Photo: Flickr / Kanaka Menehune
Women are no strangers to lousy deals, whether they’re overpaying for health care or being sold on a dubious mortgage. Now a recent study from the University of Florida finds gender discrimination runs rampant at the drugstore, where women pay 30 cents more on average than men for bathroom products like soaps, shampoo and deodorant.
“These companies have us convinced that men and women are so biologically different that we need completely different products, as though we are a different species,” the study’s co-author Megan Duesterhaus told Marie Claire.
We tapped Money Crashers founder Andrew Schrage for some tips on how women can beat marketers at their own game:
Shop the men’s aisle. “Men are more likely to use the generic brand version of the product than women are, further increasing the price competition,” Schrage says. As a result, “the lower price on men’s products is due to the fact that they’re competing with the drugstore’s version moreso than the women’s products are.”
He recommends stocking up on products you’re not too particular about in the mens’ aisle to get the most savings. Some products to try: soap, deodorant, shaving cream and razors.
Clip coupons. Thanks to the extreme couponing craze, there are more coupons for women’s products than mens’, says Schrage. Use this to your advantage by clipping them in the Sunday paper.
Shop big-box stores. Rather than hitting the drugstore around the block, Schrage says to shop at Target or Wal-Mart, where the prices are often much cheaper. Use your coupons to double the deal.
Go green. There are plenty of ways to DIY and still look good. Schrage recommends learning how to make your own shampoo, which can often be gentler on your scalp than brand-name counterparts.
Skrimp where you can. You don’t have to go name-brand or high-end on everything. Just ask YM reporter Jean Kim, who started using Wet n Wild nail polish to do her manicures at home and ended up saving 22 pecent of what she normally paid at the salon.
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