Frugal, if not environmentally-friendly, solution!

I obsess about pet peeves that could be called achingly trivial. Then I obsess about finding a solution to those peeves. And I have¬† lot of peeves. All that energy wasted on stupid stuff that doesn’t really matter…oi vey.

But it finally worked!¬† I came up with a solution to something that’s bothered me for such a long time, and it’s a good solution!

In a bottle of lotion (or shampoo, or shower gel, or what-have-you) that comes equipped with a pump, there’s a lot of product left at the bottom when the pump begins to fail. Because the bottle has a PUMP it’s almost impossible to set the bottle upside down to let gravity help. And then you have to unscrew the pump to get at whatever’s left over, and you end up dumping the rest all over your hand and wasting it anyway.

My temporary solution was to vow to buy only flip-top snappy-type containers, which could be inverted and used efficiently without wrestling with a stupid pump. Hooray! Problem solved!

But when you’re standing in front of the lotions with a calculator in your hand, and you realize that the larger pump bottle is less-expensive per ounce, it’s difficult to stick to that vow.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Kara!” you’re thinking to yourself right now. “Just throw the whole mess away and get yourself another bottle of store brand lotion and MOVE ON. It’s only an ounce or so!”

Ah, Gentle Reader, there’s the rub (pun definitely intended). If I waste an ounce of lotion, that nullifies the savings I earned when buying the larger bottle, which cost less per ounce. And at that point, this whole soul-rending struggle becomes “a matter of principle.”

I’ve tried propping one bottle upside-down over the mouth of another bottle, and that inevitably ends in heartache with lotion spattered all over the mirror and faucet when the top bottle falls. Because it will fall–it always does. Stupid bottle.

Yes, I have seen those little plastic doohickeys that allow you to connect two bottles of different sizes mouth-to-mouth, so that you can allow gravity to transfer the remainder of one bottle into another. I just don’t want to pay someone $10 for their idea. (Yes, I’m petty and jealous that I did not think of it, patent the idea, get a prototype and market such a useful little plastic thingy for myself.) Plus, those little thingamajigs don’t fit every bottle well–I have an image of a couple of unsuccessfully-coupled fallen ketchup bottles, and a kitchen splattered with ketchup.

Anyway. I’ve been noodling on this particular peeve for many moons, and finally came up with a workable and elegant solution. Remove the pump top from the bottle, and place a plastic bag over the mouth of the bottle. Upend this, propping it in the corner of your vanity or wherever it will not be knocked over, and when gravity has done its job, squeeze the rest of the product into the bag.

Squeeze the air out of the bag, and fasten the top closed. Get your receiving bottle ready, and snip a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag. Aim, then squeeze, and you should be able to strip all the leftover product neatly into the new bottle. Et voila!

Think “piping frosting,” except you’re not piping something edible and it’ll be much easier because you’re just trying to squeeze the contents neatly into a bottle, not spell out “Happy Birthday, Pumpkin” in legible icing script on top of a too-hot cake before all the party attendees arrive in four minutes.

Greener members of the audience may say “But Kara, that wastes a plastic bag! You’re using all the product, but you’re needlessly using a piece of plastic–it becomes a wash!” Save it, brothers and sisters. If this matters to you, you can rinse the plastic bag and use it again for a similar operation–just don’t empty the next bottle into the snipped corner of the bag. Also, bonus points if you’re using an already-repurposed plastic bag, because then you can throw it away and not feel bad!

I should patent and trademark this blog entry, shouldn’t I?

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