Last year was a very proud year for this girl. I accomplished many goals, the biggest being the large amount of debt I was able to successfully tackle. I scrimped. I saved. I paid down every bill and loan that I had amassed in my name (all accept my student loans which you should all know by now I consider another limb VS actual debt.)
Since last year was my pay-off-debt year, my dream for 2015 was to start cushioning my bank account. After all, I have very tenacious investing goals and the only way to make money is to spend money. In order to spend money, well… I need money to begin with.
So I started to think of ways I could save. Yes, I could do the obvious and buy fewer shoes and (cringe) eat more meals from a box, but what other creative changes could I make that wouldn’t affect my waistline and my dignity?
Then it occurred to me. There was one (possibly brilliant or completely asinine) daily routine that I could change and implement instantly that could save me possible hundreds in the course of a year. And so I began my experiment… that has nothing to do with giving up Starbucks.
You, reader, are either one of two people. You are:
A. The type of individual who travels and takes your own toiletries, occasionally using the accommodation’s provided hygiene goods.
B. The person who shoves every type of freebie they can get their hands on into their carryon. After all, the maid cart is free game.
I, oddly enough, am the latter of the two travelers. If it’s in a plastic bag or bottle, I will hoard it like an underprivileged raccoon. Over the course of two years, traveling like I do, I have managed to amass enough shampoo, conditioner and body wash to replace an Ulta’s inventory. Or, if you are looking for a more realistic/visual representation, an entire three-drawer Rubbermaid. Still a tenacious feat for this traveling klepto.
Since January 1, 2015, I, Amanda Jane, have been lathering, rinsing, scrubbing, picking, and brushing myself clean FOR FREE from the help of Radissons, Marriotts, Hiltons and Wyndhams all over the continental US. I have not purchased a single shampoo, conditioner, soap or lotion in over six months and I’m still going strong.
With that said, just because I’m going strong, doesn’t mean my hair is. This experiment has truly been the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Some of the finer hotels, for example the Wynn in Las Vegas, will provide you with the very same brands and quality you’re already using on a regular basis. On the other hand, the Silver Creek Inn, in Granby, Colorado (you know, the one with the murphy bed with plaid sheets) might as well be one step up from Dawn dish soap.
So if you’re looking to save some extra coin this year and your hair doesn’t mind Schizophrenic dry spells from time to time, I highly recommend taking advantage of the “Hotel Free Sample” giveaways. It’s a great way to save some money, try some new product and provide you with snappy blog content when you obviously have nothing more fascinating to write about.
P.S. For all of you friends and family out there planning to visit me this year…do not worry. You will have your choice of either hotel provided product or the conventionally purchased, overly-priced but amazing bath items we’re all very fond of and used to.