Personal Care Items – Money-Saving Tips

Personal Care items super page of savings.

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Saving on personal care items is a piece of cake if you follow some simple money-saving tips on your toiletries.

General Money-Saving Tips for Toiletries

The following general principles apply to purchases in every area. 

  • Buying items on sale and opting for store brands over pricey name brands. 
  • Don’t let the last little bits of items in bottles and tubes go to waste. Flip them upside down, dilute the contents, or squeeze out every last drop with a hairbrush. 
  • Get creative with DIY or natural alternatives and 
  • Ccour estate and garage sales for soaps and lotions (just steer clear of used makeup, yuck!). 

But don’t worry, we’ll get into lots of specific ways to save on the areas most important to you.

Keep reading for specifics on saving on:

  • Hair Care
  • Tooth Care
  • Soap Savings
  • Body Lotions
  • Insect Repellants
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Uses
  • Lipstick
  • Baby Wipes
  • And some miscellaneous tips.

Save on Hair Care

Hair Care Tips from

Let’s start at the top of your body and get some money-saving ideas for hair care.

Stretching Your Mousse & Hair Gel

Stretch Hair Gel: If you use hair gel, you can double your savings by running water over your hand to thin out or liquefy the gel before applying it to your hair. You’ll use half the amount of gel and get the same look.

Buy in Bulk: Buy hair gel and mousse in bulk or in larger sizes to get a better price per unit. [link] Then read the next tip …

Reusable Container: Consider using a hair gel or mousse that comes in a reusable or refillable container to reduce waste and save money in the long run.

Pump your Gel: Use a hair gel or mousse that has a pump dispenser to avoid wasting product and ensure that you use the right amount. [link]

Buy Store Brands: Look for store-brand hair gel and mousse, which are often cheaper than name-brand products. This is called “Private Labeling.” Meaning that the product is made by a well-known brand, but packaged for the stores to sell at a lower price.

Seal and Save: Make sure to store your hair gel and mousse in a cool, dry place to extend their shelf life and avoid spoiling. Also, be sure to tighten the lid to avoid evaporation.

Try Natural Products: Use natural ingredients like flaxseed gel or aloe vera gel to make your own hair gel.

Stock Up on Sales: Hair Gel and Mousse are very shelf stable. Buy hair gel and mousse during sales or with coupons to save money. When you find a sale on the brand you like. Stock up with 6 months to a year’s worth.

Shampoo Savings

  • Dilute your shampoo and conditioner with water to make them last longer.
  • Use a natural shampoo bar instead of liquid shampoo to reduce packaging waste.
  • Make your own natural shampoo.
  • Store your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion bottles upside down to ensure you get every last drop.
  • Use a dry shampoo or cornstarch to extend the time between hair washes.

Save on Hair Coloring

Listen up, hair divas on a budget! Who says you have to break the bank for fabulous locks? With these money-saving tips, you can achieve professional-looking hair color without draining your wallet. So let’s “dye” happy and save some cash, shall we?

If you’re looking to save money on hair coloring at home, here are some tips:

  • Condition your hair regularly to prevent drying out and help the color hold longer.
  • Shampoo less frequently to preserve natural oils that protect your hair, and use a dry shampoo designed for colored hair in between washes.
  • Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for colored hair to maintain the vibrancy of your color. See these top-rated hair products on Amazon.
  • Try using root touch-up products to extend the life of your color and reduce the frequency of full-color applications. See these top-rated root touch-up products on Amazon.
  • Avoid hot showers, as the hot water can dry out your skin and hair, causing the color to fade faster.
  • Consider using a shower filter to remove chemicals and chlorine from the water, which can also help preserve your hair color.

Men’s Coloring Kit for Women?

Dianne Meier from Tacoma, WA shared this unusual tip. A friend at work revealed a secret to me the other day. She told me that she colored her eyebrows by using a men’s mustache and beard hair touch-up coloring kit. It’s cheaper than going to a professional and it looked really natural to me. 

Save Money on Hair Cuts

A young boy holding hair cutting scissors and a brush. Ready to give a home hair cut to save money.

Hair cuts range in cost from $10 to $100 plus. A lot depends on whether the haircut is for a child or an adult and the experience of the person giving the cut.

If you get your hair cut every 6 weeks, that means you’ll pay for 8 to 9 haircuts each year. $100 to $1000 per person. 

Heather Peacock from Jackson Hole, Wyoming sent in this tip.

Most salons charge outrageous prices for a haircut. Learn to cut your family’s hair yourself! There are videos (on YouTube) and books in the library showing you how. 

Or maybe you have a friend who is a professional stylist and would teach you the tricks of the trade.

Invest in a good pair of scissors and a cape (find them at a beauty supply store) [link]. 

I cut my husband’s hair and he cuts mine. We do it out on the patio so the house doesn’t get dirty. You can learn to do this! And you’ll save a ton of money each year. 

Learn to Cut Hair at Home with These Videos

How to Cut Girl’s Hair At Home:

How to Cut Boys or Men’s Hair at Home


Advantages of Cutting Hair at Home

  1. Convenience: You can cut your hair at home at any time, without having to make an appointment or travel to a salon.
  2. Control: You have more control over how your hair is cut and styled when you do it yourself, which can be especially important if you have specific preferences or styles.
  3. Cost: You’ll save a lot of money – especially if you have a lot of kids.
  4. Privacy: Cutting your hair at home can provide a more private and comfortable environment, without the need to share personal information or engage in small talk with a stylist.

Avoid long wait times: You won’t have to wait for a stylist to become available when you cut your own hair at home.

Save Money on Caring for Your Teeth

Save money on caring for your teeth - get free toothbrushes.

Don’t let the cost of a shiny smile get you down! With regular visits to the dentist (expensive) and a few clever tips, you can keep your teeth looking their best without breaking the bank.

Because let’s be real, who wants to spend all their hard-earned cash on toothpaste and dental floss?

Save on Tooth Brushes

Get a free toothbrush from your dentist during your twice-yearly checkups to avoid buying new ones.

Save on ToothPaste

  • Look for deals on toothpaste at drugstores and use coupons to pay as little as $0.99, or even get it for free.
  • Use a toothpaste clip to move the toothpaste toward the spout and make sure you use all of it.
  • If you don’t have a clip, push the toothpaste to the top of the tube by running the handle of your hairbrush along it, but ensure it is sealed tightly beforehand.
  • Add a little water to the toothpaste tube when it’s empty to clean out any remaining toothpaste. Steve has done this for many years and usually gets 7 to 14 extra days of brushing out of a depleted tube.
  • Brush your teeth with baking soda and salt or just baking soda. We learned this trick from the book,  “Having Our Say, The Delanie Sisters First 100 Years.” One of the sisters was a dentist and swore by using baking soda and salt to brush her teeth. And as a result had all of her natural teeth until she died, well past 100 years old.

Save Money on Soap

Soap is a necessity of life, but you don’t have to spend a lot to really clean up! Try these slick ideas for saving money on soap for personal care.

A clear plastic soap dish with slivers of soap in it.

Buy Soap in Bulk to Save.

You can find 12 packs of many of the top soap brands for significantly less than buying individual bars.

Soap Slivers

Keith Schrader from Wichita, KS sent in this tip describing what he does with soap slivers.

After you use a bar of soap for a while, it gets too small & slippery to work very well. 

Here’s how you can get more suds out of your bar of soap. After you’ve saved up a handful of leftover “slivers”, take a pair of old pantyhose and put the slivers inside and then tie a knot in the pantyhose.

I use the resulting ‘soap pouch’ at the bathroom sink. I’ve been doing this now for about 6 months and it works great. Sometimes I think it lathers & cleans hands better than a plain bar of soap — I suggest light-colored pantyhose and thread for a nicer appearance. 

7 More Things to Do with Soap Slivers

Mary from Mesa, AZ asked, “I’m a beginning “economizer.” What can you do with the small bits of left-over bar soap? I don’t want to throw them away — I use an expensive soap (Cetaphil) for my skin.

A Nylon Stocking with shards of bar soap

Here are seven simple ideas:

1. We stick the small piece of soap to the top of the next bar to be used. Just wet the new bar and the old piece and press both together. 

2. One of our friends folded a washcloth in half, sewed up two edges and “velcroed” the fourth. Then she put her soap shards in the pouch and washed with it.

3. John G. from Phoenix, AZ said that if he has more than two little pieces, he soaks them in water until they are soft and then amalgamates them into one usable bar.

4. Marcy from Atlanta shared that her father would save a few soap shards to use in his workshop. He would rub the soap on the threads of screws to help them go into the wood easier.

5. Steve from Chicago said that his grandmother used a leftover small piece of ivory soap to mark the hem on pants or dresses before sewing them.

6. Reb from Utah said that she turns left-over soap pieces into liquid soap. She gathers up all of her soap slivers and puts them into an empty liquid soap container. Then she adds hot tap water, seals the container and shakes the contents until well mixed. The thickness of the mixture will depend on how much water you add.

7. Steve & Annette from Scottsdale say that they put soap shards into an old piece of nylon stocking. When there are several pieces in the stocking they use it as a scrubbie to wash their bodies (see the photo above).

If you’ve got any other ideas for what to do with left-over soap, send us a note or email so we can share it with everyone else.

Soap Saver Bags

Soap Saver Bags to be used in the shower as a body scrubber.

A soap saver bag is a small pouch made from eco-friendly materials that is used for holding a bar of soap. 

It is designed to enhance your shower experience and offers several benefits. 

  • By placing your soap inside a soap-saver bag, you can create a rich lather that makes it easier to wash your hands, body, and hair. 
  • The soap-saver bag helps to exfoliate your skin, promoting blood circulation and leaving you feeling refreshed. 
  • The bag also helps to extend the life of your soap bar by preventing it from becoming soft and mushy. 
  • It’s easy to use and can be hung up to dry between uses, making it a convenient and sustainable option for your bathroom.
  • Soap Slivers can easily be added to the soap-saver bag so they can be used efficiently.

Check out Soap Saver Bags from Amazon and Walmart

You can find many options for less than $10. 

Shower Scrubs

There are several inexpensive ways to get clean in the shower without using a common washcloth. Try these two inexpensive ways.

Exfoliating Washcloths

Cotton washcloths are nice, but not long enough to clean your back. We use these exfoliating Wash Cloths/Towels. They’re about 36 inches long and can be folded to wash cloth size or arms, body, and legs or used extended to scrub your back. They last a long time and do a great job. Less than $10 for 3 of them.

Amazon Exfoliating Washcloth Towels

Loofah Sponges

Luffah sponges haning on a string.

In Arizona, we can easily grow Loofah vines and get our own sponges for free. They grow as a vine and produce dozens of large zucchini-sized Loofah gourds. Once they are dried, we peel them and get several Loofah sponges from each one (along with dozens of seeds for planting next year.

Luffah gourds hanging from a ramada.
Luffah gourds hanging from a ramada. Once they turn brown we peel off the skin and use them as sponges in the shower or to wash dishes.

Loofah sponges are great for exfoliating scrubs in the shower or for washing dishes in the kitchen. 

You can grow them yourself or buy them from:

DIY Foam Soap

Sue from Quebec, Canada shared her way of making foam hand soap cheaper.

I use soap bottles that automatically make foam to wash my hands. But, the refills can be quite expensive so I buy a big refill of Soft Soap regular stuff, fill my foaming soap bottle about 1/2 an inch with the regular soap, and fill the rest with water.

Shake and voila—foaming soap for a fraction of the cost. I have a daycare and 3 daughters of my own, plus my husband and me and the refill bottle last about 5 to 6 months. And the foam sticks to little hands instead of sliding right down the drain. So their hands are cleaner.   

Baby Shampoo for Your Face?

Pamela Temple from Yuma, AZ shares this clever tip for people with sensitive skin.

For ten years I used an expensive skin cleanser because my skin was so sensitive to soap. Because of an eye infection, I had to use baby shampoo on my hair. 

I later discovered that the shampoo also takes off eye makeup very well and left my skin really soft. So I started using it as my facial cleanser and my skin hasn’t been better. It costs only $2 a bottle instead of $18! 

Check out the best baby shampoo prices at both Amazon and Walmart.

Cheap Body Wash

4 Suave shampoo bottles used for body wash.

Dawn Kubik from Pender, Nebraska wrote in and said:

For body wash use a cheap, nice-smelling shampoo (Suave) and fill a bottle. It is cheaper than buying actual body wash and smells just as great.

Save Money on Body Lotions

  1. Use a smaller amount of lotion and apply it more frequently.
  2. Use coconut oil jojoba or olive oil as a moisturizer instead of lotion.
  3. Store your lotion bottles upside down to let gravity help you get every last drop
  4. If you stay at a hotel, save as many small bottles of their lotion as you can. When you get home, pour them into a larger bottle.
  5. As your dermatologist for lotion samples. They usually have high-quality lotions to share.
  6. Most lotions are water-based. You can safely add a little water to a thicker lotion to make it last longer.

Joyce Petrichek from Finleyville, PA shared this clever idea for stretching expensive lotion:

I’ve come up with an easy way to save money on lotions. When an expensive lotion bottle is about three-quarters empty I add baby lotion to the bottle, shake it up and I have extended the expensive “smell” for just a few pennies.

Less Expensive, Quality Lotion

CeraVe Lotion for inexpensive skin care.

A frugal blogger friend at recommended CeraVa lotion. Here’s why:

CeraVe lotion is highly recommended by all dermatologists, is a quality product, and has a fair, reasonable price. I could instead find many overpriced and overly marketed lotions when CeraVa is arguably a better product. It has more than 90,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Save on Insect Repellants

natural bug repellants for keeping insects away. Personal care items.

Email Newsletter subscribers Susan & Stephan Baumert from Falls Church, VA shared their go-to insect repellant.

This is something I’ve been doing for years to keep from getting bitten by gnats. Rub a thin film of baby oil on all exposed skin before heading outside if gnats are active. The oil forms a barrier against gnat bites.

5 Homemade Insect repellants

  1. Citronella spray: Combine 10-15 drops of citronella essential oil with 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of witch hazel in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on skin or clothing.
  2. Peppermint oil: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and apply to the skin.
  3. Vinegar spray: Combine equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake well and spray around your home or on your skin.
  4. Lemon eucalyptus spray: Mix 10-15 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil with 1/4 cup of witch hazel and 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on skin or clothing.
  5. Garlic spray: Crush a few cloves of garlic and mix with water in a spray bottle. Let the mixture sit for a few hours and then spray around your home or on your skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide Uses

Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile personal care item, home disinfectant and whitener. Here are some simple uses for personal care.

For teeth Whitening and to Eliminate Canker Sores

Close up of woman smiling with white teeth.

Take one capful (the cap that comes with the brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3%) and hold it in your mouth for a few minutes each day, then spit it out.  This can eliminate canker sores and whiten your teeth without the use of expensive pastes.

For Toothbrush Sterilization

Soaking your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide will kill germs and keep you from re-contaminating yourself after a cold.

Soak your invisiligner braces, retainer or night guard in hydrogen peroxide for a few hours, once each week. to disinfect them.

Two toothbrushes sitting in a cup on a bathroom window ledge.

For Highlighting Your Hair

If you want some natural-looking highlights in your hair, spray a mixture of 50% hydrogen peroxide (3 percent grade) and water onto your wet hair after a shower and then comb it through your hair. This method avoids the burnt blonde hair look that many dye packages can produce. This mixture works gradually, so you’ll end up with more natural-looking highlights. Truth

Custom Lipstick Colors From What You Have

4 sets of lips with different colored lipstick on them.

Dorothy from Scottsdale, AZ gets really creative with her lipstick colors. She recommends:

Take colors of lipstick that you don’t care for and mix them in a lip gloss container. Melt in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds. You then have a color no one can imitate and everyone adores. Mix blues with browns, flat colors with gloss – just about anything works. This is a great way to use up the remnant parts of lipstick stuck in the bottom of the tube. It also helps to clean out your cosmetics drawer of unwanted colors.

Homemade Baby Wipes

Thrifty friend Julia L. from Scottsdale, Arizona shares her baby wipe strategy.

I make homemade baby wipes. I started doing this with our oldest son because of allergies but continued with our younger one because of the cost savings and convenience.

Cutting a paper towel roll in half with an electric knife.


– One half paper towel roll, cut crosswise
– 1 1/2-2 cups water
– 2 Tablespoons soap (I use soft soap)
– One large plastic container with a lid


Pour water into the container and stir in soap, then put a paper towel roll into a container and put on the lid. I let it soak overnight, then by morning, I have wipes ready to go. –Just take out the inner tube from the paper towel roll and pull the wipes from the center.

Note: the amount of water depends on how thick the paper towel roll is, I find Bounty Large Rolls work the best.

Polishing Jewelry with Toothpaste

Pauly Heller from Phoenix, AZ says, “I’ve found that toothpaste makes an excellent polish for silver jewelry. Pepsodent works well, and I can usually find it at the 99-cent stores, Big Lots, and the like. Simply “shmear” it on, rub it in with your fingers, rinse, dry with a soft hand towel and voila! Shiny, like new jewelry!”

Old Mascara Wands Save Wildlife

Nelly Lines – USA says, “Please don’t throw away your old mascara wands. Instead, clean the wand part with Dawn Dish Soap and place it in a Ziploc bag. When you have several collected, mail them to a wildlife refuge that accepts donations.”

“These old mascara wands are upcycled and used to clean away oil, larvae, fly eggs, mites, infections, mud, and other contaminants from injured wildlife.”

Here are a couple of Wildlife Refuges to consider:

For more great savings at the grocery store, visit our Cleaning & Products page.

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