell of most acne and non-acne cleansers. I would have never tried it if not for the recommendation.

And thanks for backing me up on the Diva Cup! Stupid name, awesome product!

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