We are being thrifty in the Millennium Housewife household, showing willing during the credit crunch and saving all we can. You never know, reuse enough tea bags and we may just make our mortgage payment this month. My Mother has been over daily with useful titbits and tips which has been exciting as you can imagine. Today she breezed in with her Jute Bag slung over her wrist and briskly ran a finger over the hall shelf. Dust dear she said, screwing her lips into that I've Eaten A Water Buffalo And I don't Much Like Your Foreign Muck look that only she can do. I was well aware of course that there was dust on the hall shelf, I've been cultivating it nicely, it's almost done now and is ready to create life of its own. Success. Anyway, My Mother put her hand into her Jute Bag (have you got a Jute Bag dear? Very useful you know, organic, whatever that means, Shirley-the-competition still uses plastic, I mean, plastic! in this day and age. Chuh!) You have to be very afraid when My Mother puts her hand into her Jute Bag, you never know what's coming and it's usually something hideous that she thinks will suit you because you're young/save you money/decorate your house in a style becoming to an eighty year old. Last week she pulled out a big, white, plastic toilet roll holder to hide your toilet rolls in the bathroom. It took a lot of tea and most of the biscuit selection to convince her that four toilet rolls stacked up in the bathroom looked more attractive than the box.
So, she put her hand into her Jute Bag and pulled out a see through plastic container with a cloth inside. This, she announced with an I've Practised In The Car flourish, is an e-cloth. One wipe and you're done dear, and not just those easy-to-reach dust areas, oh no, wet it and presto it cleans your bathroom too. Marvellous! But that's not all, oh no (here she winked at me, she'd obviously been at the Kleeneeze again), the best bit about it (she paused building the suspense/boredom) is that you need no soap! No soap whatsoever, she added, unsure that her announcement had created just the right amount of excitement. Think about it darling, she urged, you'll save thousands!
Thousands? Sorry, did I hear that right?If I think back really carefully, in minute detail, all the way back to my birth, I can honestly say that added up over the years I have never spent thousands on cleaning products. Any cleaning products, not just those that could reasonably be called soap. Really the annual saving would be about £8.92, and if the e-cloth is £22 it will take approximately two and a half years to start paying for itself, by which time it will have become raggedy and need replacing (by this time with inflation it will be selling for around £178.34). It would just be better I suppose to sack the cleaner, thereby saving £22 a week (I could easily furnish a weekly e-cloth habit with that) and do the cleaning myself. Ah, right, talked myself into a bit of a corner here haven't I? Look, let's forget the whole sack-the-cleaner fiasco shall we and go back to what a ridiculous product the e-cloth is. Ridiculous is what I say, la la la la la.
I took the e-cloth in its plastic container nervously from My Mother (once you take anything you're as good as saying, you're right Mother Dearest, and I shall be using the e-cloth/portapotty/special pastry lifter/Kleeneeze special gift daily, hurrah), and looked at it. E-cloth? I could do that! All I'd need to do is buy a pack of a hundred regular cloths from Asda for 24p, package one in a very environmentally unfriendly plastic box, cover said box with words such as eco/save/rainforest/fool/money/parted, hang it on the end of the supermarket aisle in the impulse buy zone and watch them flock. Simple, £22 handed over, cleaner paid for. La la la la la.