At the store, we've got plenty of choices for bathing products. They're all one or another variety of soap, usually with stuff added. They're almost all necessary, of course.
|Bars of soap along with other common products;|
corn meal, rice, salt, sugar, oil, pasta ...
For comparison, note the blue bars in the photo (right).
That's soap in Africa and perhaps for much of the world. The large bar is cut off in chunks and used for laundry, for bathing, for hair washing, and pretty much everything along that line. It's not bad, really. It's used in school and home and at the river where they do laundry and dishes, and it works fine.
So how much does our culture shape us? We know you have to have at least five kinds of soap, and you can't dry clothes without using a softener sheet, and men and women can't use the same deodorant. True? OK, five kinds of soap: bath, hair, dish, laundry, and nice smelling stuff for shaving.
Do we maybe over-do it a bit? The proliferation of stuff in our lives is at least in some measure force-fed to us by a profit-driven marketplace and social acquiescence. Much if not most of it all isn't worth the time and effort, much less the money.
You can choose, despite the social and marketplace pressures. You can strive to have everything and lots of it, like your culture insists, or you could choose ... to live quite simply, and leave some room in your budget thanks to the absence of excess. Then you could do things with your kids or help others or put your kids through school without going into debt, perhaps. Or travel. Thoughts?
Just an aside, the cost of the bathing products (top, left) would pay for the products and school uniforms (top, right) plus tuition and fees for a semester, around $45 or so. Feel like joining the assistance effort? It's tax deductible!
And on a fun note, I took some kids with me on a trip to a little grocery store for momma. One pre-teen discovered the nice smelling bath soap (Dial or Dove or something like that); she figured it was really special, so she excitedly asked if I could buy a bar for the kids to use. Of course.