Ladies' Edition: Saving Money When Aunt Flo Comes to Visit
Fellas, this post is specifically geared toward my lady-loves. BUT that doesn't mean you don't need to pay attention. If you've got a mom, a sister, a daughter, niece, girlfriend, wife, etc. - you should know this stuff too.
Good Morning Ladies! I want to talk about Aunt Flo's monthly visits...and the cost associated with her presence. In 2017, an experiment was done to review the costs of having a period for an average woman. The numbers were fascinating. If you're like me, and like 98% of American women, you use a combination of pads and tampons for your period. The calculated cost for those two items alone over a life time was $2,216.66, and that was in 2017, so factor in three years of inflation. This calculation also doesn't include the cost of using specialty brands that are safer and healthier for your body. Check out the linked article to see all of the potential costs they considered. When you see it in aggregate, it is quite astonishing.
Another interesting fact is that the feminine hygiene product industry is estimated at $22.7 billion this year and is projected to reach $32.7 billion by the year 2027. Ladies, they are making way too much money off of us!! This is especially true when you consider that until COVID-19, menstrual products weren't covered by HSAs, so all of these costs came out of pocket.
Well I have a cost-savings solution for us: the menstrual cup. Menstrual cups have been around since the 1860s, but have not gained much popularity until recently. I first considered using one when I was moving to Spain. I knew that Spain would likely have different menstrual products there and I wasn't sure if they would be amenable to my body. My reasoning was that if I used a menstrual cup, I wouldn't have to bring pads and tampons from the US, nor would I have to spend time finding the right product for me when I got there. Ultimately I decided not to use the menstrual cup because I was too squeamish.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when I decided enough was enough. I didn't want to continue to spend money on menstrual hygiene at the rate I was spending it, and I was very concerned about the environmental impact Aunt Flo, and my handling of her, was having on the world. I bought and tried out The HoneyPot's version of a menstrual cup. Y'all! I am never going back. The cup cost me $25 tops, and when I calculated how many pads I had not used because of it, I was sold.
Imagine spending $25-$50 once every 3-10 years (depending on the cup), plus $6-$10 a month for panty liners compared to what you would spend without the cup. There is no question that the menstrual cup is a significant cost saver. And in addition to being friendlier to your wallet, it's healthier for your body, and for the environment.
There are several different brands you can check out to decide which one is best for you, and this video along with this article (also linked above) will answer any and all questions you may have about the use, health, and safety of a menstrual cup.
Ultimately, the decision on what to do for your period is up to you, as it should be. But I strongly recommend watching the video and skimming the article to see if the menstrual cup is an option for you. It will save you time and money, and will help you leave less of an environmental footprint in the world. We may not be able to get around Aunt Flo's visits, but we can certainly reduce how much money we spend on her.