Going Waste Free On a Budget (Period Edition)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

This post is going to a little different than my other post, it will also be a bit longer, but stick it out with me we are going to learn a little about ourselves (period) and how to save a little money.



One of my goals for the new year is to use less waste and save money. I have found many different ways to do both from doing a money saving challenge to no longer drinking bottled water. But I knew going into this the one area I really wanted to tackle was my cycle and eliminating the cost of pads and the waste of pads. Ideally I wanted to buy some Thinx’s, however, just for a three day light cycle (aka. three pairs of underwear), it would cost around $90 (No!). That is a lot of money upfront and us single moms are on a budget. For this reason, I decided to try out a more cost friendly avenue. Going waste free does not have to cost a lot.


One of my goals for the new year is to produce less waste and save money. I have found many different ways to do both from doing a money saving challenge to no longer drinking bottled water. But I knew going into this the one area I really wanted to tackle was my cycle and eliminating the cost of pads and the waste of pads. Ideally I wanted to buy some Thinx’s, however, just for a three day light cycle (aka. three pairs of underwear), it would cost around $90 (No!). That is a lot of money upfront and us single moms are on a budget. For this reason, I decided to try out a more cost friendly avenue.

However, before I get into the more cost efficient road, I want to talk about my cycle (period).
I am a beyond light bleeder, to put into perspective on a really heavy day I only go through two pads, and that is maybe once every 3 to 4 months. For the most part, I go through one pad a day. The average woman goes through a pad every 4 to 6 hours (I do not know about tampons I don’t use them).

In regards to cost, let's say I go through 4 pads a period, and I buy a pack of pads  (18) for $7. That is roughly $21 a year. However, for other women that are four pads a DAY. So, in reality, some women are spending $7 a month ($84 a year) on pads (not including liners, candy, panties, wipes) What I am saying is your period is costing you 100’s a year might as well knock that number down. My cycle is really light, so I am largely doing this because of my impact on the environment.

To start my no waste journey (period Edition) I bought a two pack of seamless hipster period panties by Anigan for $25.95 on Amazon (favorite store), and because I am a Prime member, there was no shipping cost. Afterward, I went to my other favorite online store (ETSY) and bought reusable no wing panty liners set of 6 for $10.50 (13.50 after shipping). That brings my total cost to 39.45 ( a lot more reasonable).  Because my cycle is so light, I went with the panty liners and not pads (that and I wanted something wingless). I know that not everyone has a cycle like mine and that they need more from their pads so I will be doing another review of reusable pads with wings. I have used this method over the last few months and only had to use one disposable pad in all that time. I kept a diary the first month (February) to give a good idea of how it felt to change from disposable to reusable.



Dairy

Day 1: (Fed 8, 2017) I should really say night one. My cycle is 6 days early (really on time I was so stressed last month it was 10 days late). I have on the underwear and panty liner. The liner did not fit the underwear pocket (for pad) great, but I will still be sleeping in everything. I do not usually bleed really heavy if I have severe symptoms, but I had nearly no symptoms for this cycle so this cycle might actually be one of my heavier ones. So fingers crossed my bed is stain free in the morning.  

Day 2: I had no issues overnight, but I did not actually bleed overnight (I know I am blessed). Today is a work day, and I am going to continue with the reusable liners and underwear.

I was a lot more worried about work so ended up taking a disposable pad and an extra liner with me. The day went okay, I had one spot though (not enough for anyone else but me to notice). So I took the liner out of the pocket in the underwear and just wore it in the underwear. Outside of the one incident, all went well. I should mention I was a bit worried about people being able to smell me by the end of the day.

Day 3: I kept the liner out of the pocket and had a great night and day. I bled a little more and had no issues, no bleeding through, was not worried about the smell. I was a lot less concerned once I had seen how both the liners and underwear absorb.

Day 4: The only issues I had was dropping my pad in the toilet (before using it) that was weird and uncomfortable but because it was my last day and I really just bleed when I am wiping after going to the bathroom I just wore the underwear.

Final thoughts:

The liners were thinner than I thought they would be so I will be definitely looking into the pads.
The underwear fit great and are comfy, but they are a lot tighter than regular underwear. That took a few periods to get used to. It was not until my third period wearing the underwear that I really got used to them.
The cut for a reusable pad/liner is too small for my liking in the underwear. I am sure they did this so I would have to buy their stuff, but I am pro small business. So I will still be buying pads/liners from small business if I can find underwear that are not $20 a pair I'd buy those from a small business too (that is a rant for another day).
The liners came in great colors and prints and are a lot more festive than pads. It really added a bit more fun to my cycle.
Absorption in underwear is not great if you have a sudden flow or a clot. The underwear or not like Thinxs they are not made to be worn to replace pads or tampons. However, I feel when you are on your last day or two, and all you are really doing is spotting they are fine.
Liners will stain…. This is the reality of using cloth, and it does not bother me. If you want to keep your cloth pads looking great rinse them out or soak them within 24 hours after use.

Overall my experience has been pleasant over the last few months (4) I have not had to worry about running out of pads or if I have the money or time to run and get some. I have also noticed a lot less irritation on my periods, and I think this is because the fabric breathes better and it also has no added fragrance. Also the smell issue I had during my first time using them I have not had since. However, I am interested in seeing how they may change with warmer weather.

Because I am very scared of toxic shock, I do not use tampons, but I would love to hear from women who have tried alternatives to those such as the Diva Cup.

A little FYI:

It is normal to bleed through a pad every 4 to 8 hours. If you bleed through one more often than that you might be bleeding too much and it time to see the doctor.

Would you ever go reusable? Tell me why or why not in the comments.

One of my goals for the new year is to use less waste and save money. I have found many different ways to do both from doing a money saving challenge to no longer drinking bottled water. But I knew going into this the one area I really wanted to tackle was my cycle and eliminating the cost of pads and the waste of pads. Ideally I wanted to buy some Thinx’s, however, just for a three day light cycle (aka. three pairs of underwear), it would cost around $90 (No!). That is a lot of money upfront and us single moms are on a budget. For this reason, I decided to try out a more cost friendly avenue. Going waste free does not have to cost a lot.

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4 comments

  1. I'm thrilled to read you're reducing waste in your life. I am a huge advocate for waste reduction and like you I decided to eliminate pads altogether and used the menstrual cup for awhile. It didn't work very well for me for two reasons. I have an inverted womb so it wasn't sitting properly and I was bleeding so heavily (due to massive fibroids unbeknownst to me at the time) that my cup literally runeth over. You really are blessed for having such a light cycle, I'm glad you're testing out different options. You might not be able to eliminate disposable pads completely, but just reducing your usage, you've already accomplished a lot. Well Done!!

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  2. It's quite shocking to think of the money and waste our monthly cycle produces. it really is worth looking into more environmentally friendly options.

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  3. I don't think I can add anything but that the cheetah and I were here and we left this comment!

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  4. I also wanted less waste and lower cost this year. Plus tampons have so many chemicals, so I switched to a cup and I love it.

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