Ethical Frugality Week: Hidden Replacements

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way.

“Jane” (we must protect the innocent here, right?) writes in:

My husband has always used this expensive Aveda shampoo for his hair. He says it needs to look good for work. I’ve always used Suave or Pert and it’s worked fine. Lately, I noticed that his shampoo looks almost identical to mine, so when his bottle was empty, I washed it out and filled it with my shampoo. I thought the only way he might notice is because of the difference in smell, but he hasn’t noticed it at all. In fact, I’ve refilled it twice with my cheap stuff. But now I feel kind of guilty about it. Should I tell him? Was this the right thing to do?

There are always two sides to every story. So let’s look at them.

It was fine, Jane. Your husband refused to even try a frugal alternative, so you essentially gave him a trial run at it. If he had noticed and it would have actually made a difference to him, no problem – it would be easy for him to pick up his Aveda and continue with the expensive stuff that actually works with his hair. Instead, you found out that his expensive shampoo may just be a “placebo effect” for him – the idea that he’s using an expensive shampoo means that, in his mind, he looks just a little bit sharper and thus a little bit more confident at work.

It was not fine, Jane. You basically lied to your husband. You told (or at least insinuated to) him that you picked up his brand of shampoo, but what was actually in the bottle was not his shampoo. That’s dishonesty, no matter what, and honesty is the foundation of any good marriage.

Which side is right? For me, it depends on how directly the husband avoided even trying the less-expensive shampoo. If Jane barely brought it up to him, this was the wrong move. If he just refused to try it without a rational reason, I’m much more sympathetic to Jane’s position – although it was not the most honest move, it may have been done in response to utter irrationality. I don’t think I would have ever done this, but I can at least understand it in the face of irrationality.

What do you think? Was Jane’s switcheroo ethical or not? It saved her family money, but it misrepresented the actual product to her husband. Of course, he didn’t even notice… but does that matter?

Of course, now that the die is cast, should Jane fess up? Obviously, the honest thing to do is to confess the switcheroo. Her husband might be pretty upset (after all, it is dishonesty), but he might also realize that, in fact, the shampoos are more or less interchangeable and be agreeable with sticking to the cheaper shampoo.

Not confessing the switcheroo is also an option, though. Jane could just continue refilling the bottle with the less expensive shampoo and sticking it in the shower without a word. If her husband is happy, she’s happy, and it’s saving the family real money over time.

Now that the damage is already done, I think Jane should ‘fess up. Telling her husband the truth might cause a short-term conflict, but it gets the relationship back on an honest bearing. Plus, the husband might realize that the cheap shampoo actually works pretty good and also be willing to try other low-cost options, which can really save the family some serious money.

What’s your take? Should Jane now ‘fess up? Or should she keep perpetuating the expensive shampoo mystique?

In a broader sense, do you think such secret substitutions are ethical? I don’t think they are, although I can at least sympathize with them in the face of a person who is irrational about at least trying generic products. What’s your take?

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96 thoughts on “Ethical Frugality Week: Hidden Replacements

  1. Rebecca says:

    She should totally ‘fess up. If she feels guilty about it, then that’s a good sign that she sees it as ethically skeevy and in need of ‘fessing up about. Maybe her husband will go, “…huh! Well, guess you can keep giving me the cheap stuff, then!” and shrug it off. Maybe not. But either way, she’ll feel better if she tells him.

    As for “but it saved her family money! It got a one-up on her stubborn man!” …neither of those justify anything. The funny thing about being ethical is that sometimes you don’t get what you want (cheaper shampoo bills, one-upping your guy, etc.)

  2. Java Monster says:

    On Amazon it sells for anywhere between $15 to $35 (!) a bottle, depending on the scent of the shampoo/conditioner.

    Women can get very picky and fussy about what shampoo they use on their hair. Hair is a personal grooming issue. He might have noticed that the cheaper shampoo has affected his hair, but hasn’t said anything and thinks that he got a bad bottle of the stuff.

    She should stop switching his shampoo and instead, try and get a better price for the type he buys instead. And cut back somewhere else.

  3. John says:

    What if the situation were reversed:

    Let’s say Jane found out today that the diamond (or whatever stone) in her wedding ring was actually a cheap fake. Her husband had told her it was a real diamond (or whatever). How would Jane feel?

  4. Kathleen says:

    Jane should confess – not only is the substitution indicative of a lack of honesty, but it shows that she and her husband may not be on the same page in terms of financial goals. They should talk about how they want to approach frugality and reach an agreement that suits both of them.

    Rebecca’s point about ethical behavior not always garnering the short term result that we want, and John’s point about considering the situation being reversed are both excellent. This isn’t only about saving money on shampoo but about collaborating with your spouse to meet your mutual financial goals.

  5. John brings up a great point here with the diamond ring! Obviously the diamond ring is a much more expense thing but it’s basically the same premise. Either way you’re lying to your husband/wife and betraying their trust. IMO that’s not worth the money you save.

  6. Russ says:

    For pity’s sake, it’s shampoo! A diamond ring is a symbol for their marriage, and not even faintly comparable. This isn’t ‘lying’ any more than switching to low-fat mayo or store-brand canned vegetables.

  7. Charlotte says:

    She should definitely confess.

    A short-term switcheroo (especially if the husband did not have a rational reason for wanting to stick with the expensive shampoo) is almost justifiable on the grounds that she’s trying to gather some empirical evidence for her husband’s likes/dislikes. (It’s not honest, and I certainly would have wished she would be upfront with me, if she was my wife – but I can almost see her reason for doing it.)

    Doing something like this long-term and continuing to misrepresent, however, is unethical. Then it just becomes lying. Then it becomes a canker – something that’s going to wear on Jane whether she tries to shrug it off or not.

  8. jreed says:

    I think Jane should take a long hard look in the mirror and ask herself “why am I reducing myself to lying to my husband for the sake of a bottle of shampoo? And further more, why am I such a control freak?”
    If this sort of thing continues, this marriage will not last…the husband is not a child…Jane is not his boss. This subject is not about the price of shampoo; it is about sneakiness and lack of respect.

  9. What? “the diamond ring… it’s basically the same premise”? Really? I’m sorry, but no. There’s a reason we, as a society, recognize there are different degrees of lying. Lying about a symbolic item that represents your marriage is different than lying about a consumable product that is replaced regularly and is not symbolic of anything.

    I’m not justifying Jane or lying in general, but let’s not pretend that lying about shampoo is the same as lying about a wedding ring.

    As for the post, yes, I think Jane should fess up. Honest is important, of course, but also… is prolonged lying really going to be a good idea? She feels guilty about it, so it’s time to end it. And on a lighter note, he’s not going to learn his lesson about the value of generics if he never knows he’s using the generic, is he?

  10. Misty says:

    I do this all the time! My husband is resistant to change, when I first suggest we switch to ground turkey instead of beef (for health and savings) he said he’d hate it. So one night for dinner, I made our meal with the turkey, didn’t tell him, let him eat two servings, then asked him how it was. When he said it was very good, I told him it was the turkey, since then we’ve been using turkey instead of beef. I don’t think you should continue a swap without letting your partner know, but I think a little initial deception just to get them to try something is ok. Just ask them if they’ve noticed a difference in whatever you’ve swapped and then give them the big reveal.

  11. Sri says:

    She should confess or at the least stopping swithching the shampoo. Trust and honesty are the basis of relatioship.

  12. Jerry says:

    This is a great question. Buddhism talks about “skillfull means” – meaning using the “right” way to change a situation. One of the riddles posed in Buddhism is the “house on fire parable” – if a house were burning, and your children were inside deeply absorbed in playing games, is it okay to tell them that every toy and candy they’ve ever dreamed is right outside the front door to get them to leave? Of course it is- but the trick is in making sure that you are using the right “skillful means” at the right time for the right reasons (in Buddhism, we use the litmus test of compassionate action to determine “rightness).

    If I were “Jane” I’d tell my boyfriend right now that I changed his shampoo to save money. Then you can have an honest conversation about shampoo – and bigger picture stuff – and how it relates to frugality, the relationship, etc.. Not telling him is lying – telling him now is just a home-based version of the “blind taste test” we’ve all seen a million times on TV. Frugality isn’t a good reason to lie. Honesty is more important than a few dollars on shampoo. Don’t keep secrets in relationships. Not good.

  13. Sara A, says:

    I think that whatever happens the most important thing is to keep the conflict in perspective and not blow it out of proportion. It’s just shampoo!!

  14. CB says:

    I switched to shampoos and other personal care products that focused more on quality of ingredients than advertising and packaging– no PABAs, lauryl sulfates, and other questionable chemicals. Have saved a lot of money and, should a molecule of one of the chemicals be small enough to pass through my skin, am spared the consequence.

    Don’t forget that most lipstick has lead in it. I don’t think that ingredient is listed, but the typical American expensive shampoo has a long list of ingredients I can decipher or pronounce (kind of like the Twinkies components).

    Basically, I go to the health food store/Whole Foods personal care section, check the ingredients, and buy what is on sale.

  15. In my mind, the question come down to the price of one’s honesty. Or, put another way, what one’s values are. Let us assume that the shampoo is *really* expensive and that the husband goes through an insane amount of the stuff in a year. What are we looking at $100 a year in savings — if that?

    So the question is this, is your honesty worth $100 to you? Would you trade your spouses’ unwavering trust in you for $12 a month?

    Of course, we don’t know if Jane’s family was in danger of starving to death because of the $12 a month, but if that was the case, and the husband would not consider cheaper shampoo, then I would say trust has already broke down. More likely we are dealing with a middle-class family that is trying to save a few bucks. Sadly, it seems as if for Jane this savings has trumped her interpersonal relationship with the most important person in her life.

  16. Jane says:

    I can’t believe people are trying to make a statement about the potential longevity of their marriage based on shampoo! That’s ridiculous.

    And I agree completely that a fake diamond in a wedding ring is a totally different thing.

    I’m on the fence on the ethics of this one. I think such a substitution is a good teaching tool, since it really did show that he was being bamboozled by advertising. But I think it should be a trick of short duration – i.e. now that she has proven her point, she should tell him.

    And, no, I’m not the same Jane.

  17. Anne KD says:

    I just asked/discussed this with my husband. We says it’s up to Jane whether to tell her husband, but she proved the point to herself anyway, so she can choose to either switch back or keep putting in the cheaper stuff. No real need to tell the husband. But- it depends on the guy, really- if he finds out will he be seriously upset? And, is it worth the potential conflict for a bottle of more expensive shampoo that lasts for a couple of months? $2 vs $15 over a couple or three months, sure, $13 is $13. If the shampoo is one of his only expensive things, and would make him feel cheap to use the $2 shampoo, why not save the money somewhere else and let him have the $15 shampoo.

  18. Susan says:

    It would appear by the initial description that while the husband would like a certain brand of shampoo he is not committed to making a trip to the store to buy it given that Jane is the one making the personal hygene product purchases. I prefer to keep smaller bottles of shampoo in my shower and will refill them with whatever product I have in a bulk jug. If the husband is not willing to do the work to get his favourite product, then really he has no grounds to complain about what his wife buys.

  19. Tizzle says:

    I can think of one situation where I would be upset (if I were the husband): If the switch moved to a product outside my ethics.

    Eg: My mother refuses to eat anything by Kraft foods (owned by tobacco company), but she’ll buy them for someone else in her household – it’s her ethic alone. If I were to make her a sandwich and lie about which kind of mayo I used, that would be unethical. If one switched shampoos to one that tested their products on animals, that would be unethical.

    I’d be more worried if it was something ingested. Sometimes people say no to trying new things for no good reason. It’s not necessarily bad to push their boundaries. But confessing is probably good, assuming there are no hidden/deeper problems in the relationship like the wife gets an ‘allowance’ to spend on stuff and has to skimp on her purchases because the husband is controlling.

  20. Ariel says:

    I think that was highly inappropriate. What does a marriage have if not respect and honesty? He said he wasn’t willing to change, why does she feel the need to force him through dishonesty? If the shampoo was really bothering her, why not tell him that? But really, he’s a grown man who is probably bring in at least some of the income. If the shampoo is that important to him, why does his wife think it’s an ok place to replace it to prove a point? (From a girl’s perspective, a diamond ring is probably a bigger deal and a much more serious betrayal, but it’s the same concept.)

    A better move might be to give each person a set amount of spending money each month that they don’t have to justify to their partner. If he sees how Aveda affects his personal budget he might become less resistant to trying other options. If not, mutual respect can dominate. Live and let live, or talk it out, or negotiate some kind of deal about it, but dishonesty has no place in an adult relationship.

  21. Jennifer says:

    I think it wasn’t such a horrible thing to do to get him to try your kind. BUT you should have fessed up before refilling it the second time. Now it appears this has been going on for months without telling him – much more than a little test.

  22. shannon says:

    As someone who is aware of the chemicals that I injest (fragrances, food, cosmetics) – I can tell you that there is a big difference in the ingredients between Pert and Aveda.

    For example: “Coriander oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, MorikueTM protein, Orange oil bitter, Wheat conditioners, Babassu.”

    vs.

    Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) Water, glycol distearate, ammonium xylenesulfonate, fragrance, cocamide mea, tricetylmonium chloride, xanthan gum, cetyl alchohol, stearyl alcohol, sodium chloride, methyl-chloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, sodium citrate, citric acid, d&C green no. 8, d& C yellow no. 10 and fd&C blue no.1.

    I am of the opinion – You either pay now or pay later. I’d rather pay the grocer than pay the doctor.

  23. shannon says:

    To be honest however – I actually just pour some baking soda in my palm to make a paste to clean my scalp and then I rinse with apple cider vinegar.

    Even cheaper – and my hair and scalp are great.

  24. tambo says:

    I can see and understand her reason for doing a little switcheroo, but her chance to innocently come clean (after a couple of hair washes to prove her point) has passed. Now it depends on her knowledge of him. Would he be upset over the change, possibly leading to a huge fight and ruining of the relationship? Would he shrug it off and laugh and say, ‘Well, I guess you were right!’ and start using Suave? If he’ll accept the switch as no big deal then by all means tell him. But if her guilt over this is partly because she knows he’d be really upset, just mark it as a lesson learned for herself and buy him his preferred shampoo. I see no reason to perpetuate a lie if it would upset him.

  25. Gabriel says:

    I definitely think she should fess up. Whether it’s right or wrong is beside the point for now – the very fact that she wrote shows that this is something that’s been on her mind, usually a sign of your conscience trying to have its say. If she cares about this, she should confess.

    Shannon, I think your shampoo method sounds great! I run a blog on how to grow long, beautiful hair, and honestly the more natural your products are the better your hair looks. So many hair problems are caused by commercialized products with nasty ingredients (Aveeno and Suave included, alas).

    Some people have given up shampoo altogether when they realize that it was causing the grease problems in the first place. I still like to use vinegar or tea washes though.

  26. Andrea W says:

    I’m with the “Shampoo is not equivalent to the diamond ring” crowd here. They really are different things in terms of both sentimental and material value. Shampoo is … shampoo.

    OTOH, I also support the position that now Jane should ‘fess up. If it were me in that position, I would present it lightly, as a shampoo test–but I would ask him how the “Aveda” was working for him FIRST. If he says, “Okay, but not as good as it used to be,” then say, “Well, you were right–it does work better than Brand X–I tried an experiment and …. (confession and discussion follows).” If he says, “Fine, what’s the problem,” then say, “Well, I tried an experiment, and it looks as if … (c & d follows).”

    Jane and her husband do need to have a talk. I don’t know if they are on the same page or not — in other words, how rational or irrational the busband is being, or how controlling Jane is being. If they are basically on the same page but her husband has just bought into hype, he’ll likely respond well. If she is too controlling, he likely won’t. There are middle grounds–he might have a solid reason for preferring Aveda that Jane should respect, such as the ones raised about chemical exposure (though I think if the guy had concerns over chemical exposure he would have claimed that as a reason for using Aveda, but who knows?) Either way, talking is a good idea, because otherwise this will fester.

  27. SP says:

    Putting myself in the husbands shoes, I would be really annoyed. I’m stubborn and hate being wrong and i’d feel tricked. But I’d get over it quickly and laugh, and see Jane has proven her point.

    However, as an adult he reserves the right to say “I know this is more expensive, but it is important to me, and I would like to continue to use it, even if you disagree.” Major decisions should be joint, but I think I’d want the autonomy to choose my own shampoo, whether or not my partner thinks it is the rational choice. But like I said, I’m stubborn. :)

  28. Evaluise says:

    Dearest unknown Jane, as it seems to be such a huge thing for the majority of people here: don’t ever confess, you never know what a can of worms you might open. Let the two of us be the only completely immoral women who regularly do such things to their innocent spouses. Your sister in sin, Evaluise.

  29. KC says:

    Way too much is being read into this. I think its funny. If anything it proves that company’s are dishonest and overcharge for the same thing – you are just paying extra for marketing. Of course you should fess up. But don’t present it in a manner that you were trying to fool him. You just wanted to see if there actually was a difference in the products. The only way you could truly tell if there was a difference in the products was if he didn’t know you switched them.

    He may be a little angry at first, but if he stays mad at you over this he’s a jerk, I’m sorry. If he goes back to using Aveda, he a fool. I know this sounds mean, but that’s the way I see it. I’ve been happily married over 10 years and I would never get upset over something like this and neither would my husband. We might tease one another about this down the road, but we’d never hold a grudge or consider this dishonest.

  30. et says:

    “pretty upset” for switching shampoo? Get a life.

  31. Kris says:

    If she has to sneak and lie for something as petty as shampoo, I would hate to see what she does when they have a serious disagreement.

  32. Todd says:

    I’m with those who say it’s just shampoo. This is no different than the “lies” we commit when we throw someone a surprise party, for instance. Even though I hate surprises like that, I am only temporarily annoyed by them and I’d never think “you betrayed the trust of our marriage” over something so silly. I’ll save those kind of thoughts for something a lot more serious than shampoo.

    There are degrees of lying, as others have said. Proving a point about frugality isn’t a big deal. Now, if her husband were opposed to animal testing and always bought an expensive organic shampoo, and Jane had switched it to a cheaper shampoo made of baby animal fat just to show him he couldn’t tell the difference, THEN I could see where he’d be furious and Jane would be an extremely cruel person. But in the current case, she’s just making a small point.

  33. Katherine says:

    She’s making a point. To make that point, she needs to tell her husband.

  34. Michele says:

    I think this is indicative of a deeper problem in this marriage- lack of honest communication. They need to have a long conversation about their economic situation, frugality, and shared family goals and values, FIRST. If she was that concerned about the cost of the shampoo, she should have suggested a trial run with the cheaper stuff. If after the long conversation he still insisted on the more expensive shampoo, then she should respect his decision. There will come a day that she won’t want to change something that he thinks is important, and then he would respect her decision if this is a strong marriage with great communication. If not, then she was right and she should also start doing other secretive things behind her husband’s back and set herself up for the inevitable divorce. It is little things that build up that cause division in relationships.

  35. Mary W says:

    I agree Jane needs to fess up. Switching shampoo on my husband w/o telling is something I would never do. Mainly because I wouldn’t want it to happen to me. I’m not his mother who needs to teach him a lesson and he sure isn’t my father either.

    Someone mentioned switching ground turkey for beef. When their spouse didn’t complain about the taste they confessed that it was really ground turkey. Ethically I think this was okay since the switch was revealed immediately. However, it reminded me of a bbq at my SIL’s. The hamburgers were like hockey pucks. But when asked, we all lied and said they tasted fine. Then they revealed that they fooled us with turkey and it “tasted just as good”. I’m not saying that I never use ground turkey but rather that people aren’t always honest about their opinions.

  36. prufock says:

    I think it was fine to try for an experiment, but after a week or so, she should ask her husband again about switching shampoo. Once he says “no,” admit to it and point out to her husband that though he’s using a cheaper brand, he hasn’t noticed any difference. His demand for the more expensive shampoo is irrational if even he can’t tell.

  37. kristine says:

    Question: Why would anyone in their right mind buy a diamond if he/she cannot tell the yahoo difference without a loop? For criminy sake, who walks around with a loop to examine it a you wear it?

    Who cares what it is? It is the most hack unimaginative love symbol brainwashing ever invented by Madison Avenue. It’s shiny chip of rock, and that’s all. HUGE waste of money. Buy a CZ, if you need a shiny dot, then you can get all the blazin shampoo you want!

  38. Elizabeth Gage says:

    If my husband did that to me I would feel totally jerked around. She should fess up. Then she should say, “I can’t believe I did such a controlling, sneaky thing. While I hope you’ll share my thrift goals, you’re an adult and have the right to choose the products you like.” Or, “You know I’ve been trying to save wherever possible and that’s what drove me to such a goofy move. How about we work together on a personal care budget and see if the price of your shampoo can come from somewhere else.” At the very least she should stop doing it, even if she can’t bring herself to fess up.

  39. JB says:

    Jane should ‘fess up. If her husband chooses to continue to use the expensive shampoo, so be it. I agree she should also mention perhaps it wasn’t the best thing to do, but perhaps frugality gone too far!

    Even the most frugal people need little luxuries in life.

  40. anna says:

    Bottom line is, it’s dishonest and for that reason unethical. But the scale of the misdemeanour is so small, it seems quite harmless. Jane has proved a point. Unfortunately sometimes people’s pride and stubbornness get in the way of common sense, so there is no way to tell whether her husband will listen to reason.

    That said – this trick works great with bottled water ;)

  41. Kathy says:

    Susan @ #18 makes a very good point. If the husband wants a brand then he should go out and buy it himself. If he is unwilling to buy it himself, then he has no room to complain about what the wife purchases.

    That being said, Jane should confess. Trust issues aside, if he places more importance on a brand name, then there are other issues this couple needs to work on.

  42. Shakela says:

    I think it’s not a good plan to keep doing that. She needs to let him know. If shampoo is important to him than that’s fine. Yes it’s an expensive luxury but it doesn’t sound like they’re drowning fiscally.

    Also, each person’s hair is different. Some require different types of shampoo. If he has extremely oily hair he will probably notice after a while if that expensive shampoo really was keeping it at bay.

    Either way, if he takes it well and they switch to cheap stuff and it works great! If he’s not happy with it, it’s not worth the argument as long as they’re not about to implode financially. It’s just shampoo.

    By the way, to the one with the turkey comment. I don’t think that’s necessarily dishonest, you didn’t actually say it was beef or imply that it was beef as this did here by sticking it in the name-brand bottle.

  43. Ariel says:

    FWIW, while I said that this is similar to a fake diamond but on a much smaller scale, I do think that diamonds are a crappy choice for a wedding ring. My ring has lab-grown rubies and sapphires and it’s absolutely perfect for me. It was also affordable, and I don’t have to feel icky about the ethics involved with retrieving diamonds from central Africa. I also wash my hair with Herbal Essences. I just think that if something small (like shampoo) is important to someone, and they aren’t willing to change, tricking them so you can say “your opinion is not based in reality” is not a mature, respectful thing to do.

  44. BD says:

    Of course she should ‘fess up. What if her husband finds out otherwise? He might think “If she’s lying about the little things, who knows what ELSE she’s lying about” and the relationship could end up on the rocks of distrust. Why risk that? Confess it now.

  45. Diane says:

    #28 Evaluise @ 11:23 am October 18th, 2009
    “Dearest unknown Jane,
    …Let the two of us be the only completely immoral women who regularly do such things to their innocent spouses. Your sister in sin, Evaluise.’

    Dear Evalouise,
    I loved your answer. Since you already have a sister, “Jane”, could I perhaps pretend to be your long-lost cousin so that we can be instant friends? I know that three’s a crowd, but in this case, I think we’d have a lot of fun together.
    Your *pending* cousin,
    Diane

  46. Diane says:

    Evaluise,
    So sorry I typo’d your name! Mea culpa x3. Cuz

  47. Johanna says:

    Just because he hasn’t said anything about it doesn’t mean he hasn’t noticed, or suspected, that there’s a difference. I mean, what is he going to say? “Oh hey, honey, are you by any chance filling up my Aveda bottle with your cheap shampoo?” Most reasonable people would be reluctant to make an accusation like that unless they had some pretty firm proof.

    To broach the subject, Jane could maybe say something like, “I heard that Aveda changed some of their formulas a while back – have you noticed any changes in your shampoo?” Then (whether he says yes or no) she can tell him about the switcheroo she’s been pulling. And if he *has* noticed a difference, she should immediately offer to resume buying the Aveda.

    He’ll probably be annoyed. I know I’d be annoyed if I found out that someone I trusted was playing a trick like that on me. But I’d get over it, and so will he.

  48. ChrisD says:

    A friend of mine was head of the hair and shampoo division for Unilever for a short time before the company was reorganised. They said that all shampoos were pretty much the same.
    I have other friends who react badly to some shampoos but not others. Though they tend to buy expensive ones to avoid the reaction, they have also found cheaper shampoos that do just as well. There is probably some random ingredient unrelated to expense/quality causing the reaction and if only they knew what it was they could buy the cheapest shampoo without the ingredient.
    However, I don’t feel that it is evil of companies to try to baboozle us into buying expensive stuff, caveat emptor.
    I also think the substitution is fine (indeed laudable) so far but it’s time to ‘fess up.

  49. Diane says:

    If my partner did that to me and then confessed, I think I would laugh. Maybe Jane’s partner will think it’s funny, too.

  50. Suzanne says:

    If Jane is feeling guilt, then she already has her answer about the “tricking” part.

    I’m on the fence about letting her husband know. That would depend on his attitude toward such things (whether it would open up conversation or just a wound, etc.) It would be worth doing if she felt it would initiate discussion and/or a possible change but, otherwise, I’d say to put his product in there again and be done.

  51. Gretchen says:

    I concur that it’s possible he may have noticed and not said anything since she bought the same shampoo, as far as he’s aware, and that one splurge on shampoo (how much hair can he have) isn’t really going to break them.

    jane, repeat after me: so, Is there anything different about your shampoo? I’ve been replacing it with the cheap stuff.

  52. George says:

    If it’s going to be a can of worms, then it needs to be out in the open. If it’s not a can of worms and you’ll stop feeling guilty, then it’s time to fess up.

    Two paths and they have the same answer!

  53. Kelly says:

    My dad refused to drink anything but whole milk. He said it tasted “chalky”. In order to save money, my Mom would buy a gallon of regular milk and when it was gone, she’d rinse out the jug and pour 2% milk in it. He never knew the difference and as far as I know, she never told him about the switch. They’ve been married for over 38 yrs!

  54. Helen says:

    Lying is corrosive to your spirit. She needs to just give him the shampoo he wants and get over it. Is it worth saving three dollars a month by making a habit of lying to someone you love?

    As for the 2% milk – that stuff has completely different nutrition to whole milk. Low fat milk is actually harder on the digestive system than whole milk. Go read Michael Pollan. I make choices about what I eat for sound reasons, and taste is a valid reason too. I’d be furious if someone substituted my food even if their intentions were good.

  55. Emily says:

    Are you sure he wouldn’t think it was funny? I mean, it’s just shampoo. Not that I think lying is funny, but to me this reads as an instructive practical joke rather than a straight-out lie. It’s shampoo, for chrissake!

  56. Cyllya says:

    Someone listed the ingredients to the respective shampoos, and I have to say it’s not a matter of advertising. Making someone put those chemicals in their body without their knowledge is NOT OKAY. There’s several things in the Pert ingredients that many people are allergic to.

  57. renee says:

    Many of you are portraying Jane as “evil, unethical, controlling” – lighten up. Maybe that $15 a month is the difference between real milk and water milk for their kids. And how do you get controlling out of switching shampoos? Yes she should tell him now, but if he reacts like some of you have, he’s the controlling one.

  58. Johanna says:

    @Cyllya: First of all, it sounds like Jane has already talked to her husband about why he uses the expensive shampoo, and he said it’s because he “needs to look good for work.” If it was because he had a specific allergy, he would have mentioned it.

    Second, it looks to me like the Aveda ingredient list that was posted before (coriander oil, lavender oil, etc.) is not correct. That looks to be just the list of “key ingredients” that Aveda wants to tell you about. This, I think, is the full list:

    Aqueous extracts: Lavender extract, aloe vera leaf juice, rosemary leaf extract, ammonium lauryl sulfate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, lauramidopropyl betaine, peg-6 cocamide, peg-7 dimethicone isostearate, babassuamidopropyl betaine, hydroxy propyltrimonium hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed brazil nut protein, wheat amino acids, fragrance, geraniol, linalool, benzyl benzoate, citronellol, limonene, grapefruit seed extract, avocado oil, glycerin, tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl palmitate, peg-30 castor oil, hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, polysorbate 80, maltodextrin, disodiumedta, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, annatto (Cl 75120)

    Third, just because something has a chemical-sounding name doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. (Have you heard about the campaign to band dihydrogen monoxide?) And just because something is a plant oil or extract doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. There are plenty of plants that people are allergic to. And I bet you wouldn’t want a shampoo with poison ivy extract, would you?

  59. littlepitcher says:

    Jane may be in for a shock. I tried substituting turkey ham for real ham at a relatives, in a pot of greens, and it resulted in the Temper Tantrum From Hell–from an adult, who hadn’t even tasted the dish and only saw the turkey-ham pack in the fridge. It was precisely my frugality habit that the relative objected to at 120 decibels, and said individual no longer will have to stress out about it, or me, ever again, since that family member will never see me again.

    She’ll have to tell him sometime–no bottle of shampoo lasts forever. I hope the man is civilized.

    And, yes, diamonds are cliche, unimaginative, and blood-soaked. I love the idea of locally-grown (?) and mined semi-precious stones.

  60. Rachel says:

    Excellent debate here, even if the comments do show a tendency one way here. I would add that hearing about what someone else has done, it is a lot easier to judge than if you are doing it yourself…

    Just to throw some more interesting considerations out there:

    What if “Jane”‘s motive for the switch wasn’t frugal? Perhaps she was trying to get him to switch to a more natural brand (regardless of price) and he was insisting that it wasn’t as effective?

    What if “Jane” had pulled a similar stunt on her children, with breakfast cereal? Should she confess then? Is confessing an ethical issue, or a matter of regaining/maintaining a spouse’s trust?

    What if it wasn’t switching a product but “hiding” an ingredient that her husband claimed not to like in a recipe, and he didn’t notice?

    My personal take is that she should perhaps have suggested a blind tasting before forcing one on him unannounced. If he is so sure that the shampoo is superior, he would readily agree, then at random “Jane” could switch out the shampoo and there would have been no lying.
    Second choice is that she should have come clean after a few days, not after refilling the bottle twice.
    Given where it stands now, she should definitely fess up now.

  61. getagrip says:

    Isn’t frugality about value, perceived or real, to the individual? If he perceives real value in the use of this, and it isn’t breaking the bank, why is this an issue? It sounds to me it’s more an issue of control on the part of the wife, and that could be a big reason he isn’t willing to switch. This all about her proving him “wrong”, and this is basically sticking a sign in his face going “Hah Hah, you were too stupid to notice the difference, so I was right and you were wrong”.

    Whether he laughs it off or not, the jokes on him.

  62. Lenore says:

    Jane may be fooling her husband in the short run, but perhaps he knows and is waiting for her to fess up. In that case, the longer she waits, the greater the resentment. Aveda products have very strong and distinctive scents, so she may be just one whiff away from detection.

    Salon shampoos leave the hair in better condition with less build-up. It’s not a difference you will necessarily notice after one or even a dozen uses. But over time cheap shampoos can make hair look dull and damaged.

    When I was dating a hairdresser I got salon products at a fantastic discount. Now I use mostly Suave shampoos and Aussie conditioners.
    Supplementing products with natural ingredients helps me stretch and make them more effective.

    For a deep conditioning treatment, I rub olive oil into my dry hair, concentrating on the ends and keeping it away from my oily scalp. Sprinkling a little baking soda on a palmful of shampoo makes for squeaky clean hair. It scrubs away build-up and leaves the scalp feeling great and dandruff-free. An apple cider vinegar rinse also fights build-up and adds shine.

  63. reulte says:

    Oh definately tell him . . . but don’t make a total “I’m so worthless, I’ve lied, oh woe is me, I’ll wear sackcloth for a month” confession as it seems many people are advising. Simply tell him why you refilled the shampoo, apologize and move on . . .
    “I forgot to get your brand when I went shopping and filled it from mine and when you didn’t notice, I kept doing it because it was cheaper but it was wrong of me. I’m sorry. If I forget again I’ll go get it or let you know so you can pick some up. What can I do to make it up to you?”
    or
    “I was so agravated at you and your shampoo that I wanted to prove you wrong. It was silly of me and I apologize. It won’t happen again. What can I do to make it up to you?”
    or
    “I really wanted to prove there wasn’t much difference and kept thinking you’d notice but when you didn’t I kept switching the shampoo. I’m feeling guilty now because it was dishonest. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. What can I do to make it up to you?”
    It’s shampoo, a minor incident in life and certainly not indicative of impending divorce or going to hell or anything of that nature.

  64. Julie says:

    My husband and I went to a salon for a couple of years that became an Aveda salon (but without the Aveda prices). I was thrilled — I started using Aveda shampoo when I was pregnant because it smelled really good. My husband heard the delight in my voice and asked our stylist what the big deal was. Some things are not worth fighting about.

    I have switched/substituted ingredients in recipes and tried getting my very-picky-eater husband to try food he says he doesn’t like by “repackaging” it. If he likes it, it stays on the menu. However, I always spill the beans at some point during the meal.

    I can’t believe that Jane’s husband didn’t notice the difference in smell. But I also think she should tell him. If it’s really that important to him, he’ll get over it and buy his own shampoo when he runs out.

  65. Sharon says:

    Jane needs to ‘fess up, it’s the ethical thing. It can sometime be about health & the product makes a difference.My husband used cheap shampoos for a long time and I tried to get him to switch but he wouldn’t. He used mine after he ran out & we discovered with the switch that he no longer had itchy, scaly eye lids. The cheap Suave shampoo caused the problem. We now use a quality product I get from a beauty supply shop at a good price. It wasn’t frugal to use the cheap stuff because we had to get expensive prescription cream for his eyes. I used tofu w/ some ground turkey in a lasagna but told him immediately after he’d eaten and said he enjoyed it. It’s important to be honest in the small and large things in any relationship even while being frugal.

  66. guinness416 says:

    If my husband did this I’d probably find it extremely odd and likely find the funny side – after he promised to respect that I’m an adult who can spend my money as I see fit, and not to do it again. I agree with others that it’s definitely not comparable to diamond rings or food substitutes (lying about what foods someone else is ingesting? really?).

    But I imagine how mad or amused he’ll be will depend on a certain amount of background. If this is a one-off quirk on Jane’s part, then that is one thing. If she has “gotten religion” about frugality and is on a bit of a rampage to change the way the household runs and forcing a number of opinions and decisions about frugality down someone else’s throat it’s a whole other story.

  67. Meagan says:

    My sister is very picky about foods and my mother has had to make ‘substitutions’

    Usually she never notices.

    All of us are very picky about our hair products though

  68. Margaret says:

    The first thing I thought about when I read all the horrified comments about the horrible lie was about the cereal switching thing. That seems more similar than the diamond ring analogy. It seems that switching to less expensive brands of anything is a pretty common frugal technique, and that you aren’t expected to confess shamefully when the other person hasn’t noticed. I don’t see anything wrong with the switch as an experiment.

    If it were me in this situation, I think I would ask if he had noticed anything, and then tell him about the switch. Either he would then be willing to switch or he wouldn’t, and I would then buy whichever shampoo he wanted, since he had given the cheap stuff a try. If he went ballistic and had a tantrum, however, I would probably say, “sorry, didn’t realize it would upset you so much”, and then he would be welcome to go to the store himself and buy whichever kind of shampoo he desired. The husband has an obligation to act like a grown up as well.

  69. Lou says:

    When I was 10, I visited an Aunt, my godmother, whom I dearly love. My family used Miracle Whip, she used Hellman’s mayonnaise. One day she presented me with an egg salad sandwich made with MW, which she had gone to great trouble to buy. It tasted terrible, but I loved her and she had gone to a lot of trouble. I choked it down and said it tasted fine. “Aha” she said. “It was Hellman’s. You can’t tell the difference.”

    That was 57 years ago. I remember it. I resent it. She’s a loveing sweet person, but it was a long time before I trusted her again. It’s not an exact parallel, of course. What I hated about it, then and now, was not so much the dishonesty – it was the GOTCHA.

  70. Margaret says:

    re #69 — that is why I would tell about the switch and then let him pick whichever shampoo he liked — because just asking, he might say no, I didn’t notice, but once told about the switch, he might realize that hey, he has had more tangles or dandruff or whatever. It’s not so much the politeness factor, but the it-was-so-trivial-it-didn’t-come-to-mind factor.

  71. Gene's mom says:

    This could get really ugly. After Jane confesses this horrible sin, her hubby is likely to say, “Remember last week when you asked me if those pants made your a$$ look big…………..”?

  72. Jim says:

    She should ‘fess up’. The only way I think this situation is morally right is if she was doing it as a test to prove to her husband that he cheap shampoo is just as good. If she doesn’t tell him the truth then its perpetuating dishonestly. Marriages don’t function well when you’re lying to one another, even little trivial lies will create distrust.

    I don’t think him having a personal preference for a brand of shampoo that he won’t change justifies lying to him. Being frugal at all costs no matter what your spouse wants is not the right way to go. You have to compromise and negotiate where you should/shouldn’t be saving money. If that shampoo is really important to him then she’s disregarding his priorities and putting money (a relatively small sum) above his feelings and concerns.

    So he may not take this well. But it might not really be a big deal for him at all. If my wife did it to me then I’d not really care at all.

  73. Amber says:

    My parents did this to me once with sliced cheese. I must have been around 10 at the time.

    I noticed a taste difference, but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to tarnish my previous statements about my preferred brand being better/different. Then when they revealed the switch-a-roo they claimed I was lying when I said I did noticed but didn’t say anything right away.

    It was a bad move in the first place, but now that the damage is done she should confess, ask his forgiveness and believe him if he says he thought something was weird lately.

  74. Penny says:

    I am all about this harmless switch-er-oo. In instances like this, both people win. Not sure how there can be a loser? I helped my hubby drop his caffeine addiction by switching him to decaf MONTHS ago….and I got him higher-quality beans as an incentive (it tastes stronger to him; so he is drinking less, but why tell him that it’s also decaf??). I feel like I did us both a favor, and I am not lookin’ back!

  75. dsz says:

    #69 Lou ‘I remember it. I resent it. She’s a loveing sweet person, but it was a long time before I trusted her again. It’s not an exact parallel, of course. What I hated about it, then and now, was not so much the dishonesty – it was the GOTCHA.’
    I’m with you (and Amber) especially since you both were trying to spare a loved one’s feelings and they used it against you.
    This sort of stunt is dirty pool. It’s not that it’s *just* shampoo (it is just shampoo), it’s the deception and the nyah-nyah on top of the deception. He may be a closed-minded person unwilling to change but I’ll take that over sneaky any day. What else is she doing behind his back ‘for his own good’? Who is she to tell him what products he should use? And as to switching food, that’s even worse.
    We’re big fans of full disclosure around here and if the pants make my butt look big I’d rather hear it from DH before I leave the house than second hand afterward.
    Confess and don’t ever do that again or he might be tempted to switch some stuff on you…

  76. Todd says:

    Does anyone remember the old Palmolive commercial where the manicurist says, “You’re soaking in it.”

    After reading all the comments, I admit that now I wish the lady would said, “Madge, you b—-! See if I ever come back to this dump!”

  77. Barbara says:

    I think Jane should buy her husband the shampoo he wants, fill his bottle back up with it and forget the whole thing happened. If they discussed it beforehand and he won´t switch then obviously he wants Aveda and has his reasons whether she agrees or not. Money isn´t the most important thing in life and so what if he overspends a little on something he wants…..Jane probably does too and if she doesn´t she should. As long as major money goals are met, don´t squabble over the small stuff…its what gives frugality a bad name. and BTW shame on Jane for the deception. hopefully the angst over whether to tell or not has made her learn a lesson.

  78. Rachel says:

    Well, in Jane’s defense, I do this whenever I can. A few months ago I started mixing powdered milk with the milk in the gallon jug, extending it so I did not have to shell out about $3 for another gallon. My husband mentioned once that the milk seemed watery. i agreed that it did. He only puts it over cereal, and our 16 yr. old puts it on cereal and drinks it by the glass. But I look at it this way. If I buy one less gallon every week, saving $3 each week, I have saved $156 in a year. The cost of the powedered milk is pennies per batch. If Janes husband has to have hair that looks good for work, he sounds a little self involved. What else does he insist on? Saturday golf dates, custom made suits. And like someone else said, is Jane struggling to buy milk for the kids, while the money goes for Aveda shampoo? I always say that there is a cheaper way to reach the same results, and I have found that 99% of the time, this is true.

  79. Doug says:

    Yes, she should tell him. Preferably asking how he’s liked his hair care products of late.

    As for the ingredients, yep, they were the same for the big price name brand as for Suave. I say this as someone who was once a chemist in the cosmetic industry. For all those people who say “I just need my $50 per bottle shampoo” I say “You’re making a starving chemist very happy.” Guess what’s in Bath and Body Works “Aromatherapy Sugar Scrubs” – fragrance, mineral oil (you can find it in the pharmacy section of your grocery store), turbinado sugar (you can find it next to the sugar in your grocery store). They charge $16 for 13 oz.

    As for lead in lipstick (CB #14): No, lead is not used as an ingredient. Can it potentially be in some of the components of lipstick? Yes. That’s why the FDA has limits on things like that. There’s not enough lead to harm you, even if you ate an entire case of lipstick. (FD&C Red#6 has a limit of 20 parts per million of lead, I think.)

    FYI, there’s also likely lead in your drinking water, but the concentration is below the Limit of Detection, meaning there’s not a reproducible result that can be generated, and the instrumentation isn’t sensitive enough to give a reliable result. (For example, one run might say there’s 20 parts per trillion, while a duplicate run might say there’s 1 part per trillion. At some point, the signal is indistinguishable from instrument noise.)

  80. guinness416 says:

    Seems like a lot of people treat their spouses like children, unable to decide for themselves what to eat/consume/buy. Would be pretty unacceptable in my marriage, but different horses I guess.

  81. rhymeswithlibrarian says:

    If she feels that confessing would put a strain on her relationship, but would feel guilty about continuing to make the switch, maybe she could suggest doing the experiment openly instead of secretly.

    “Honey, I know you feel that the Aveda looks better on you, but I still feel that my brand is just as good. So would you be willing to try something out with me? I’ll put some of your shampoo in one jar and some of mine in another, and not tell you which is which. You use one of them for a week, then the other the next week, and if you can guess which one was the Aveda, we’ll keep buying it.”

  82. KED says:

    I routinely try new products or food substitutions in an effort to trim our budget or our waistlines :-) No surprise to others ….I don’t preface a meal with hey guys I substituted ground turkey instead of ground beef in your sloppy joe’s this evening. Or I put shredded zuchinni in your spaghetti sauce tonight???? So come on people, it’s only shampoo.

  83. Sally says:

    @ Rachel. It seems so very deceptive – and $156 over the entire year is great – but c’mon – are you going to go through that effort the entire year through? Life is short. If he likes the Aveda (even if it’s the same ingredients, etc.) – then he can have the aveda. The guy isn’t in a bar or casino blowing the cash for the baby’s milk…..as far as we know.

    The thing I dislike about all the frugal talk is it sounds so….boring. There are beautiful things in life to be enjoyed. Yes, pick and choose. But you don’t get a medal at the end if you used all natural dirt to shampoo your hair…..just sayin

  84. Kevin M says:

    Trent always talks about spending according to his values on this blog. If “Jane’s” husband values nice hair and he feels the extra expense is worth it, why should he forgo that expense? (I’m assuming they have cushion in the budget for it of course.) Just because Jane thinks it is silly and needless doesn’t mean it is. I bet she spends money on something her husband thinks is needless, but realizes it is important to her.

    I think Jane needs to be honest with him, if he’s not a stuck up loser he’ll laugh it off and go buy a new bottle of shampoo or keep using the cheap stuff.

  85. Georgia says:

    I’m in the substitute when possible and heck with the follow-up. I did this often. My husband and I never had qualms about it. I would never substitute food he might be allergic to, though. My husband said he hated cream cheese and I did not use it in cooking for years. But one time I made a dish of drained canned corn and cream cheese in the crock pot for a snack. He ate it by the ton. I never told him there was cream cheese in it. If he hated it so much, he should have known the difference.

    I agree with Susan – who buys decides what is done. My husband also hated cottage cheese, but I bought it anyway because I loved it. But he got to make up his own mind and not eat it.

    My mother taught us early. One day she told us she had put 1 oz of caster oil in the 1# bag of navy beans she cooked. We really raised the roof. She said “I’ve done it for the past 5 times I’ve cooked beans and you didn’t notice, so you get no choice now.” She had learned this from a man who owned a restaurant and said no one would buy beans or bean soup at lunch unless they trusted it would cause no problems at work. Since you usually cook beans with fatty meat (ham hocks, fat back bacon, etc., there would be way to notice the taste. I used it for all the years my family was at home.

    Guess I should not have endured 44 years of a wonderful marriage, according to most of you.

  86. John S says:

    I’m going to go ahead and plant myself firmly in the “NO, Jane does NOT need to fess up” camp.

    This depends largely on the disposition and personality of Jane’s husband. If he is truly too irrational to give Suave a legitimate chance, based on brand snobbery alone, then his reaction to the confession would go something like this:

    “Man, I KNEW there was something wrong with that shampoo. I couldn’t quite figure out why my hair hasn’t been looking right, these past few months. No wonder!”

    In other words, he can docilely use the Suave ad infinitum, but as soon as he finds out, then she ALL OF A SUDDEN can magically tell the difference, and “he knew it all along”.

    In other words, it is possible that the discovery will retroactively color his perception of the Suave, and he will not admit (and possibly not even believe) that its results were similar or “good enough” to live with, for 10% of the cost of the Aveda.

    Sometimes people are too brand-stubborn to be rational about decisions like this. At some point, the buck must stop with whomever is responsible for the family meeting its budget.

    In a good partnership, this would never be an issue, because both would listen to the other and after open discussion, they would both arrive at the SAME value judgement as to whether Aveda is worth the money.

  87. partgypsy says:

    Funny I recently did the brand switch on myself. Ran out of my $10 bottle of shampoo (darn those salon stylists!) so got some $1.25 shampoo to replace it. My scalp literally broke out. Went back to the expensive stuff. But really, shampoo lasts a long time. The previous time I got a megabottle each of the expensive shampoo and conditioner for $18 and it lasted over a year.

  88. Christine says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this is really funny???
    I do similar things to my husband all the time at dinner; he’s a very picky/unhealthy eater so I have to fine clever ways of disguising nutritious food so he’ll eat it.
    Honestly, no one’s getting hurt here, and the intentions are honest- saving money. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him; I say keep filling up that expensive bottle with Pert! I’d get a good laugh out of it every time.

  89. tina says:

    I think that food/nutrition substitutes (i.e. ground turkey instead of ground beef) are different than personal care items. I think that Jane should man up and discuss the trial run with her husband. I like to think that if my significant other tried this trick, a) I would notice immediately and b) he would inform me after a week or two and we could discuss it.

    Personal care is personal for a reason. I would rather cut out one dining out experience per month to be able to afford good quality natural skin care products. Most importantly, my partner knows where I stand on this issue- whether or not he agrees. Communication is key.

  90. Penny says:

    She’s good to go on this one; only tell him if you feel like it, Sistah. Otherwise, it’s just a funny thing to chuckle about…all the way to the bank!

    Meanwhile, I bet he doesn’t like Aveda enough to go out and buy it himself. If she is left with the task of going out and gathering everything (clothes, socks, food, toiletries), then it’s up to her what goes in the cart.

  91. Jenny says:

    At my house I am the “shampoo fairy.” The shampoo just magically appears since my husband makes no effort to buy it. If the husband is not willing to buy his own shampoo, then I think the wife should do whatever she feels is best.

    But if I were her, I would tell him. Maybe he won’t care once he realizes he couldn’t tell the different between the cheaper stuff and the more expensive stuff. And if he does care, he should buy his own shampoo!

  92. Fawn says:

    She should fess up, and be honest.

    I went through something simmilar with my boyfriend. He wanted the same kind of shampoo he had used for years. (He is a creature of habit, and likes things to stay the same.) They didn’t have his kind with a pump anymore,(which is preferred due to our shower set up) so I bought him a different kind and he fussed about it for a minute, and that was the last I heard of it. Now he doesn’t care what brand it is.
    Sometimes peole can be stubborn, just to be stubborn. And sometimes it is worth it to switch it up for them to realize that the world won’t come to an end. But it’s not worth hiding it from them.

  93. Martin says:

    One last thing about the “If he ain’t buying it himself, why is he in a position to complain?”

    How about who earns the monies in the relationship? We do have separation of workshare for a reason.

  94. Terri T says:

    I’m with Russ. To compare shampoo to a diamond is more than bizarre.

    As for Aveda, I too was once foolish enough to buy into that salon-sell, and at $8/bottle MANY MOONS ago, I can only imagine what customers are being GOUGED for now. Yes, that’s right… gouged.

    Too bad hubby was too bull-headed to try another shampoo, and good for Jane for making the switch. In time she should tell him that he’s happy with the much cheaper brand – and if he’s smart, he’ll be happy about it. Most shampoos have the same basic ingredients, and most of them (added vitamins, etc.) are NOT even absorbed by the hair – as advertisements would have you believe. If Jane’s hubby needs a ‘salon’ solution, she should get him some Tres Semme; it seems a number of salons actually use these products on their customers, and the stylists’ hair, too.

  95. Jamie says:

    I think it’s really interesting how tiny things in romantic relationships become symbolic of the relationship as a whole– They seem to be treated very differently from friendships.

    A coworker of mine once brought eggplant parmesan to a company potluck, and when I asked her for the recipe, she confessed to me (in private) that it was store-bought but she’d transferred it to one of her own plates so that people would think she’d made it. I thought that little fib was perfectly adorable. I did not think that this act was representational of her unethical dishonesty to the company!

    If I switched out my boyfriend’s shampoo like this, he would laugh about it when I told him later (especially because I’m way more of a cheapskate than he is). We try to keep our relationship much more friendship-oriented so that these petty little experiences don’t get blown out of proportion and hurt our relationship. I hope most of you do the same in your marriages!

    I’m on the side of “it’s just shampoo.” Obviously. But tell him, sure. Continuing to secretly fill his shampoo bottle with cheap stuff would make you seem like a crazy person (and your point would not be made, anyhow).

  96. Gert says:

    Wow… the reactions of some people here… just WOW.

    Here’s how I’d handle it because my husband and I have been down this path.

    Hey honey, I’m making home made sausage for you. Really? Cool. Here you go, enjoy. Wow, this is really good, what’s in it? Spices AB&C and ground turkey. No way, this tastes like beef! It’s turkey. You’re making that up. *shows package* Wow, what else does this taste good in? Petty much everything I serve you most of the time. Gee, no wonder I’ve been having less stomach problems, all that fatty beef and pork must have been upsetting it.

    Than again, my husband is a grown up. Most of the time. If her husband is not than the problem isn’t her dishonesty but his immaturity.

    Yes, she should ASK him about his hair in a non gotcha kind of way and if he says it’s the same why, tell him well, I kinda ran out of yours so I tossed in some of mine until shopping day. I hope it cleaned your hair as well.

    Then let HIM make the decision. If he wants to switch, do not gloat, if he does not, shop around for a better price OR suggest he make the purchase himself.

    For those of you playing the sexist if he’s making the money dance shame on you. That is NOT what you base a relationship on and you ought to think long and hard about how sexist and unenlightened you sound. For all YOU know she’s pulling home the bigger pay check.

    I do.

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