28 Things to Buy with Your FSA Before You Have to Forfeit the Funds

If you set up an FSA contribution for 2020 (i.e. pre-pandemic), there’s a chance you can get an extension beyond the typical grace period, which ends March 15. (Yep, due to COVID-19, the IRS has provided a temporary special rule that allows employees the option to rollover all unused FSA funds from 2020 into 2021 and, in some cases, 2022.) Still, any extension depends on your employer—check with your HR department to find out more—which means you could still be subject to the expiration date imposed under normal circumstances. If that’s the case for you, we’ve rounded up the best ways to use (vs. lose) your remaining FSA balance.

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First Aid Essentials

Anyone else run out and re-stock their first aid kit at the start of the pandemic? Just us? All those must-haves in your medicine cabinet (band-aids, thermometers, even a ready-to-go pre-packed first-aid kit) are FSA-eligible, which means you can buy them now so you’re fully prepared for when you need them.

Get the goods: Braun thermometer ($43); Band-Aid variety pack ($3); Pure Enrichment heating pad ($35); Ace bandage ($7); Johnson & Johnson first aid kit ($12)

over the counter medication
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Over-the-counter Medications

Pre-COVID-19, you needed a prescription in order to get OTC medication reimbursed. But, thanks to the CARES Act, that requirement has been waived for OTC medication (everything from pain relievers to anti-inflammatories) bought between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Get the goods: Advil pain reliever ($22); Health A2Z nasal spray ($30); Tums tablets ($14); OLLY probiotic ($13); NatureMade prenatal vitamins ($28)

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Anything Related To Menstrual Care

Birth control is FSA-eligible (in some cases, with a prescription so check with your doc), but as of January 1, 2020, so are menstrual care products—things like pads, tampons, cups, even period-proof underwear.

Get the goods: Tampax Pearl tampons ($32); Always pads ($20); Saalt menstrual cup ($29); Cora period underwear ($25)

diaper change
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Baby-related Items

That Owlet baby monitor you’ve been eyeing? That’s on the FSA-eligible list. So are breast pumps, diaper cream—even the FridaBaby snot sucker. (If that’s not an essential, we don’t know what is.)

Get the goods: Owlet baby monitor ($399); Willow breast pump ($500); Elvie breast pump ($499); Triple Paste diaper ointment ($30); FridaBaby NoseFrida snot sucker ($17)

person at dentist
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Tools For Dental Hygiene

Anything you have to shell out to get your teeth cleaned (say, a copay) or the cost of that add-on fluoride treatment is something you can pay for with FSA cash you set aside. Same goes for a night guard and any orthodontic work (like braces for your kids or Invisalign).

Get the goods: EnCore custom dental guard ($129)

woman picking out eyeglasses
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New Glasses

That eye exam you’ve been putting off? You can pay for it with any FSA dollars you’ve set aside. Other vision-related expenses that count: Prescription eyeglasses (or sunglasses), contacts, contact lens solution, eyewear repair kits and Lasik.

Get the goods: Ray-Ban prescription eyeglass frames ($72); Renu contact solution ($14); Kingsdun eyewear repair kit ($11)

putting on sunscreen
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Skin Care Products

Summer (even a socially distanced one) is coming. You can use FSA dollars on sunscreen, which means there’s no better time to check the expiration dates of the tubes you own and stock up.

Get the goods: Supergoop sunscreen ($34); Babyganics sunscreen ($17); EltaMD sunscreen ($36)

woman travel pillow
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Travel Necessities

So, you had to delay your 2020 family reunion in the Bahamas. The good news is that the compression socks and travel pillows you had on your shopping list, no matter when you finally get around to rescheduling your trip. (They’re also FSA-approved.)

Get the goods: Comrad compression socks ($29); Ostrich travel pillow ($40)

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...