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Down the Pan: Cutting the Cost of Toiletries

Open any bathroom cabinet and it’s usually jammed full of random products. Sticky bottles, half-empty containers, gunky tubs of gel, assorted sprays…

Toiletries are everyday essentials, but they can also be expensive. No-one is going to suggest you give up on personal hygiene. Not least of all the person sat next to you at work. But there are ways to cut costs and reduce unnecessary spending – as well as make that cabinet look a little less cluttered.


  •      Firstly, lurkers are not allowed. Use up everything you have before buying more. That tropical rainstorm shower gel might smell like a stagnant puddle, but it will do the job. Don’t replace it until the bottle is empty.


  •      Use less. You don’t need a handful of shampoo for your hair or even to wash it twice. That’s a myth, spun by the makers of hair care products. The less bubbles you have, the kinder you’re treating your hair.


  •      Lose the loyalty. Downgrade to less expensive brands. If you’ve always used pricey brand names you might not realise how good inexpensive products are. Challenge yourself to change one product at a time.


  •     Squirrel free samples – wherever you go. It’d be nuts not to. Dentists for example have dozens of boxes of toothpaste to give away. Don’t ask, you don’t get. Don’t get, you buy. Buy, it costs you money … you get the drift.


  •      Hotel toiletries. Is there anyone who doesn’t take everything? Including the shower cap.


  •     Go large. All toiletries are cheaper if you buy big. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hand soap. If you’re really taking this seriously, check the per-unit price when comparing brands and sizes. Don’t wear a deerstalker hat and carry a magnifying glass. That’s being silly.


  •      Buy in bulk. Is there anything more satisfying than opening a bathroom cupboard and seeing 24 tubes of toothpaste? We know the answer to that question is yes. Just humour us for a moment.


  •     Share the product and the cost with others (excluding toothbrushes and razors). It’s crazy for everyone living under the same roof to have their own individual toiletries when the likelihood is you’re sharing the sink, the shower and the bath with them. Cosy.


  •      Look for online discounts, sign up for emails and get introductory discounts. Don’t be embarrassed about using money-off vouchers. Get double coupons on your toilet rolls and you’ll feel like you’ve won the lottery. Almost.


  •     Make your own. We’ve saved this one until the last as we knew you’d seize this idea with unabated enthusiasm. But hear us out. Baking soda for your teeth. Vinegar for your hair. Coconut oil for your body. It’s all there, online, if you check it out. Could be the start of a fresh-smelling, new-look you. Maybe.