When I first started making some of my own cleaners and personal care products several years ago, I had never heard of essential oils. But it seemed like every recipe I came across used them so one day I decided to head out to a nearby health food store to make my first essential oil purchase. And then I had sticker shock! Some of those little tiny bottles sure had big prices. I did my usual cheapskate thing and bought the one with the lowest price, and wondered if that would be my first and last essential oil purchase.
Well, it wasn’t my last essential oil purchase and in fact I now have my own little collection of essential oils that are my budget-friendly favorites. I’ve learned that a little bottle of essential oil lasts a long time (years!) so I felt like I was getting my money’s worth after all, and those affordable essential oils with the lowest cost turned out to be some of the best all-purpose scents that I’ve used over and over.
So for those that have been reluctant to give essential oils a try because of the price, I thought I would share my list of six affordable and budget friendly essential oils that have become my favorites and are the ones most often used in my recipes. Any of these would be good ones to try if you’re new to essential oils and don’t want to spend a lot to get started.
Why Are Some Essential Oils Expensive?
First, let’s just take a quick look at what essential oils are. Essential oils are the liquid extracts made from plants. Different parts of a plant can be used such as the flowers or leaves or fruit, which are then steamed and pressed for the distillation that produces the fragrant liquid. It can take several pounds of a plant to create just a small bottle of this fragrant oil.
So if a plant is rare or grown in a remote location, has a more complicated distillation process, or many pounds of the plant are needed, the price of the oil will go up. If it’s a common plant that’s easier to grow and not as much of the plant is needed, the price will go down. That’s why some scents (for instance geranium, neroli, or frankincense) are more expensive and more common citrus scents (lemon, orange, lime) will usually cost less.
My 6 Favorite Budget Friendly Essential Oils
So now that we know what essential oils are and how they are made, it makes a little more sense why these six oils I’m listing below are affordable and popular. In fact you may be able to find these oils in the pharmacy area of your local Target, Walmart, or grocery store and at reasonable prices too. I made the decision not to link to an Amazon listing of these oils because those prices can be all over the place. Instead I’ll include the current price in 2021 for a 1 oz bottle at my local Meijer grocery store.
#1 – Orange Essential Oil
This was the very first essential oil scent I purchased and is still one of my favorites. The fresh scent of orange is versatile and is nice in both homemade cleaning recipes and homemade personal care products. If you’re looking at a display of essential oils at the store, Orange (or Sweet Orange), will almost always be the cheapest one on the shelf.
1 oz price in 2021: $4.99
Where I like to use it: Homemade Body Wash
#2 – Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus is a scent that I think works especially well in homemade cleaners. It’s a bit reminiscent of a pine cleaner smell (but in my opinion, a little better!) and is usually very affordable too.
1 oz price in 2021: $5.99
Where I like to use it: Homemade “spray-before-you-go” Poo Spray
#3 – Lemon Essential Oil
The scent of lemon is a great all-purpose fragrance that gives us a feeling things are fresh and clean. It works equally well in cleaners or in personal care products.
1 oz price in 2021: $6.49
Where I like to use it: Homemade Dusting Spray
#4 – Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil ranks high on my list of favorites and I love the extra zing it adds to my mixtures. I especially like to use this scent during the winter months.
1 oz price in 2021: $7.99
#5 – Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is the only scent on this list that falls into more of a floral category. Many of the floral scents can have high price tags, but lavender is usually an affordable way to add some light fragrance to your mixtures, and lavender has anti-bacterial properties that make it a good choice for homemade cleaners too.
1 oz price in 2021: $7.99
Where I like to use it: Copycat Molly Suds Laundry Soap
#6 – Tea Tree Essential Oil
This is an essential oil that really isn’t about its scent, and instead is about it’s anti-bacterial properties. This one is the work horse of your essential oils. I like to always keep some tea tree oil around for making homemade cleaners and in fact I now often equate the smell of tea tree with things being clean and disinfected.
1 oz price in 2021: $8.99
I’m sure as time goes on the prices of these oils will change a bit, however over the last few years I’ve found the six oils I’ve listed above have consistently fallen into a lower cost range compared to many other essential oils, and are usually easy to find on the store shelves too. If you’re new to essential oils and don’t want to spend a lot to get started, any of these six scents would be a great way to get started.