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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tipping the Jug

You know that you're in a frugal household when the sight of upside down, empty containers, propped over bowl and pots is a normal thing.

Of course, the amount of liquid that can be drained out of an "empty" jug is in direct proportion to the size of the container to be emptied and the viscosity of the liquid. A larger container holding a thick liquid will yield a greater volume of resulting liquid than a smaller container of a thin liquid. The photos, above, are from a 7.5 gallon container of vegetable oil that was presumably empty. I left the jug propped, upside-down, over a bowl for 6 hours and it yielded about 2 tablespoons of oil, enough for salad dressing for a marinated lentil salad.

Above the mixing bowl, I propped a gallon-size jug of molasses, again, presumably empty. After draining for about 4 hours, it yielded about 3/4 tablespoon of molasses, enough to make 1/4 cup of light-brown sugar, out of white sugar, for a batch of bread.

Of course, you do have to be creative in how you prop your jugs. Sometimes, I can just leave them resting against something else on the counter, like the crockpot. Other times, I have to wedge the jug partially inside a cupboard, as with the molasses jug, if I don't want the jug, itself, sitting in the ingredients, like this bread dough.

Will 2 tablespoons of oil make or break us financially? No, probably not. But it's the principle of it all. I paid for all of the molasses in the jug, not 1 gallon less 1 tablespoon of molasses. I want to use every last bit that I've paid for. And sometimes, tipping the jug gets that last bit out, that I need for a recipe, meaning I can still make what I had planned, without a last minute dash out to the store.

What do you think? Do you prop jugs upside down to get every last drop? Do you think it's worth the effort?


  1. I prop up most things to drain. However, sometimes the effort in getting it to not fall over is more trouble than it's worth. Then I drain whatever comes out in however long I'm willing to stand there.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      That's the slapstick comedy of everyday life, isn't it?
      Have a great day!

    2. Haha, I'm in June's camp. I definitely prop things up but sometimes I have made a mess of things trying to get them to stay propped. I like your cupboard door idea, Lili.

      My mom's trick with shampoo/dishsoap was to prop till it didn't come out easily anymore, and then to add a bit of water the next time while using the product to rinse out as much as possible. That's still the technique I use and it seems to work well. I also use it with liquid laundry detergent.

  2. Dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, molasses, oils, lotion in squeeze bottles, ketchup, mustard, toothpaste, peanut butter. And the list goes on. Manufacturers HOPE you throw away these containers when you think they are empty because you can't get anymore out which means you just paid more for the product than you think you did.

    I tip over bottles, cut lotion containers in half and blow into other containers to inflate them and then I add water and shake the rest of it out. I add water to anything that can have water added to it and use a rubber spatula for many other things. It's always worth it in my opinion. Glad to see someone else who does that same crazy things I do.


    1. Hi Alice,
      The very worst are the liquid laundry detergent bottles. Those plastic pour spouts, that are inserted into the top of the bottles, trap about one load of laundry's worth of detergent. It's so wasteful!
      I hope your day is off to a good start, Alice!

  3. Jug tipper over here. I tend to set them, upside down and caps off, into a glass measuring cup. Works well. I also am known to rinse out with water, things like soap, shampoo, detergent to get every last bit. I also "rinse" things like ketchup, dressings and condiment with water or, depending on my purposes, vinegar, stock etc. Use it up!

    1. Hi Carol,
      Oh yeah, a heavy measuring cup does work well for many jugs and bottles. I rinse, as well. I've got a large, "empty" mustard container with vinegar in it, right now. This is the "base" for salad dressings this week.
      Hope your day is a good one, Carol!

  4. Thanks to you lol, I will never be able to throw away an empty jug or jar of viscous liquid without standing it upside down for hours. I love saving everywhere I can. Of course this involves planning hours ahead what you are going to make, then waiting patiently for 6 hours, but you are not having to waste a minute of your time tending to it. Reading your blog has changed my life so much, every day is another opportunity to learn a new frugal habit.

    Have a good day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Sometimes, I tip containers, upside down, into bowls before I know I'll need the ingredient. I've got a container of hair conditioner doing that in the bathroom, right now. It's been like that for a week, now, and I'll get to using it, soon. So, I don't always have to wait for it to drain, for a recipe. But other times, like yesterday, I didn't think to try draining the containers until I was actually cooking.

      Have a good day, yourself, YHF!

  5. Jug tipper here also It is a pet peeve of mine how I think manufacturers design the shape of thick things..making it ever so difficult to get all of the product. I persevere though. As was said, I paid for I want to not waste any.

    1. Linda, I agree, I think that manufacturers make it hard to get the last bits on purpose. But like you and others here, I am undaunted. :) I tip my jars, and for things you CAN use diluted, I'll rinse with a little warm water, often, too.

      What really gets me are the jars with un-removable lids (some shampoo and spices). I've gone to some lengths to remove those and get my last few pennies worth, as a matter of principle.

      Guess you're not alone on this one, Lili! Sara

    2. Hi Linda,
      Yep! That's how I feel. I paid for ALL of it, and I'm sure going to do my best to use ALL of it. Ha ha!
      Have a great day, Linda!

    3. Hi Sara,
      Oh yes, like the liquid laundry bottles. This has been an issue since my girls were infants, so over 20 years, now, those bottles have had that design where some of the detergent remains inside the bottle, impossible to pour out, unless you pry out that pour spout. And I've done the same with shampoo bottles, used a knife to pry off a cap that was not designed to come off. It's so annoying!
      Have a great day, Sara!

  6. Absolutely. Like you, I strive to get full value of everything I pay for (as well as items that were free). My only exception is when the attempt to squeeze out the last bits of toothpaste is too painful for my hands.

    1. Hi Jayne,
      When I'm at the bottom of a tube of toothpaste, I cut off the end, and begin digging the toothpaste out with my toothbrush. I can usually get another week's worth of toothpaste out by doing that. And as the week progresses, I slit the tube up the back to reach even further.
      Have a wonderful day, Jayne!

  7. Yep. I do this. I usually use a funnel to transfer whatever it is (maple syrup, oil, dish soap, lotion) into the new bottle. Melissa

    1. As far as packaging goes, I'm thinking the greatest thought behind much of the package design we see today is consumer convenience. We used to never have flip tops on anything. It's easier to use those bottles of ketchup or tubes of toothpaste, but it makes for more product waste (unless you're determined). I've really seen a shift in my lifetime of products being manufactured solely for the convenience of the consumer. From pre-cut veggies, to individual detergent pods--it seems that manufacturers are catering to the "time-strapped" consumer. Melissa

    2. Hi Melissa,
      I think you're right about the consumer convenience being the initiator of some of this wasteful packaging. It's what many consumers say they want. Manufacturers believe that in order to stay competitive in the market that they need to meet the consumer's expectations, like convenience of use. The nostalgic in me misses the toothpaste tubes that would spring a pin-hole leak half-way down the tube. Ha ha!
      I do remember one product from my mom's generation, that was convenience of use oriented. It was called Salvo, I believe. They were large tablets of laundry detergent, designed for each tablet to clean 1 load of laundry. Because, of course, what busy housewife has time to measure laundry detergent?!

      Have a great day, Melissa!

  8. Yes I absolutely do this. Sometimes I add vinegar to the oil to get it to come out. In the smaller olive oil
    I do pop the strange no spill top off to get all the oil. With the laundry soap I add water until I can not get anymore.I wonder if I poked a hole in the bottom of the laundry soap if it would all drain out over night Hum. Yes I do the toothpaste thing. Spices I just add part of the broth or liquid to get the rest.
    I am so glad others do these things. :0 Now I don't
    feel quite so special.
    The sun just came out a few minutes ago, I am so glad!
    I hope it is shinning for you today.
    Have a great afternoon.

    1. Hi Patti,
      That's a great idea with an olive oil bottle, just to add some vinegar and use it in dressing!
      I hope the sun continues to shine for you, this weekend! I saw that there was some stormy weather in So Ca.
      Have a great weekend, Patti!


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