Frugality has its limits


You want to know what the lamest thing to spend money on is?  A vacuum cleaner.  I am currently researching the suckers, and it’s even less exciting than spending money on a beige bra.

Speaking of annoying purchases, I don’t think that dryer sheets make any difference.  They are a scam – a dishonest scheme to make you spend more money.

For a lot of years, I followed the instructions on the tube of toothpaste: “Squeeze 1 inch of toothpaste onto brush.”  One inch?  One INCH?  I was going through a tube of toothpaste every 3 weeks.

We are encouraged to get the oil changed in our cars every 3,000 miles.  I will typically wait until somewhere between 4-5,000.  My car is swiftly approaching the two-decade marker, but I never pay the extra money for the oil for my old (I prefer to call her “mature”) car.  And guess what: the Honda is holding together just fine.  Still.

I wonder how often we’re supposed to change our Brita water filters?  I’ve probably had the same one in my pitcher for a year.  I might as well just strain my water through some rocks or something.

I can’t help it.  I like to make my money go as far as it can.

However, there is one thing that I have recently decided is worth letting go of before I’ve squeezed every possible ounce of use out of it.  And that is…

The bar of soap.

When it reaches that flimsy, frail thinness, and you can’t use it without breaking it in half, then just let it go.  Because it’s gone.



  1. Crystal on June 9, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    Nothing is worse than spending money on garbage bags. We buy them JUST to throw them away. What a waste!

  2. annie on June 9, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    I am the same way, Annie! I am so disheartened at the wasting of money, resourses, time… I use the soap until it has been broken in half 2 or 3 times! LOL

    But I do have to say that a beige bra is worth it, AND… I use dryer sheets. I believe in them.

  3. annie on June 9, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    oops ~ resources.

  4. Deborah Barnett on June 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    I’m an avid dryer sheet user. Otherwise, there’s all that annoying static cling. And they are softer… and smell good. So, maybe you’ve used the wrong ones? I’ll give you a couple of mine and then tel me you’re not a new believer.

    But I agree elsewhere. I hate spending money on things I thing we should inherently have. Like dirt and water. I have issues buying bottled water. And I recently started planting herbs and veggies… and had to buy DIRT to pot them in. Huh? I’m seriously… next we’re gonna be charged for the air we breathe.

  5. Deborah Barnett on June 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    but perhaps I SHOULD spend money on a spell checker. Sheesh.

  6. Tad on June 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Dude! Don’t get rid of it!! All you need to do is lay it on top of the new bar of soap and work it in. Within 3 uses, it will become one with the larger bar. The only thing that could go wrong, is putting to bars together that are different color’s or scents.

  7. Tad on June 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    two bars, that is.

  8. becca on June 9, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    1. you can tear dryer sheets in half to make them last twice as long. uh…but i don’t use them either (despite my crispy jeans and static-filled towels.) in college, i started washing all of my clothes in cold water so i could just do one big load.

    2. i have never bought insurance for my cell phone (knock on wood.) i also have no health insurance (even bigger knock on wood.)

    but greebs will always eat high-quality dog food.

  9. Sarah on June 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    I need tips for frugality, I guess. I’m wasteful… though I can say that my drier broke about… 3 months ago… and I have yet to get it fixed. It’s just sitting there and I hang my clothes up to dry. Yay me, conserving energy.

    I used to always wash my clothes in cold water, too, but I prefer the way they come out of warm water, for some reason.

    The tiny slivers of soap I find kind of disgusting – like a larger bar has more cleaning power, somehow. Maybe you could deposit the tiny slivers in a container as you collect them and eventually you’ll have enough to make a new, large bar of soap.

  10. Sarah on June 9, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    I, too, like dryer (drier?) sheets. They smell good – I’ll let you know what mine are calle,d when I get home.

  11. Laura on June 9, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    Annie, get a bagless vacuum if possible. Much less hastle. Are you looking on Craigs list? You always find the funniest things on that site. I still can’t get the image of that pink *couch* out of my head.

  12. Jannell on June 9, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    I’ll leave my helpful hint…in the storage container section of your store, look for these things called “dryer balls”; and while that phrase could mean a myriad of these, they are rubber spiked balls which you can throw in with your clothes and they beat the wrinkles out. Never have to use a dryer sheet again. They are like 5 bucks for two. As far as scent goes, just buy a concentrated laundry soap that smells good. Lasts way longer. Frugality is fun!

  13. Allison on June 9, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    my honda is at 201,200 miles. i just got it a couple new tires, but other than that…it’s doing just fine. every time i get the oil changed they tell me i should come in more often because it’s so old, and every time i ignore them.

    AND, not that you were asking for alternate uses for dryer sheets…

    when i was in college, i straightened my hair. my hair had a static problem. i used to rub dryer sheets on it! that’s so weird. but it totally took care of that problem, for the whole day.

  14. Cara on June 9, 2009 at 10:02 PM

    apparently, if you are outside, you can also put a dryer sheet in your pocket and it will keep the bugs away…a homeopathic/less chemically bug deterrent!

  15. Matt on June 9, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    This reminds me of my roomie in college. He’d call his parents collect from the hall phone and then have them refuse the call so they would know to call him back. He didn’t want to spend the $0.10 to make a 1 min call. He’d also save those tiny soap fragments you’re speaking of, and when he had collected enough he would cook them in the microwave and mold them into a larger bar. No joke. He’s a doctor now and sometimes I wonder if he still does it.

  16. Sarah Kate on June 9, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    Dryer sheets have chemicals in them that we don’t need. I haven’t used them for years and feel that my appearance and smelliness of clothing has not suffered :).

  17. Colleen on June 10, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    I have to disagree with your dryer sheet conclusion. I grew up without them and started using them a few years ago and I think they make a significant difference in the softness of my clothes, the fresh scent, but most noticeably, the anti-static effect they have. If I don’t use a dryer sheet, not only do my clothes/towels stick together, but I find I have to deal with static while wearing them as well! :) I am a dryer sheet convert, if you will!

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