11 clever ways to spend your FSA money before you lose it
Use up last year's tax-free dollars before it's too late.
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Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in 2019? If so, act fast—the time to use those leftover pre-tax dollars is running out. You have until March 15 when the grace period for last year’s plan officially expires.
Not sure how to spend it? These items from the FSA Store are worth your pre-tax cash—some of which you may not even realize qualify!
1. A first aid kit to keep around the house
When you need a bandage—or antibiotic ointment, or a cold pack, or ibuprofen—you usually need it quickly. This Johnson & Johnson all-purpose first aid kit has all that and more in one convenient package. Get one (or two) to keep around the house, your car, and anywhere else you might experience minor injuries, so everything is right there when you need it.
2. A foot roller to soothe your aches wherever you are
Treat your feet to pain relief with the Theraband Foot Relief Roller, which has small ridges all over to stretch the plantar fascia and muscles on the sole of the foot and help increase flexibility and blood circulation.
“Keeping one in my desk at work [and one in the freezer] helps keep me from being in severe pain at the end of the day by simply rolling my feet over it repeatedly,” writes a reviewer. “At night I use the frozen one to help even more.”
3. A daily sunscreen for your face
Did you know that products containing SPF are an eligible expense, thanks to their skin-cancer prevention properties? Anthelios sunscreen, from French skincare brand La Roche-Posay, is a classic for a reason. This priming version of the sunscreen helps provide a smooth base for makeup, but also may be worn alone. Reviewers love that it feels weightless on the skin, does not leave a white cast, and doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
“Non-greasy, non-shiny,” writes a reviewer. “Two very important attributes for daily sun protection (in addition to the actual protection).”
4. A luxurious sunscreen for the whole body
If you usually apply lotion at the start of the day, consider switching to this Supergoop sunscreen-containing body butter. It contains natural moisturizing ingredients to keep the skin soft, supple, and smelling nice, plus SPF 40 to protect exposed skin from the sun’s UV rays.
“Love this,” writes a reviewer. “Not greasy at all and after just a few days I can tell a difference in my skin.”
5. Spray sunscreen for when it’s finally warm again
It may not seem like it now, but it will be summer again (eventually). When that happens, you will want to take yourself to the pool or beach, and, when that happens, you’ll need a good sunscreen. One of the FSA store’s top-selling options is Neutrogena’s Wet Skin SPF 70 Sunscreen Spray. It provides sun protection even without toweling off (and without a weird white residue), solving an application problem for water-loving kids and adults alike.
6. A neck pillow to ease discomfort
If your neck gets stiff and uncomfortable due to arthritis, muscle soreness, or simply peering over your laptop or phone all day, this neck pillow is a nice remedy. It connects with an LED light therapy system, which provides gentle heat and helps loosen up neck muscles.
“The most comfortable neck pillow I’ve ever used,” writes a reviewer. “The infrared heat relieves my stiff neck.”
7. Nose wipes for sniffly kids (and grown-ups)
Ensure that even the most hanky-resistant of kiddos keeps their nose clean with Boogie Wipes (not to be confused with the Paul Thomas Anderson film Boogie Nights). These saline-infused wet wipes help dissolve mucus and other kinds of nasal runoff with a quick swipe—and they’re way more gentle than dry, scratchy tissues. They also come in multiple sealed packs, so it’s easy to take a few with you wherever you go.
“Nothing is worse than having a sore runny nose,” writes a reviewer. “These wipes make the fuss with your kids a little less painful to wipe the runny or crusties from their noses. I’ll be honest and say even I use them."
8. Sticky ice packs for stubborn aches and pains
Got a bruise or a sore spot? Put a Paincake on it. This mini gel ice pack measures 2 inches by 2 inches and has an adhesive back, which allows you to place it anywhere on your body without having to tape or wrap it. (The adhesive part can be re-stuck up to 100 times, so all you have to do when you’re done with it is put it back in the freezer.) Reviewers use the sticky cold packs for headaches, bumps and bruises, and playground boo-boos—the Paincakes come in bright colors like blue and purple, so little ones should be happy to use them, too.
“I broke my ankle roughly a year ago and have a hard time finding an ice pack that will stay in place,” writes a reviewer. “Let me tell you, this thing is amazing! It sticks right where you want it and dang is it cold! Great packaging, doesn’t take up much space in your freezer, and really, truly works.”
9. Moisturizing socks for dried-out feet
Give dry, flaky heels a reset with the Pedi-Fix Heel-So-Smooth Heel Sleeves, which help treat corns and calluses. This vitamin E oil-lined sleeve wraps around the heels and ankles to infuse them with moisture. For best results, exfoliate your feet and apply a moisturizing cream before putting them on and wear overnight. The sleeve is washable and reusable, so you don’t have to buy a new pair every time your heels get dry.
“I love, love, love this product,” writes a reviewer. “My heels have never been better since I started using the PediFix Visco-Gel Heel-So-Smooth Heel Sleeves! I wish I had found this item sooner!”
10. Contact solution to keep your eyes comfy
Contacts-lens wearers know there are few things worse than running out of contact solution right when you need it most, leaving you to keep in your contacts much longer than you should. Ensure that doesn’t happen to you with this Bausch & Lomb Biotrue two-pack. This contacts’ storage solution moistens the contacts with lubricants that are like tears, which makes the contacts comfortable to wear all day.
“One of the best contact lens solutions I've ever used at a better-than-normal price,” writes a reviewer.
11. Condoms for practicing safer sex
In the “yep, that’s FSA-eligible category”: condoms. (Sexual health is an important part of overall health.) Reviewers like this bestselling Trojan value pack, which contains 36 ultra-thin lubricated condoms.
“Thin and comfortable,” writes a reviewer. “Great value.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.