I simultaneously ran out of toilet paper and laundry detergent this weekend. I saw it coming for weeks, but I didn’t do anything about it.

For some reason, my father prides himself on getting me 30 rolls of toilet paper at a time. I really appreciate it since it saves me the hassle of buying the stuff myself and I can’t easily lug around that much TP. I haven’t been home in a while, so I haven’t had a chance to stock up.

When I ran out on Friday night, I had an emergency plan in place whereby I secured myself a single, new roll of TP. It wasn’t the greatest in the world and I swear it could easily be used as sandpaper, but it did the trick. On Saturday night, Chris drove me to Safeway and I picked up a 20 roll pack. That was a much needed favour from him.

I did my laundry tonight and I had to borrow a scoop of detergent from my neighbours, Stephen and Nenagh. That I’ll probably need to buy a box of Tide real soon.

The weekend of missing these consumables made me think about how much money we spend on them. You have TP, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, garbage bags… the list goes on. Back when I was working, I wouldn’t think twice about buying laundry detergent if I needed it. Now, as I get poorer and poorer (and hopefully more educated), I really think hard about where I can stuff for free.

I haven’t paid for a single garbage bag since I’ve moved into SJC. And no, I don’t use recycled Safeway bags for it. I use new, made-for-garbage-bins garbage bags. I won’t say how I get them, but it’s quite handy. All I will say is that I don’t steal them.

Lately, I’ve been getting free dishwashing soap as well. I ran out about a week ago and I really didn’t want to go out to get some more. My dishes were dirty and I just didn’t have the time. Again, I’m not stealing it either.

I think you can save a lot of money if you’re just resourceful around university residences. The key is to be resourceful. There’s a fine line between that and stealing. There’s no honour in that.

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