How To Save Money On Sunscreen

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How To Save Money And Stockpile Sunscreen - Great tips for finding the best deals on sunscreen and having a sensible stockpile on hand to save you money!

As a fair skinned redheaded gal who has had a bout with skin cancer I could preach all day how important it is to wear your sunscreen every single day and to re-apply it throughout the day.

I am pretty darn religious about sunscreen for my family. Even though you are supposed to wear sunscreen year around, the stores and sunscreen companies rarely have coupons and sales for it outside of the summer season.

So summer is the one time of the year where I watch diligently for a great stock-up deal on sunscreen and buy enough to last our family a whole entire year.

Our family is a big one and that means we easily go through about one-half to a full bottle or more of sunscreen a week, more in the summer when we are out and about in the sun swimming and playing in the water. So my goal is to stockpile a good 40 bottles of sunscreen.

A single application of sunscreen is 1 oz. for the average sized adult.That is about a shot glass full of sunscreen!

If you are a smaller sized person or a child you will use less and of course if you are a bigger person you may use more. You should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are outdoors and more often if you are sweating or swimming.

Now of course that seems like a lot of sunscreen, but that is what works for our big family and our usage. Your families needs will of course be different. But I urge you to take a a little time to calculate how much sunscreen your family will use in 1 year and take advantage of these summer sales and coupons and to stockpile enough sunscreen to get you through until next summer.

In my neck of the woods sunscreen can easily cost $4.00 a bottle or more for the generic store brand sunscreen in the winter when there are no sales going on and if we are using 1/2 a bottle a week that really adds up!

Instead, my savings plan of action is to get it for at least half price ($2.00) per bottle and save a lot of money. If I can get 40 bottles of sunscreen for $2.00 per bottle that is a out of pocket cost of $80. But I would rather spend $80 now versus $160 over the course of the year buying a bottle every two weeks when I don’t know what the prices are going to be. The stores can really jack the prices up in the winter!

5 Quick Tips How To Save Money On Sunscreen:

1. Watch for sales and have your sunscreen coupons ready – Like I mentioned above, summer is the time to stockpile your sunscreen because it is on sale at almost every store and there are coupons out there. While printable coupons are nice, there are limits on how many of any one coupon you can print per computer. So unless you have access to multiple printers and can print multiple coupons your best bet is going to be using insert coupons. In our Couponing 101 guide we explain how important multiple coupons are and how to get multiple coupons. If you do not have a source for multiple coupon inserts then I would suggest ordering coupons from a reliable coupon clipping service or trading for them. When trying to determine if a sale is a good deal always compare the unit price. That means doing some basic math and dividing the final price (after coupon if using) by the number of ounces in a bottle. You might be surprised that sometimes the smaller bottles of sunscreen are the better value. Not always though, and that is why you need to do your cost per unit math to make sure you are getting the best sunscreen deal possible!
2. Buy quality sunscreen – Most store brand generic sunscreens are just fine and in fact they are probably made by the same companies that make the name brand sunscreens but are just white labeled for each individual store. That being said I have found some really inferior sunscreen at the dollar stores. The dollar store sunscreens are often cheaply made, expire quicker and separate quicker. I was just not impressed. That being said, name brand sunscreens are the ones that are going to have the bigger push for savings with sales and coupons. When buying sunscreen look for brands that contain strong ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients create a physical barrier against the suns harmful rays. Other sun-blocking ingredients are chemical and work by absorbing or bouncing ultraviolet rays.
3. Calculate your families sunscreen usage – Figure out how much sunscreen your will use for 1 year (52 weeks). If your family is big like mine that number will be higher than if your family is small. That is just common sense but it needs to be said because if you have a family of 2 there is no need for you to stockpile 40 bottles of sunscreen. You won’t use it and it will expire before you can use it and that is just wasteful. And wasteful is never frugal!
4. Check expiration dates – this one is very important because sunscreen definitely has a shelf life. On average sunscreen is good for about 3 years from the date of manufacture. But before you put that sunscreen in your cart pick up each bottle and check the shelf life and make sure none of it is already expired (it happens) or close to expiring and try to buy bottles with the longest date out before it expires. When you get home, arrange your sunscreen in your stockpile so that the bottles that expire the soonest are on the front of the shelf and the bottles with the longest expiration date are in the back so that you are sure to use the bottles before they expire. And while sunscreen is not going to make you sick if you use it a little past its expiration date like food would, it is just not as effective and you run the risk of getting sunburned or allowing UV ray damage to your skin.
5. Store your sunscreen properly – Sunscreen should be stored in a cool location that does not have a wide fluctuation in either temperature or humidity. I personally store all of my HBA stockpile inside my home (versus the garage or other area that gets too hot or cold) in a my linen closet where the temperature is controlled and do not get too hot or too cold. And while it is really tempting to keep a bottle of sunscreen in the car so that we are prepared and ready to apply or reapply while we are out and about. It is not a good idea. It gets way too hot in the car and the high temperatures of a parked car in the summer can quickly degrade the quality of your sunscreen making it less effective. Instead, I like to keep a tote bag with our sunscreen and other essentials and I just schlep it with me. I also keep a purse/travel sized bottle of sunscreen in my handbag at all times too so that I am sure I am never without it.


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