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Cost of Bathing and Dressing

February 4th, 2007 at 01:10 pm

Iíve written about how I overall keep laundry costs low and household costs low. Prepare to be wowed, or lulled to sleep, or both, by how I keep personal item spending in check. Since February 1st,2006, I have spent $136.88 on toiletries (including haircuts, bathing items, and female hygiene supplies). I have spent $54.35 on clothes in the last 11 months (although I did exchange some clothes I had bought earlier, so I think I got maybe $80 worth total).

Overall look:
I think I have a plain face, but I think I have a very friendly face, so Iím overall not too worried about how I appear. Iím overweight, but not too much so-I can still wear Misses size clothes instead of Womanís Worlds (Misses is "regular"; Womanís World is larger sizes). My one real vanity is that I want to look smart; I don't even know how thatís possible so itís a pretty dorky vanity, eh?

Bathing:
I am a very simple bather. Sometimes I think I am a little bit of a boy; I just donít get into the beauty routine. I prefer baths to showers; itís my one real day to day luxury. I take a lot of bubble baths. I find it comical when people talk about bath stuff as gifts theyíll never use-I got bath supplies from three sources this Christmas and Iím using it all. I work in an office, so I donít get too grubby; if Iím really dirty, I rinse off in the shower before my bath. I like bath salts and bubbles baths, and bath oils on the weekend (greasier hair). My soap is in a liquid soap bottle-My Guy uses bars of soap, I put the ends in the liquid soap bottle, the bottle has been going for years. Soap, shampoo, and conditioner: thatís it.

I do shave legs and underarms, but not as frequently as some. I very rarely wear skirts, for one. I use my liquid soap, and I do use refillable blades.

I have gotten enough deodorant and anti-perspirant for months in free samples; itís weird how that one product is so available. I am not brand loyal. I normally donít pay more than $1.49 for my anti-perspirant.

Hair:
I use the cheapest shampoo and conditioner I can find. I prefer to pay no more than $1 for 16 ounces for shampoo and conditioner, but sometimes I do pay more (or less!).
I am pretty lucky in that I have decent hair; itís in good condition and wavy and healthy, and cheap shampoo works fine. I have a big pump bottle that I got as a gift; I keep refilling that bottle; often I am using a mix. I use conditioner maybe half the time; the more recent my last haircut is, the less I need it. I also use a pump bottle, and itís refilled periodically, so again, a blend of cheap stuff.

I sometimes get free samples, but usually I give them away at work for ďClean KitsĒ: grooming supplies for the homeless and down and out.

Iíve never dyed or permed my hair. It used to be a very nice blonde and now itís a light brown; however I am too lazy and/or low maintenance to get better color. With no dying I donít have to worry about roots (I have a laser eye to spot them on people out there) and I donít have to worry about maintaining my hair's condition. A couple people I know who dye their hair have crispy flaky hair that is kinda awkward looking. Plus I never blow dry my hair. I bathe at night and sleep with it wet. Some folks I know who blow-dry have damaged looking hair. I know others who blow-dry and dye and look fabulous, but I am sure they have to pay attention. The less I do to my hair, the less I have to protect it. Iíve already admitted Iím lazy; itís no secret.

I donít get my hair cut enough. I got it cut in April, and again in September, and Iím scheduled for 2/27. I donít like letting my ends to get dry or split; when I get my hair cut I let them take off plenty. I want healthy and Iíll get rid of length to get it. I do spend $35 including tip on my hair cuts; Iím about to jump higher for a woman whoís very good. Iíd like to get my hair cut at least four times a year.

Grooming:
I use little makeup. I am just now trying to remember to use lotion on my face every night and morning. I do like Clinique makeup; I think itís a childhood thing; my mother always got the Clinique special kits at ďBonus TimeĒ and I would get her left-overs. I still spend $25 every couple of years and get the Bonus extras, which tend to last me. (Almost half of my spending for the year is from one Clinique Bonus.) I sometimes use foundation, sometimes eye pencil, rarely shadow, and frequently mascara and lipstick. I have actually been trying to wear more; girding myself, as it were, for certain meetings at work. Itís a form of armor, Iíve discovered. Even when I wear what I think is a fair amount, sometimes other folks canít tell; Iím so used to little or none that I am naturally a light hand.

Clothing:
I wish I was a better dresser. Itís not a spending thing, itís a lack of interest and a lack of innate fashion sense. Left to my own devices I dress like a young boy. I like menís pants-I know a pair of 34x30ís will fit me, whereas with womenís clothes the sizes are all over the place. I worked for a few years at Ross Dress for less, and I bought more clothes than ever-7 years later I still have clothes I bought back then.

I like hand-me-downs and thrift store and garage sale clothes. I have access to so many of these low or no cost clothes that I can afford to be choosy: I only wear them if they fit right, and look good. I donít have great clothes sense, but I am lucky enough to be recently getting hand-me-downs from people who are well-dressed, which helps me out.

I clean out my closet a lot. I hang things like I used to when working at Ross; short sleeve knits, long sleeved knits, short sleeve wovens, and long sleeve wovens. Woven=blouse and knit=stretchy, for the most part. I try to purge anything that is wearing out or isnít too flattering as often as possible. I have zero dry cleaning only clothes.

I do buy my own underclothes. I also will buy regular clothes; Iím not anti-new clothes, I just usually donít need to buy new clothes that often.

Even if I was a better dressed person, more put together, I think I could do it low cost. Two of the best dressed women at work are avid thrift store shoppers; S. always looks fabulous-she is a choosy and frequent thrift store shopper, and her being slimmer helps-she has a lot of good choices available.

Jewelry:
I love silver and semi-precious stone jewelry, I admit it. The benefit of preferring semi-precious stone and silver is that itís usually cheaper; I can get pieces from $8 to $25; $50 for super pieces. I donít have a digital camera right now; otherwise Iíd love to show off some of my jewelry. When I travel I always pick up pieces; jewelry is my favorite souvenir. It never gets dusty, it takes very little room, and I wear it all the time. It also lasts and lasts and lasts. This is an area I let myself spend in; I am not interested in spending no money as a goal in itself, I like to spend less in areas where I donít need to spend, to have money to spend in other areas.

So there you have it, how I spent less than $200 in 11 months to bathe, groom, and dress myself. I checked my 2005 records, and I spent $300 on bathing/grooming, $300 on clothes, $200 on shoes, and $300 on jewelry, so it looks like I was relatively low cost prior to the Challenge, too.

10 Responses to “Cost of Bathing and Dressing”

  1. living_in_oz Says:

    Interesting read! Now I don't feel bad that I'm not more "girly"!LOL I spend less money on some things than you, and more on others. I buy the absolute cheapest shampoo and conditioner too. I never take baths, so I never buy bath products and we use a simple plain 'ol bar of soap at our house. I probably wear more make up than you, but don't buy high end Clinique..Covergirl works just fine for me!LOL I don't wear jewelry...at all. Not even my wedding rings anymore! I probably spend more on clothes than you. I'm at the very beginning of "Women" sizes and I frankly rarely find any clothes at yard sales or the thrift stores that fit me. I have no problem wearing used clothes, though...actually, I wish I COULD find more used clothing.
    Anyway, your spending sounds very close to mine. I like to look nice and clean, but I won't/don't spend big bucks to do itSmile Oh yeah, I have to admit that I do have my hair highlighted about twice a year!

  2. tinapbeana Says:

    let's see.... i get my hair cut every 12-18 months but it should be more often. $25 including tip when it's cut. since it's long i can't wash it too often or it'll dry out, which saves money. i have a bottle of $9 SLS free shampoo that i use head to toe: this one has lasted me 4 months so far and probably has another month or two left.

    i only use aluminum free deoderant, that adds up to $12 per year if not bought on sale. i spend maybe $20 per year replenishing makeup, which i wear for special occasions or as 'war paint' described in your post. i'll ball park another $50 in lotion and lipbalm (an issue i'm working on!).

    i do clothes a little differently than most: i spend about $500 every other year or so in one big re-stock. i have at least one shirt that i got when i was a freshman in high school, but typically my shirts always wind up looking worse for the wear after about a year or so. apparently i'm the queen of the greasestain! as for jewelry, well, not so much for me...

    so, at this point i think my total per year is 250 clothes, 50 lotion/lipbalm, 20 makeup, 20 shampoo/body wash, 12 deoderant, 25 haircut. that's what, 387? about a buck a day, i can live with that!

  3. KEALINA Says:

    very cool read... i wish i had time to sit down and really reply right now but we're leaving to go hang out with MIL and i gotta get ready...
    also, i only started tracking in august and so i don't have the info you do...
    i liked reading it tho... i hear ya on the lazy... i never do anything with my hair... just wash, brush and wear... i've also done the young boy look... funniest part? when i was younger, people mistook me for my brother from behind...

  4. princessperky Says:

    Ditto the lazy! lazy is good, and often lazy leaves a healthier look, though not a movie star look, I prefer the healthy look myself.

  5. daylily Says:

    Very good read. Thanks for sharing.

  6. disneysteve Says:

    You've made me curious how much I spend on clothes in a year. Starting today, I will keep track. I think it is very little. We'll see what happens over the next 12 months. Thanks for the idea.

  7. mjrube94 Says:

    I don't wear makeup either, and the extent of my hair styling is pulled up in a ponytail. I haven't actually tracked it, but I've been taking advantage of rebates from RiteAid, Walgreens, and Eckerds, as well as combining double coupons with sales. I can't remember the last time I actually paid for toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, feminine products, etc...

  8. LuxLiving Says:

    Another very low maintenance girl here - I did spend 17.96 the other day to complete the suit that I was buying w/a gift card. No, No, NO to all the special goop for hair and makeup. I do color my hair at home and use the deep discount place to get it. Last six boxes I got for free as I had bought some earlier in the year that had $2.00 coupons in them and the discounter had them on sale for 1.99 (regualarly sold for 7.99 box). So essentially just paid the tax on them.

    I will probably buy myself a new white bra this year and some more socks, but that's probably it for awhile. Summer may bring on a need for a replacement pair of white tennie-runners though. If so, I'll be shopping at Payless during one of their BOGO sales.

    Lipstick, eyeliner and mascara and I'm good to go - and it can be cheap at that...I'm not a makeup snob (but I have no allergies either so I can be that way! I understand some of you have much more difficulty in this area). I did buy a bottle of Oil of Olay the other day which should last me a good half a year. So count me in for well under a $100 a year.

    Enjoyed reading your anaylsis lrjohnson! As always.




  9. fern Says:

    This was interessting...

    I love toiletries and seem to collect them. I've stockpiled so many of those freebies that i doubt i'll need to buy shampoo, conidtioner toothpaste or deoderant for a year (!) tho if i do, Suave is very cheap and smells good.

    I haven't paid for a haircut in years, but have my mother do it. I also haven't worn mascara for years and rarely use eye shadow, but i do use sunscreen, foundation and lip gloss daily.

    Being in my 40s, my hair is now probably more than 50% whte/gray, so i have to dye my hair cus i'm jus not ready to look 'old.' Problem is, my hair grows so fast that i really need to do a 'touch up' of roots every 3 weeks. Fortunately, i switched to Revlon from L'Oreal and can get it at $2.99 a box at XPect Discounts.

    I like perfume (as i have many samples) when i'm going out somewhere nice. I like clothes, but don't spend a lot on them. I'm a jeans and sweater kind of girl, shorts and sandals in the summer.

  10. Theresa Says:

    I do color my hair (and have since I was 27). Being 50, I color my roots every 3-4 weeks, but my local drug store had a sale going for $1.99 for a box of Revlon Colorsilk. The limit was 4 to a customer, so I bought 4 one day, then went back the next day and bought 4 more, then repeated the process a third time. Now, I'm good for a year of hair color for $24.00!!!! I know women that pay more than that for a single trim!!! I do lean toward the "vain" side of femininity, but refuse to compromise my finances to look great. And I love your blog!!!! A frugal woman is a "smart" woman.
    PS: My sister and I have a blog called $assy$isters@ aol.com. Check us out!!!!!!

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