Size Does Matter – Buy Big, Save Big!

Saving money is seriously one of my absolute favorite topics to write about. You know why? Everyone agrees! Find me one person who doesn’t love saving money, I dare ya.

Wanting better, healthier choices when it comes to food and personal care/beauty products is one thing, but buying them is another matter. Cost can certainly be a factor, especially if you’re not taking full advantage of tools at your disposal to help you save.

Knowing this, and not wanting anyone to be held back from better choices by cost, is why I love showing you how I do it! Just call me your money-saving guru.

My kickoff post for saving money while shopping healthier was Healthy Body, Healthy Bank Account: Eating Well Without Spending a Fortune, so that’s a really good one if you want to see all my tips laid out in one place.

Also check out my more recent post, Shop Like a Crazy Person, Eat Like a Healthy One!, where I show what it looks like when I put my tips into action, capitalizing big-time on manufacturer and store coupons.

So, I’m back at it, with another example of how you can save big when buying healthier, by buying BIG! In Healthy Body, Healthy Bank Account, tip #11 reminds you that the size of the package (and therefore the price per ounce) matters, which is easy to overlook if you’re not careful.

I recently received my latest order, which got my wheels spinning – I knew this would be a great example to blog about!

[By the way, Vitacost is absolutely awesome – check it out if you haven’t yet! Fast shipping, amazing customer service, user-friendly website design, and fab prices!]

Want to save $5 on your first Vitacost order? Use my referral link to go there, and you’ll save $5 on your first order of $30+ (see here for all terms and conditions).


My order included two massive refill bottles of my face wash, Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash. Each bottle is big – 32 ounces!

(Side note: I realize that Desert Essence offering refill bottles is the exception rather than the rule. Most manufacturers don’t do this – bummer! I buy my Method hand and dish soaps in refill packs, but I’d love to buy more things this way! Regardless, keep this example in mind any time a product is sold with multiple size options.) 

I’ve seen that typically beats any in-store prices for healthy beauty products like these, so shopping there is one of your first steps toward saving! (But don’t automatically assume this is true – remember my tip #9, which is to always price compare and confirm where your lowest price is.)

So, let’s look at the available options for this face wash on


As you can see, the 32 oz. bottle is on the left, for $11.69 (which retails up to $17.99 elsewhere). The 8.5 oz. pump bottle is on the right, for $6.49 (which retails up to $9.99 elsewhere).

(If you’re wondering, I can buy refill bottles because, yes, to start off, we did buy two of the 8.5 oz. pump bottles – one for bathroom sink, one for shower shelf. Call that the “initial investment” to be able to save big going forward.) 

For starters, let’s put this in terms of price per ounce, pretending you bought it elsewhere at the max retail prices:

  • 32 oz. bottle $17.99 = 56 cents/oz.
  • 8.5 oz. bottle $9.99=  $1.18/oz. (!)

Eek! Now, let’s look at it in price per ounce at

  • 32 oz. bottle $11.69 = 37 cents/oz.
  • 8.5 oz. bottle $6.49= 76 cents/oz.

Much better, right?! Already, two things are clear:

  1. Buying the 8.5 oz. bottle literally costs double! The 32 oz. is a way better buy!
  2. Buying from saves you about 35%!

Now, it’s awesome to go in knowing you’re getting a great deal, right off the bat. But let’s save even more, by using another tool in our arsenal – a coupon code! Woo hoo!

Vitacost was running a “20% Off Select Items” promo, and emailed me as such. When I saw that this face wash was part of it, I knew the opportunity was ripe for the pickin’.

Taking 20% off of a 32 oz. bottle’s price saves $2.34 per bottle, bringing the final cost down from $11.69 to only $9.35.

When you factor this savings in, you can see even further how that reduces the price per ounce, compared to buying at Vitacost’s regular price:

  • 32 oz. bottle $11.69 (regular price) = 37 cents/oz.
  • 32 oz. bottle $9.35 (20% off promo code price) = 29 cents/oz.

By shopping with the promo code, I brought the final price down to just 29 cents per ounce! 

So, if someone were to see Desert Essence face wash in a store and say, “Wow, $9.99 a bottle, that’s too expensive!”, this is a perfect example to illustrate that shopping smart can make all the difference in affordability!

I mean, look at the amount I was able to shave off the cost, just by making a savvy decision about where I’m buying from and what size I’m buying, plus doing it when I have a promo code:

  • Best case scenario:  Buy 32 oz. bottles from Vitacost, using promo code = 29 cents/oz.
  • Worst case scenario: Buying 8.5 oz. bottles from other retailers, paying max retail price = $1.18/oz.

Last but not least, even though I know you can already see that 29 cents/oz. is much cheaper than it is to buy the 8.5 oz. bottles at Vitacost’s regular price (76 cents/oz.), take a look at this:

I bought two 32 oz. bottles, using the promo code, for $9.35 each, totaling $18.70 for 64 oz. of face wash.

To get the same quantity of face wash, but by buying the 8.5 oz. bottles, I would’ve had to purchase 7.5 bottles (so let’s call it 8). That would’ve cost $41.54 if using the 20% promo code, or $51.92 if not! What?! That’s insane!

I don’t know about you, but I really like paying $18.70 vs. $41.54!

And so, you can see paying attention to the price per ounce really matters! Ignoring it can be costly to your budget, whereas using it to base your decisions can add up to significant savings.

Likewise, having – and remembering to use – promo codes is key! Timing is everything when it comes to buying with promo codes. (Hint: Any time I buy anything online, if I don’t have a promo code, I Google to see if I can find one before checkout!) 

Hope that helps you save some dough!

Wishing you healthier, happier days!


4 thoughts on “Size Does Matter – Buy Big, Save Big!

  1. Great post and you’re preaching to the choir on this one. Have been a fan of Vitacost and a couple of other on-line discount places for years. I buy almost all my personal care items, health supplements and a growing number of food items there. Check out the left-hand column on my website’s Links page for a way to get $10 off, plus after your first order at Vitacost you should create a free acct, if you don’t already have one. That way when you do future shopping at Vitacost (and 100s of other big name stores) thru the eBates portal, you earn cash back! And Group.on is a great place for deals on massage/spa treatments, restaurants, local activities, etc. All the details are here:


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