How much do you really need?

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Milims
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How much do you really need?

Post: # 138291Post Milims
Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:49 am

Kind of inspired by the credit cards thread and the fact that I just went and washed my hair! I've noticed that I've become much more conscious of how much of things we use and begun to question just how necessary it is. The classic is, of course, the rinse and repeat instruction on the shampoo - I never do, once is quite enough and I've also trimmed down the amount I use in that once. My hair is clean and my shampoo lasts a lot longer! It seems that we automatically double up on so many things, 2 headache tablets, BOGOFs, rinse and repeat - but how much of that is needed and more effective. I homeopath friend of mine told me that the instruction to take 2 tablets on the remedies for sale in the chemist is simply because that's what we are used to doing, but in truth it serves no effective purpose.
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138338Post mamos
Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:50 pm

I know what you mean

I never measure out the amount of coffee I put in the filter machine, I just fill it to where I think is right and I always put another little sprinkle in just in case.

Over a year I probably use several more bags of coffee than I need.

Where's that bloody measuring spoon

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138350Post invisiblepiper
Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:34 pm

I only use one 'tablet' for my wash in the machine - although the instructions suggest up to three! We are blessed with soft water - but I still think folk use too much. :mrgreen:
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And I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference.
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138354Post Rosendula
Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:44 pm

I decided about a year ago I was going to do "The Experiment". You know, the one where you don't use shampoo any more and after a few weeks your natural oils restore themselves, your hair looks and smells clean and you get a curl where you never had one before. :scratch: It didn't work. After about 3 months I couldn't even get my fingers through my hair and decided enough was enough and washed it. Only one small amount of shampoo got all the grease and gunk out (the gunk was the various ingredients I had put on my head in order to try to cope with the horribleness). Before doing the experiment, I used to wash my hair at least every other day, and any day I didn't wash it, it had to be tied up because it looked lank and greasy. Since the experiment, I wash it with shampoo once a week on a Sunday and use fuller's earth as a dry shampoo on a Wednesday. It looks a lot cleaner and healthier than it used to.

Oh, I use half a cheap, supermarket-brand tablet in the dishwasher having done experiments with a variety of products.

I use soapnuts and vinegar for most of my laundry, but occasionally use 'proper' wash liquid - half the amount.

I use a pea-size amount of toothpaste - not the brush long nurdle it shows on adverts and in the pictures.
Rosey xx

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138372Post Loobyloo
Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:31 pm

Rosendula wrote:I use a pea-size amount of toothpaste - not the brush long nurdle it shows on adverts and in the pictures.

Nurdle?!

Never heard that before, I like it though. he he he, Nurdle, makes me giggle. :lol:

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138382Post MuddyWitch
Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:17 pm

I used to think I had greasy hair & washed it daily. Then, for some reason I can't remember now, it went a week between washes and was less greasy, easier to comb and healthier looking, so I dropped to once aweek. That was twenty odd years ago.

I'm nearly fifty, but my hair is still brown & healthy looking, with nowt but simple shampoo, used very sparingly. I'd love to have a go at making my own shampoos & conditioners but that seems a bit too close to cooking so maybe not :wink:

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138495Post The Riff-Raff Element
Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:27 pm

I agree about laundry detergent. We recently switched back to powder (much, much cheaper in France than all the tablets and liquids and little sachet jobbies) and kept reducing the amount until the point was reached where stuff wasn't coming clean and added a bit.

Result: detergent expenditure more than halved.

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138507Post snapdragon
Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:15 pm

half the amount of washing detergent and on a half time wash, OH can't manage to make anything wear more than one day
a half tsp of shampoo about every five days, brush it at least twice a day even though it's short - MW I am envious - my white front patch started when I was about 45 - the back's still brown though.
dab of toothpaste - any more is a waste
less water, lower heat and lid on pan when cooking rice or pasta.
I also find I don't need as much money, having had a few terms of redundancy (three for OH and this one is mine) it's amazing how you can manage - I wish I could thank my Mum for doing it first and teaching us how :(
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138513Post LBR
Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:47 pm

Nice subject for a thread, thanks!

When the laundry is only lightly soiled, I often just use baking soda and Borax. Otherwise, the Seventh Generation or Planet, and half as much. Wash in cold water, and short cycle. Hang up to dry.

I shampoo every four or five days, most of the time. Shampoo once, and use a leave-on conditioner.

Baking soda for toothpaste, just a tiny pinch. (And "nurdle" is a delightful word. Thanks for giving it to us!)

Using less tea, hmmmmm. I'm not willing to drink weaker tea, but I could reduce the number of cups I drink.

Clothing is very simple, too. I wear things a few days before washing them. I sometimes alternate, so that they can air in between wearings. Comfortable, easy-to-care-for clothing. Don't need much. Am sorting through things I've had for years, and finding new homes for them.

Have even begun to part with books! It's nice to give them to folks who will enjoy them.

Milims, thanks for starting the thread! :flower:

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138553Post Masco&Bongo
Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:36 pm

Um, I wear one pair of jogger bottoms and a hoodie every morning and evening (before and after work) for a week at a time, if I'm not going anywear!! :mrgreen:

They are my 'animal' clothes, so I can deal with ducks, chickens, rabbits and dogs in them, and not worry about my work clothes (of which I have precious few) being messed up...

Mind you, after cleaning the duck pond out in the dark and the torrential rain this morning, the joggers could practically stand up by themselves! I looked like the creature from the black lagoon!
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138589Post Flo
Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:08 pm

My how much do you need question is more a whole lifestyle thing. For three or four years I managed on four jumpers, three tee shirts and two pairs of trousers. When I moved into the present flat, the furniture, cooking and food utensils, soft furnishings, computer equipment and clothes only just filled a five ton vehicle. Sure I was broke but I had enough, I was clean and nothing was too obviously falling apart despite some of the furniture being more than elderly.

But I'd always had built in wardrobe space for most of my adult life as well as enough kitchen space. Heavens there isn't even kitchen storage for saucepans here as one third of the kitchen unit contains gas meter and pipework. There's a converted cupboard in the bathroom (one time water heater obviously) but you can't hang anything up in it and it's most irritating keeping the saucepans in the bathroom cupboard (bought a saucepan stand in the end for nearer the cooker). So basically I've had to buy wardrobe and drawers for clothes and bedding aas well as shelves for the things that I don't want to give away. Do I need all of it? Probably not - except that the local family and visitors would not be happy sitting on the floor if I just kept the one chair that I use.

So of course the amount of clothes have expanded to fill the wardrobe space available (partly because I had to go to work all of a sudden for a period till just after retirement). I don't suppose I shall need any more this side of never. I could probably reduce the clothes by two thirds but it's just as easy to wear out and replace from the stock in the house rather than go shopping.

How much cleaning material you need for you and the house is a personal matter. It's really chipping at the edges. A better question is how many of the other possessions you have are essentials. How many of the cups, saucers, saucepans, ornaments, pictures, chairs, tables, radios, computers, televisions and other items around your house are really essentials and how many are just nice to have items?

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138639Post Shabba
Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:28 am

LBR, I didn't know you could use borax for laundry. How much do you use per load? And can you only use it on certain fabrics?

I've recently been experimenting with cutting down on the number of teabags we use by making tea in a pot instead of a bag in each mug. It works fairly well. For the first pot I put in 2 fresh bags. For the next pot I leave in the 2 used bags and add 1 more fresh one....and so on. Once it gets beyond 6 bags in the pot there's not much room for the water though so then you have to start again! Plus my partner has reverted to making it in the cups as he's scared he might break my posh teapot and I'll never speak to him again!

We're also considering trying to live for a week on wartime rations! I have 100's of books on the homefront and have always thought it would be interesting to see how people coped with so much less in those days. I know I eat far too much at the moment and most of it is junk so I think it would be a worthwhile experiment.

Will let you all know how it goes!

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138651Post Uller
Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:53 am

I used to wash, condition and blow dry my hair every day - I thought it looked horrible if I didn't. I now shampoo twice a week and have given up on the conditioner - I think that was what was making my hair lank in the first place. I brush my hair twice a day with a natural bristle brush and it is cleaner, softer and healthier looking than it has ever been. Saves me loads of time in the mornings too!

I have loads of spare bedding, towels, kitchen stuff etc - a hangover from living in a much bigger house in Australia and regularly having guests to stay. Now our spare room is an office and we can't accommodate guests, but I still have the stuff. I have a big cupboard in the utility room with 'spare' dinner service, wine glasses, serving dishes etc - the space would be much better used for something else, but I keep putting off getting rid of it all. I keep thinking 'what if' - you know, I have a huge party in my tiny house and need that enormous dish that does lasagne for 14 people (I've only used it twice in the 5 years I've owned it).

Maybe I'll box it up and put it in the loft - plenty of storage space there.....
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Milims
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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138726Post Milims
Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:55 pm

Shabba wrote:We're also considering trying to live for a week on wartime rations! I have 100's of books on the homefront and have always thought it would be interesting to see how people coped with so much less in those days. I know I eat far too much at the moment and most of it is junk so I think it would be a worthwhile experiment.

Will let you all know how it goes!
Oooh yes please - I'd be very interested! In fact it's something that I've thought about doing myself. Perhaps we could set it up as an ish challenge!
Let us be lovely
And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
Edward Monkton


Member of the Ish Weight Loss Club since 10/1/11 Started at 12st 8 and have lost 8lb so far!

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Re: How much do you really need?

Post: # 138752Post snapdragon
Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:32 pm

great thread Milims

wartime idea reminds me - apparently Winston Churchill was told what the ration allowance was going to be and declared it to be 'very reasonable' --- until he was told that it was for a week not a single meal :bom:

anyone else use loose tea and an 'infuser' ?
OH has a tendency to buy large loaves of bread - and then wonders why it's half gone -. that'll be because I've sliced half of it, bagged it and stashed it in the freezer - there only so much stale bread you can use in a day :scratch:

Borax - the packet says use half a cup with the detergent - so that'll be a couple of spoonsfull :wink:
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