Sunday, June 28, 2009

Waste Not Want Not

Did your Mom used to say that to you too? I heard it a lot at my house, and my grandparents house too. They lived through the depression so that feeling of the “Poor House is Just Around the Corner” never left them.

I cleaned out my refrigerator this morning and as I threw away the last bits of green bean, outdated salad dressings and “what is that” I thought just how lucky I am. We have abundance…in our fridges…in our houses…in our lives. Not one salad dressing, I have eight, and that doesn’t even include the many types of marinade. Not one jelly, there were 3 plus a lemon curd that I have to have when I eat English muffins. Two kinds of butter, real and Smart Balance. Pickles and pickle relish, olive tapenade, sun dried tomato bits, bruschetta…so many bottles they completely fill the front shelves on the door. Why do I have so many? Since it’s only me, hubby and the dog, I don’t have a good reason. But every few days I go to the store and look for more stuff. My pantry is stocked like we are ready for a famine.

I think it’s my Mom’s fault. She was like this too, always buying “extra” when things were on sale. Peaches mostly. If you looked in her cupboard there were dozens of cans of peaches. The label said Cling Peaches, sliced or whole, in heavy syrup. Beautiful golden peaches that made you hungry even if you weren’t. We ate a lot of peach cobblers, peaches in Jell-O, peaches and cottage cheese…so it’s not like they went to waste. But who needs dozens of cans ahead? It’s wonderful to be an American and have the ability to buy whatever we want and lots of it. I think of people around the world who might be hungry at this very moment and I feel ashamed that we have so much.

As I cleaned out the fridge I filled the deer’s bowl (we give them our leftover cookies, bread and fruit along with their daily ration of shelled corn). Tonight they will munch on dried out carrots, stale Rice Krispie Treats and those flat pretzels that you buy at Sam’s Club that come in the humongous bag. We can never eat them all before they go stale, so why do I buy them?

It’s the American thing to do!


  1. Hi, I just found your blog and enjoyed it very much. I will be back.

  2. When I was growing up we always had the bare minimum in our fridge. My mother was a single working mother and I can remeber going to the store with her and sometimes she would have to put a few items back, because she didn't have quite enough money. For some reason, I never felt poor. She had a way of making a dollar stretch and she never talked poor. She always said "the Lord provides and we have exactly what we need". She would bring those groceries home and cook up something yummy and we would eat by candlelight. I wonder if we ate by candlelight because of the electric bill, she always made my sister and I feel like it was because that's what elegant people do.

  3. My mom lived penny to penny and because of that my sisters and I overshop. We could feed a party at any moment. I almost never buy just one of something. I say it is to save time not having to go to the store again but I think it really is just to feel "full".

  4. when my hubby and I married 5-years ago... both of us in our early 50's... we found that we shopped in 2 different ways. He.. in bulk... me... just what was needed. I rarely have to throw anything away that has spoiled or is uneaten... all those years as a single mom made me quite frugal...
    this was a very interesting posts... "food for thought"... ;)

  5. Hi! Great blog.
    I went on down and I love the 1906 4th of July picnic.
    Look at them all dressed up in their finery! Don't you know they were HOT!!!!!

  6. our deer share the same diet... i love those costco pretzels! i buy from costco, only 2 of us and there is always waste, BUT, it's still cheaper then grocery store prices and the wildlife always get the leftovers~


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