Stash Your Cash with Pump Action Portion Control
Is heavy handed product use driving your budget into the financial ditch? Blowing through shampoo, salad dressing, ketchup and shower gel faster than you clip coupons to compensate? Maybe you just want an easier way to mix drinks at the bar. Whatever your reasons, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions and resources for using the power of pump dispensers to redirect your lost dollars back into your bank account. Read on for more details.
Over use of product can occur for many reasons. A toddler who wants to be independent but hasn’t quite mastered that art of fine motor control, well meaning adult who’s too distracted with multi-tasking, or a teenager who’s being . . . well, a teenager. The easiest way I’ve found to keep things under control and allow a predictable consumption rate (and therefore a predictable budget and restocking schedule) for our house is with pump action portion control. With pump dispensers on products with a frequent overuse or oops quotient, it’s easy (especially with kids) to dispense the correct amount of product for a half-pump, one pump, or two pump job.
Where do they come in handy?
We recently purchased a large, and rather pricey bottle of Dr. Bronner’s eco friendly peppermint shampoo. I knew right away that one accidental over-pour would have a cash value of dollars, not cents. So, I took the tall pump dispenser from a recently emptied giant bottle of hand sanitizer and screwed it onto the top of the Dr. Bronner’s bottle. No transferring necessary. The same thing could be done with conditioner. This is a great way to stretch pennies and product if you’d like to use fewer plastic containers but don’t feel ready or financially able to switch to solid shampoos or conditioners yet.
Wanting to preserve my Seventh Generation dish washing liquid as long as possible, I took off the squirt top and replaced it with a screw on pump from another empty bottle. Now, I know that a predetermined amount will come out with each pump.
We had just finished a giant pump bottle of Suave shampoo. I also had picked up the super cheap family size bottle of lotion of the same brand. The problem? Don’t ask me why, but the lotion bottle didn’t come with a pump. So, I took the shampoo one out, stuck the bottom end in some clean soapy water before I started dishes, pumped out the residual amounts of the previous product, and screwed it on the industrial sized jug-o-lotion. No more over pouring.
Particularly varieties such as ranch or honey mustard that can also be used as veggie and meat snack dips.
Condiments in general:
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup and more could all be consumed more predictably for the shopper and budget manager in the family by adding a pump dispenser.
Booze on tap:
I have to admit, this was one I ran across while researching sources for this post. But it is way up my alley. Way. Up. Here’s a link to a place to purchase booze pumps.
Where to get your hands on some?
Industrial supply companies:
Restaurant, janitorial and beauty supply companies to be exact. Sally’s has bins of them in their stores that fit standard quart and gallon sized jugs of salon products.
Check out their bulk aisle. There are some sold by Heinz for larger sizes of containers that also come with replacement product covers with a hole in the top for the pump to fit through. Great for bulk chocolate syrup, ketchup and BBQ sauce. Other ideas? Bulk mustard and snack dips. Bonus? You can re-use the larger containers for homemade versions later on. Score!
Purchase full dispenser bottles:
Personally, the only time I see this as an option I’d want to use is if I had a certain decorative look I was going for, like brushed steel in the kitchen or whatever. Or if transparent containers from already purchased products really aren’t your thing.
Save dispensers from other product bottles:
Replace the non-pump tops on products you use frequently but would like to control your usage rate on. When you can find one that fits, this leaves the product clearly labeled in its original container and avoids transferring product via a funnel. While that’s better than no option at all, why not skip the aggravation if you can? If you haven’t checked out the post with directions on how to make a soap dispenser out of a canning jar, this might be an excellent time to take a peek.
Save entire empty pump bottles:
This works if you have a bulk jug of product that doesn’t fit easily with other dispensers. You can transfer the product over. One that I used recently was the extra large (and super sturdy) pump bottle from the giant non-refrigerated coffee creamer we buy from the warehouse store (when we can get there). I took off the label, used the p-touch label maker to document what it was now going to hold, and use it to hold my eco-friendly delicate wash. Even the regular brands are pricey, and this Earth friendly version continues the tradition somewhat. While I want to do my part, I’d really like to be very judicious about how quickly this product gets used. Pump dispensing takes an entire level of worry off my plate.
Some helpful hints to get you started?
- If you don’t live near any place that sells the dispensers separately, a couple of online sources are here, and here.
- All dispensers are not created equal. Nor are they created in equal lengths. A standard sized hand soap pump is not going to do you a whole lot of good on a gallon bottle of generic shampoo. If you are going for the save your own from other products approach (Hey, it worked for me.), make sure you save some of various sizes and strengths.
And that, as they say, is that. Whether you are trying to stretch your free with a coupon shampoo until you run across another free opportunity, or are trying to stretch more expensive products to reduce costs as much as possible, this technique can help.
On a side note, I caught a blurb on the news this morning about a thirty percent price increase in most groceries, and of course gas and heating oil prices continue to rise as well. I sort of made a mental “guesstimate” in my head about how much less liquid product I’m using with regards to dish soap, non-solid shampoos, etc. My verdict? I think it comfortably falls in the thirty percent less realm, if not more. So I definitely think this strategy is helping me stay on track budget wise.
If you feel you need a little help but don’t have time to do a bunch of extra price research, maybe pump dispensers can work for you too. Happy saving, y’all!