Health or Wallet ?

by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion

How do you take care of your health and still be able to afford to get to work or heat your home? It’s a shame that many have to choose between gas/oil and the necessities to treat our PCOS.

There are ways you can adjust your lifestyle slightly to put more money in your pocket thus help you be able to continue your PCOS treatments and lifestyle.


Hand-soak special clothing (according to tags on clothing) in your favorite laundry soap for an hour, rinse and hang. This will help save on washer and dryer usage and at the same time, increase the longevity of your clothes. Increasing the longevity of your clothing also means fewer purchases of replacements.

Avoid drying your clothes and invest in a fold-a-way wooden or plastic wrack (metals leave imprints and can rust). Again, adding longevity and saving energy and money on using that energy.

Check out your local thrift, consignment and Work for Women shops. Many people are resorting to selling their clothing they don’t need to help with their wallets, in turn saving you a great deal on something needed.

Bargain shop. Don’t be afraid to check out the mini-strip malls or flea markets. Often times they sell new clothing at a fraction of the cost of stores. If you must buy name-brand, try the outlets or online shopping. They often have better bargains and clearances.

Wardrobe-Share: Find a friend that has a similar size and see if you can borough and loan. This is a great way to stay connected with your friends and keep more money in your pocket. Co-workers are not off limits but make sure you aren’t sharing work clothes. and your local paper is a great way to find those bargains, freebees and yardsales.


Salads have become more and more expensive with the cost of trucking it in. Some solutions include shopping at your local flea market or farmers markets, cutting back on the quantity and slimming back the variety.. For example; instead of all the fixings, take one or two items away, avoid the croutons or bacon-bits (face it, we don’t need it) and buy in smaller batches to help avoid tossing out aging food.

Cook more at home, store leftovers and cut back on eating out. This one is very hard for me because we are always on the go. I, myself, am going to try to use that thingy attached to my fridge. Whatever, it’s that very cold doo-hicky thing that holds the ice. I think it’s called a frrr…freezer? Nah, that can’t be it, sounds too weird.

Choose foods differently. Instead of buying the prepackaged ham, try the deli. They are often times cheaper per the quantity and have sales.

Coupons are my landlords equivalency to my ice cream. I make sure I give all of mine to her and she saves a bundle. But it also depends on how you live. For me, we eat a lot of fresh foods and don’t buy brand. We don’t eat a lot of boxed goods either. So a lot of the coupons would go to waste for me. However; I do use the pharmaceutical, health/beauty and gas coupons faithfully – which she gladly donates to me. The rule is, if you have never needed it then don’t buy it just because you have a coupon for it or it’s on sale. Donate your coupon to someone else who may use it.

Instead of buying 90% lean beef, cut back to 85% or 80%. It can save you a bundle without a huge impact on your health. You can even combine 90% and 80% then freeze some. Again, saving you some money. This can be done with other foods too. Example: Spinach with broccoli; broccoli is usually cheaper. Another solution is using frozen broccoli with whole fresh spinach leaves. Frozen blueberries but fresh strawberries are a good combo. (Note: frozen strawberries are less healthy because their structure changes by becoming higher sugar content and shrinking causing you to eat more than you would if you ate fresh. Blueberries don’t change when frozen if bought without the “sauce”.)

Try the cheaper brands or store brands of foods. Often times, they are just as good as the name brands. I will admit though, I can’t do that with cereal. I love my Kashi O’s. But store brand health aids are the same as name brand, but without the cost.


As stated before, store brands or generic are the same but cheaper. Try Wal*Mart’s or Target’s $4 generic program. It doesn’t matter the size of your bank account or if you have insurance. For my Metformin and my thyroid medication, I spend $8 a month on medications – I have insurance copay of $15 per drug per month. They now have at Wal*Mart a three month $10 program – meaning if your doctor writes your prescription at 3-month refills, you can get a three month supply for $10 per drug.

Check with your doctor about getting some samples. These are usually a full month but free from your doctors hand to yours.


Try extending your products. Instead of using them every day, try every other day. If you must use something every day try the generic version (I swear they are the same thing) or swap every other day with name band and generic or another type of supply.

In most cases, you do not have to wash your hair every day. I do rinse my hair daily and condition it every other day but I only wash it once a week. For some, you may need twice a week. As a former schooled (but unlicensed) cosmetologist, if you take care of your hair, it does not need to be washed as frequently as many have you believe. Often times, rinsing in warm water and dry-brushing are enough to get out the junk. If your hair feels a bit overly oily try rubbing-through a small amount of shampoo (not lathering up) and rinsing. This will not be a full wash but enough to cut the oily out while still leaving some healthy oils behind and saving you some wasted unnecessary shampoo. Also know that leaving your hair less washed most likely will mean less dandruff since you won’t be drying out your scalp.

I use faithfully Oil of Olay Derma Pods. I get more uses out of one pod by removing the sponge and putting on a small amount of cream. The sponge actually wastes almost 2/3rds of the cream. I can get 3 to 4 uses out of my single pod.

When using lotions, it is best to have damp skin. This helps in several ways. The lotion helps to lock in the moisture and it helps you spread the lotion better. You don’t need a lot and by doing it on moist skin, you help spread it thinner than if your skin was dry. I try to soak my hands or feet in hot water for a few minutes before lotion.

I have just become a nail-salon-junky thanks to my lovely landlord. She took me to one a couple of months ago and now I crave it. I get my toes and nails spoofed up, I get my legs arms and back massaged and some womanly contact. Now, this does not mean I do this weekly but I do aim for once-a-month. It’s a great way to feel better about yourself, feel like a sexy woman and become refreshed from the troubles of living. Here’s the trick. Take care of your hands and feet in between treatments with specific creams for specific problems. Also, search out the brand of nail polish they use and buy the color you choose for your treatment. When you have nicks you can touch-up at home thus allowing your lovely nails to stay lovely longer.

Hope these tidbits help. How much money do you think you will save? What tip can you offer to help others? What have you found works for you?

Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer
[email protected]
Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. Information obtained is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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