Saving cash; depleting clutter

Like many of you, I have a habit of taking home soaps and other toiletries from hotels. And, like I’m sure some of you, I never actually use them. Yet, still, I take them.

The stuff I get from cheap-ish hotels sits in a plastic bag. That stuff smells bad. Well, not bad, but like perfume. (Ick.)

The stuff I get from fancy hotels sits in a nice wicker basket. That stuff smells nice. And it’s actually name-brand products from around the globe. But, still, I never use it.

But, I’m trying to pinch pennies. And I’m trying to de-clutter. So now the stuff is going to get used.

My foster daughter actually likes smelly stuff, so as soon as she’s out of her stinky body wash gel, she will be handed a bar of Motel 6 soap. And later Holiday Inn and Sheraton* soaps. Then it will be the same thing when she’s out of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. And only once all the free stuff is gone will we buy new stuff.

I will be using the fancy soaps – L’Occitane, Neutrogena, Bath & Body Works. A couple of them are lightly scented, but not perfumey. And I will be using the fancy hair stuff, too – John Frieda, Pantene, Bath & Body Works. Again, not too smelly.

I even have some dental floss, toothpaste, and deodorant. As well as a few other bits-and-bobs. And several free sewing kits, of which I think I’ll give one to a friend because I recall him needing – yet not having – a needle and thread once.**

Now, I cannot promise that I will not add more free stuff to the mix, and I cannot promise that I won’t buy new stuff from time to time, but at least I’ll be saving money and clearing out some clutter.

* OK, Sheraton hotels are not really on the cheap end of the spectrum, but they do use smelly products so their toiletries get tossed in with the cheap stuff.
** I know it sounds cheap to give free stuff to friends, but it’s not like it’s a proper gift and it’s not like it’s really a gift so much as a gesture of goodwill.

8 Replies to “Saving cash; depleting clutter”

  1. I took a page from your former book and donated a few baggies of soaps and shampoos (perhaps even a lotion or two) when I filled a bag of food stuffs for the local food bank. I recall you doing that one year and I gave all my collected soaps etc. to you for that. Now, I will continue it here in town. Especially since they just put out a wish-list including soap, shampoo and other hygiene items. They also want/need kitchen supplies, so I will probably donate things of that nature in the future. Good luck with using up all your lotions and soaps. And, remember, if you still have leftovers this summer, the food bank will thank you!

  2. We sometimes use our hotel stuff, but acquire it quicker.
    We stayed in a super posh expensive hotel for one night after we got married, and they had shower camps. Super cheapy fall-apart sweat-your-head-off smell-like-plastic shower caps 🙁
    But I think we’ve gotten Neutrogena and Dove stuff from cheap-cheap hotels.

  3. it accumulates and i use it in my gym bag … so therefore it doesn’t get used cos i haven’t been exercising regularly recently
    and yes, the local food banks or homeless hostels can make very good use of it – i think hygeine items are one of the last things people think of donating, along with socks and underwear

  4. I’ve been told by one of my girls that those little soaps are really great when her kids go off to camp or just camping. Whatever works…just don’t throw them away. I actually read about one of the cruise lines donating their soaps and shampoos to a charity in one of their ports…thousands of them!

  5. My husband travels a lot for business, so we have accumulated a huge box of soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc. that is just sitting in my linen closet. The Boy used a bunch when he was a camp counselor, but the box is still brimming. I think I’m going to take a cue from your mom and donate the rest to our food bank. Great idea!

  6. I used to donate it each year, but just never got around to it this year. So, we’ll use a bit and I’ll donate what’s left this summer along with all my spare towels and bedding…

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