Photo by zazie, distributed under Creative Commons license
Turning the spending awareness on and imagining myself as a financially savvy Desperate Housewife, I realized the advantages of a liquid soap refills. First advantage is minimizing the vicious cycle of plastic manufacturing and recycling that we are paying for. Those small liquid soap bottles that were produced, packed, shipped, stored and sold, you use them for a month or so and then recycle, with many more vehicles driving it from your home to the dump, to the recycling facility, washing, melting and starting their life cycle all over again only to return to your home a few months later. Sounds like too much hassle for such a short life-span of a little bottle. And obviously, we are paying for every step of this process.
The second advantage is your direct saving with a surprisingly minimal amount of work. A 500 mL 16.9 oz plastic bottle of liquid soap that I bought in Marshall’s was $5, with its original price being $9. Costco is selling small size bottles of soft soap containing 7.5 oz for $2.23 as well as a gigantic size 1 Gallon (128 oz) bottles for $13.99. As usual, to compare we need to check the price for the same amounts - say 1oz. The liquid soap from Marshall’s as well as a small packaged soap from Costco were both $.30 per 1 oz. Surprise! Wholesale prices are not always cheaper. However, the gigantic soap from Costco was $0.10 per oz – 1/3 of the price I am currently paying. We could save 2/3 of the price and simplify our life by buying the soap only twice a year instead of monthly! So, consider refills. They are easy, green and hip nowadays, especially among desperate housewives.
Look for TheMathMom's article in September 2009 issue of the Boston Parents Paper on many creative ways math could come to the rescue of your family budget.
Click here to read this article online.