You’ve seen the ads. Soap Savers to help you use every last sliver of soap. Pants Extenders to help your pants fit, even after you gain weight. Soda Pop Lids to keep your soda fresh, in the event you can’t drink the whole can. Green Bags to keep your produce fresh longer. The list is never ending.
On the surface, these ideas seem good. After all, it’s more frugal to use and reuse things than to throw them away and buy new, right?
The idea is right, but these gimmicks rub me the wrong way. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think these products really appeal to frugal people, who tend to be do-it-yourselfers.
I use all of my bar soap, but I don’t need a special product to do it. When I have a sliver of soap left, I break out a new bar. When both the new bar and the soap sliver are wet, I stick them together and let them dry, and they become one. Another creative and crafty solution I’ve never tried is to save a bunch of soap slivers and then melt them into a single bar.
And as a frugal person, I tend to buy two liter bottles of pop, when I buy it. That way, I can determine how much I drink, and it’s often not 12 ounces in a single sitting. If I happen to be drinking a can of pop that I don’t finish, it’s not that difficult to pull out a jar (I save all my jars), pour the pop in, put a lid on it, and keep it in the fridge. Of course the most frugal solution would be to not drink soda at all.
And pants extenders? I’ll admit I don’t fluctuate in sizes much. But there’s something to be said for comfort. For $3.99, rather than buying an extender, I’d probably run to the thrift store to buy a pair of jeans that fits correctly.
As far as Green Bags go, I’m not sure what makes them special, and I’m not willing to pay to find out. I find that storing my produce in a ziplock bag with a clean, dry paper towel works very well. Washing the ziplock bags to be used again keeps the costs down, too. Just don’t rewash bags used for meat.
Maybe I’m too cynical. I just think that paying money to be frugal isn’t very frugal in most cases like these. What do you think?