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September 13, 2021

Low price gadgets target the new frugality

How do you get penny pinchers to spend these days? Pitch products that promise to save them money.

Demand is rising for kitchen and bath gadgets that squeeze out that last blob of toothpaste and help get the suds out of tiny slivers of soap, the Associated Press reports.

Items like toothpaste savers and caps that keep the fizz in opened soft drink cans, long the territory of late night infomercials, are showing up in big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and The Container Store.

And they’re flying off the shelves.

How many times have you stood in front of the fridge, scratching your head and wondering just how long those leftovers have been left idling? Well, then a digital day counter maybe just for you.

Just suction one to whatever needs to be tracked, reset the timer, and you'll always know how many days it's been since you, say, opened that salsa.

How much can you save by squeezing every last drop? Well, more than you might think.

When Consumer Reports ran a series of tests to gauge how much skin lotion, detergent, mustard, and toothpaste is typically left over after you think you’ve used it all up, they determined  that, depending on the product, almost a quarter of the stuff you paid for could have easily been tossed in the trash.

The tests found out that lotions were the hardest to empty, and pump bottles leave 20% of the lotion behind. Liquid glass cleaners delivered most of the product, however.

To get the last drop, store skin lotion that comes in a bottle top-down and then cut it open, Consumers Reports suggests. Use a narrow spatula to get the last of the mayonnaise out of the jar and for ketchup, simply add a bit of cider vinegar and shake.

What products do you tend to toss out prematurely, and how do extract the last drops? Or do you even bother?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...