I know . . . you’ve been hearing all about the benefits of essential oils for years now, but you don’t know where to start. And because you’re a frugal mom, you don’t want to waste your money. Well, after several years of using essential oils myself for many purposes, including improving health, making natural health and beauty products, and for DIY cleaning solutions, I have discovered a few tips and tricks that can help save you money. So sweet frugal mom, here’s your guide to using essential oils on a budget.
The Frugal Mom’s Guide to Using Essential Oils
There are basically two main categories when it comes to being frugal while using essential oils – how to save money and how not to waste it.
How to Save Money Using Essential Oils
Let’s begin with some tips for how to save money using essential oils. Most of these seem like common sense when you read them, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the madness and before you know it, you’ve spent hundreds of dollars and you don’t even know what you’re doing yet! This is a little like the obsession that frequently happens when you first begin homeschooling.
Here’s what you can do to save a little dough.
Build Your Essential Oil Collection Gradually
You don’t have to have 25 bottles of essential oils to get started and you don’t have to buy an expensive “starter kit.” There are many essential oils that serve multiple purposes. Start with some of those.
Lemon, Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Lavender are some of the most versatile (and therefore most cost-effective) essential oils you can purchase, and are some of the first oils I tried and the ones I continue to use most today. With just these 4 essential oils, you will be able to meet your family’s needs for general first aid, household cleaning, better sleep, boosting the immune system, deodorizing your home, uplifting your mood, and more.
Here are a few benefits to using just these four essential oils:
Lemon – This is a common oil in many cleaning products and as a companion to oils for the diffuser. It is great for deodorizing and disinfecting, and I often include lemon when I’m trying to fight off illness in our home.
Peppermint – Need a little more pep in your step? Peppermint can help with that. Got a little headache? Peppermint can help with that, too. Tummy bothering you? Yep, look to peppermint for relief.
Tea Tree – Tea tree is great to have on hand for many reasons. It is one of my favorite essential oils for a natural first aid kit and it’s great in the diffuser for kids when they have congestion problems, where other oils may not be a safe for them. Tea tree makes an effective anti-lice spray, and is the first essential oil I used on my son (to help with the itching and healing of chicken pox).
Lavender – Known as the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils, lavender is the most popular essential oil purchased for good reason. It is one of the most versatile essential oils on the market. Have you ever seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember the dad who sprays Windex on everything from a swollen toe to acne? That’s lavender. Except lavender actually works. Lavender is amazing for many skin conditions, so it’s a wonderful choice to add to lotions and soaps and is another must-have for the first aid kit. It is most commonly used in my house to help with sleep and for joint pain. It is one of the essential oils in nearly every blend I create because it really is good for almost everything that ails you. When you hear someone (read: me) say, “there’s an oil for that!” I’m likely thinking about Lavender.
Have a little extra cash in the essential oil budget? Grab Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Sweet Orange, Rosemary, Bergamot, and Grapefruit, too.
Buy a Low Cost Diffuser
All of the major essential oils suppliers sell diffusers and some of them can cost upwards of $50-100. I have purchased diffusers of all price points over the years, and except for a couple of convenient settings (I love being able to automatically diffuse intermittently), there is little difference in how effective they are. This 500ml diffuser is priced under $25 and is the one running in Ben’s room most days. It even has intermittent settings.
Always Dilute Your Essential Oils with a Carrier Oil
You may hear people talk about using essential oils “neat.” This means straight out of the bottle. If you are using essential oils on your skin, please don’t do this. It’s a bad practice for many reasons, but for the frugal mom it’s a big mistake financially. Essential oils are very powerful, and you don’t need to apply much to enjoy the benefits. So be sure you mix that drop or two you need with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) before applying. You’ll be practicing essential oil safety AND saving money!
Use Your Collection of Essential Oils to Make Your Own Blends and Products
Pre-made essential oil blends, as well as lotions and body butters made with essential oils often sold by essential oils companies can be very expensive. It’s much cheaper to make them yourself. Of course, this will be easier after you’ve built your collection, but even with the few oils I recommended you can mix a few blends and make some of your own household cleaners and health products. For example: mixing equal parts of lavender, lemon, and peppermint is a blend used in the diffuser commonly sold to treat allergies. Mixing lemon and tea tree with vinegar makes a fabulous all-purpose cleaner. Mixing lavender with a small spray bottle of water makes a great linen spray for bedtime. You can even make your own blend of the popular immune-support blend commonly known as “thieves” to help support your immune system during cold and flu season.
How to Waste Money Using Essential Oils
Yes, you can easily waste money using essential oils as well. Or not using them as the case may be. Both overuse and non-use are crazy when you’ve invested in something that is so good for your family. But the first danger of wasted money happens when you’re not careful enough with what you bought in the first place. Let’s take a quick look at why all of these sometimes happen.
Buying the Cheapest Brand of Essential Oils
If you’ve been around my blog reading about essential oils for any length of time, you know that I’m not 100% sold on just one company. I buy essential oils from several. But I am picky about the companies I buy from. Deciding to buy essential oils while you’re shopping for bread and milk or picking up your antibiotic prescription is almost always a mistake. While I do want you to save money on your essential oils, I don’t want you to sacrifice safety and quality in exchange. Because if you aren’t buying high quality, pure essential oils, you’ll not receive the benefits you are desiring. So basically, stay away from grocery store and pharmacy brands.
There are many important things to look for when choosing the company or companies you buy from, but choosing a company just because it’s the cheapest should not be your main criteria. So do carefully shop around, but make sure the frugal choice is also the safer choice. Look for a company that gives you a lot of information about how and where they purchase oils. This is important because reputable suppliers will provide potential customers with a wide array of information to help make their essential oils experience a pleasant one. The information you’ll want to know includes Latin names, safety, contraindications, use with children, constituents, possible uses, and GC/MS (chemical testing for purity) results.
Running Your Diffuser Constantly
If a little is good, a lot is better, right? Not necessarily. I eluded to this already, but when you are diffusing essential oils, do so intermittently. There is no benefit to running a diffuser 24 hours a day, and you’ll go through essential oils quickly if you do. Diffuse your oils when you need them for a purpose, and then do so at an interval of 30 minutes at a time. That’s about how long it takes for your body to receive the benefits of the oils. After that time, you’re just making your house smell good. Take a couple of hours break and then diffuse another 30 minutes if still needed. Also along this same line – you probably don’t need to add 10 different essential oils to your diffuser at one time. Even one oil can be beneficial (like lavender when you’re trying to get your 5-year old to sleep). But rarely would you need to use more than 3 or 4 different oils in your diffuser.
Not Using Your Essential Oils
I know, it seems silly to say that you might not use your essential oils. But trust me, a common issue with a lot of people new to essential oils is that they just don’t know what to do with them once they have purchased them. I had this problem myself when I was first introduced to essential oils. I had use tea tree for my son’s chicken pox, and peppermint for my migraines, but then those bottles just sat there unused for months, because I had no idea what else to do with them. Nowadays, the internet is filled with DIYers who want to tell you what you can do with essential oils. And some of them know a lot and will give you great advice and recipes. But some really have no idea what they are doing. So what’s a frugal mom, who wants to make sure she doesn’t waste her money, to do?
Find a trustworthy essential oils company that focuses a lot of their attention on teaching their customers the DIY use of essential oils, that’s what!
Introducing Simply Earth
It’s been awhile since I’ve had a new essential oils supplier that excited me enough to share with you, but I was recently introduced to lovely company, Simply Earth. They caught my attention on social media because their Instagram was filled with fun ideas for how to use essential oils. And after spending some time perusing their website, I found myself getting really excited about what I saw. I had to try them out.
The other thing that really caught my attention was that they have a subscription recipe box. I love all kinds of subscription boxes (just ask my mail carrier!), and am in love with the idea of an essential oils one! Simply Earth was kind enough to send me their November Recipe Box with Big Bonus Box to try.
So let me tell you what I have discovered about Simply Earth and what excites me about their essential oil recipe subscription boxes.
Let’s start with what I learned about Simply Earth. Their motto is “make your home natural.” As you know, I like making my home as natural as possible, but I’m picky about how to go about doing so. In particular, there are certain things I look for in an essential oil supplier in order to ensure I’m dealing with a company that is reputable and safe. I am happy to say that Simply Earth exceeded my expectations for a company I want to purchase from. Here’s why:
Pure Essential Oils The essential oils from Simply Earth are 100% pure, undiluted, and 3rd party tested. They provide the results of the GC/MS testing for every bottle right on the website. They also work directly with their farmers to ensure quality products, fair practices, and the lowest possible cost to their customers.
Online Education Simply Earth has their own certified aromatherapist and features a lot educational information on their website. They do not recommend willy nilly ingestion of essential oils, are careful to note when oils are or are not safe for children, and give other necessary precautions. They are also in the process of building a free member site for essential oil courses and recipe creation, and already have a private subscriber Facebook group where ideas, tips, and recipes are shared. They also have an active YouTube channel where you’ll meet Katie and Shylah (who are very fun!) and view recipe box unboxings and lots of recipe creations.
Ease of Use I just adore Simply Earth’s mission to make a natural home easy peasy. These subscription boxes not only help you build your stock of essential oils, it teaches you simple and effective ways to use them, and gives you exactly what you need to make it all happen.
Free Shipping Orders $29 and up, including monthly recipe boxes, ship free in the continental U.S. And shipping is quick!
Liberal Return Policy Simply Earth will allow you to return unwanted product for 365 days. I’ve never seen a return policy that kind. You won’t need it, but it’s a kind gesture.
Philanthropy Simply Earth donates 13% of their profits to organizations that fight human trafficking. This is a cause personally important to me, so I was thrilled to see that. Why 13%? Thirteen is the average age of a person forced into human trafficking.
Simply Earth Monthly Recipe Box Subscription
For just $39 per month, Simply Earth will send you a box with $150 worth of products, including 4 bottles of essential oils (15ml each), 6 recipe cards for DIY products that use the oils sent, and fun toxin-free extras you’ll need to complete the DIY recipes. They don’t include common items you probably already have in your cupboard. For example, this month’s recipes needed baking soda and epsom salts. Each month has a theme and all of the oils and recipes focus on that theme. They even include labels for all of the recipe creations!
In addition, with your first box, they also send a “Big Bonus Box” that contains 2-4oz bottles of carrier oils, a tub of solid coconut oil, beeswax, 6 roller bottles, and 6-5ml dropper bottles for blending. From the beginning, you have everything you need to begin making your home more natural. There is no long-term commitment for the subscription. You can cancel at any time.
This is a GREAT way for a frugal mom to build her collection of essential oils and supplies.It’s also a fabulous gift idea for your mom, sister, daughter, niece, or best friend. It’s the gift that keeps on giving . . . every month.
I am completely in love with Simply Earth already. As I mentioned before, I love subscription boxes (I already subscribe to 3 others!), and now I can also get one for one of my favorite things – essential oils. Subscription boxes are the ONE THING I DO FOR ME. Raise your hand if you take care of everyone else besides yourself? Let’s change that, okay? Do this for YOU! As a side benefit, your family will enjoy the natural products you create as well.
Ready to Try a Recipe Box?
If you’d like to try a Simply Earth Recipe Box, enter the code MARCYFREE and you’ll receive the current month’s box, the Big Bonus Box (a $40 value), and a $40 gift card to use on your next box. The gift card is only good for a future subscription recipe box, not other purchases in their store. Remember, there is no long term commitment and they have a liberal return policy. If you aren’t as impressed as I am, there’s really no risk here.
If you prefer to just shop the Simply Earth store for essential oils and supplies, you can do that, too. I think you’ll find their prices very competitive.