Monday, 2 May 2016

Put A Pump On It.

Putting a pump on cleaning products and toiletries can save you small fortune.  A few years ago I noticed a family member preparing to wash some dishes.  Out came the dishwashing liquid and SQUIRRRRRRRTTTT.  Yes you guessed it.  An enormous squirt of dishwashing liquid went into the sink.  Combine that with fast flowing water and the family member ended up with a sink full of bubbles and very little water.  Infact,  you couldn't see the water and the bubbles were a foot high.

I know I've been called tight or cheap but sometimes portion control just makes sense.  I don't like to see waste whether it be money,  consumables or possessions.  I would prefer to be a good steward of what I have.  Yes it might save a few dollars here and there.  It could help the environment too.  Portion control in my house really makes life easier.

Quite a few products now come with pumps on them.  You'll find them on large bottles for easy use.  What do you do with those pumps when the bottle is empty ?  If you are throwing them out because you don't have a need for them,  think again.

Here are some examples of how I reuse pumps to save us money -

*  Large bottles of shower gel come with a pump.  I'm unlikely to refill a large bottle simply because it's not cost effective to buy small bottles of shower gel for that purpose.  Sometimes those pumps will fit large bottles of shampoo and conditioner.  TRESemme shampoo and conditioner doesn't come with pumps and those large bottles are hard to manage in the shower.  Put a pump on it and you have portion control.  Dilute the shampoo and conditioner and you'll save even more money.

*  As I mentioned above,  dishwashing liquid is hard to portion control.  I saved pumps from liquid hand soap ( before foaming hand wash days ) and put them on the dishwashing liquid bottles.  I know two pumps of the liquid will wash my dishes.

*  Darren uses hair gel each day to tame his curly hair.  For years he used containers of hair gel and it was messy.  A couple of years ago we found hair gel in a pump bottle.  Now when the bottle is empty we refill it with other brands of hair gel.  No more trying to screw on a lid with sticky hands.

*  We've saved liquid hand soap bottles and refilled them with shower gel.  Portion controlling shower gel,  no matter how small the bottle is,  can be tricky in the shower.  We've even emptied all the little bottles from hotel accommodation into a pump bottle.

Each time you go to throw out a pump bottle,  think again.  Can you refill that bottle with something else ?  If not,  will that pump fit onto another bottle ?  It's well worth a try.


  1. Fantastic idea Wendy , will be saving those pumps in the future instead of putting them in the bin ,

  2. Yes!!!! This is a great idea I actually use one of my old shower gel pump bottles for my dishwashing liquid LoL...

  3. I raced to the bin and grabbed one out that I knew was there! great tip

  4. Hi Wendy, what a great post. I love using pumps but I never thought to use them for the hair gel. Can you tell me, what hair gel it is as my DH and boys use it but not in gel form and they use too much , I'm sure?
    Thanks Maureen

    1. Maureen, it was hair gel from Sam's Warehouse about 3 years ago ( we bought up big ). It's green gel in a clear long bottle with a green label.

  5. Using a pump is a marvelous idea, but I really love the little tip tucked in the middle...empty your samples/hotel bottles into a pump. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!
    Blessings, Leigh

  6. Hi Wendy,

    Your mini quiches, Anzac biscuits and pizza scrolls on your last post looks great and yum. I love those snacks. I know this is unrelated but I just didn't have the time to comment on your last grocery update and frugal task posts. Sorry about it.

    Replacing screw top bottles with old pumps makes a lot of sense. I'm going to collect them hereafter and make use of them as much as possible. I use a hand wash with a pump in my kitchen but I think sometimes we use too much hand wash. Once I tried diluting it but it didn't work. The texture was 'yuck' and my hubby got grumpy, so I gave up diluting hand wash. Do you dilute hand wash? If so, what is the ratio and does it work for you?

    Recently I bought a bottle of hand foam for the single toilet and patiently waiting for it to finish so I can make my own. May be I should replaced it with the hand wash in my kitchen to avoid extra usage.

    Because of you now I dilute my shampoo and bath gels. When I get those little bottles of hotel toiletries, some I give away and some I use. I squeeze them out into a larger bottle, wash the little bottles and use that water to dilute the larger bottle. Gosh, as you've said, this saves lots and lots of money on toiletries in both ways. Free toiletries which last twice the time it usually does. Just wonder whether this is a 'no brainer' or 'fantastic tip'. Lol

    One other thing, Wendy. Thank you so much for your grocery update and also the article on Cath's last blog. My hubby is not much into tomato based sauces, so I spend a lot on white pasta sauce and only buy when they are on specials 'any 2 for $5/-' unless there is an emergency. Though buying specials also saves money, at the end of the day I've spend a lot on sauces. A lot more than I should. I've used thickened cream instead of white sauce but it didn't turnout to be 'OK' and the texture was a bit funny.

    When I read your article, I thought if you can use it on pasta bake, it won't harm if I try it on pasta dishes. The day before yesterday I was planning to make pasta. I ran to Woollys and bought few tins of condensed cream of soups and use a cream of mushroom soup with some thickened cream on my pasta dish. As I was not sure how it would end up, I warned my hubby I was experimenting. But it was yum. Actually he said the dish was beautiful and asked me what I added? I will stick to using condensed cream of soups hereafter and won't buy white pasta sauce any more unless it was absolutely necessary.

    Thank you a million for sharing those tips. I thought you were very brave openly admitting you use less butter on toast etc. I'm wholeheartedly grateful to you for all you share. I've done some of the things you mentioned but never thought that was part of frugal living. I'm in the process of learning more and more frugal ways to save money and live life fully with a happy heart. All these tips are so much appreciated.

    Thank you so much for what you do. Love you heaps for being such a great person.

    Lots of love,

    1. Thankyou so much for your lovely comments Millie.

      I bought a foaming hand wash for the kitchen and haven't looked back. I was a long time user of liquid hand wash but the foaming dispensers have changed my life. I keep refilling the dispenser with shower gel bought on sale. It's diluted one part shower gel to 4 parts water.

      If you have an Aldi nearby, their tomato soup is very tasty and great for pasta bakes.

  7. I never thought of using the condensed and cream soups for pasta dishes, thank you for that idea!

  8. Hi Wendy from the UK.
    I do like you do with the pump.Sometimes the tube doesn't reach all the way down the bottle so I just put a drinking straw into the tube then cut the end off so there is 1/2 inch clear between the bottom of the bottle & the straw, It works every time.

  9. Please share the brand of dishwashing liquid that made so many bubbles. I've tried the major brands, as well as store brands, and am very disappointed at the amount needed to make suds. Certainly not frugal.

    1. I use Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid. Aldi's brand of dishwashing liquid is very good quality too.

  10. I wish you had said this last week. Cleaning the bathroom on the weekend I tossed a big empty pump bottle as could not see a need to keep it and yes it would of been perfect for dish-washing liquid..
    The more you share with us the more we learn. I will keep the next one. Ruth.


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