Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Stocktaking your smellies

There is a monthly thread on Money Saving Forum, in the Health and Beauty money saving bit, and it's called 'No buying Unnecessary Toiletries' The idea is that you take stock of what you already have, just like you might do in your food cupboard and freezer, and stop buying any more until you have used things up. So, instead of thinking you must use that tin of tomatoes up which has been at the back of the cupboard for the last ten years, you now think about using up that half bottle of whiffy moisturiser that you are not particularly keen on, before you buy a replacement.

Makes good sense to me. My bathroom cabinet is not bulging at the seams, it is not packed full of bottles and tubes of various lotions and potions. I just have a few items which seem to last me ages because I don't go mad splashing things about. I use my toiletries sparingly so they last a long time. When I buy something new I don't go for a particular label or fragrance, I buy on price. An expensive bar of soap does not do the job of cleaning me any better than a basic affordable one. A cheap Value shampoo will clean my hair just the same as the top of the range salon variety.

I think they should rename the thread, No Buying Unnecessary Toiletries Ever Again. I know I won't need to buy anything for at least another year.
Have a look for yourself.
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4807895

Post has been edited, some people have taken offence at my words. The message is still the same though, one way to save money is to stop buying unnecessary toiletries. I won't delete the whole lot  because there are some very good comments added, it would be a shame to lose them. Just shows how difficult it is to write a daily blog and please everybody all of the time, it's nigh on impossible.

34 comments:

  1. I did this a few years ago, started off by using up the soap bars (some shapes) I had in my underwear drawers - my thought they may make it smell nice, and I do actually prefer shower cream but hey it would save a few pennies. The soap lasted around a year and by then I had plenty of shower cream to use up too! Before we sold our house I used to bath fairly regularly and had a supply of cheap bath foam/lotion. When we moved to our rented flat we only used the shower, so did not use up the bath foam. Then we spent a year away travelling so it was still sat in the storage unit (along with other unused toiletries) I have brought it back and now use it as a substitute shower cream and it seems to work just as well - I seem to remember I paid 24p for a litre bottle about 3 years ago. I am also guilty of hoarding too, because earlier this year when I saw baby powder on sale at 34p a pot, I bought 3 for the cupboard - oops!!!

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    1. Have you got a baby Alison :o) Do people still use talcum powder?

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    2. No, no baby here, even my grandson is nearly two (and I don't think his mum ever used it either) but I do use it after a shower. I guess it must be a bit old fashioned, as we had real difficulty buying it when I ran out. None in Germany, and eventually found a small pot in France but cost around a pound!

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  2. I have followed this thread on MSE but the thing I notice is a lot of people still keep buying stuff to add to the stockpile they already have. I use to be a toiletries/cosmetics addict - always in the 'posh shops' when I worked in Manchester city centre until redundancy beckoned, changed my spending habits to bare basics and I really don't miss any of it. Looking back I cannot believe what I use to spend and would never want be like that again ... so bye bye Mac cosmetics, nowadays I shop in Poundland, Bodycare or use Sainsburys or Tesco own brands.

    Elaine from Oldham.

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    1. Aha Elaine, you have seen the light :o)

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  3. I just retired after 35 years of teaching and I have enough smellies to last the rest of my life, given to me by students' families! I've given many away to my daughters besides (some are just TOO smelly for me!), but I will still definitly be able to take on this challenge!

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  4. The only thing I use is a bar of cheap soap. It does for everything, washes me and my hair, and does duty for shaving as well.

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  5. Ilona, I'm one who gets sucked in by new products. Not so much the promises of miracles - I know creams can't work miracles. But I am sucked in by lovely packaging, nice scents and the texture of creams. I love a bubble bath too. So I am a sucker for a new one. I have been trying to declutter, so have resisted buying multiples or new products but I still have products hanging around.

    I am also really sensitive to certain smells. They can make me sneeze. And some products make me itch and my skin go red. So I sometimes relegate face and hand creams that are too strong, to lotion for my legs.

    While I have fewer items than a lot of women, there's still room for me to declutter and save money.

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  6. Im thinking that some of those people have enough "smellies" to start up their own corner market! Where do they keep all these things!? Reading those lists is just like watching an episode of Hoarders...makes me want to go and weed out my bathroom cabinets! (not a lot in there but it could still use a going through) Thanks for the posts!! Hope you have a great day!
    deb

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  7. Crazy! Anyway I will buy new products just as they are about to run out. I buy shampoo/conditioner deodorant - toothpaste- moisturiser that does it all (face and body) one bottle till its gone. I did buy some hand cream and then a friend gave me some! Oh and I like bubble bath, the cheap stuff unless the good stuff is reduced and that's it. What about makeup? Have you seen some of the makeup hauls on you tube Wow that's crazy as well. I have Aldi products - face powder - blush - mascara and use a lip balm. A friend will give me a Clinique lipstick out of the free products she gets, so I have a lipstick at the moment. I wear this stuff about once/twice a week. Oh and I buy the makeup remover sheets the cheapest I can get.
    Right now money is tight and its not going to change. I am feeling a bit fed up. No debts just a very sick oh that I take care off. He is great he uses cheap shampoo - deodorant and that's it. Oh and he has some smelly stuff from two years ago. Just remembered I have perfume its just ran out, lasted three years! Its cold this morning sunny though! Take care Ginny

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  8. Ah Lush strikes again! I swear they put something in their stuff that hynotises us when we walk through the door. I used to be a product junky but thankfully as I get older my skin and hair cannot cope with anything fussy. Here's my list; baby lotion to cleanse (this is the only product that doesn't make my face blotchy!), Boots Rosewater and glycerin (tone), Palmers Cocoa butter (moisturise). I wash my hair with savers baby shampoo/Bodyshop Rainforest and a small blob of Inecto coconut conditioner (dirt cheap from HB) as a leave in. The only soap I can tolerate is Body shop Shea butter, they are a bit pricey but I stock up when they are discounted. I also use a drop of sweet almond oil at night (not cheap but lasts me ages and ages). I have NEVER found an eye cream that actually makes any difference - I'm amazed that people keep buying them and more amazed that I kept buying them for so long before giving up.

    I'll let you into a secret....my weakness is posh tea. I have boxes and boxes of every different flavour you can imagine so I'm on a personal mission to use them all up before I buy anymore (shakes fist at that Whittards). ; ) Debbie

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    Replies
    1. Yes Lush has a lot to answer for. The smell wafting into the street is there to pull people in.

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  9. We're not one's for buying unnecessary lotions etc. We by soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant and that's about it, but we always have a pot of coconut oil and use this for loads of things, its cheap and very,very effective. Have you tried it Ilona? I put it on my face, my hands and any dry skin, you can even cook with it and its very cheap and lasts for ages as you don't need much.
    Briony
    x

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  10. I keep it very simple in the bathroom, I have to really I'm allergic to most things with perfumes in them. I have my tried and trusted favourite brands and stock up when they are on offer, you can guarantee they are on offer every year so that's when I buy them. I have a large shampoo dispenser that I keep filled by buying smaller bottles when they are offer and we use homemade soap and shower gels bought once a year also when on offer. I wear minimal makeup and am never tempted by new products. We buy our favourite brand of toothpaste when on offer and a new toothbrush when needed. I know what I like and I keep stocked, never over stocked.

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  11. My friends and I collect freebie shampoo, soap etc from hotels and B&Bs. We donate those to the local refuge for victims of domestic violence. These ladies often arrive with nothing and are glad of the toiletries.
    Pat

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  12. Thank you for your comment, Justine. Appreciate your thoughts.

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    1. Anytime you are my favourite blogger x

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  13. Oh my, the list of stuff some of those folks have! The only time I ever get more that I need is at Christmas. Having too many things cluttering my shelves bug me so I keep to the essentials, and many things have a dual purpose~ soap, shampoo, moisturizing cream (doubles as foundation under my face powder), face powder, lipstick (doubles as blush), mascara.

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  14. I mostly make my own from scratch - I have very sensitive skin and this way I know exactly what I am putting on it :)

    The smell from Lush makes me feel ill :(

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  15. My brother gives me a cardboard box full of bubble bath for Christmas/birthday - the cheap one litre bottles from places like Asda. I love him for it! Not only does it bubble my bath but it's in the soap dispenser for washing hands in the kitchen and bathroom, and I use it as a bodywash. I've even used it for handwashing clothes. Apart from that I buy cheap, cheerful and generic as and when.

    I think this also applies to cleaning supplies. It's amazing what hot soapy water will do. You do not need specialised products for everything. Wannabe Sybil xxx (signed in as Lyssa Medana and can't work out how to change the name)

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    1. Thank you Sybil, you think along the same lines as me. Just plain soap will do a lot of jobs.

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  16. I HATE 'stinky stuff'...I have the basics, shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser ( all vegan ) stuff in my bathroom cabinet...the rest of the gunk they sell is only there to make a profit for the sellers.
    Jane x

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  17. I cannot use a wide range of toiletries because we have an ecologically friendly waste disposal system for both water and toilet waste. A basic soap made from oil in the old fashioned way is ok and then the eco friendly options (of which there are not many) for shower gels or shampoos. This limited choice of toiletries has worked wonders for both my pocket and my skin. Believe it or not my hair and skin has never looked better - the outdoor life and fresh food that we have here may also contribute to this but I def think most toiletries beyond the basics to keep clean or stop the skin from drying out are a waste of time. When did washing become an indulgence? When I was a child it was simply a necessity for most of us... only the film stars took bubble baths. How the world has changed! lol!

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    1. Nice to hear from you Jane. Yes I remember bubble baths as something a bit posh.

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  18. Too many allergies and sensitivities in our house to buy anything except fragrance free soap, shampoo, deodorant, moisturiser and toothpaste. I stock up when they're on offer. I don't wear any make up and can't bear anything smelly. If I receive any stinkies for Christmas, it usually ends up being donated to a raffle. Recently, I had an old bottle of baby shampoo which was no longer used and I decanted it into an empty liquid soap dispenser. It was great as a liquid soap! When I'm almost finished shampoo, I stand the bottle on its head and then add a little bit of water to get every last drop out. Think I've persuaded hubby to grow back his beard to save on shaving gel (anyone know of a pong free shaving gel?).

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  19. Apologies if this appears more than once, my comment seems to disappear into thin air!

    Some people eat too much, some people drink too much, some people gamble, some people have hoards of clothes, toilet rolls, cosmetics etc . In other words a lot of us are fallible, it does not mean that they/we are bad people, just misguided perhaps and have lessons to learn. I try not to judge and BTW I am not in debt and am lucky enough to have enough for my needs and some of my wants.

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  20. I've never heard of some of those things and I wouldn't know where to put them or what to do with them either!!! I'm just a soap and water girl meeself.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  21. Ilona, I think more than a few people will feel very uncomfortable having the spotlight cast on them in such a disparaging way. I'm sure you were well intentioned, but this comes across as a bit of a 'point and smirk' post, which is thoroughly unpleasant.

    As the person (or perhaps one of the people) you've pointed out as having nearly 400 items in the stash, I'm actually pretty upset and being so openly mocked. I do hope this is good readership for you, if a bit holier than thou and frankly nasty in tone.

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    1. I am a relatively new reader in the US. I didn't see the post before it was edited. Ilona doesn't seem the type to openly mock others, but I understand that you might be sensitive on this issue. You made a good reply. Nobody is going to kick you out of the corps!! We are all frugal in different ways--Ilona is just frugal in EVERY way. I agree with most of her ideas, but I wouldn't adopt all of them, either.

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    2. You are right mikemax, I didn't intentionally mock anyone. I did some research, found some facts, and based my post around that. Some people took exception, one in particular, who went onto the site and tore a strip off me, which resulted in several of them surrounding me like a pack of wolves and tearing me to shreds. I can only think that my post touched a nerve.

      I removed the bits that they didn't like, but the message is still the same.

      Delete
  22. I am a soap and water person myself, I use a vitemin e cream or nivea cream for my face, the shower soap is usually sainsburys own brand and my little luxury body creams are honey based bought at the honey bee farm near to my home. I only buy toothpastes and brushes when they are on offer or BOGF. My wood and other floors get swepy then steam cleaned (pure water steam) so no smelly products bought, I do but Jeyes Fluid for the drains outside but the cheap brand of thick bleach is the only bleach I have for toilet and kitchen sink areas. My bathroom cabinet is only small so space is very limited and under the sink is just the same
    I am sure Leah's comment is uncalled for as I am sure Ilona was not smirking or being holier than thou, she has her saving ways and the rest of us save in other ways and I feel sure Ilona isnt bothered how we all do things, some of her saving ways are good tips and helpful when money is tight
    Danneke

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  23. I didn't read the post before you edited it, but I'm with you all the way Ilona. I also buy on price and stock up a bit when something's cheap enough. My bathroom IS stuffed with products only because I have a 22 year old daughter and her boyfriend still at home and neither can live without a million products to keep them looking and smelling just right. Quite honestly, the scent of some of those things makes me gag and I have to open a window when they've been having a good spray round. Personally, I don't wear make up or dye my hair. I use basics soap except when I get some as a gift, I do use a good handcream in the winter but only because if I don't I get those nasty splits in the tips of my fingers that hurt so much, I use basics toothpaste, and a roll on anti-perspirant. I prefer Sanex anti-p but will only buy it when its on a half price offer and use supermarkets basics in between. I don't have a shower but have a big supply of gel I got for 10p a bottle in Superdrug about a year ago that I use in the bath. It will last for ages. Even if you do take more care of your appearance than I do it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Frugal Queen uses a lot of Aldi goods and she looks lovely.

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  24. I'm a former health/beauty nut. If it smelled great, had a pretty package, and the latest style guru said to buy it I did. Sometimes I bought two. LOL!
    How times have changed. I too keep the bare minimum in the bath cabinet. I use baking soda/cider vinegar for my hair. I still buy a cheap dollar store shower gel and one of the cheaper deodorant brands when needed. (On the deodorant you do not want the cheapest brand!) However; I'm looking into making more of my everyday toiletries myself. I don't think I'll ever be over the hair spray and make up, but at least now I'm not afraid to go out in public without the war paint on. I'm also much better at keeping just the basics. 1 lipstick (can double as blush), 1 tube of mascara, 1 powder, 1 foundation, 1 eye liner, and unlike the past 1 palette of eye shadow. If I only had the money back I spent on eye liner and shadow back in the 80's. Most of this stuff I'd only use once. I even bought make up from a television program that turned out to be just what I have in my bag now. It worked as they said, but it was all stuff I could buy at the dollar store and do myself. I didn't see the original post (and almost missed this because you posted twice since I was last on.), but if you sounded prideful it was because you are saving money and not living with clutter. I'm sure my comment has that same tone LOL. It's total freedom not being a slave to what 'they' tell us we need to look good, smell good, and be popular. So to anyone that even took offense, I say chill out. You are not being judged and no one has the magic power to peep into your bathroom cabinet if you read this post. Ilona is just offering yet another way to save money, You can take the advice or say nah...I'll keep my 400 items in stash and it's all good. If all that stuff makes you happy, then you can cut back some where else.

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  25. I recently decided to stick to basic bathroom products only. Economy soap (not shower gel), palmolive shaving stick (50p and lasts six months), superdrug cheapo aftershave (about £2 a bottle and gets rave reviews on aftershave forums) etc. Aqueous cream (about £2 for six months' supply) for moisturising after shaving. I have a crew cut (which I do myself with clippers) so I don't need shampoo, just a quick rub with soap. I think it's worth keeping toiletries though if you have the space - they'll only go up in price, so you might as well hang on to them. Best wishes, Austin.

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