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Frugality in the Heartbreak Hotel

March 10th, 2014 at 02:51 am

Hopefully, this entry will go through this time as I've been having trouble uploading it today.

Anyways, for those who didn't already know, I currently work at a jail. There are lots of interesting details about jail life, but the one I am interested in today is the inmate personal hygiene products. They seem perfectly functional, and I would imagine to be very affordable.

A quick google showed the following prices. As you can see, the prices are insanely low. Toothpaste is as little as $0.17 per small tube, toothbrushes are a paltry $0.07 a piece, and soap is about $0.09 per ounce (or about $0.36 per typical bar).

For comparison sake, however, I decided to check out the bulk prices for similar items on Amazon. (These jail supplies have to be ordered in bulk as well, so this is a fair comparison.) The results really surprised me.

For example, I found toothpaste for $0.27 per equivalent tube. It's still quite good, but jail prices are better.

However, I also found toothbrushes for as little as $0.015 a piece! That's right, toothbrushes for as little as a penny and a half a piece! I thought something had to be wrong here, and according to some of the reviews, the brushes are considered disposable and will fall apart after a few uses at most. Not bad if that's all you wanted.

Soap turned out to be a little tricker, as the lowest price I could find right now is liquid body wash for what amounts to only $0.03 per ounce! I guess it's just as well since I prefer body wash anyway.

(Shipping and handling was not included in any of the calcuations.)

Well, regardless of which route I take, I have learned that it is indeed possible to get really good prices for personal hygiene products.

3 Responses to “Frugality in the Heartbreak Hotel”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    You know, from the title, I thought maybe you were a fellow-Divorcee. However, this was very interesting.

    I wonder where the jail gets all this stuff. Does someone have a business selling to jails and prisons?

  2. Tabs Says:

    Well, I am divorced, though that is an entirely separate discussion.

    And yes, there are companies that specialize in selling things like this.

  3. snafu Says:

    Have you tried making liquid soap? I've been making laundry detergent for the past 4 years, 1st to try out, 2nd since it was so cost efficient and continued because it was such an excellent HE product for my front load machine. I've made dishwasher detergent a couple of times and then happened on an extremely low price at a liquidators. I see there are several You Tube DIY liquid soap and shower gel. I'll try DIY when we finish the big refillable jug of liquid soap. I need to find better containers...

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