Saturday, April 6, 2013

Post Stacks of Things

It's not hoarding if it's something you're going to use, and use up, and you're really just buying ahead on sale.  In fact, you can brag about it. You have stocked up.  You are set.  Other people can pay more because they didn't make the effort to buy ahead, but you're sitting pretty.

I'm not talking about things like Dad and the napkins from the restaurant.  They may have been stacked on the corner of the kitchen counter, ready to use, but he didn't buy them.  In order to stock up, there must be a purchase.  So this does not apply to Grandma L's plastic strawberry baskets, or to the napking and spork packets from Kentucky Fried Chicken that she used to collect and then mail to me. 

What counts are the Ivory Soap bars that Dad would buy ten 4-packs at a time, when the price dropped low enough.  At one point he had a whole shelf in the towel cupboard filled with them.  It was a small cupboard, but it's possible that he never had to buy soap again.

Well, a normal person wouldn't have had to.  Dad was fixated on killing germs, though, so I'm sure he went through it.  Even for him, though, it had to have been multiple year's worth of soap.

He did the same thing with toilet paper.  The cheapest brand, of course.  Or, rather, the cheapest name brand.  But that was bulky enough, and we all went through it fast enough, that even filling a shelf or more (which he did) would not free us from having to purchase it again for very long.

He also watched the price of motor oil, and always changed his own.  He had a rant about the foolishness of people paying someone else to change their oil.  It was mathematically sound.

I don't change my own oil.  I'm flush enough to pay the cost of a quickee lube oil change.  They didn't have those back then, and he probably wouldn't have trusted them if they had.  And back when I was broke, I changed my own. 

So he would wait for motor oil to be on sale and buy a flat at a time.  He also had a bucket-sized can of bearing grease and a hand pump.  He greased his own wheels and taught me how to grease mine.  As little as he used each time, if he didn't still have that bucket when he died, it was because it got lost or water damaged or something.  He sure didn't run out.

But the thing that my Mom and both Grandma's would stock up on is Fels Naptha. 

I'm not sure what the Grandma's used it for.  In our house, it was used to wash gym shoes, back when gym shoes were white canvas tennis shoes.  It was a time before Adidas or Nike, and those white cloth shoes scuffed and stained easily.

I only inherited a couple of bars from Mom.  But that's because she gave me five bars five or six years before she died.  She wasn't going through it like she used to when she had kids.

I foget how many I got when Grandma L died.  I was out of state by about two thousand miles when Grandma D died, so I was spared.  Still, it's only been a year or two since I did the big purge under the kitchen sink and either threw out or donated nine bars.  I kept one.


If you know that no other pre-treatment is going to touch a stain on cloth, and you're willing to take a scrub brush to it, Fels-Naptha is the way to go.  If it can't get it out, nothing will. 

I have to admit that I'm really keeping the last bar for sentimental reasons.  The feel and the smell just make me feel that the cupboards are stocked for anything. 

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