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Why are Period Products So Expensive?

Period products like tampons and pads are so expensive for infuriating reasons - the pink tax, inflation and shrinkflation along with supply chain issues.

The single use nature of disposable period products means you need to constantly replenish supplies. It's like a never-ending subscription service that women involuntarily sign up for.

The constant need to buy single use pads or tampons becomes a silent financial burden, quietly siphoning money from our pockets month after month.

Imagine if every month, you had to buy a ticket to enter a club that no one really wants to attend. That's essentially what purchasing period products feels like.


The question on many minds is, "Why are period products so expensive?" It's a valid inquiry, considering the sheer necessity of these items for half the global population.

Charities like 'Bloody Good Period' have been created in the UK to help those who can't afford sanitary products and are suffering from period poverty. Especially in the current cost of living crisis, offering free period products is critical for giving period dignity to everyone.

Let's explore the reasons behind the high costs. We will help you discover some savvy ways to save money without compromising comfort or hygiene.

Inflation is sky rocketing and with supply chains under pressure, prices are continuing to rise. 

The 'pink tax', a commonly used label explaining the gender-specific discriminatory pricing of products marketed for women sees women pay 13% more than men for the same products like razors for example.

Shrinkflation - reducing the amount of items in a packet without reducing the price - affects disposable period products as well as other feminine hygiene products.

In 2021, the UK removed VAT on period products - the so called tampon tax - but this did not extend to period underwear as they were classed as a garment.

The great news is that this will be removed for period pants too in January 2024 and retailers will pass this saving on to the customer.

The cheapest way to manage your periods monthly is with reusable period protection.


"I really like cheeky wipe products. Their washable/reusable pads are much comfier than the perfumed plasticky disposables that irritate my skin and they work just as well. And the initial higher cost outlay pays for itself surprisingly quickly x" Trustpilot 23

What is the Average Amount of Money Spent on Period Products?

The average woman spends a significant chunk of her income on period products. According to recent studies, over a lifetime, a woman can spend thousands of pounds on period products including disposable pads, panty liners and applicator tampons.

This statistic is a stark reminder of the financial strain placed on individuals simply for a biological process they have no control over.

How You Can Save Money on Period Products

1. Buy in Bulk

One effective way to cut costs is to buy period products in bulk. Warehouse stores and online retailers often offer discounts when purchased in larger quantities. This strategy not only saves money but also ensures you're always prepared for the monthly visitor.

Shop Period Pads

Cheeky pants and reusable sanitary pads are often available on multibuy offers saving you money whilst kitting you out for your entire menstrual life.

2. Switch to Reusable Period Products

Consider making the switch to reusable menstrual products. These eco-friendly alternatives, such as reusable period pads, menstrual cups, and period-proof underwear, not only reduce environmental waste but also save you money in the long run. They are also amazing for sensitive skin.

Cheeky Wipes, for instance, offers a range of reusable products that are not only cost-effective but also gentle on the environment. Their products come with unique selling points like comfort, durability, and reduced environmental impact.

3. Take Advantage of Any Offers

Keep an eye out for discounts, promotions, and bundle deals offered by various brands. Many companies provide special offers on period products, especially during awareness months or events. Taking advantage of these offers can significantly lighten the financial load.

4. Track your Period so It’s Not a Surprise

By tracking your menstrual cycle, you gain insight into when you'll need period products. This foresight allows you to budget accordingly, eliminating the surprise factor that often leads to hasty and expensive purchases. 

Carry a mini wet bag with a washable pad, a pair of period panties and a few reusable wipes in case you are caught out - it has come in handy for me so many times now I have unpredictable perimenopausal periods.

5. Check If You’re Eligible for Free Period Products

In the UK, initiatives like the period product scheme ensure that girls in schools and 16 to 19 organisations in England have access to free period products. Additionally, community food banks and period poverty charities like Hey Girls actively support those facing financial challenges in affording period products.

The high cost of period products is a reality for many, but there are practical ways to navigate these financial waters without sacrificing comfort or hygiene. By adopting money-saving strategies like buying in bulk, switching to reusable options, and taking advantage of offers and support programs, you can turn the tide on the monthly burden.

Remember, your financial well-being matters, and there are always alternatives that don't compromise your health or dignity.

"I bought pants again. They tick many boxes for me including: confidence, convenience and cost." Anna sept.'23

For more insights on saving money with sustainable period care and other useful tips, visit our blogs:

Do you have to carry blood around all day?

Are reusable a hassle?

Best reusable period pants for tweens and teens 2023

Top 6 UK period pants reviewed

Feel free to explore our blogs for more tips and tricks on managing your periods sustainably and comfortably. If you have any questions or need further guidance, reach out to us anytime via our live chat or contact us form. We're here to support your journey to a greener, more comfortable period experience.




About the Author: Kirstin on our customer services team loves spending her days helping customers with their reusable period product needs and advising cloth nappy using families. Kirstin lives with her three teenagers and loves walking and sea swimming year round in our beautiful bay.