Is Aromatherapy a Frugal Pursuit?


If you don’t understand aromatherapy, buying essential oils doesn’t seem very cost effective.  Frugal shoppers don’t see value in spending even small amounts of money on non-necessities that have limited usefulness, which makes sense.  Frugality isn’t cheapness, it’s about getting the most value possible for your money.  What aromatherapy enthusiasts know that regular people don’t, is that essential oils smell amazing as well as being multi-functional.  Every essential oil typically has several uses.  Understanding those uses is what can make aromatherapy a frugal pursuit instead of an expensive pastime.

While there are a fair number of high quality essential oils that can be purchased for under $10, there are far more that fall into the $15-$30 range for approximately 10mL (250 drops).  You will need at least 5 essential oils to perform a wide range of functions for wellness purposes, for skin care, and to use around the house.  So if you want to start using essential oils you’re looking at an initial investment of  $35-$60 depending on where you buy your oils and the size bottle you choose.  Add in at least two books so you have enough information to use the oils properly, $30-$45 depending where you buy your books. Don’t be tempted to get your information off the internet as 95% of it is complete junk.   Add in empty bottles and some carrier oils, $20-$50 again depending on what kind and how much.  A low-end diffuser will run $10-$20 but if you like you can pay up to $150 for something fancy.

So your initial investment to get started with Aromatherapy will probably be $95- $175 or more depending on how much you want to spend on a diffuser and carrier oils.  Not cheap but not outrageous either.  The value and savings accumulate over time.  That initial $100 you spent gives you the ability to eliminate the purchase of many common household products.  These could be cleaning products, over the counter remedies, home fragrance or beauty products.

Let’s say you like the scent of lavender and want to use it as a home fragrance.  You can buy a small bottle of lavender oil for $10-$15.  This seems like a lot if you compare it to the plug in style fragrance diffusers that you can buy for $4-$8 and which also contain a larger quantity of oil.  These types of fragrance systems almost exclusively use synthetic fragrance and are designed for only one purpose, scenting your home.  If you choose to buy a bottle of lavender essential oil instead, here are just some ways it can be useful:

  • As a true deodorizer- not just covering smells
  • Soothing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  • For treating burns
  • In a bath or massage oil to soothe sore muscles
  • As a sleep remedy
  • To balance and clear oily or acne prone skin
  • To repel moths and mosquitoes
  • To promote relaxation and calm

And perhaps the most important use for lavender essential oil is that it smells infinitely better than those horrible fake lavender scents (IMO).  Your home will smell pleasant and clean, not like oh-so-obvious fragrance oil.

So one bottle of lavender oil can potentially replace up to nine individual items you might buy to fulfill needs for home, health and beauty.  That’s nine bottles that need not clutter your space.  That’s nine sets of packaging you can rescue from the landfill or recycling bin.  That is nine cases in which you know exactly what you’re using and don’t need to worry about exposure to synthetic chemicals.  That’s a huge amount of value for money.  Buying the essential oil is clearly a frugal choice.

Aromatherapy can also be a valuable pursuit in ways that are impossible to measure with numbers.  These incredible smells tend to inspire joy and creativity.  When used topically essential oils can help energize and strengthen our bodies.  They can help take care of our little aches and pains.  By using essential oils we can enjoy top shelf beauty products at drugstore prices.  We can use them to help stabilize our spirits whenever life becomes too stressful, painful, or downright depressing.  Learning to appreciate these precious resources give us greater respect for nature, discovering yet more ways to use what we have instead of defaulting to consumption.

Is Aromatherapy a frugal pursuit?   I say absolutely yes!  The best part is that an aromatic lifestyle feels quite luxurious.  Fragrance gives us pleasure.  Unlike skipping lattes or dinners out, you’ll never need will power to fully engage with aromatherapy.  This is the key to using essential oils as a transitional tool for any kind of positive lifestyle change.  When we already feel great it’s much easier to make choices that further improve our lives.  Don’t be put off by prices of essential oils, or the ridiculous advertising for most aromatherapy products, or your neighbor trying to push their new ‘business’ selling essential oils.  If you ignore all of that and take a little time to investigate, you’ll learn that aromatherapy can enrich your life physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially.

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