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!
Sorry for the lateness, I’m in a rush to head out! Hopefully I did not make any mistakes. These deals are only applicable to select regions of Canada, Ontario. Please verify these sales against your local flyer or e-flyer before purchase!
Assorted Always Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons brand for $7.57/ea.
Rexall/Pharma Plus Chains
Always Ultra Thin Pads for $4.49/ea
Assorted Always Clean Ultra/Infinity Pads and Tampax Pearl Tampons brand for $8.49/ea
Assorted Always Pads/Liners and Tampax Tampons brand for $7.99/ea
Rexall Ultra Thin Pads for $2.49/ea
Shoppers Drug Mart
Assorted Kotex Pads (14-24’s)/Liners (33-48’s) for $2.99/ea
Assorted Life Tampons (40’s) brand for $5.99/ea
Assorted Life Pads (28-48’s)/Liners (84-96’s) brand for $5.99/ea
Assorted O.B. Tampons (40’s) for $10/2 boxes
Assorted Selection Pads (14-48’s) brand for $2.49/ea
I’ve been spending today out of the office and will be out of the house for the evening. I won’t have any comprehensive updates or anything, but I will post up the deals of the week for feminine hygiene products. These deals are from Feb 13-19 (or see the fine print)… and these ones aren’t even as good as the one last week at SDM where it was 5.99 for 3 packages/boxes! These are only valid at selected locations in Canada, Ontario… and may vary on a per-city basis. Please check your local paper flyers or digital flyers to confirm the availability!
Fortinos or any Loblaws/RCSS Chain:
Your choice of Kotex Maxi Pads 14-24/Package or Kotex Pantiliners 33-48/Package or Tampax Tampons 20’s/Box
2 for $7 or any multiple of “2” packages or box
Your choice of assorted Kotex Maxi Pads or Kotex Pantiliners.
$5.97 for each package
Your choice of Kotex Maxi Pads 10’s/Package or Kotex Pantiliners or Stayfree Maxi Pads or Carefree Pantiliners
2 for $7 or any multiple of “2” packages or box
Pharma Plus or any Rexall Chain:
Your choice of assorted Always Maxi Pads or Always Pantiliners.
$4.49 for each package or box
Your choice of assorted Tena (Incontinence) Pads or Tena (Incontinence) Pantiliners.
Buy one get one free with savings of up to $7.99. See in-store flyer coupon book for more information.
INTERJECTION: Couldn’t help but get a kick out of this joke… especially after the funny morning (or well, her night) conversation that Poh Ching and I had for a few hours…
Condom says to Kotex, “When you work, I lose seven days of business.”
Kotex replies, “If you fail to work once, my business stops for nine months!”
Massive deal at Shoppers Drug Mart for the week of February 6, 2010 to February 12, 2010! However, the real sale is only on Sunday (7th) and Monday (8th). This is only applicable to select areas in Canada, Ontario so please check your location offerings accordingly! When I saw the “leaked” (lol, pun intended) version of the sales coming up this week, I thought 3 for 5.99 was a typo – but apparently not. If you’re lucky and your SDM allows printable coupons, you can even get a $2 off coupon here (top-right corner of the page) or use the P&G Brandsaver/Save.CA coupon that offers a buy 2 and get $5 off deal!
The flyer cut-out is in pretty poor resolution (hey, go complain to SDM, lol):
That’s right, your eyes aren’t fuzzy, that’s THREE (3) packages or boxes of your favourite pad/tampon/pantiliner for only $5.99!
Your choice of O.B. tampons 18-20/box, Stayfree maxi-pads 16-24/pack or Carefree pantiliners 34-60/pack or box!
Even at the weekly sale price, you are saving $1.48 if you buy 3 at a time. Normally they are 4.99-5.99 EACH, so this is definitely a good deal if you need to stock up! The awesome part of this deal is that you can mix-and-match, so you don’t have to buy all of the same kind! Whether thin or thick pad, pantiliner or tampon – as long as you get either mixture of any multiple of 3, you get the discount! Of course there’s a limit of 6, so you might want to bring a friend (for your heavy-flow’ers, lol) or just go to a different store, haha. Don’t wipe the shelves now boys and girls!
Since I’m on the topic of “good deals”… there’s no better deal than FREE, yes free! The new Always Flexi-Style Pantiliner is being sampled out, so get it while it lasts! I haven’t checked whether it is being offered in the USA since it is sponsored by BeingGirl, but Americans are always welcome to check it out at your US website! Of course you’re not given the entire box of 100, but I do believe you get 50 pieces – not bad for something you haven’t paid a cent to get.