I love when my wife has an idea for an article. Often, I feel like I get too caught up in a particular topic and the fresh ideas challenge me to think a little differently. Today’s article is the fruit of her idea.
My wife mentioned that many people are wasteful… and it often isn’t their fault. The first example she gave was toothpaste. The recommended amount of toothpaste is the size of a pea. However, the marketing is three or four peas.
I found that one dentist called out this marketing as well.
The end results is that people use 3 or 4 times as much toothpaste as they should.
I know what some of you are going to say because I said it myself, “I’m going to throw $20 into a toothpaste account and just use as much as damn please. I’ve got enough problems without worrying about Toothpaste Police.”
To some degree that’s probably correct… your energy may be better spent elsewhere. However, it isn’t just toothpaste.
People generally use too much shampoo (the size of a quarter is best from what I’ve read). Laundry detergent is another famous one where cups are often sized to be more than you need. My vet says that you don’t want to use the guidelines on dog food as it is generally too much. Then there’s the oil change places that say to come in every 3000 miles even if your car’s manual says every 5,000 or 10,000 miles.
You put all these things together and they start to add-up over time. Depending on the number of them, it can be a few hundred dollars a year or more. None of the changes above really inconvenience you. In fact getting fewer oil changes is time saved. So I look at these things as if someone just offered me a few hundred dollars. Why not take it, right?
What other things can you use less of save money without changing your life?
buy food you eat. use your leftovers. if you have plants, fish, pets, feed them the correct amount. reconsider your internet/phone/cellphone/cable plan. cable is NOTORIOUS for ‘add ons’ you don’t use. seal jars so they don’t spill or evaporate. scan or save important files as pdfs and store them on an external storage device-saves paper ink and space. you don’t need to shampoo every day, rinse one day and shampoo the next. hair conditioner, use only a dollop. nail polish: do you REALLY need $20 polish when sinful colors are on sale for $1? btw, a tooth polish argument was instrumental in my divorce. my ex INSISTED i use the same brand he used even though my dentist recommended a toothpaste for sensitive teeth for me. the $5 was more important than my enamel.