Service of Shopping Without Your Reading Glasses

December 3rd, 2020

Categories: Choice, Fine Print, Food, Rush

Even before the pandemic I’d find myself in a grocery or drugstore without my reading glasses. While then it was only occasionally because I’d drag pounds of belongings with me, because I carry almost nothing now I leave my glasses at home.

I can see sell-by dates on milk and other crucial info without specs but lately, because I want to get in and out of any business in a flash, I have made a few irritating errors.

Have you noticed the baffling number of toothpaste choices at any standard drugstore? I opened a new tube last week and without paying attention placed some toothpaste on my brush. Turns out I bought Colgate Zero, one with no taste. While I prefer seltzer, coffee, and most everything in its original state, without embellishment, I like my toothpaste minty. I’m trying to think of other things I can do with Zero Colgate as I dread using it and dislike waste so I hesitate tossing it.

I had a battle bringing home the correct yogurt: I prefer the gutsier Greek style. Recognizing the brand I grabbed what turned out to be a giant container of standard yogurt which I find slimy. I was more careful the next time only to discover I’d bought vanilla flavor Greek style, not the plain. Not good.

Any ideas for what else to do with toothpaste? Have you made mistakes choosing products when distracted, rushed or without your specs? Do we really need all those choices of toothpaste and for that matter, yogurt?


18 Responses to “Service of Shopping Without Your Reading Glasses”

  1. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    Omg yes I have forgotten my reading glasses. However you can buy “readers” at CVS and Walgreens and at most discount stores. I now have a pair of readers in my car and in every room of my house! I’ve never made a tragic mistake while shopping. Once bought a box corn starch instead of a box of powdered sugar. Kept the cornstarch because you never know when you’ll want to iron the lettuce leaves so that they’re stiff and have a nice pleat down the center. (Joke) However don’t try to make frosting with the corn starch because YUK!

  2. Moustapha Bin As-Lip Said:

    On the glasses/carrying point, Thinoptics is the answer.

    On the bland yogurt point, it is a bit messy for a while. but you can turn a bland yogurt into a slightly less bland greek style. By cutting holes in the bottom of the container and draining off the liquid over the course of a week or two.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You made me laugh!

    While a good idea–to pick up readers on the fly–I would not want to put them on before cleaning them especially during a pandemic, which would require going home unless you carry disinfectant wipes with you. If you have a car, you’d have some in it. But if on foot, the less you carry the better.

    Your humor brought up a distant memory. We were newly weds too, invited to dinner at a young couple’s home. The wife had made a traditional noodle dish that called for sugar and instead had used salt. She clearly had never cooked before because it wasn’t a red flag that the recipe called for one cup and that it would never have indicated salt. We kept telling her it tasted OK, though it was like a mouthful of ocean water. She was almost in tears.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Great tips!

    Thinoptics are new to me. I’ll look into them!

    Next time I make a mistake and get the slippery plain style yogurt I will try the holes remedy. Instead, I suffered through the stuff, finally finishing the biggest container in the place.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda wrote on Facebook: I recall they have some cleaning use, besides teeth, but don’t recall details. Google it. Or return to store. Just say tasted off, bad or rancid. CVS has taken back makeup. I don’t eat yogurt so no ideas there. Good luck.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I found this–42 alternative uses for toothpaste!

  7. David Reich Said:

    Use the tasteless toothpaste, but put a bit of mouthwash on the brush for some flavor. My 2 cents.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Brilliant!!!!!!!!! Much more than 2 cents–the title of your great blog– worth of advice, a few bucks at least!

  9. Hank Goldman Said:

    Permanent list on front door, to review before leaving house: Take phone. Take keys. Take Wallet. Take a mask. Take reading glasses!!

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I, too, tape notes in crucial places. It works!

    In my case, I have a backup if I leave keys behind. An extra set is at the doorman’s desk in the lobby. We must wear masks outside the doors of our apartments so I don’t forget mine. I have forgotten my phone and feel uncomfortable about it and sometimes return for it if I’m near enough home when I discover it. I have forgotten the little pouch that holds credit cards and a few dollars. But my glasses I deliberately leave behind much of the time so they don’t pick up germs.

  11. Jackie Morel Said:

    Jackie wrote on Facebook: I’ve used mint [not gel] toothpaste to polish silver and to fill nail size holes in the wall.

  12. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: Jackie I knew you would have an idea

  13. Jeanne Byington Said:


    How could I forget! Clearing Air Force Housing in the dark ages we used green and blue toothpaste to cover nail holes! But Zero has no color.

  14. BC Said:

    Why are there so many cars to buy? Why are there so many types of clothes to buy? Variety is the spice of life. Capitalism at its best!

  15. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Having introduced countless products, I know how important the slightest difference can be as it provides a hook–the blue grain in Tide–that distinguishes it from the competition and allows the PR person to include the word “new” which is music to the ears of Americans and media. In fact often the differences are hooey.

    Yet the cars all look alike to me whether they cost $20,000 or $80,000 and I’m amazed at how, regardless of cost, the colors on the intros are the same brand to brand. As for fashion, we haven’t been as creative at moderate prices for many years as once we were.

  16. Lucrezia Said:

    Lucrezia wrote on Facebook: Toothpaste is purchased from the dentist. It’s too costly to put it to any use other than teeth. It’s also saved countless $$$ by preventing cavities. My eyes are good enough to pick the right yogurt and/or other favorites without glasses. That said, best to have them sitting on the nose, just in case!

  17. Martha Takayama Said:

    I use toothpaste occasionally to
    polish silver or silver plate. I have been warned it can wear off the silver plate, but don’t know if it is true. My glasses are graduated lenses so I don t use cheaters, but sometimes need a magnifier to read the fine print on coupons or receipts. I find the endless varieties of toothpaste silly. I don ‘t like Greek yogurt because I never liked sheep’s milk yogurt which I was nearly forced to eat when I lived in Greece. I find the endless varieties of kinds and flavors distracting and a nuisance. I can’t really understand the need for so many idiosyncratic variations. It is not delicate cuisine and I really don’t like to study so many choices for such relatively significant purchase.

  18. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think any cleaner will wear out silver plate. I’ve always used commercial products and mine is worn out.

    As for all the choices, if one company does it then they all feel compelled to do so. Take the variations in fat for milk and yogurt–1, 2 and 0 percent. Goodness knows if it makes a difference in the way a person metabolizes fat.

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