Monday, January 31, 2011

Get More Out of Your Consumables

I husband thinks I am crazy sometimes. I am too practical for my own good sometimes, so frugality has not always been about the money or about the "best use of our resources" but just because it made sense. Why in the world wouldn't I try to get the most out of what I have already bought?

Here are how I make a few consumable items stretch:
  1. Soap: We have never thrown away a bar of soap. When it gets to small to use, we stick it to the next bar and use it up. Sometimes it take a few tries of wetting both bars and pressing them together, but why would I throw away a perfectly good piece of soap just because it is not the right shape for bathing myself?
  2. Liquids in Bottles: These always get store upside down once they are no longer squeeze friendly. Even my liquid foundation, which is in a pump bottle, gets stored upside down when there is too little for the pump to grab. Now I just open the top and apply with my fingers from what has oozed down to the "bottom" of my upside down bottle. Think shampoo, laundry detergent, bubble bath, ketchup, etc.
  3. Toothpaste: Of course this is obvious to most people, but I go back over and over and over the tube after I have gotten some out to move it to the end where I will need it next. I know some people who will even cut it open to use the last of it. Sure I can get free toothpaste with coupons, but why wouldn't I make that tube last as long as possible?
  4. Using Recommended Amounts: Did you know that even with the longest hair that you typically do not need to use more than a quarter-size amount of shampoo. Super suds is not an indication of's an indication of too much shampoo. And toothpaste? The size of a pea will get you clean and is what is recommended by the ADA. By reducing the amount I use to this amount, I can really stretch the amount in the container!
  5. Flat soda: This is one that Chip cannot stomach. Frankly, I don't LIKE the taste of flat soda, but it seems silly to pour it out once it has reached that point. So I drink it. We avoid this by seldom buying soda these days.
  6. Clothes: Yep...we don't wash every single item after we've worn it. Yes...socks and underwear get washed by the daily use (except the warm fuzzy house socks I like to put on when I get home on cold evenings and take off before bed). Unless the clothes got noticeably dirty or soiled, I will often hang them back up and wear them again. It saves on laundry detergent, water to do more laundry, the life of the clothes, and electricity to do more loads of laundry. Think here my work parts or church clothes. Or pjs.
  7. Towels: We wash towels once a week. My mother would hate this, as we grew up washing towels after each use. But I just don't see the point. If they are hung up to dry, they do not seem to need washing (eg - do not get smelly) until about one week out. So that's when I wash them. We save serious water, electricity, and detergent by not washing towels daily.
And that is just a short list of ways we get the most out of our household items.

What could you add to this list? I'd love to hear more ideas!

Photo credit: emospada

1 comment:

  1. I don't get washing towels every time. I mean, you get out of the shower/bath and you're clean and you use the towel to wipe clean water off of your clean body ... so why wash them? I wash my towels about 1x every two weeks. There's simply no need to wash them more often unless you're leaving them in a damp pile on the floor to mildew.