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Using the last of everything: how do you do it?

Posted by on Thursday 8 July 2010 in frugal | 2 comments

This is cross-posted to my reusing & recycling blog, Recycle This, in its ‘Reduce This‘ category.

I’ve reached the end … of my shampoo bottle and our mayonnaise jar. And it made me wonder…

Every vaguely-frugal family has their own tricks for getting those last bits of gloop, sauce, oil or whatever out of jars and bottles – but what are your top tips?

Most bottles – from condiments to shampoo – are easily emptied by standing them upside down for a few hours.

Cooking sauces – jars/cans of tomatoes – are easy too: a little squish of water around to pull off the last of the sauce/juice then into the pan it goes to be reduced off.

Cooking oils bottles and jams & honey jars get left in a bowl of hot water to make the remaining contents a little runny and easier to pour out.

Metal squeezy tubes – like tomato puree and old school toothpaste – can be rolled up and squeezed, but the new plastic toothpaste tubes aren’t so rollable – cutting them open seems the only option.

What other methods do you use?


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  1. Damn the Broccoli

    For sauces, including tomato, mu gran always used a splash of milk rather than water as the sauces tend to be cream based in some way.

    I find tubes are no match for a rolling pin and our toothpaste or tomato puree tubes could probably be reused!

    We avoid packaging where we can in the first place though. Solid shampoos from a popular high street shop avoid the need to have a bottle in the first place, and the paper they came in was compostable! Now we make our own soap so no packaging whatsoever.

    We are aiming to do the same with

  2. Gianni Tedesco

    Sometimes oil is better than water in sauce jars depending on the sauce. But if it’s for pasta, you can put some of the pasta in the jar and stir it all around, close it and shake it.

    Works when you’re cooking and don’t have several hours to leave the jar upside-down.

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