Every once in a while, the Crumb Saver household shares a snapshot of a recent crumb-saving (or wasting!) incident on A Random Crumb. This column is proof that, hey, we’re people just like you! Prepare for a little randomness, a little embarrassment, but hopefully mostly encouragement.  You’ll get a sneak peek at what we actually do to save (or NOT save) in real life, which is motivation to us to stay crumby (in the good way) and (hopefully) inspiration for you join in the crumb-saving action too!

I was browsing Craigslist one weekend (which is oh so addicting) and found an announcement in the FREE section from a man who was moving and needing to give away his whole garage of stuff. Free stuff? We were there early the next morning, but not early enough to beat the die-hards who had likely camped out on the front lawn before the owner himself woke up. Most of the place had been picked through, but one of the things we did manage to find was a very nice ceramic hand soap pump dispenser. We gave it a good wash and proudly set it by the sink in our guest bathroom.

Well, now to the real part of the story. The soap was running dry…. Multiple pumps on the dispenser returned just a few bubbles and mostly air. Dirty hands, washed without any suds whatsoever were emerging from our guest bathroom and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. It was time. We NEEDED to buy a refill.

There were no coupons for hand soap on Swagbucks, so Mr. Crumb Saver and I visited our trusty, local standby: Walmart. We trudged over to the personal care aisle and found the shelves of SoftSoap and Equate. It was easy to disregard the highly branded SoftSoap. (Pay extra for fresh floral scent, or for a cute seahorse picture? NEVER!)  But there were so many types of Equate hand soap refills to choose from. First, there was the clear regular, then there was the moisturizing aloe vera, and lastly there was the caramel-colored milk and honey. It was a difficult decision and we crouched there at the bottom shelf for a few solemn, intense minutes seeking the best (read: financially astute) solution.

And then Mr. Crumb Saver saw it.

The solution to the dilemma, the defining variable that tipped the frugal scales, the savings that every true Crumb Saver seeks:

Could it be true? We quickly checked every other bottle of hand soap on the whole rack and found none endowed with the very prominent 1″ surplus.  (And yes, it really was that full all the way to the top, not an optical illusion.)  So of course you know what we did. We swiped it off the shelf faster than you can say “Antibacterial!” and hoisting it like a trophy while humming the Olympic theme (well, not really), carried it to the cashier where we proudly paid for it with our Walmart gift card which was purchased at a 3% discount from Cardpool.  Once we got out the door, we fist-bumped and chest-thumped like we had won the lottery.

Moral of this random crumb story?  Always mind the fluid levels–Whether hand soap, olive oil, car radiators, baby diapers, or urinary bladders.

How about you? Do you choose your purchases to find the one that is the biggest, freshest, or comes with the most? Do you have other ways that you try to be wise in your purchases? How have you saved this week? Share with us in the comments below!