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Getting the Most Out of Lotion, Toothpaste and Other Items

{ Posted on Sep 30 2010 by Marcus Alston }

Did you know that as much as 25% of products are left in their containers and wasted by consumers?  According to Consumer Reports, Consumers waste about 17-25% of skin lotion, 7-16% of liquid detergent, 3-15% of condiments (such as mustard, ketch-up, mayonnaise, and relish), and 1-13% of toothpaste.

How would you like to stretch your budget up to 25%?  Well, for certain products you can.  Put on your frugality hat and apply the ConsumerMiser mentality.  Ready?  Here’s how to save some money:

Skin lotion, laundry detergent, shampoo and liquid soap.  For skin lotion, laundry detergent, shampoo, liquid soap, and similar products, after you cannot shake or squeeze any more out, I recommend storing the bottle upside down (the “upside down trick”) when you get really low.  All the liquid goes into the top of the bottle cap and should be easy to retrieve.  You could also put it upside down on top of another container and add it to a new container of product or a special storage container you mark for such “leftovers”.   You can also try a little warm water to dilute the liquid since the more fluid the product, the easier it will be to come out.  Or you can try your finger or a small spatula or long spoon to scope out the contents of the container.  Finally, if you really want to make sure you have used every last drop, you can cut the container open with scissors or a utility knife.  Be careful!

Sauces, condiments and dressing.  Consider the above strategies for sauces, condiments and dressing to get the last drop.  Also, consider pouring cider vinegar, vinegar, or oil and vinegar and make your own new sauce with the leftover sauce, condiment or dressing.

Toothpaste.  For toothpaste, squeeze the heck out of it until you get every last drop once you get really low.  Start at the bottom with both fingers from both hands, and slowly press the toothpaste up toward the opening.  I don’t think you need to roll it or need to spend money on a toothpaste squeezer provided your fingers create a pressing machine where toothpaste will only be pressed towards the top of the tube.

Try these tips and stretch your budget!

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2 Responses to “Getting the Most Out of Lotion, Toothpaste and Other Items”

  1. I’m with you on this one! Being retired, every penny means something. Every empty container that leaves this house ,to be recycled, is EMPTY. For all those pesky jars, I use a thin spatula or a long iced tea spoon, just like you do. Think that little bit a the bottom is nothing? Take a look at the shelf tags at the supermarket, price per ounce. Fifty cents here and there adds up incredibly fast. Waste not, want not. Words of wisdom.

  2. Denis,

    Welcome back. Great comments and feedback as usual. You are so right about looking at the per unit cost of an item, often measured in ounces. This is really the only way to compare the cost of similar products to see the true cost to you. Some manufacturers will sell you a smaller package for less, but when you calculate the per ounce, you often are paying more per ounce than the competing product.


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