I thought I was too – until I found myself cutting our tube of toothpaste in half in order to get out the paste that I could not squeeze out! I was about to throw away the expired tube and then felt that there was still a lot of paste in the tube, so I cut it in half. Voila! There was still a ton inside the tube that will probably last another week or so, at least. Score!
Have you ever done this? Now I am on a mission looking around my house for other items that we use and then throwaway, without realizing that there is still plenty of the product inside the packaging. Glue? Body lotion? Shampoo? I think too often we assume that because nothing is coming out that it must be “gone”, when in fact there might still be plenty left that is just more difficult to get to. If everything I come across has another weeks’ worth of goods inside, over time that can add up to a lot of wasted money and product. Gotta go – I think there are some tubes I missed in the bathroom!
What lengths are you ready to go to to be more frugal? I think being frugal goes hand in hand with being eco-friendly and living simply, as you don’t waste money on things you don’t need and/or already have – and the same goes for the miraculous toothpaste tube that still held plenty of paste even after it was declared empty! Do you do things like this around your house? If so, what else should I be looking into?
I love this post because I get crazy about using all the toothpaste in the tube too. At some point I ended up with this little contraption that you put the bottom of the tube in and you push it up as you use the toothpaste and it gets every last drop out! My husband laughs at me all the time.
I cut body lotion bottles in half when the pumper stops dispensing. Just taking the top off still doesn’t get it all out. There is usually a lot of lotion left especially if it is a thick type. I definitely have done the toothpaste thing for a long time. There’s always a good amount still in there. I also make my own laundry detergent – it is so easy to do. I make the foamy hand soap because it’s all about the pumper apparatus on the bottle. Once you have that you can make the foamy stuff out of all kinds of liquid soap. I also dilute shampoo to get twice the use out of it; I don’t notice any difference in the cleaning power and it lasts twice as long. I just discovered your blog recently but I love it.
Glad I am not alone Danielle!
And thanks Ellen, appreciate your kind words!
I’ve punched holes in the bottom of laundry detergent bottles to get the last drop, but never with toothpaste. Something else for me to try. Thanks.
I do something similar with condiments in the fridge. We haven’t bought a new bottle of ketchup in a long time (we’re trying to cut back on plastics), so we’ve been making do with the last little bit left. In the same way that you add water to your shampoo, you can add a little vinegar to your ketchup and mustard to get the last bit out. I wouldn’t recommend cutting the bottle in half, though — it makes for crusty ketchup. Yuck!
My husband does this. I give him so much grief. Then he looks at me and says, “You know you’d be doing it if I weren’t.” He’s right, especially now. We live in Germany, and our favorite toothpaste is Tom’s of Maine. We have to bring it with us.
Just found you through Savvy Christine. It looks like we think alike and follow the very same blogs. Sorry I’ve been missing you.
Thanks for the comment Katie – so very glad to hear I am not alone. And glad you like the site, will head over to check out yours now!
I have one of those shoe bag looking net things you hang in the shower- whenever a shampoo bottle or lotion bottle gets to the “empty” stage I put the bottle in one of the pockets upside down and let it run down. I also squeeze the last of the toothpast out by putting the tube against the edge of the bathroom counter starting at the bottom of the tube and pull down with the tube constantly against the counter edge. This pushes everything to the end of the tube (or up to the point it can’t go on) and leaves the tube flatter than a pancake!
I know I get more frugal as the package empties; toothpaste, condiments, dishsoap, laundry detergent, etc.
I could probably stretch things 20 % by not being lax in the 1st half of the container.
Much like Carla, I also turn my nearly empty shampoo bottles upside down to get the very very last bit out and when it’s at the last stage, will add water and shake to get the last bit out for the last hair wash.
I like Ellen’s idea of diluting shampoo – will definitely try that.
I also squish my toothpaste tube flat against the counter edge to get the very last bit out – I have managed to get toothpaste out of a ‘finished’ tube for a full two weeks!
And when it comes to bars of soap, when it gets down to that last little sliver that is almost too small to use, I ‘stick’ it to the next new bar of soap (if you get both bits a bit lathered up and put them together, they inveriable dry stuck together – and voila! – you get to use every little bit of soap)
I quit using laundry detergent for all but my kids grimiest clothes. I use plain cold water for most loads, and sometimes add a splash of vinegar. And never use softener, because I don’t want to buy chemicals (and support chemical corporations) and I don’t need to waste the money on it either.
Hi, I bumped into your site this afternoon, and I cant stop myself going back to archives and reading all of them. I am on the journey of becoming a minimalist. Thanks for your great tips.
To use the toothpaste to the last drop possible, when you cannot squeeze it, roll it with a rolling pin. It has worked for me always :).