July 2010 - Posts - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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July 2010 - Posts

  • Following Instructions: Sold a bill of goods of the lather, rinse and repeat propaganda.

    Always read the instructions! Yes, I do adhere to that motto. It helps. Often tidbits of wisdom  that even the most brilliant of minds did not think of are found in the instructions. Does that mean I also agree to always FOLLOW said instructions? Hardly.

    Thomas Edison was amazing. He had invented the phonograph, typewriter and electric light-bulb and was home-schooled from the second grade on since his teacher thought he was not bright enough to learn anything! I think he struggled with much of the same problems with instructions as I do.  He has a quote that is on my refrigerator: "There's always a way to do it better....find it."

    It seems that often the 'instructions' or 'directions' work more in the favor of the manufacturer than in favor of the user or consumer. Often they lead to over use or miss use or lack of use of an item . We are being sold a bill of goods and believing that this is 'normal' or the instructions are 'how it's done.'  To that, I have to say that the instructions can be nothing more than propaganda and a ploy to make us use up items faster in order to buy more.

    Let's look at some typical instructions and the optional counter part when trying to stretch our dollars:

    Shampoo Instructions: "Lather, rinse and repeat"

    Okay, unless you've got a good three days of grease and grime going on, this is hardly necessary. I think I can count on both hands  the number of times I have actually had to use the REPEAT method.  Most of the time one time through the - lather and rinse of the process is enough. Also, most of the time hair does not need to be washed daily. The natural oils from  our scalps were created to help hair stay healthy and treat it for strength, so skipping a day in between washing not only is also good for your hair it saves even more money. This is especially true if you only lather and rinse once instead of also repeating.

    Dishwasher Powder/gel soap Instructions: "Fill dispensers....."

    Filling a dispenser, or both the washing one and pre-wash one will make you go through a box of detergent pretty quickly. Often the wash cycle can get away with just 2-3 TBS of detergent and the pre-wash with only 1 TBS. Give it a try and see the amount of adjusting you may need to get clean dishes. You'll likely see that you don't need to fill the dispensers completely but just using a few tablespoons will do the job, save you money, get dishes clean and stretch your dollars.

    Make-up Remover Sheets Instructions: "Use one towelette....."

    This is one of those convenience items that I admit to spending my extra $3.98. Those little pre-soaked facial cleansing sheets to remove makeup. I wear so little make up that often I don't go through even five sheets a month, so one box lasts me for about a year. Even though I don't use them often, I still buck the instructions, again feeling like I'm being sold a bill of goods and being wasteful by following them. I cut these sheets in half. Most of the make-up needing serious removal is mascara and half a sheet does the job quite well.

    Dryer Sheets Instructions: "Insert one per load...."

    Yes, if you have a dryer and use these, I do realize that one does the job. The question is, what do you do with that one after it has DONE the job? This is where the following of instructions propaganda falls short on the use of an item.. You can save three of these used ones and put them together for one load's drying. You've just stretched the use of your box of dryer-sheets by one fourth! Now, after that has been done, you can line drawers with the double used three, stuff pillows with them since they are soft or put them over heat/air vents (the small wall ones) to freshen the air and filter a bit more dust.


    There are so many things that the instructions either fall short of the use of an item, thus thwarting our extended use of it or they over use the items causing us to expend more time, money or effort to acquirer more of it in the future. Just a little 'out of the box' thinking will free you of that. So put your thinking cap on and read those instructions! Just remember, you don't always have to follow them..


    There is only one case that I know for a fact following the instructions is vital and valid at all costs. Your life and eternal soul.

    I leave you on a lighter note with my personal favorite instructions that should be followed: Scented Candle Instructions: "Do not eat!"

    Until next time!  EnJOY the journey!

    Best Blessings!

    Donna Miller

    The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House which offers Chemical Free and Organic Grains, Grain Mills, Bread Machines,Grain buckets, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.

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