Buying Bulk Maxi Pads or Tampons

I was thinking about this the other day, wondering whether it is common for women (or even the flow-loving guys) to buy feminine hygiene products in bulk. In the typical North American society, we’re used to buying almost everything in bulk, our fruits, vegetables, meats, clothing, etc. to take advantage of lower per-unit prices, such as Costco, Sam’s Club and tons of smaller-name retail-warehouses, but what of these products? I used to be a big fan of buying Always at Costco because they used to offer packs of 96’s for $13.. but that was before they reduced the package size and raised the price.  Unlike Asia regions, housing here has an abundance of space, so it isn’t necessary for pads/tampons to come in small packs as we have plenty of space to store them. With that said, there are definitely savings when it comes to buying in bulk.

For instance, let’s take a look at the above figure. The above price is fixed as I purposely chose a “Buy it now” item only, so no bidding is required. A normal pack of 24’s is approx $4 so in this box of 96-count, it is technically 4 packages. Multiplying a $4 per pack cost x4 = $16. So to compare buying bulk, I am saving nearly half of the regular cost! To buy in bulk would come down to 9.63 cents per pad versus buying regularly at 16.66 cents per pad! I have a feeling Maysea is going to mock us because buying them in the Philippines is only 7.5 cents per pad not even in-bulk! I have seen even better deals than this, but they have been long-gone, probably for good reason as it never hurts to stock up. I know for most regular/heavy flowing girls, going through 96 pads is easy and it doesn’t even register on your mind.

Following through with another (I don’t pick Stayfree for a particular reason other than it was one of the good deals that showed up on my search), this set comes with a total of 132 pads for 17.99. Unlike the previous deal, it is not as good, but is still better than not buying in bulk with a price tag of 13.62 cents per pad.

For some reason, the bigger discounts seem to happen for tampons. This one comes down to only 6.93 cents per tampon! Of course these boxes look like they were one of those “samples” boxes, but it doesn’t matter, a tampon’s a tampon…. once you use it, you throw it away anyways! These boxes look like the ones I can get from my work, lol… if I ever have a daughter, I’m sure I wouldn’t have to spend too much buying her feminine hygiene, haha. My ex used to buy the Always with me from Costco, but the only problem (or well, if you see it as a problem) was, she’d get several jumbo packs that she’d just use the same type of pad for any day. Rather than using the “right” protection to match her flow, she’d just use the same one for any flow which meant she would instead, adjust her pad-changing-cycle to her flow. Because she used Always Regular Maxis (Yellow), on heavy days, she’d be in and out of the washroom more than anything. My ex and I were not at that stage yet where we’d sleep at each others houses but she has told me that she actually gets up in the middle of her night twice when she’s on her period to change her pad. To me, that’s inefficient use of products since she’s not using a heavy or overnight pad to allow her to sleep through the night. I’m not sure whether I’d be all too happy with her waking up in the middle of the night for a week every month, haha.

The cost of pads and tampons over time for menstruating women is quite large. I suppose that’s exactly why there’s been women who have taken up alternative products, mainly reusable ones such as silicon/plastic cups, sea sponges, cloth pads, blood towels (got this from one of the other bloggers I read), etc. so the recurring monthly cost is not there. Although the initial “impact” of a $60 item is great, that’s only about half a year worth of disposable pads/tampons. If you’re going to have to buy pads/tampons anyways, mind as well get them in bulk to take advantage of better pricing. Of course, just like anything else, it’ll take a bit of time to “scope out” the variety of quantities/prices before knowing what is considered a good deal. However, saving 20-cents per se on every pad/tampon amounts to big savings over a course of 40 years!

Although using disposal products as a whole is already “not very green”, but a lot of the bulk products come in boxes and not in their regular retail package, which helps on reducing the amount of waste. In the “old days” a lot of the hygiene products were not wrapped and would come out of a box/bag as-is and manufacturers were more environmentally-friendly then. Nowadays, almost all pads and tampons are wrapped in paper or plastic and even some pantiliners are individually-wrapped! For a while, Always were giving away “pantiliner pouches” along with their boxes so that it encouraged people to buy boxed, non-individually-wrapped pantiliners and slide them into the pouch. Even some of the old Always Classics I have are not individually wrapped and are already in a complete “pad form” once you take them out of the bag. Heck, they are not even folded! For the purpose of carrying, it is nice to have individual-wrappings but for at home, manufacturers should consider releasing “portable” and “non-portable” versions of their products. Many girls generally have a slot in their bag/purse or even carry a discrete case with them where they bury their products anyways, so they could probably live without it being individually wrapped. O.B. is one of the more environmentally-conscience tampons since they come without an applicator (why would you need one anyways? Seriously that afraid to touch down there?) which makes them extremely hard to “crush” or “break” while being jostled around inside a bag/purse. Tampons themselves are very hard so ones without an applicator are actually more “safe” and “discrete” to carry around. On the other hand, with some well-thought placement of pads in a bag, it is also possible to prevent it from being all mushed up when you go to take it out.

I know this strayed away from the original topic a bit, but there wasn’t a lot I could say… just thought I’d bring it to point of whether people do or don’t purchase in bulk, even when it’s only a matter of time before you need to use tampons/pads and that they generally don’t have “an expiry date” on them. For those who already use reusable products, kudos! For those who still use disposables, definitely hunt for some bulk sales at nearby stores or online!

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About Prexus Swyftwynd

Probably not a good idea for you to know anything about me....

Posted on February 23, 2010, in Periodtastic and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll bookmark your site.

  2. Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and
    actual effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I put things off
    a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

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