Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pound-Foolish Oatmeal Bath

Reusing ziplock bags, hanging laundry to dry, brown-bagging your lunch, and avoiding the coffee shop are all sensible ways to save money and resources. But unchecked, penny-pinching can become an addiction, and the things that used to give you the Cheap Thrill just won't be enough any more. You find yourself doing cheaper and cheaper things, just to feel normal. Until one day, it just goes too far. The key to staying in Frugal territory and not straying into Bonkers is noticing when this starts to happen.

When you use commercial oatmeal-bath powder, you're surrounded by a soothing, milky liquid that'll make your skin feel like a well-bathed baby's. With homemade oatmeal powder, you'll find yourself sitting in liquid that looks too much like an excellent source of fiber to be something in which you should be bathing. And the post-bath aftermath is not pretty. Homemade oatmeal powder does not gracefully leave the tub with the bathwater. It settles to the bottom and stays there, lumpily. Once the tub is drained, it looks like the closet floor when the cat's mad at you. And just-post-bath, when you're all warm and pruney, is not an easy time to muster bathtub-cleaning energy. All this for a savings of (I'm guessing) seventy five cents per bath. So, learn from my experiment. Don't make your own unless you're dedicated enough to the idea to get an industrial-strength oatmeal pulverizer. And if you do, let me know so I can borrow it. I'll trade you some decrepit plastic bags, a cheese sandwich and some cloth napkins that are only a little stained.

1 comment:

Blossim said...

I have to say that I disagree with this, somewhat. I give my children and myself oatmeal baths on a semi-regular basis and never once have I had to scrub my tub. Instead of throwing oatmeal (and company) directly into the bath water (making it slippery for tiny bodies), all you have to do is put the ingredients in a muslin (or similar) bag and tie it off with a hair tie. With that, at the end of bath time, you simply throw the bag and contents into the trash and rinse the bottom of the tub. It's virtually mess free.