Saving money on your monthlies - and other useful stuff!
Many women choose reusable sanitary products for health or environmental reasons, but we thought the cost comparison would be an interesting exercise - it's always good to know that our environmental choices are actually saving us cash! And it's not just your monthlies, you can save money in other areas too AND go greener.
Sanitary Protection / Feminine Hygiene Products
Most women spend between £2 and £5 every month on sanitary protection. It all adds up, but I'm willing to bet that because you can buy your sanitary towels and tampons in the supermarket, you just pop them in the trolley without even looking at the price most of the time. It's a bit irritating to discover that you also pay 5% VAT on feminine hygiene products - so the government gets paid every time you have a period! How unfair is that?
So, how can you save money? Reusable menstrual products are available in three main forms: menstrual sponges, menstrual cups, and washable sanitary towels or pads.
- Menstrual Sponges cost around
£10,and last around a year. So the cost of a yearsmenstrual protection is £10.
- Menstrual cups cost around £15 - £20 and last for around ten years. This works out on average at less than 20p per period, assuming you have 12 a year.
- Reusable sanitary towels cost around £5-£8 per pad and should last you for 5-7 years. Most women find they need to buy about 8-10 reusable sanitary pads.
It's not an exact science, you may want to have a look at the prices you're paying every month for sanitary protection products, including your panty liners, and work out a more accurate figure for you, but the savings are clear to see.
A cost comparison over five years (60 periods) of using each option:
- Menstrual Cups £9 (around 15p per month)
- Reusable Sanitary Towels or Pads £30 - £70 (50p to £1.16 per month)
- Menstrual Sea Sponges £50 (83p per month)
- Disposable Sanitary Towels/Tampons/Pantyliners £120 - £300 (£3 to £5 per month)
Of course you may opt to use more than one type of product, for
Deodorants are another product that we tend to pick up at the supermarket without thinking about it, costing around £2 a time every 3 weeks or so, costing you around £35 a year. In
Our cost comparison, over 12 months:
- Faith in Nature Crystal Deodorant £3.85
- Earth Conscious Deodorant £5.00
- Tawas Crystal Deodorant from £7.95
- Disposable Deodorant Spray £35.00
We stock crystal deodorants by Tawas Crystal - purified potassium alum, and Faith in Nature - ammonium alum. Both work in a very simple way, simply apply to wet skin after using the shower or bath, and a microscopic layer is left on the surface of the skin to neutralise bacteria which cause odour. Crystal deodorants are great for people with allergies, being free from preservatives, emulsifiers, oils and fragrances that can cause sensitivities. They are also free from aluminium
I won't get on my soap box (pun totally intended!) but here are the financial facts of laundry - you can buy the big brands, supermarket own brand, or even a green brand like Ecover, and you will spend money on that every single month. Switch to EcoEggs or Soapnuts, and the savings will surprise you:
- Conventional laundry powder/liquid - approx 20p per wash
- Soapnuts - 3p per wash
- EcoEggs - 3p per wash
So, how many washes are you doing a week? Multiply by 52 to get the annual figure, then work out how much you could save. For my family (2 adults and 4 children) we reckon the saving is around £88 per year. Plus we generate a lot less waste by not purchasing the conventional laundry products, and we don't have to lug them home from the shops either!
EcoEggs are a bit more technical, they look like a large egg, and contain clever pellets that will clean the washing very effectively. Replacement pellets are also sold so you can keep going with the same outer Egg for years.
As neither product contains "optical brighteners" or harsh cleaning ingredients, you will notice that coloureds keep their colour longer. Stains should be pre-treated with a suitable stain remover (we stock the Ecover one and the Living Naturally stain stick).