Tampon scarcity: Here are more affordable alternatives and where to find them

'To put it bluntly, tampons are next to impossible to find. I would say it's been like this for a solid six months,' said Michelle Wolfe, a radio DJ


                            Tampon scarcity: Here are more affordable alternatives and where to find them
Tampons seem to be the newest essential that is becoming hard to find on store shelves (Credits: Twitter/@beyouonlybetter)
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Tampons appear to be the newest necessity that has become rare on shelves in shops around the nation, following price hikes for gasoline and shortages of baby formula. Certain tampon manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble, the company that sells Tampax, have complained that it is now "costly and highly volatile" to try to stock shelves with their goods, according to CNET.

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The average cost of tampons for consumers has increased 9.8% over the course of the year through May 28, according to a NielsenIQ analysis. Michelle Wolfe, a radio DJ in Bozeman, Montana, wrote on the website of her station, "To put it bluntly, tampons are next to impossible to find. I would say it's been like this for a solid six months."

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In recent weeks, a number of large national chains have been battling scarcity, including Walgreens. "Walgreens works diligently with our suppliers to ensure we have supply available. However, similar to other retailers, we are experiencing some temporary brand-specific tampon shortages in certain geographies," a spokesperson from Walgreens told Newsweek.

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An exterior view of a Walgreens store on January 06, 2022, in Mill Valley, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The spokesperson added, "While we will continue to have products at shelf and online, it may only be in specific brands while we navigate the supply disruption." Many women who menstruate are switching to different tampon substitutes due to the high cost and poor supply of tampons.

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What are the less expensive tampon options, and where can you find them?

Menstrual pads

One such alternative is menstrual pads, which are disposable and easily available than tampons. Packs of 18 to 24 of the Always brand can be purchased at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and on Amazon for about $7 to $10 each. On Amazon, larger packs of 60 are available for $22. On the websites of these four locations, you can also find other brands with comparable prices, like U by Kotex and Poise.

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A customer shops at a Walmart store on August 04, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Menstrual cups

Another option is menstrual cups. Unlike tampons and pads, the cups can be reused, making them more environmentally friendly and therefore more affordable. One cup of Diva, one of the more well-known brands, can be purchased for less than $30 at Walmart. The same product is available for $30 to $40 at Walgreens, CVS, and Amazon. The Honey Pot Company and Cora, two comparable brands, can be found at the lowest prices at Walmart and on Amazon.

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Period underwear

Another environmentally friendly tampon substitute is period underwear. A nice pair of reusable period underwear typically starts at $16 and can be easily acquired at Walmart or on Amazon, however, some brands are reusable and some are disposable. Additionally, the retailer Walmart offers disposable pairs from the Always brand in bundles of seven for just $7.37. The cost of the identical brand is around $10 at the other locations.

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The alternatives mentioned above are beneficial and affordable but always go with what suits you the best. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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