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All about the money... for monitor test sticks!

First, let's make sure you're buying the right ones. Then we'll look at how much it's going to cost you! You're looking for the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor test sticks. These:

These test sticks work in either version (original analog/monochrome or the touchscreen flip-top) monitor. Package labels can vary a lot by country. So long as the words "Fertility Monitor" and "test sticks" or "tests" are on the packet - with or without the "advanced" - they will work with both the original analog and the newer touchscreen monitors. (If your box includes pregnancy tests, these will not work in the original analog monitor or the version of the monitor from the USA.) ClearBlue has a number of similarly branded and packaged products. Don't make the mistake of accidentally purchasing these:

It's pretty common for people to accidentally purchase the wrong sticks. Clearblue's branding and packaging doesn't do a great job of distinguishing between its products for the average consumer. Wouldn't it be great if I could just tell people to make sure they buy the blue box, not the yellow or red box? I usually get sticks on amazon subscribe & save. The price can fluctuate widely, so I keep enough in reserve that I can cancel a delivery if needed and re-subscribe when a particularly good price pops up. Generally, I'll buy a box at $30-35 for a box of 30 tests. I've occasionally gotten a deal for about $25-28 per box. This works for me because I'm a Prime member and use subscribe & save for certain items anyway. Some people prefer eBay, and it seems you can usually get a box for between $20-30. I don’t feel like I have the time to monitor eBay listings, for myself. On eBay, Mercari and Craigslist particularly, watch out for expired sticks. Always use a form of payment that offers you some buyer protection. Sometimes if you see a good deal online, you may want to consider stocking up on 2, 3 or more boxes to get free shipping and that special price. I try to get sticks for around the $1 per stick. You typically don't want to have to purchase the test sticks in stores, although I've seen Walmart and Walgreens have impressively good clearance prices on these sometimes. My local CVS charges $75 per box. I did get boxes for around $23 in store once, when I managed to have 3 large value %-off-regular-price retailer coupons loaded onto my loyalty card, that stacked. I'm not much of a couponer, so I don't know if that sort of thing could be expected often. So, what's the ongoing cost for sticks to use a monitor method?

For women in regular cycles between 24-36 days, you'll be using between 6-14 test sticks per cycle. If your cycles average 28 days with peak usually occurring on CD13-14, you'll be typically using roughly 7 sticks per cycle. I often tell my clients to budget $10-15 per month, depending on the lengths of their normal cycles. If you are postpartum, and prior to your menstrual cycle returning, you can basically count on using one test per day. So you're budgeting roughly $1 per day. The first several cycles after fertility return (especially when breastfeeding!) tend to be more test-stick-heavy, as well. But once regular cycles resume you should be in the category above where costs are more contained. As an instructor, I can offer suggestions to my clients on ways to save on test stick costs, as needed. These are personalized to the individual's circumstances and needs.


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