Squeezing out the last bit!

When I first got married, this is something I did that received one of those “looks.” You know….the one that says, “WHAT are you doing?” without actually using any words. For some reason, I just LOVE those looks. It proves to me I haven’t conformed and “sold out” after all. I’m still original. I haven’t meshed. I’m thinking outside of the box. Even though, to me….it seems a completely normal thing to do….and I know some of you do it too!

As our products dwindle, the plan is to buy less replacements and make more of our own homemade ones like toothpaste, soaps, etc.  (like Mom Photographer did here with her deodorant and face cream and Lesley does with laundry detergent). If you don’t have the time or patience or any interest at all in making your own products, you can still squeeze out that last drop.

I scrap out the sides with a Q-tip.

Shoot yeah! Get your money’s worth.

I add water to the shampoo bottle, shake it up and pour it over my head. I can usually get a few more shampoos out of it. (Guess who else is doing that now?)

I cut open the toothpaste container, add water to my toothbrush and swish it around in there. It lasts another two weeks! (I place the opened toothpaste in a Tupperware container to keep it from drying out. Or you can use a Ziploc baggie. Great way to reuse old baggies!)

When the  deodorant comes to an end, I take it apart, recycle what I can and use the very last bit by pressing it against my armpits with my fingers. (I do it over the sink as little pieces do escape to the floor.) I haven’t bought deodorant in a year. I’ve been using my husband’s left over pieces. (BUT I’ve found an even better solution I really think you’ll like…. future post!)

Pop off the top.

I use every last bit in there. See? There’s still some left.

When the dish soap comes to an end, I fill it with warm water, shake it up and use it to clean out the sink. It lasts weeks.

I do this with everything, often scraping out the remainder with a spatula. My man never says anything. I’m saving the man money, right? Some of the tough plastic is a bit tricky to cut open, but if you do it very slowly and carefully….well, I’ve never cut myself. If you try this—PLEASE be careful with the scissors!! And kids shouldn’t even attempt it. It’s just too tough for their little hands.

See the sheath of unused product? That’s another 3 to 4 face washes!

We grew up doing this. And one of my favorite stories is  about my niece and my sister. The conversation:

My sister: “We’re out of toothpaste, honey. Can you go get mama another tube?”

My 6-year-old niece pattered back in the room with the scissors, sliced the flat toothpaste tube in half, pried one end open with her tiny fingers and handed it to my sister. “Here you go mama. There’s still some in there.”

My sister stared at her dumbfounded. “Who taught you to do that?” she asked.

“You did, mama.”

Our children will learn a non-wasteful lifestyle if they are taught. (It will be the norm to them. And they will in turn, pass it on to others.)

Do you use the last bit? 

23 responses to “Squeezing out the last bit!

  1. Oh yes – we’re definitely sisters separated at birth LOL! I dilute the washing up liquid and shampoo, use half the recommended amount of laundry detergent, squeeze toothpaste tubes to within an inch of their lives and also cut things open. Value for money I say and Mother Nature loves us taking care of her, right?!

  2. when lipsticks have gone flat I use a thin paint brush and paint my lips.
    When the tube of toothpaste or any tube come to an end you press it with a knife edge pushing up towards the opening..then roll it up..you’d be surprised as to how much you get out.
    Washing up liquid. hair shampoo, detergent bottles all get washed out and the last drops used… Nothing goes to waste in our house

  3. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by J.R.LIGGETT’S blog and leaving a comment, and hey, a huge thanks for the pingback! I love what you are doing here! Just love it! I also begun cutting off the end of the toothpaste, opening up containers like lotion, rinsing out containers. Iike your idea with the deoderant container too. I think we all need to stop and consider the packaging that is coming into our homes… what can it be re-used for? I shake out the last bit of crumbs from boxed cereal bags and re-use the bags for sandwiches, for covering dishes of leftovers in the fridge, etc. The empty cereal box was used to mail some items, and I wrapped the box itself in a cut-open paper grocery sack.

  4. Oh, and I’m ‘Following’ as I look forward to learning about all the ways you are going to save $$$ ! Cool!

  5. I probably won’t get to the point of making my own products at home, but I too squeeze out every drop I can get. Your shampoo example gave me a smile. I have a bottle that I have been adding water to for it seems like months and it still lathers. Not having much hair also helps to stretch the shampoo. Perhaps you should periodically cut off all your hair and use it to make things. I tried to get my wife to let cut her hair yesterday but she’d have no part of that. As for me I’m bald on top and I have no part.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

  6. I’m like this with hand lotion. That stuff’s expensive. Forget the pump top, I throw on an old squeeze lid, shake the heck out of that baby and squeeze out everything I can. Then I cut it open and spatula out the rest. I’ve weighed out the “leftovers” of this before, and it was literally a THIRD of the total advertised weight of the bottle. A THIRD. We’ve gone from needing to buy lotion every few months to about twice a year (sometimes less).
    Glad I’m not the only one!

  7. Love it. I;ve been scrapping out containers since I can remember. Many containers are designed so that product remains inside – so you buy more. There could be a campaign to ask mfgrs. to redesign .

  8. I’m going to have to try cutting open my toothpaste when it starts coming to the end! We add white vinegar to the end of the ketchup bottle to make it stretch.

  9. that would have been one of my next posts, so i’ll link up to this one instead.
    so; i’ m not the only one with a use-it-till-it-drops mentality? great to have wonderful company on cheapskate bay..it’ s so stimulating to find new ways to use it all up, make it go weeks longer, like saving time as well as resources..looking forward to making some of the recipes which i have not yet tried.

    in France there are shops with bulk shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, cleaners etc–they sell glass and ceramic containers or pouches which you then refill at will.. all super-markets have been offering these features for decades. why have the stores been slow to develop this here? ..it may not be as profitable?

  10. Sugar is the best exfoliant ever! Just put a little in palm of your hand with a couple drops of water. It gets kinda pasty. Viola! No more dead skin cells.

  11. I knew I could count on you guys! Nice to know I’m NOT the only one. And for those out there that don’t do this, now maybe they’ll give it a go. You all are commenting so fast, I can’t keep up. I’m having to group respond! haha!

    @ Mrs. Green–we were most certainly seperated at birth

    @ MissWhiplash–I wouldn’t have expected any less

    @Joy–using the cereal bags to wrap food was a God-send idea! I just ran out of the plastic wrap and thought, what am I gonna do now? Refuse to buy any more. At least this way, I can buy that occasional bag of ceral and still put the bag to use! My mother LOVED this idea!

    @ Arlee Bird–you made me laugh about the hair. And here I am trying to grow mine out! I’ll have to agree with the wife on this one!

    @ Lesley–you cut down your purchase by that much? WOW!

    @ Earthstonestation–I think you and Nadine hit the nail on the head. It’s about getting you to “buy more.”

    @ Stephanieough—I like the white vinegar stretching the ketchup! Great idea!!

    @ Nadine–cheapskate bay. Made me laugh! Why don’t we have bulk stores like that??? I hear they have them in Canada too. I think it’s all about the $$

    @ Samantha–I have tried your sugar concoction in the shower before. Works great, and MUCH cheapter than anything from bath and body works.

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I’m working my way to your pages!!

  12. @ Nadine—post it anyway! This was just my take. I’d like to hear yours and what all you use, and pictures of your ideas. I don’t own this idea, run with it!

  13. Oh man, this is one thing that drives me nuts. Can’t they make containers where you can actually get the product out!? Quite a while back I started switching to organic body care products (I’m better about sticking with that than what I eat being healthy/organic lol) and for some reason, they cost sooo much more if you don’t want all the chemicals. Anyways, so being broke you bet I would try to get every drop of shampoo, whatever out. Also a lot of days I forget to put a new bottle in the shower and I spend 5 minutes wrestling with the old bottle trying to get out enough to lather my hair! haha. If only I’d known the Q-tip trick!!

    Also, I thought of you the other day. I was buying supplements to go with my healthy kick I’m on and omg the bottles they use, you open it up and the product fills like only HALF the bottle. It’s ridiculous- like protein shakes, vitamins, you name it. I was showing my mom and trying to figure out what the point was to do that?!

    Also, I sent my sister Jacqui your blog link because she was just saying last night how she’s really getting into environmental stuff. She has been making fun of me and my natural stuff forever! She was laughing at herself saying she’s turned into a crunchy granola person. Mostly it started with cloth diapering to save money and she’s gotten really into that. And then we were looking at buying stuff to make our own detergent and everything. I’ve always been into knowing what’s in the stuff I’m using, so I really would rather make my own so I know it’s not full of possibly harmful chemicals. Plus, I think since she’s had kids she starts thinking about it more because you worry even more about them than yourself- like safe and natural teething remedies, etc. Actually some of the home remedies I’ve found work better than the regular medicine they’ve got out there IMO.

  14. Smiles! Squeezing out the last bit. That makes a lot of sense!

  15. The last drop contains more residues of containers and is harmful sometimes. For example, Aluminium foils of toothpaste,

  16. Glad I’m not alone in this. I do it with everything – currently have a bottle of olive oil upside down, waiting for that last drop! I have also thrown the cap and laundry detergent bottle in the front load washing machine when it’s empty, but I know that there is more still in there.

  17. Always. Learned it from my father, who got it from his mother – who was apparently so frugal she rinsed out the milk bottle for milk for her tea! :) I thought it was normal to rinse out the dish soap, shampoo, slice open the toothpaste – etc! I even save empty jars of honey, stand them on their lids and use the honey that trickles down for something…make potato salad in the empty mayo jar, etc!

  18. @ Alison and Nadine—no, looks like we aren’t as normal as we thought. Wasteful seems to be the norm, though it always seems to shock me, every time.

    @ Beth–you sound so much like me. Thanks for sending your sister my way. What’s her name? I haven’t started making my own detergent just yet. Still trying to finish this box. Are you ladies going to give it a go?

    @ Lightlycrunchy–your comment made me laugh about throwing the cap and bottle in and all!

    @ sreekumar sukumaran–that does make sense. Especially about the toothpaste. Yet, another reason for me to make my own….of everything!!

    @Teeceecouncil— I liked your smiles. :)

  19. Wow, I thought I was the only one that did this! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Frugal Frights and Delights—looks like there are a lot of us frugal-bees out there. :)

  21. It’s so great to see other people who are passionate about reducing waste. Have you ever heard of the product MyBotto? They’ve actually come up with this great idea — a stand that holds lotion, hair gel, etc. bottles upside down so that gravity gets out every last drop. Check them out!
    http://www.mybotto.com

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