20 Smart Ways to Spend Your FSA Dollars before They Expire

Woman applying acne treatment to her face
Guido Mieth

If you have money sitting in your 2021 Flexible Spending Account, more commonly referred to as an FSA, you should know this: If you don't spend it by 2022, the money in your account will go "poof!" and disappear forever.

What exactly is an FSA anyway? It’s a tax-deductible benefit, offered by many employers, that allows you to save money to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses not covered by your insurance plan, such as copays and cold medicine.

How it works is simple: you can opt to have money taken out of your paycheck before taxes and put into a reserve available to tap into any time throughout the year. However, there is a catch. “FSA funds are ‘use it or lose it,’” explains Trae Bodge, Smart Shopping Expert at Truetrae.com. “This means that you have to use the money by the deadline. Some expire on December 31 but yours might have a grace period through March 15.”

Luckily, there are lots of items you can purchase with your FSA dollars, according to Bodge, ranging from first aid items to skincare essentials. Since time is of the essence, The Doctors has compiled a list of FSA eligible products straight from the FSA Store, ranging from healthcare necessities like infrared thermometers and EKG monitors to dermatologist-approved skincare items and sunscreen just in time for summer.

An Allergy Season Essential: Zyrtec

An Allergy Season Essential: Zyrtec

The majority of us are impatiently waiting for springtime. And while green grass, blossoming flowers, and added hours of sunlight may offer us COVID winter relief, it can also bring with it the sniffles, sneezes and watery eyes of allergy season. “Given that Spring is coming, you can purchase an ample supply of allergy medications if anyone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies,” suggests Bodge. Plan ahead and order up a few bottles.
Zyrtec Allergy Relief, 90 ct
$55.99
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A Smart Thermometer from Withings

A Smart Thermometer from Withings

First aid items—including a high quality thermometer—are also great items to stock up on with your FSA funds, says Bodge. Manually monitoring your temperature can be complicated, but Withings super smart thermometer makes it effortless. Not only does it offer an accurate read using 16 infrared sensors, but the contactless tool automatically syncs with your phone saving data for up to eight people.
Withings Thermo Smart Thermometer
$109.99
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A Tinted and Protected Lip: Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

A Tinted and Protected Lip: Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

Coola’s genius lip tint-slash-protective balm is the closest thing to FSA-eligible makeup. Not only does it offer SPF-30 protection for your smile, but also a hint of color with available shades ranging from a perfect nude to vibrant coral.
Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30 Lip Balm
$18.00
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A Cult-Beauty Sunscreen Must-Have: Supergoop!

A Cult-Beauty Sunscreen Must-Have: Supergoop!

Supergoop’s high-end sun protection products have amassed a cult following due to their weightless, scent-free and effective products. Unseen is the crown-jewel of the collection, offering SPF 40 protection packed with skin-nurturing antioxidants and blue light defense. Just ask the thousands of reviewers on Sephora, Amazon and Dermstore who gave it a perfect 5-star rating.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, 1.7 oz
$34.00
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Multi-Tasking Under Eye Protection: Supergoop! Bright Eyed Mineral Eye Cream

Multi-Tasking Under Eye Protection: Supergoop! Bright Eyed Mineral Eye Cream

Tired eye relief and SPF 40 protection for the most sun-sensitive part of your face, all in one? Yes, please. This pink-tinted sunscreen formulated for your under eye area offers instant illumination and all-day protection, helping with your short- and long-term anti-aging goals.
Supergoop! Bright-Eyed Eye Cream
$36.00
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Man-Friendly Sun Protection

Man-Friendly Sun Protection

Another good item to stockpile is skincare, “especially skincare with sun protection, given that summer is a couple of months away,” Bodge points out. Jack Black (completely unrelated to the actor) is a luxury skincare company formulated for men and sold at high-end retailers around the world. Their oil-free sunscreen is one of their most coveted products, and you can pick up this 1.5 ounce tube, perfect for your overnight bag, right now on the FSA Store website.
Jack Black Sun Guard SPF 45, 1.5 oz
$10.00 $7.99
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A Smarter Heart Health Tracker

A Smarter Heart Health Tracker

Having a blood pressure monitor on hand is never a bad idea. In just 30 seconds you can share 6-lead EKGs (six views of your heart) with your physician with the help of this next-level smart EKG monitor, which can help detect atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias.
AliveCor KardiaMobile Personal EKG 6L
$149.00
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An At-Home Covid Test

An At-Home Covid Test

Find out if you are COVID-19 positive without leaving the house and avoid the risk of infecting others with this convenient at-home PCR viral test from myLAB. It basically works like an at-home DNA test. Take a non-invasive saliva sample, send it in with included overnight shipping, and results are delivered in as little as 24 hours.
myLAB Box COVID-19 Home Test
$199.99 $169.99
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A Dermatologist’s Go-To Facewash: Neutrogena

A Dermatologist’s Go-To Facewash: Neutrogena

Nazanin Saedi, MD, a dermatologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and the director of the Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology Center has access to every skincare product that money can buy. However, this drugstore essential from Neutrogena is her daily go-to for clean skin. “It great for acne and Maskne!” she explains. “The salicylic acid helps unclog pores to prevent future breakouts. I find the grapefruit to be refreshing.”
Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Face Wash
$10.99
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Clean Skin On-The-Go: Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

Clean Skin On-The-Go: Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

A perfect companion to Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash, these pre-moistened wipes are a great anytime, anywhere option for an on-the-go face wash. "I find the grapefruit to be refreshing," says Dr. Saedi.
Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Wipes, 25ct
$9.99
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Medical Grade Light Therapy for Anti-Aging and Acne

Medical Grade Light Therapy for Anti-Aging and Acne

This FDA-cleared and clinically tested medical device brings medical grade light therapy into the comfort of your home. It can do everything from destroy acne-causing bacteria to aid in skin healing and cellular regrowth anywhere on the body—face, hands, back and chest included. 
dpl IIa Professional Light Therapy
$399.99
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Period Panty Protection: The Lace Cheeky

Period Panty Protection: The Lace Cheeky

Shockingly, it took until 2020 for women’s menstrual care items to be FSA eligible. If you have leftover money, stock up on these highly rated and surprisingly stylish period panties from Proof. Each pair holds up to three tampons’ worth of fluid, making them a perfect replacement for a pad or tampon.
Proof The Lace Cheeky panties
$37.00
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A Better Compression Sock: VIM & VIGR Nylon Socks

A Better Compression Sock: VIM & VIGR Nylon Socks

Anyone who wears compression socks knows that a great pair isn’t exactly easy on the wallet. This pair of medical grade socks offer firm compression to help reduce swelling and aid in muscle recovery, while offering the look of a sharp dress sock. 
VIM & VIGR Nylon Compression Socks
$55.00
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Pill Free Pain Relief: Oska Pulse

Pill Free Pain Relief: Oska Pulse

While this pain relief gadget might seem too good to be true, it has the endorsement of doctors and patients—and even scientific research—to back up its claims. How does it work? It uses pulsed electromagnetic fields at precise frequencies (PEMF)—similar to those utilized in hospitals—to promote circulation, decrease inflammation, relieve pain and help improve mobility.
90-Minute Oska Pulse
$399.99
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Instant Pain Relief: Aleve

Instant Pain Relief: Aleve

Stocking up on over-the-counter pain relief is never a bad idea. One tablet of naproxen sodium from this bottle of 50 will help keep all those aches and pains at bay for up to 12 hours.
Aleve All Day Caplets, 50 ct
$10.49
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More Instant Pain Relief: Tylenol

More Instant Pain Relief: Tylenol

If you prefer pain relief in acetaminophen form, this bottle of one-hundred 500 mg tablets is a must-have for your medicine cabinet. 
Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets, 100 ct
$15.49
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Sunscreen Essentials: Healthy Skin Bundle

Sunscreen Essentials: Healthy Skin Bundle

If you have funds to spend and no time to shop, this bundle of sun care products has everything you need to protect your skin—and that of your family—all summer long. It includes a range of highly rated products for kids and adults from Neutrogena, Sun Bum, Aveeno, Hawaiian Tropic and Blue Lizard.
Healthy Skin Sun Care Bundle
$106.99
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A Pandemic Health Tool: Pulse Oximeter

A Pandemic Health Tool: Pulse Oximeter

Prior to the pandemic, many of us had never heard of a pulse oximeter. However, the blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate measuring tool has become a must-have home health item. Why? It can be helpful in determining whether or not someone infected with COVID-19 is in need of medical care. 
iHealth Air PO3M Pulse Oximeter
$69.95
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A Foot Health Essential: Dr. Scholl's

A Foot Health Essential: Dr. Scholl's

Transform your favorite not-quite-comfortable shoes into cushioned support for your heels, arches and balls of your feet with a pair of comfy insole inserts from Dr. Scholl’s. Different sizes are available.
Dr. Scholl's Tri-Comfort Insoles
$9.99
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A Dermatologist-Endorsed Essential: Aquaphor

A Dermatologist-Endorsed Essential: Aquaphor

You can never have too much Aquaphor on hand. This supersized jar of the multipurpose healing ointment, beloved by dermatologists around the world, can be used to treat anything from dry lips and skin to minor cuts, scrapes and burns.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment, 14 oz
$26.99
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