Do You Know How Much a Single Tampon Costs?

That was trick question, because one cannot buy a single tampon; it is literally impossible. (Except in those machines that are/used to be in some bathrooms, but: When are those around when you need them, never, and also, who has quarters, no one.) The only solution  to a menstrual surprise is paying $4.99 for a 20-count box of store brand tamps at the drug store or the same amount for a ten-year-old four-pack of extra extra super cardboard applicator Tampax at a bodega or gas station. Or you can bum one off a stranger, which, though not as common as bumming slightly smaller white cylindrical sticks from people, is a totally socially acceptable thing to do, and I think we should all do it more.


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i can’t tell you how many unnecessary boxes of tampons i’ve bought due to being caught unawares. i really only needed one! I guess they sometimes have dispensers in ladies washrooms. Sometimes? Maybe?

I will be that annoying internet lady who wants to say that diva cups are amazing! They work great, reduce waste, and save you money on tampons over the long term

@Koko Goldstein this is very true and i am on board this train! but sometimes i still get caught unawares and then i have to buy a box still and ugh i’m an idiot

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@Koko Goldstein Yeah but we’d probably still forget our Diva Cups at home. :P

And now that you’ve volunteered yourself to be That Annoying Internet Lady, will you go to the wedding thread and tell us all about how you got married for -$8.15 and still had all your friends and family there because you, like, Freegan’d the whole thing and also used a magic teleporter you found in an alley in Portland to get Great Aunt Millie to the ceremony? And then we can come back here and talk about organic kale. ;)

Spinach Party (#253)

@Koko Goldstein You beat me to it!!! Menstrual cups are the greateeeessssssst.

@redheaded&crazy I am shocked that I have not had to buy an emergency box in the past 5 years. I am always getting “caught unawares”. I guess I always just suck it up and do the “grab a bunch of toilet paper until I can get home” thing. I am that lazy. Or else I’ve just always been smart enough to throw my cup (in a little drawstring bag, for the curious) in my purse right before I need it.

@MuffyStJohn I’m on it. I’ll report back with my success.

Megano! (#124)

@Koko Goldstein I knooooow I would save so much money AND the environment at the same time, and I love multitasking, but Im afraid!!!!!

ThatJenn (#916)

@Spinach Party I always have my off-brand diva cup in my purse when I need it because I use to track my periods and send me email alerts. It’s super-simple to use, which is good because I would never bother to track otherwise. I have mine set up to send me two emails: one six days before my projected period to tell me not to freak out about my mood or make any major decisions like dumping my boyfriend or quitting my job, and one a day before my projected period to remind me to put it in my purse and wear black clothing just in case (I am sometimes late, but I am rarely more than a day early).

Oh yeah, and I just slip one or two tampons (I use OB, they’re small) from the emergency kits I used to have to buy into every bag I own, my glove compartment, and my office desk, and even the inside pocket of my jackets in the winter, so that helps too. But I’m also the kind of person who has travel chopsticks, a headlamp, and a small tape measurer in her purse.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@redheaded&crazy You can also put in the cup when you don’t have your period, but you think it might be coming! I like taking a pre-emptive tack when travelling, especially with People Who Do Not Stop Because You “Maybe” Felt Something.

@Megano! Let me tell you how it goes: you get it, and can’t get it to work, and you freak out. And then you get it to work but you can’t get it out, and you freak out even more. Then you google a whole lot and practice a few more times, and then it’s the easiest thing in the world and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along!

There’s a great livejournal dedicated to menstrual cups that has all the answers.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@Koko Goldstein This is exactly what happened to me.

@Koko Goldstein Yup, this is how it goes exactly.

Most of the time I also try and put my cup back into my purse after my cycle is over, so that it is always there for the next time I need it. That happens about half the time, so there are also emergency tampon stashes here and there.

bookworm (#481)

Since I started couponing, I’ve been paying about $.99 for an 18 ct box of the name brand ones at drugstores. Sometimes you can get them for free.

@bookworm Where do you get coupons? Seriously. My boyfriend is always telling me we should use coupons for groceries and things but I literally have no idea where they come from… junk mail? Grocery’s websites?

When I buy an emergency box, I just split all the extras between my purse and my desk at work. That way I only end up buying an emergency box like twice a year. So bum off me!

MuffyStJohn (#280)

I once had a 4 month stretch where my period snuck up and surprised me. FOUR MONTHS IN A ROW. That was a lot of emergency tampons.

As a result, I haven’t had to buy a new box in over a year.

shannowhamo (#845)

@MuffyStJohn Yeah, it’s like unless you’re nearing menopause, you’re gonna end up using them, I just get frustrated because I always buy the Super/Regular pack and then I have 5 opened boxes with no Supers and tons of Regulars! It’s heavy for 3 days, then it’s light, then it’s gone…I need a Super/Light pack, is that a thing?

Menstrual cups can suck it- I’m lazy, don’t like my own blood, and don’t care about the environment.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@shannowhamo Yeah I also find menstrual cups to be thoroughly unappealing, along with the cult-like devotion to them.

@MuffyStJohn I can kind of understand that to some degree. I was mostly sold on them because of the ability to not have to change/empty lady products for 12 hours. And then once I tried it, it was far more comfortable than tampons, so that has resulted in me becoming one of those people that are like “menstral cups are awesome!!”. It is one of those things, that I guess aren’t for everyone.

Dancercise (#94)

Or buy a giant box at Costco once a year.

Randomly related: when I got my first real office person job a few years ago, I decided I would have an absolutely mind-blowing emergency kit. This was fueled by the fact that sometimes I leave my house without brushing my hair, and other things of that nature. Right now it contains: q-tips, travel size febreeze, wrinkle release, frizz control, a hair brush, floss, tooth brush and tooth paste, mouthwash, baby powder, and ibuprofen. Guess what it didn’t have that one time I really needed it? Tampons.

darklingplain (#938)

@Koko Goldstein What kind of emergency do you need q-tips for?

Megano! (#124)

@darklingplain A bird poops in your ear?

@Koko Goldstein Oh man. In my desk right now: Cough Drops, 4 different varieties of dried fruit, two full changes of clothes, dry shampoo, underwear, forks, rubber gloves, sugar in the raw, boullion cubes, Geranium essential oil, rescue remedy, a hairbrush, a comb, and a spare pair of glasses. I could probably live at work for a week and be fine, but Tampons, nope.

Faintly Macabre (#1,043)

@darklingplain Some people dampen them and use them to clean out their keyboard when it becomes too full of crumbs to function properly.

@darklingplain I’m not going to go into detail, but I have mad earwax. And sometimes it just MUST COME OUT.

@The Dauphine Let’s be friends. I’m excited for the emergency where you need boullion cubes! Also. . .eventually I am going to have a backup outfit/underwear, just in case. I just hope the cleaning lady never finds it.

@Koko Goldstein I have a non-car-related emergency kit in my car, since I just drive to different places all the time to make money and don’t have an “office” or anything remotely close to one.

My kit contains:
hair ties/clips
plastic utensils/single-use chopsticks
a couple of those ready-to-eat tuna and cracker pack things
SPF 15
mini can of wd-40
container of baby wipes for the inevitable car spill/touching gross things
tide to go pen
gum, and…
a discreet makeup bag filled with tampons, liners, and a couple single-use baby wipes.

But? I maybe get my period three times a year, so perhaps this is not as relevant to my life as to others’. Also, I never bring the kit inside with me when I go places, so then I’d have to go back to the car to get it, which is not always an option.

The Best Time I Ever Purchased Tampons and High Life From a Drag Queen At A Strip Mall Gas Station at 3AM.

lemons! (#384)

@FurCoats&CinemaTropes I want to read this story!

At the convenience store near where I’m staying right now (Taos NM), they sell single tampons for 50 cents each. Which I find absolutely ludicrous.

That’s it, next time someone asks me for a cigarette, I will demand a tampon in return.

@stuffisthings And yes, I am a dude. The goal is to cut down on the number of cigarettes I give away to strangers and/or be arrested for public weirdness.

Slutface (#53)

@stuffisthings Smoke the tampons?

One of the cashiers at my local beer store caught a woman shoplifting a single tampon. He said, “Oh, come *on*. Just ask if you need one; we’ll be happy to open a box for you.”

I love living in a college town.

NeenerNeener (#156)

I have seen singles for sale at a convenience store in Portland. The other Portland.

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