How to Get Free or Almost Free Hand Soap

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Yes, back in the old days, Gramma placed a bar of soap at the sink and we called it good. But, somewhere in my childhood some wise chemist developed soft or liquid soap. And our lives were changed.

And as the years passed, mothers everywhere became addicted to soft soap. It reduced the mess at the sink and made handwashing a little easier. And the soap companies were pleased.

Sure, they’d release a coupon every once in awhile. But, 35 cents doesn’t go very far when a little bottle of handsoap is regularly priced at a buck or more. And with sixteen hands to wash several times a day, buying soap could put me in the poor house.

However, there’s a better way. Ready for it?

Use something else.

Yes, I could put a bar of soap on the counter, but the mess just isn’t worth it for me. I like the ease of liquid soap. Some people use dish soap, but with our sensitive skin, it’s not helpful. Instead, I’ve taken to using baby wash and body wash.

Why? Because I can regularly “buy” big bottle for free or almost free at Walgreens or CVS. And I may be no chemist, but if you compare the ingredients of body wash and hand soap, you’ll see that the first ingredients in the lists are the same.

Hmmm…yeah, the power of marketing.

Substituting a less expensive item for something else is a great way to save money. And I love to do that. How about you?

What’s your money saving idea for the week? Share it with us!

Write about it on your blog and bring your link back here. Anyone is welcome to participate provided that both the blog and the post are family-friendly.

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1. to add a link to, so that your readers know where to find all the other good stuff that people are sharing. (It’s always good to share, isn’t it?)

2. to make sure that the link you share here directs us to your post, not the main page of your blog. You can find directions to do that here.

Looking forward to your great ideas!

(Mr. Linky has had some issues this week. If the widget doesn’t show up, leave your link in the comment section or try again later.)

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. ~Sara says

    I would have never thought of this! I have SO much body wash. I am going to try this! Thank you so much for this suggestion!

  2. TopazTook says

    Not only did my grandmother have a bar of soap at the sink, she also saved all of those little scraps at the end of a bar, melted them together in a big pot on the stove, and made a new bar out of them. Talk about frugal — I still feel guilty if I don’t do that when I have bar soap.

    Despite the fact that the “new” bar was the harshest, most drying soap that has ever scraped across my hands.

  3. Dana says

    It makes a good prewash for stains, too. I’ve never had one of those pre-wash stain remover things work better than a bit of shampoo.

  4. love that idea!

  5. JessieLeigh says

    I do the exact same thing! As I type, we have some “manly” smelling Old Spice shower gel in there. Hubby isn’t really a “shower gel” kind of guy (just give him a bar of soap, please), but it works just fine for getting our hands clean!

  6. Hoosier Homemade says

    That’s a great tip! Thanks for hosting!

  7. Mama Llama says

    You can take your savings even further if you use one of those ‘foaming’ hand soap dispensers. You only need to put a couple tablespoons of liquid soap in the bottle and then fill the rest with water. I use some unscented 7th Gen dish soap, because I’m very sensitive to smells, and it’s so hard to find unscented hand soap. I do this with my face soap, too, to stretch it.

  8. Mama Llama says

    I forgot to add the tip that my grandma taught me. If you are using a regular hand soap dispenser, wrap a rubber band just under the dispenser head (around the little tube that runs into the neck of the bottle). This will allow the top to be depressed only half-way, therefore dispensing only half the usual amount of soap. Trust me, that is still plenty of soap to clean your hands. My grandma did this because she had 23 grandchildren, and we could go through a bottle of handsoap in just a day or two.

  9. Michelle H. says

    I started doing this years ago with all the scented body washes I would get for holidays. My sensitive skin can’t handle the different scents, but works great for hands.

    I’ve found that Suave body wash makes the best bubble bath. Softsoap doesn’t last two minutes but Suave bubbles outlast the toddler in the bathtub.

  10. momof4sweetsisters says

    Can you take down link 57 and 70? I don’t have my act together. I’ll try again.

    I do the same thing with the soap. I also have used the foamer containers to make it go farther.

    4 sweet sisters

  11. Frugalista Mama says

    Why didn’t I think of this. I am going to start trying this. Thanks for the great idea 🙂

  12. Jane says

    Little trouble with the LINK – UGH!
    My URL is:

  13. Trixie says


    Loved your soap tip! I would’ve never thought to do that, buy you are right — the ingredients are basically the same.

    Funny– my FF tip is all about soap too!

    Take Care,


  14. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship says

    Soap is one area I hate to spend too much. Read about refilling foaming dispensers and what KIND of soap to buy for the health of your family and earth here: and here:

  15. Nancy says

    It’s so ironic that you posted this. I poured some Philosophy 3-in-1 liquid ‘soap’ (that I’ve had for something like 2-3 years) into our hand soap dispenser last Sunday (as need to get rid of it). My husband walked in while I was doing it and thought I had lost my mind. I’m forwarding him the link to your post. Ironically, I also have the Softsoap Coconut Scrub (which you show in your photo)which I got at CVS for free, and I got it for this exact purpose.

    Love the tip about the rubber band under the head of the dispenser!

  16. Denise says

    Thanks so much for the great frugal idea! I use baby bath as bubble bath and had never thought to use it as a refill for hand soap too.

  17. Margery says

    I just use a bar of the Johnson’s buddies soap, usually peeled, and wipe up the “mess” when I’m washing my hands. HA HA!

  18. Marcia Wilwerding says

    Yes, this is a wonderful idea. We've used bubble bath, body wash, and even melted down scraps and a whole bag of little hotel soaps someone collected over the years and gave to us. We will never want for hand soap!

    My link this week is concerning Easily Reducing Your Medical Debt:

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