Every Last Drop

My oldest son Ryan noticed a severed tube of sunscreen on my bookcase. I had cut it in half with a scissors and let the catawampus tail end balance on the upright spout end. Ryan was visiting on Wednesday evening because he was leaving town for the holidays. He wanted an explanation for the butchered mess. I explained that I often cut tubes of lotion in half when no more can be squeezed out. Then I recover the unsqueezable residue over the next several days. Waste not, want not. Ryan was flabbergasted and asked: “You cannot afford to buy more sunscreen!?” I was flabbergasted that he knew so little about me because I have done this with tubes of hand lotion, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste for decades. But he did make me wonder why I do it since he is right that I can afford to toss the tubes when they have been conventionally emptied. I must feel like I am being ripped off. If you have a wide mouthed jar of product, you can scoop it all out. Interesting where individuals choose to save. Many would consider me the wasteful one in other arenas. I buy organic milk, drink chai tea lattes from Starbucks, and invest in top end running shoes as if I am training for the Olympics! A therapist could probably explain my inconsistent behaviors but I am way too cheap to hire one.

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48 thoughts on “Every Last Drop

  1. My problem is that I do the same thing but then our cleaners steal them and throw them away! Mind you, we have stopped our cleaners coming now because of Covid round here. They all were getting it sovwe played safe!

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      1. Hi Lorraine, due to my continued and legendary technical incompetence, I briefly and accidentally published my Cleaning the House draft a few minutes ago even though I already had a published post for today. I have since shifted a hastily approved final to tomorrow (Tuesday).

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  2. I also try to go beyond what most people would try to get out of such products, but not to the extent that you do!

    My clothing budget is non-existent; I still wear shirts from college – which was over 40 years ago. but I spend way more than I should at Dunkin…

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  3. For many years my husband worked himself half to death to support six people on one income, and I got used to doing anything I could (within bounds of reason) to save money. I still do many of them, even though it’s no longer necessary, because old habits die hard. I look for sales and discounts, I wear clothes until they fall apart, I drive cars until they die, and I cut open bottles and tubes to get out whatever remains inside after squeezing becomes ineffectual. I just feel like a schmuck when I waste anything that I paid good money for.

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  4. We are all a bundle of inconsistencies over which God loves anyway! I suppose He will straighten us all out in the next Kingdom, but then again, maybe He just gets a kick out of our free will idiosyncrasies, and will let them all slide as long as they are not sinful. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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    1. I generally eschew conversation where someone drops the G-word. But I still pay attention, even if I donโ€™t engage. The reason is people like you who demonstrate an independent thought on the topic and can not take themselves too seriously that they canโ€™t take (or make, in your case) a joke on the topic.

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  5. Another funny, relatable post, Geoff. I so enjoy catching up on my reading of your posts.
    I do this exact same thing now that I’m retired, after decades of making fun of my mother for doing the same thing as long as I can remember. All tubes and pump-top bottles are sliced open. I do hide the cut containers when I have company over, though.

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  6. You are not alone Geoff, I thought of this a few years back, the only difference being I cut the end off, but I can see cutting in half makes it more accessible. There is another obsessive aspect to this, plastic tubes can then be washed out and put in our recycling bin.

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  7. Me too. I am squeezing my old toothpaste every morning and every night now. Yes, milk and egg and meat are best to be organic. It is really important. Or from Trader Joe’s which claims that their product are hormone free.

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  8. I’m in your club. It is surprising how much of the product would go to waste otherwise. I suppose some would call it cheap, but I’m past the point where I care about that. If I can get seven more days out of a bottle by pulling out my trusty scissors, I’ll do it every time.

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  9. I guess I am the odd ball here as I do not do this with anything. I do my best to wring everything I can out of a product but stop short of surgical recourse. I do not see anything wrong with being frugal. It is a good quality to have, but if you start using the same tea bag for a third cup of tea, I may begin to worry about you.

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  10. I squeeze the toothpaste tube till it howls for mercy. And I won’t let a drop of lotion or cream go waste. And shampoo and liquid soap come out easier with enough mixed water. What can I say – I hear ya loud and clear, Geoff. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. I have such arguments with my husband as well. My ex mother in law used to shut off the water intake to her washer after every load to save wear and tear on her rubber gaskets – and the ex father in law used to praise her for it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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    1. Wow, I used to shut off the water intake to the washer when going on trips after having a hose burst under the pressure. I don’t know why I stopped doing that although I have not had a hose burst since.

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