Essential oils are nearly a necessity for achieving the balance between frugality and beauty. They are powerful additions to many homemade beauty products (as I wrote about here and here). Various scents have the power to affect mood and neutralize stress; they make great additions to baths, homemade candles, and other fragrances. Essential oils are also used in a variety of recipes to replace or amplify home cleaning products you use (such as dishwasher detergent, window wash, and hand soap).
Perhaps the trickiest thing about these oils is their (relative) scarcity. They’re not something you can normally find in a grocery store. For that reason, when I’m shopping for essential oils, I usually hit an online retails and buy a set like this. While plunking down $20 for a starter set may seem pricey, these oils will last you a very long time. A little truly goes a long way in this case. I still have the tiny bottle of lemongrass oil I bought last year!
Having essential oils on hand give you the flexibility of creating a slew of homemade gifts and household items to both give to others and use yourself, ultimately saving you money (and perhaps more importantly, time).