Our Personal Care Tips Page contains a growing list of money-saving tips from our readers to help you save money on your Personal Care purchases!
Stretching Your Mousse & Hair Gel
I’m a professional hairdresser. 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. Debbie Ireland – Phoenix, AZ
Haircuts at Home Save Money & Time
Most salons charge outrageous prices for a haircut. Learn to cut your family’s hair yourself! There are videos 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). 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. Heather Peacock – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
What to Do with Soap Slivers
After you use a bar of soap for a while, it gets too small & slippery to work very well. Right? 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 panty hose and get out your sewing machine. Using the panty hose, cut out & make a small bag to enclose a handful of soap slivers.
Make it snug around the soap slivers. Sew it up, keeping the slivers inside. 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 panty hose and thread for a nicer appearance. Keith Schrader – Wichita, KS
7 More Things to do with Soap Slivers
I’m a beginning “economiser.” What I can do with the small bits of left-over bar soap? I don’t want to throw them away — I use a expensive soap (Cetaphil) for my skin.
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. Another option is to keep a cut off piece of an old nylon stocking in the shower and put the left-over pieces of soap in it. When it is full enough, we tie a knot in the stocking and lather up with it. (It looks kind of gross, but it works great!)
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 wood easier.
6. Steve from Chicago said that his grandmother used a small bar of soap to mark the hem on pants or dresses before sewing them.
7. 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.
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.
A Different 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. Susan & Stephan Baumert — Falls Church, VA
Extending the Life of Your Scented 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. Joyce Petrichek – Finleyville, PA
Using a Men’s Coloring Kit for Women?
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. Dianne Meier – Tacoma, WA
Hydrogen Peroxide Personal Care
For teeth Whitening and to Eliminate Canker Sores
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.
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
Cheap Body Wash
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. Dawn Kubik – Pender, NE
DIY Foam Soap
I use soap bottles that automatically make foam to wash 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. Sue – Quebec, Canada
Baby Your Face without Expensive Skin Cleansers
Beauty! 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! Pamela Temple – Yuma, AZ
Custom Lipstick Colors From What You Have
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. Dorothy – Scottsdale, AZ
Homemade Baby Wipes
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.
– One half paper towel roll, cut crosswise
– 1 1/2-2 cups water
– 2 Tablespoons soap (I use Grannies soft soap)
– One large plastic container with lid
Pour water into the container and stir in soap, then put 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 the Bounty Big Roll works the best. Julia L. – Scottsdale, AZ
Quick Repair for Broken Necklaces
I am rough on my necklace chains and had an Altoids tin full of chains that had come detached at or near the clasp in the back. Either a link had broken or the finding connecting the chain to the clasp had bent open. I have found that many of the larger linked chains can be repaired by taking a needle and thread and “sewing” the still undamaged links together on either end of the break. This also works on undamaged necklaces that you simply want to lengthen a bit. Just sew on a length of thread. Unless you have short hair, no one will be the wiser.
Audra R. – Chattanooga, TN
Polishing Jewelry with Toothpaste
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!
Pauly Heller – Phoenix, AZ
Old Mascara Wands Save Wildlife
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:
- Appalachian Wild
PO Box 1211
Skyland, NC 28776
- Wildlife Wands
(this site is often referenced, but their Facebook page has been removed)
PO Box 1586
Southwick, MA 01077
Nelly Lines – USA
For more great savings at the grocery store, visit our Cleaning & Products page.
If you have a tip related to saving money on personal care items, please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.