The cost of living crisis isn’t just about trying to reduce our energy bills or cutting back on groceries. It affects people who menstruate on a very personal level too and period poverty is on the rise.
According to Bloody Good Period, it’s estimated that people who menstruate spend an average of £4,800 over their lifetime. The combination of buying sanitary products, painkillers, and replacing underwear and sheets adds up. So much so that it has become unaffordable to many.
With this in mind, we have some tips to help you cut back on the cost of sanitary products. Read on to find out how.
Opt for own-brand products
Supermarkets like Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda along with chemists such as Boots and Superdrug have great sanitary products The quality and efficiency are often just as good but you can save a small fortune. Check out how much you can save on some of the most popular products.
|Night-time sanitary towels
|Always Infinity Night Sanitary Towels (10 pack) £3.40
|Boots Everyday Ultra Night Towels (10 pack) 75p
|Normal winged sanitary towels
|Bodyform Ultra Fit Normal Winged Sanitary Towels (14 pack) £1.55
|Superdrug Normal Ultra Towel with wings (14 pack) 85p
|Tampons with Applicator
|Tampax Compak Regular Tampons with Applicator (18 pack) £2.50
|Asda Regular Tampons with Applicator (20 pack) £1.00
|Tampons without applicator
|Lil Lets Non-Applicator Super Plus Extra Tampons (14 pack) £2.20
|Tesco Free Spirit Super Plus Non-Applicator Tampons (24 pack) £1.05
|Bodyform Dailies Classic Panty Liners (44 Pack) £1.55
|Alidi Lunex Breathable Panty Liners (32 pack) 52p
Reusable period products save money
It seems that reusable period products are the way forward. Not only are they more sustainable and better for the environment, but they also save money too. Lauren Derrett is the founder of the UKs leading reusable period pads, Wear 'Em Out, she told us that "making the switch to reusable period products could actually save you £120 per year, (£10 per month) that’s nearly £5k across our period lifetime of around 40 years. That means that disposable sanitary pads cost the user 95% more than using reusables would. Reusable pads are the cheapest option and can be reused multiple times, with the average reusable pad lasting for 3+ years".
There are a few reusable products available, take a look at the suggestions below and see which one could meet your needs as well as save you a few quid every month.
Consider using a menstrual cup
Also known as a period cup or sanitary cup. This reusable cup can be used time and time again. It’s thought that you can potentially save up to 90% compared to regular sanitary products. It’s also a good choice when it comes to the environment too.
One of the most common brands is the Moon Cup. The cost is around £23.50 and depending on the user it could potentially last up to 10 years! If you would like to spend less especially if you are unsure if this type of sanitary product is for you) we found Flowcup too. Prices start at just £5.
If you are the holder of a Boots Advantage Card and you have points to spend, Boots own brand menstrual cup is £17.50. However, it’s often available at a reduced price for Advantage Card holders too, at the time of writing this it is just £6.80.
Period undies are a game changer
Period underwear has become one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to manage your monthly cycle. If you opt for period pants alone (without the use of additional sanitary products) you will start saving money straight away.
There is the initial cost to consider though, but once you have them they can last up to 5 years. And the good news is that there are a ton of brands making them now. There are different styles, fits and price points to suit all budgets.
- WUKA is an independent female-founded brand, prices start at £12 per pair.
- Modibodi is a UK brand and has a large selection of styles from £14 per pair.
- Marks and Spencers offer multi-packs from £18 for a pack of three pairs.
- Amazon has lots of options to choose from. You can pick up 5 pairs for just £17.99.
Discover reusable sanitary pads
If your preferred sanitary product is a pad, washable pads might be for you. Rather than buy packs of disposable pads every month you simply invest in reusable pads that will last years. You use them in the same way as period pants but this way you get to wear your existing undies!
- Wear Em Out make reusable pads starting at £8.50. You can even donate a pad to those in need for just £6.99. As we mentioned before, period poverty is a growing concern so this is an awesome way of doing your bit to help if you can!
- Amazon has reusable pads available in packs of 7 with a wash bag for £15.99 - so it’s great value for money.
- There are hundreds of different reusable pads in various designs and styles available on Etsy from independent sellers too.
What can I to do when I can’t afford sanitary products?
If you find yourself in the position of not being able to afford sanitary products, know that are not alone. A survey conducted by Water Aid in 2022 found that almost a quatre of people who menstruate in the UK struggled to afford sanitary products over that year. And 34% said they didn’t think they would be able to afford them in the future.
If you find yourself in this position, here are a few things you can do.
- Head to Morrisons and ask for ‘a package from Sandy’ or ‘a period product pack’ at the customer service desk. Any customer requesting a pack will receive sanitary products in discrete packaging for free - no questions asked.
- Your local food bank may be able to help. As well as supplying food they also supply sanitary products where possible too.
- There are also websites that can direct you to help when you are in need, they include Period Poverty UK, Bloody Good Period and Hey Girls. They are also an excellent port of call if you are in a position to donate.
Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.
I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more.
I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!