I’d Buy More Stuff If I Could Use Up Stuff

You know you want (all of) it, dangit!

I’m a conscientious stockpiler. I am not a hoarder. There is a difference.

A stockpiler has a careful plan, doesn’t overspend, stores things in sane places (health and beauty products near the bathroom, food items in a pantry within a reasonable proximity to the kitchen, pet products in the vicinity of where the pets are most of the time); while a hoarder buys with complete abandon, stashes stuff wherever it fits and buys stuff they don’t have a hope of needing or using (a single, childless gal who’s buried in diapers and formula or an older, widowed gent hauling in tampons).

That difference explained, I have a nit to pick with some of the current consumer packaging that’s out there. I’m talking about certain styles of tubes and bottles that seem to be empty, yet still have stuff in them when they’re “finished” – and there’s no way to remove the remaining product, thus getting your true money’s worth. And being a stockpiler (and everyday user of these products), I think I would know the difference between an empty bottle and one that still has lotion in it, even if it’s only enough for one hand.

I find this happens most often with lotions and shampoos, though toothpaste is a problem, too. Newfangled lotion and shampoo bottle tops are not designed to be removed by pulling or twisting, which means it’s not a matter of adding a bit of water, rinsing the bottle and using the dregs. Removing the top requires nothing short of a drill, plus the patience of a saint and the strength of Atlas. And yes, I know about the clasp thingie for squeezing toothpaste. It doesn’t get all the toothpaste out, though. To do that, you have to slice the tube and dig in with your toothbrush. And for the record: yes, I do slash my tubes. It’s fun, in a vindictive sort of way.

Nobody should be wasting resources in this economy, regardless of financial standing. There’s no shame in saying, “I get the most out of what I buy” when you do just that. I’ve mentioned my friend, the blogger and financial writer Donna Freedman, (http://donnafreedman.com), who has said, “I save where I can so I can spend where I want.” Donna is living proof that when you do the former, the latter happens: she’s left the lower forty-eight for Anchorage, because she can, thanks to her own thrifty ways.

I’m finally looking at some empty shelf space in my health and beauty stash, and I need to buy more responsibly, meaning containers that can be completely emptied of their contents before recycling. Until then, it looks like I will have to keep the crowbar handy.



Filed under frugality, recycling, thought

3 responses to “I’d Buy More Stuff If I Could Use Up Stuff

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    I’ve taken to buying lotions in jars rather than tubes and pump bottles just so I can properly empty them. I also cut plastic containers open to get all the contents out.

    • nancymn

      I admit I buy mainly what’s on sale, but you have a good point, Teresa. The jars certainly solve the problem. Of course, if I switched to jars, my husband would lose a major source of his amusement watching me struggle opening the bottles. šŸ™‚

  2. And when I got here? I found some toiletries I’d stashed at my friend’s. With that plus what I brought up from Seattle, it could be years before I have to buy toothpaste again.
    Thanks for the shout-out.

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