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Stockpile Smarts: Amazing Uses for All those Drugstore Freebies


I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m an extreme couponing drugstore junkie. I’ve spent the last year acquiring mass amounts of drugstore products simply because I get a rush figuring out how to get them for free or even make a buck or two by purchasing them. I’m sure many of you can relate. What better feeling is there than walking into the drugstore armed with nothing more than a store rewards card, a sale ad, and a variety of coupons, and coming out with a basketful of eye drops and mouthwash that you only paid sales tax for? It feels amazing, doesn’t it?

But a moment of clarity came to me one day when I was gazing proudly at the contents of my stockpile. Initially, I felt a sense of calm knowing I had enough shampoo and body wash to get me through the next year or two, and enough feminine products to avoid sending the hubby out on any embarrassing late-night convenience store runs.

But, looking closer into the depths of the closet, I began to see items that I didn’t even remember buying. Imagine my shock when I saw that I was the proud owner of not five, not ten, but TWENTY tubes of BenGay. And don’t even get me started on the precariously balanced pyramids of toothpaste. I never realized I had so much of the stuff.

After doing some quick mental calculations on how long it takes us to go through one tube of toothpaste, I figured that by the time we would use up my collection we’d probably be around… oh, 80 years old. Considering we’ll most likely be decked out in his-and-hers dentures by then, I started to wonder: “Is there any other way we can use these excessive drugstore “trophies” other than their intended uses? And possibly save even more money on household costs by getting creative?” After some serious investigation, I came up with some surprising results!

Aspirin: There is always a surplus of free aspirin to be gleaned from the drugstores. But don’t worry; there are other uses for this plentiful painkiller.

  • Hubby brought home flowers? While you think really hard about what he possibly could have done wrong before dinnertime, drop an aspirin tablet in the vase water to keep your bouquet looking great for days.
  • It’s date night and a pimple (which is ironically the size of an aspirin tablet) erupts on your chin? Apply a paste made of a crushed aspirin tablet and a little water to the area for instant redness relief and size reduction.
  • Forget $10 foot scrubs. To get rid of rough patches and calluses on your feet, simply make a paste using several aspirin, some water, and some fresh lemon juice. Keep your tootsies moist for a bit with a damp towel and then slough off the dead skin.

BenGay: Here in our house, our idea of a sports injury is brush-burning your hand on pool table felt while shooting a game of 8-Ball. If only I’d known about these other nifty uses sooner:

  • Kiddos being super-rambunctious? Get instantly headache relief by rubbing a little of the product on your temples or the back of your neck. If they haven’t given you a massive tension headache, the menthol in BenGay can also help relieve stress using the same application technique!
  • BenGay can also ease sore throats by using it topically.
  • So you went camping, forgot the citronella candles, and the mosquitoes had you for an appetizer, the main course, and dessert? BenGay is very effective at stopping itching and pain from bug bites; just dab it on the afflicted areas.

Listerine: Mouthwash is an antiseptic, so it can be used for much more than a post-coffee or pre-kiss fresh breath remedy.

  • Listerine can be used as a bleach alternative to replicate pricey multipurpose cleaners. Simply mix with water to clean and disinfect counter-tops and floors.
  • Did playing with kitty result in a nasty scratch? The antiseptic properties in Listerine can be used to treat minor scratches and wounds instead of pricey antiseptic creams.
  • Does the laundry room seem plagued by that not-so-fresh feeling? Use Listerine to remove nasty mold and mildew smells that are frequent in moist, wet areas of the house. Bonus: you can also clean your washing machine by running an empty load with a cup of Listerine added to the water.

Toothpaste: Finally, here are some ideas on how to deplete that tower of toothpaste we couponers all seem to possess. I secretly think that free tubes of toothpaste left unattended in a closet or garage adopt the mating habits of small rodents or cockroaches. Here’s how to control the pest population.

  • Don’t take your jewelry in for an expensive professional cleaning. Instead, try scrubbing dingy rings or necklaces with a soft toothbrush and some toothpaste.
  • Are tipsy dinner guests always leaving annoying water rings on your mahogany dining table? Rubbing in a dab of toothpaste with a cloth and then wiping up the paste with a damp washcloth can make them disappear.
  • Is your hubby’s ultra-hot shower fogging up the bathroom mirror you desperately need to use? Simply rub a glob of toothpaste on the mirror to keep it fog-free. And then let him bust out the Windex when he’s done.
  • Toothpaste works like a dream to clean sinks, faucets and other fixtures.
  • And if you’ve used up all your free aspirin, toothpaste also makes an excellent overnight pimple treatment!

This has been a guest post by Jennifer from Pittsburgh, PA
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