lady savings

This post is about menstrual periods.

There’s quite a lot of secrecy and shame circling this topic.

This post is an excellent response to that.

As is this lovely image from Pam the Nomad:

Pam the Nomad Menstruation is Normal
menstruation is normal

Since I know the topic makes some people uncomfortable, I’m going to allow Georgia O’Keeffe to lead us (in true feminine euphemism fashion).

Georgia O'Keeffe Black Iris III 1926
Black Iris III, 1926

Keeping in my Summer Savings Challenge theme, this post is about how to… guess? Yes! Save money on your period.

Georgia O'Keeffe Jack in the Pulpit II
Jack in the Pulpit II, 1930

The secret is the wonderful, reusable little gem called the DivaCup. (Or, if you prefer, the Moon Cup.)

Georgia O'Keeffe Yellow Calla 1926
Yellow Calla, 1926

I started thinking about the DivaCup when I realized how much waste I was producing on my period every month. I had guilt pangs when I emptied the trash and imagined all of that unnecessary waste going to landfills.

Georgia O'Keeffe Pattern of Leaves, 1924
Pattern of Leaves, 1924

Keeping with that open-hearted theme, I’m willing to offer full disclosure here: I was crazy intimidated by the DivaCup when I first saw it.

It seems giant, it goes inside you, you have to touch everything up there and it can be messy.

Georgia O'Keeffe Skunk Cabbage 1922
Skunk Cabbage, 1922

A friend of mine was the one who convinced me to give it a try.

Georgia O'Keeffe Blue Flower 2 1918
Blue Flower 2, 1918

The one word I have to describe the experience: Liberating. Yes! Liberating.

Georgia O'Keeffe Red Canna 1923
Red Canna, 1923

Not only do I dramatically decrease the amount of waste I produce, I experience a few other unexpected benefits.

  1. I feel a closer connection to my body because I can see exactly how much blood I release.
  2. I can forget about the cup for an entire day and not worry about TSS.
  3. I’m not concerned about chemicals from pesticides or the bleaching process for cotton pads and tampons entering my body.
  4. The sanitation process, a quick boil, takes a whopping 10 minutes out of my month.
  5. I can tune out obnoxious pad and tampon commercials (and show you an excellent response to them below).


Here are more DivaCup stories–I love testimonials!

Oops, this post is about money savings, right?

Here are those numbers: I easily spent the average $150-200 per year on pads and tampons. The DivaCup was about $30 when I got one, and I’ve had it for about 2 years now. So that’s up to $370 I’ve saved, or $15.50 per month.

And those savings will only increase the longer I use the cup. (How’s that for green?)

Georgia O'Keeffe Jimson Weed, 1932
Jimson Weed, 1932

Are you a menstrual cup user? What’s your experience? (Or, what do you think about Georgia O’Keeffe?)


12 responses to “lady savings”

  1. ha ha. This most be the bravest budgeting blog. I must complement you on the use of Georgia O’Keeffe to reflect the mood of your writing. It also gave the topic much needed dignity and beauty. Now let’s see this on’s blog!

    • Pauline, it was great to see you, too! Thanks so much for the link–I love reading how people’s lives have changed with menstrual cups. I’m sorry her change had to be sparked by a health issue, but I feel her fear of the untested chemicals in tampons. So freaky.

  2. I miss my dear DivaCup; be careful when you boil, ladies! I put mine on the stove to sanitize and forgot about it until it was a smelly, melted mess. Amazingly enough, though, it didn’t ruin the pot! In fact, it was a cinch to clean! When I get my next Cup (DivaCup 2.0, if you will), I’ll have invested $60 in the anti tampon crusade, but I have learned a valuable lesson.

    • Great tip Elizabeth! Maybe we can watch out for each other’s when you move in–I have a pot labeled with a rubber band on the handle for mine in the kitchen. 🙂

  3. I love your post! I totally agree, and have used the DivaCup for years as well! In addition to being ecofriendly and economical, it saves lots of space in the luggage and makes long travel days more manageable.

    Also, thanks for linking to my blog. I plan on writing more on this subject and other such sensitive subjects in the future.

    • Thanks so much Pam! Feminine hygiene and similar “taboo” subjects beg for more discussion. I loved your post about dignity and toilets. During my travels in Ghana, the importance of private, safe bathrooms really hit home for me. Your work is so critical and connected to a wealth of issues. thank you so much for stopping at my blog!

  4. Just saw your post through a friend’s blog and thought I’d put in my two cents. I was never able to get used to the DivaCup (although I think it’s a wonderful alternative). It was slightly uncomfortable for me to wear, so I started looking for other options without all of the waste and toxins of regular tampons. Answer: sea sponge tampons. Really comfortable, affordable, and sustainable.

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