Let me start by firstly apologising for overuse of the word toiletries. It’s an awful word – it just makes one think of toilets, and it’s just so…grannyish. When deciding upon the topic of saving money on toiletries, I was pretty convinced that ‘toiletries’ are an English thing, but then what does the rest of the world call them? I couldn’t find a good word that meant the same thing.
BTW, if you don’t know what toiletries are, they’re anything to do with cleaning yourself – kind of like cosmetics but they allow more groups in, such as toothpaste and cotton swabs. Anything you’d put in your wash bag if you were travelling. Are we all on board with that? Then let’s begin.
Don’t buy anything for full price
I’m serious. Especially higher price things such as razors. If you shop around, it’s unlikely that there won’t be a deal to had somewhere. I’d advise stocking up on things like toothpaste and mouthwash whenever there’s a good deal on. I mean, you’re never not going to need toothpaste.
Some things are cheapest in supermarkets
I’ve found that more generic things that everyone uses tend to be cheaper in supermarkets. For example, there will always be offers on things like toothpaste and cotton pads. Also, check out own brand medications for things like paracetamol, decongestants and cough sweets.
Some are cheaper in the drugstore (shampoo)
I don’t mean to be sexist, but I’ve found in my experience that men don’t really care about the products they use. My boyfriend picks up most of his products from Tesco. However, I’m a girl. I don’t want to use Head & Shoulders shampoo. I want something a bit nicer. Also, shower gel. I’m sensitive, damn it. I like to use Soap & Glory shower gels, even though they seem pretty pricey at £6.50 a pop when you can get Radox for a pound.
I’ve found that my S&G to be far more economical though 1) it has a pump, therefore no over zealous squeezing 2) the package is about 4 times bigger and 3) the price forces me to ration subconsciously.
If you’re picky about your toothpaste, Superdrug is the way forward. Unlike supermarkets, which tend not to put premium toothpaste on sale, Superdrug often run BOGOF or two for £5 deals on products like 3D white, that will normally set you back by £4. Personally, I’m not fancy about toothpaste (my friend’s parents are dentists and they use Tesco Value toothpaste – apparently it’s your brushing technique, not the product), but my boyfriend likes whitening, deep clean and sensitive properties, so we also make sure to pick it up on offer. If he runs out, we buy generic. THAT’LL TEACH HIM TO BE DISORGANISED.
Buy in bulk (TK Maxx, Amazon)
TK Maxx and Amazon are awesome for things like shampoo since you can often get a 1000ml of a salon brand for about a tenner. If you think that most cheap shampoos are about £3 for 250ml, it’s quite the bargain. I have a bleached and highlighted hair which was pretty dry to begin with, so I go through a lot of conditioner. I like the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque and this tub from Amazon lasts me MONTHS.
TK Maxx is a great place to buy fancy soaps for guest bathrooms or if your mother in law is coming to stay. They do bulk sizes of products from brands such as Cowshed and Korres, which look ever so fancy schmancy next to the sink. Sometimes I pick up the fancy-paper-wrapped lavender soaps since they’re great for Christmas present for grandmas or even a cheap drawer fragrance. Ooo, and they have a tonne of gorgeous wash bags too, which I never buy because I have way too much beauty crap to fit in a bag, but maybe next time I travel I’ll get one.
Slightly more obscure brands (such as It’s a 10 and Physician’s Formula, which are nigh on impossible to get in the UK) can sometimes be found hiding in the beauty bit of TK Maxx, so if you’re willing to search through the plethora of crap, there are toiletry bargains a-plenty.
Take advantage of offers
As I mentioned before, I love me some Soap and Glory, but they can seem kind of pricey (especially skincare). So, I refuse to buy anything from the line unless it’s on offer, which is fairly common. The most common deal seems to be 3-for-2, so I tend to get 3 shower gels, and then some hand cream, body spray and maybe a scrub. That way, I know I’ll have enough shower gel to last until it’s back on offer again.
If I see a really great deal, such as the buy one get two free offer that the Coop sometimes run, I will stock up big time. This deal tends to be on own brand stuff, so I grab things like hand soap, toothbrushes and other things that I don’t mind buying non-brand. All of the Coop’s own brand products are Leaping Bunny certified, which is a big bonus to me – I hate having google brands in shops only to find that they don’t really declare their cruelty-free status properly.
A lot of these tips will seem obvious, but once upon a time, even though I knew all the information, i didn’t use it. I would be popping to the Spar at 10.00pm because we’d run out of toothpaste and would have to pay a fiver for a brand I’d pay a quid for in Tesco. It’s these little, necessary expenditures that you don’t think much of, that can have a serious effect on your budget.
I’m not a natural list maker, but I’m seriously thinking about having a list app, if one exists, that I can have different categories for, so when I’m doing the Big Shop, I can check which toiletries we need on one list, which cleaning supplies we need on another and so on. Does anyone know of such an app? Shoot me suggestions in the comment if you’d be so kind 🙂