Thursday, July 30, 2015

4079 Thrifty, not stingy or miserly, though.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Henry Louis Mencken, on Shakespeare: "After all, all he did was
string together a lot of old, well-known quotations."


I know I'm thrifty.  Daughter rolls her eyes when I wash and reuse zip-lock bags.  (That, by the way, is not just thrift, it's also environmental consciousness.)

I didn't really realize how downright cheap I am until my bath this morning.

Yesterday I decided to take a shower in the front bathroom (the shower in my bathroom is broken and I wanted to wash my hair).  That room is set up for the Nugget, so there's baby shampoo, baby wash, and her washcloths and towels, so I gathered up some supplies from the bathroom I usually use.  I was digging around in my soap stash in the cabinet for extra soap and shampoo.  I buy stuff like Dove, Cashmere Bouquet, Casswell-Massey florals, but I never get to use them because Daughter is always giving me gifts of handmade craft soaps, and fragrant oil soaps from India, which I use because she'd be disappointed if she didn't see them out and smell them on me, and she thinks I love them.

I grabbed a Cashmere Bouquet to take to the other bathroom, and had a very happy luxurious-smelling creamy-lathered shower.

So, this morning, bath in my usual bathroom.  The soap dish contained an oatmeal-infused block of craft soap Daughter had given me more than a year ago, and an unidentified French-milled scentless blue oval.  I groaned and used the craft soap, and for the thousandth time thought about throwing it away and opening a Dove.  I wish that stuff would hurry up and get used up, but it lasts forever!  

Yeah, I simply cannot throw out a bar of soap until it's so small it falls apart.

Yeah, I am cheap!  I just can't do it.

I guess.

After my bath I had a wonderful idea.  I'm going to let those bars dry thoroughly, then wrap them in Saran, put them in the stash, and break out a Dove, or a Casswell-Massey.  After I'm dead, Daughter will merrily throw them out, so I don't have to feel guilty.

Oh, and sometime soon I'm going to have to tell her that I don't like "fancy" soaps, so please stop buying them for me.  That might take a lot more courage than I have.


The phrase "until it's so small it falls apart" reminded me of something that was a general practice when I was young.  Everyone, everyone I knew, anyway, used up every bit of a bar of soap in one of two ways:
  • You'd put the worn-down slivers in a jar, and when the jar was 2/3 full you'd pour in boiling water to cover the bits of soap, and they'd melt down and make a liquid soap you could use as a body wash, or to wash lingerie, or your hair, or anything else.  For some unknown reason it stayed nice for ages, no mold, no sour.
  • Or, you'd knit or crochet or sew a small flat bag, put the chips in it, and use it as an already-soapy washcloth, until the chips were used up, then you'd refill it.
Maybe this was all left over from the days before commercial soaps, when you had to make your own, and it wasn't easy to make it or cheap to buy it, so the habit of soap-thrift got passed down grandmother to granddaughter

Good theory, but it doesn't explain the zip-lock bags, or washing and reusing aluminum foil, or using both sides of every sheet of paper and making shopping lists on the backs of envelopes bills came in.

I'm thrifty.


Becs said...

I used to reused plastic bags. Then I found some plastic containers I liked and used them. It's been hard to stop being plain old mean with myself, to take a perverse kind of joy in denying myself pleasures like a bar of soap. Every now and then, Emma sends me a 'craft' soap that she buys at her local farmers' market. They're wonderful - smell of sweet pea and leave the skin moisturized. Nice.

I am not yet at the point where I can walk into a LUSH store and buy myself a bath melt that costs $10 for one. To me, that's the kind of things I save for my birthday and other holidays.

~~Silk said...

Oh, understand I'm not denying myself nice soap, I;m just not throwing away a perfectly good bar of soap. Or a perfectly good zip-lock bag. Or a perfectly good single sock. I actually feel rather virtuous not wasting things. That way I don't have to feel guilty when I buy myself something else.

On the other hand, there's all those nice fluffy soaps in the cabinet... maybe I can convince my self they're being wasted by not being opened.

Becs said...

I went out yesterday to Lush and bought myself a $13 bar of soap. When it was later pointed out to me that it was face soap, I replied a bit haughtily that I have skin all over my body and what's wrong with treating it all nice?

Lush is a very complicated place just to go and get shampoo and bath treats and fancy soaps. I don't recommend it unless you're emotionally prepared. If you aren't, go to L'Occitane instead.