How to Save Money on Essential Oils Without Sacrificing Quality
Essential oils can be expensive. They can also be addicting. Put those two together and we have a recipe for empty wallets and angry spouses! So how can you keep the peace and indulge in oils? Being frugal by nature, I have some ideas for you! But first,
Why are essential oils so expensive anyways?
The price of an essential oil can vary based on a few factors but ultimately it comes down to supply and demand.
Factors include the size of crop available, whether an essential oil can be extracted as a byproduct of another process, (e.g. sweet orange being extracted from the peels not needed by the citrus industry), how quickly the plant grows, and the yield of the plant.
The yield is how much oil can be extracted. For example, to make one ounce of oil you would need about 5 lbs of peppermint leaves, 15 lbs of lavender, or 180 lbs or rose petals. Quite a difference and it shows in their respective prices.
Plants that give up a lot of essential oil will yield oils that are more reasonably priced than plants who give up precious little essential oil (like rose oil).
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through some of the links in this post I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend companies I trust and think will benefit readers, whether they offer a commission or not.
How to save money on essential oils
1. Use inexpensive oils where feasible
The following chart gives you some oils that have a variety of uses can be found for under $10 an ounce (I used Plant Therapy as a reference—prices will vary but I find they offer a great balance of quality and affordability; prices as of September 2018). There are several more oils that are under $10 for a 10 ml bottle.
Note: Always check for safety precautions when purchasing essential oils
Further Reading: 9 great essential oil companies that you can trust
2. Buy what you need
Buy in the smallest quantity that you think will need over the next 1 to 2 years. For citrus oils and others prone to oxidation, buy a 6-12 month supply at a time. Consider buying in sample sizes….
3. Take advantage of samples
Look for companies that either provide or sell samples. Samples have been my salvation. This is a great way to get a few drops of that oil everybody’s talking about and you’re not sure about, or the ones you can’t afford, or the ones that you need just a few drops of in order to make that serum recipe you saw on Pinterest. Whatever the case, samples are easy on the pocketbook, and help promote responsible use of essential oils.
Further reading: Responsible & Sustainable Use of Essential Oils
Both Eden’s Botanicals and the Essential Oil Company sell sample sizes which range anywhere from 20 to 30 drops. In the case of premium oils such as Rose or Jasmine, samples are usually about 6 drops. Nature’s Gift has been known to include samples upon request when you order something else from them.
4. Share with a friend
Get together with a friend, buy some empty bottles and a pipette and split a bottle in half. For maximum freshness it is ideal to minimize headroom in the bottle. So, if you are buying a 10 mL bottle, split it into two 5 ml bottles. Two places I get empty bottles from are Got Oil Supplies or Amazon.
5. Give yourself a budget.
Essential oils can be kind of addicting and many of us find ourselves wanting to be a completist-that is, owning them all. Haha. Guilty. There are two ways to set an EO budget. You can allow yourself a certain number of oils per month, for example, two. Or, you can set a monetary budget—maybe $20 a month. The latter can be more flexible because it gives you some freedom to save up for a splurge oil by skipping a month.
6. Get Free shipping.
Keep a wish list and order when you have enough to qualify for free shipping. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get free shipping on accessories. There are many dubious oil companies on Amazon but Plant Therapy and Auracacia are two oil companies on Amazon that I trust, and some of their products qualify for Prime shipping (if you don’t have Prime, you can get a 30 day trial here).
7. Separate wants from needs.
Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that you use essential oils for (or might need them for) and then next to each usage, write what oils you could use for those conditions.
The point of this exercise is to help you distinguish what you need from what you want. It’s easy to get enticed by all the oils we want to try, but sometimes we buy them for the sake of having them and then don’t end up using them that much.
Just like making a grocery list helps you stick to a budget, keeping a list of oils that you actually need and use will help you stay on track.
8. Sign up for Ebates and get cashback.
You can get cashback not only from Plant Therapy, but also from a lot of other great stores including Amazon. Several participating merchants (like Target, Walgreens, and Vitamin Shoppe) also carry Auracacia. Bed Bath and Beyond is also a participating merchant and carries diffusers.
Even better, collect rebates for household things you are going to buy anyways to fund your oils! Currently, you can get $10 when you spend your first $25, and earn more when you refer friends (and yes, this is my referral link).
I hope this post has been helpful and will save you money while building a great collection. I would love to hear your best tips for keeping costs down.
Read More: Once you have a good collection, you’ll want to know how best to store them. Check out 6 different storage solutions for essential oils.