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Tips for women to avoid the Pink Tax and save money on everyday products

Women often pay more than men for certain products. Here are ways to save on what's called "the Pink Tax."

SAN ANTONIO — Women might find their wallets are lighter because of the products they buy.

“You might not really notice that you’re paying more for women’s products because women’s products are separate from men’s products,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart-saving expert. “We’re not usually comparing those prices, but, generally, women’s products cost more than men’s products. These companies and brands are justifying it because maybe they’re adding an extra ingredient like fragrance or maybe just doing extra market research.”

“We do come down to the Pink Tax being implemented most often on things that are the exact same as what’s marketed towards men,” added Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com.

Ramhold highlighted razors as an example. 

“You find out that both razors have five blades and a moisturizing strip,” she said. “So there’s no real reason that the pink and purple ones are going for $2 to $3 more than the ones that are marketed towards men.”

DealNews.com found women’s products cost, on average, 7% more. It adds up.

“It’s not just that women are paying more for their products over the course of a year,” said Ramhold. “We’re also having to deal with other issues like pay disparity and financial discrimination. It all compounds to kind of give us less buying power than men have.”

But there are ways for women shoppers to save.

“There’s nothing wrong with buying the men’s version of a certain product if it’s cheaper,” Woroch said. “So go to the men’s aisle and compare those.”

“Those do tend (to have) very specific scents or styles,” Ramhold added. “If that’s something that doesn’t appeal to you, then that might not be the way you want to go.”

Instead, look for gender-neutral products.

“These are things that they’re not necessarily branded as ‘unisex’ or for ‘men and women’,” Ramhold said. “They’re usually things that are kind of placing a heavy focus on one element. So maybe it's body wash with a heavy focus on moisturizing.”

You can also save by sticking to store brands.

“CVS, Target, Walmart—all these stores have their own version which are similar compared to the brand-name version for huge savings,” Woroch said. “You’re looking at about 30% savings and you’re going to get the same ingredients.”

Or, if you love a certain product targeted to women, wait for a sale and then stock up so you get some cost savings.


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