Soap and detergents are annoying items on the household budget. They are often not cheap and don’t go a long way. I don’t know whether they cause big, small or no problems at all as part of the sewage, but there can be nothing wrong in spending less on these things.

One simple way of saving is to use the supercloths, which are to be used only with water, no soap. There is still no reason to be a totalitarian – if you feel things won’t get quite clean using them, use some soap too, once in a while.

Another household tip I picked up a while ago – baking powder is apparently used for other things than baking. The Russians, so I was told by a Kazakh friend, utilise it for “all sorts of things”, maybe like opening a blocked sink or getting rid of foul smell at the loo. I can’t quite remember quite what she said, and I am not suggesting any use, really, until I have tried it myself. But according to her, you can buy fairly big packages in “Russian” shops around Europe. I don’t know whether there are any such shops in Oslo – the usual Freia box may is not so big.

Talking about frigid obsessions, I bought a piece of honey soap a few years ago, which lasted for ages. Didn’t get yucky or dry up like soap bars often do. Italian produce, Perlier, I found it on the Internet, but not in shops here, except Hadeland Glassverk, where they had it in the “honey shop”.

I won’t turn into unca Scrooge, but sometimes luxury is actually cheaper.