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Soap comes in a vast array of fragrances, states and other varieties. These products populate the shelves of grocery, drug, discount, convenient and specialty personal care stores. With all of the options come differences in prices and potentially challenges if you’re trying to control your personal finances or pinch pennies. Understanding how to save money on soap can help you meet your goals of cleanliness, refreshment and stretching dollars.
You can Save on Soap If You…
To know how to save money on soap involves recognizing principles that apply to most of your shopping and product use habits. Going simply for the lower-priced items ignores the unit cost, which better measures what you pay for the quantity you get. You’ll want to know how to get and when to apply coupons or other advertised discounts to soap products. Generally, you can also save by making soap and using soaps conservatively. Here are some easy tips on how to save money on soap.
1. Buy in Bulk
Even at a higher price, buying a larger quantity is an approach to how to save money on soap. The main savings come at the per-unit level. That is, you’ll pay less per ounce for soap in bulk rather than in smaller containers. Overall, soap makers and distributors have lower packaging costs with the larger containers. Bulk purchases work very well for soap because soap is not perishable. Indirectly, buying in bulk saves you money on soap by reducing the number trips you make to a store to buy soap.
2. Get Refills
Related to the first tip is getting refill soap. The price of liquid soap includes the dispenser in which it comes. As a result, when you purchase soap contained in a dispenser, you’re paying more per ounce of soap than if you go with a refill. Once you have a dispenser or two, save them when you empty them and replenish them with the refill soap.
In your home, consider using relatively small bottles. This may promote conservation on your part, as you slow your use of the dwindling volume of soap. Employ a funnel so that you don’t spill the soap while trying to refill the dispensers.
Bonus read: How to Save Money When Washing Dishes?
3. Choose Liquid over Foam
Especially in the long run, you save more with liquid soap rather than foam soap. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control calls into question the effectiveness of foam, despite its perceived cost-effectiveness. Foam soap makers rely on a special pump to dilute liquid soap with air. However, it usually takes more foam to lather than with liquid soap. This can translate to more frequent uses of foam soap and more purchases than with liquid soap. To get the foam effect, consider pouring water into your liquid soap containers. Also, refills of liquid soap run slightly less per ounce than and contain more soap than their foam counterparts.
4. Make Liquid Soap from Bars
Generally, bars of soap carry lower prices than liquid. However, as bars are lathered, used and diminish, they can break into pieces. The money savings can disappear as chunks of bar soap find their way down the drain.
Turning bars to liquid can answer how to save money on soap by combining lower prices of bars and the better efficiency of liquid. While specific recipes may differ, the conversion process generally consists of grating bars of soap, boiling water, placing the bar shavings into the hot water to melt them, cooling and adding a bit of essential oil and any desired coloring.
Bonus read: How to Save Money at the Laundromat?
5. Choose Generics
On average, generic, or private-label products run nearly 23 percent cheaper than merchandise carrying a national brand. Generic soaps, as with other private-label products, don’t carry the advertising and other marketing costs associated with the national brands. Often, generic soaps may carry the name of the store that sells them or a brand created by that store.
Generic dishwashing or laundry soaps may have excessive amounts of water, reducing their quality and effectiveness. For hand or body soaps, the fragrance may hold considerable sway in the decision. As a result, generic soaps with appealing scents can attract those seeking the savings afforded by avoiding the national brands.
6. Use Coupons
Coupons have served a long-standing answer to how to save money on soap and other products and services. Newspapers, especially the Sunday editions, provide these discounts and enticements. You can also go directly to the manufacturers or brands online or other coupons sites to fetch printable coupons. Certain soap retailers send coupons monthly to customers who register on their email or regular mail lists.
As with any product, buying a soap product simply because you have a coupon for it may actually increase your shopping bill, especially in grocery, discount and drug stores. Other choices, especially the generic or lesser-known brands, may cost less without the coupon.
7. Avoid Travel Size Soap
The hotel or resort at which you stay likely has at least small complementary soap bars and small shampoo in room. Further, buying the travel size soap carries the same issues of cost-effectiveness, because you are paying for the dispenser along with the soap.
Consider taking soap that you already) have at home if you’re not flying. Put any such bottles you have already opened in a storage bag to avoid leaking. If you don’t want to carry as much of that soap, use small bottles you already have or you can buy inexpensive travel bottles to use repeatedly to.
8. Stay Away from the Drug Store
Pharmacy chains as a general true charge more for many items, including soaps and other personal care products, than discount retailers or grocery stores. The higher prices usually result from the neighborhood convenience afforded by the location of grocery stores. Indeed, drug stores may function as the equivalent of convenience stores. If you need to quickly get soap, you may opt for the drug store around the corner from or on the way home rather than venture through a more crowded discount or grocery establishment.
9. Find Close Outs and Clearance Soaps
Learn how to save money on soap by searching for clearance items. At stores such as Bath and Body Works, discontinued items or other rarely-sold fragrances appear in June or July with discounts approaching 70 percent. Special Christmas or holiday-theme soap products may also plummet in price in the days after Christmas or other holiday.
10. Shower or Bath Less
To stretch the supply of soap, reduce the frequency and length of your showers. Of course, you’ll take showers to remove the odors generated from physical labor, play or exposure to warm or humid conditions.
If your not covered in dirt or have odors, hand soaps can remove germs or isolated areas of dirt just as effectively as larger quantities of soap all over your body. In fact, too many trips to the shower with soaps and rags can deplete your body’s natural oils, dry your skin and create cracks or splits through which bacteria can enter. During your showers, focus the soap on groins and other areas likely to have body odors.
Bulk purchasing, coupons, store or other generic brands and clearance racks can reduce the bill for buying soap, especially over time. Making your own soap and reusing dispensers also mean fewer dollars on soap. Knowing how to save money soap also means learning to make the soap you buy last longer through fewer showers and employing the smaller containers you reuse. Please let us know how these tips have improved your budget, or share your ideas on how to save money on soap.