Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dough for My Bread

It occurs every Saturday morning.

As I stand before my open fridge, tossing out non-eaten and soon-to-be expired perishables accumulated during the week, I can't help but calculate the money I'm literally throwing away. We've two humans and three cats living in this house, so it's not like I have to buy an exorbitant amount of groceries each week.  Nonetheless, my tendency to graze and Mr. Newman's tendency to do whatever the hell he wants food-wise results in a sad sack full of wilted vegetables and dodgy meats and cheeses.  It vexes me greatly, and the Mr. laughs at me, which vexes me even more.  Yet I never complain, until it's time to come up with a topic for my little scribblings.

Yes, I am frugal.  Yes, I realize others who are less fortunate would gladly come over and partake each week of the leftovers, but I don't want a bunch of strangers in my house, so I don't issue any invitations.  Frugal with money, frugal with generosity - that pretty much sums up my current existence.

I find, too, that the older I get, the more this frugality rears it's cheap ugly head.  I pride myself on never paying full price for clothing, books, and household items.  I readily admit to removing a beautiful plant stand a neighbor placed beside my dumpster because I needed one for the patio.  And sure, I'll even confess to hoarding pennies in an old Folgers coffee can in the event that our whole system shuts down due to the zombie apocalypse or total government mismanagement (which could very likely be one and the same).

I will not, however, dumpster dive. Taking something beside the dumpster is one thing; actually going into the dumpster is quite another.  I watched a documentary about people who get their groceries straight from the bin.  These people looked unhealthy.  And dirty.  And weird.  I'm weird enough - I don't need to egg it on even more.
I also refuse to buy in bulk.  I don't have the space to store five years worth of diapers.  I also don't have a baby.  This brings me to the extreme couponers:  if you're not going to use it, why purchase it?  I know a bald extreme couponer who has a hundred bottles of shampoo sitting atop a shelf in his garage.  His sole companion is a hairless cat.  'I had a coupon,' remains his only explanation for it.

I will, however, own the fact that I don't know everything (just most things):  the super-jumbo package of croissants Mr. Newman brought home the other day did not go to waste as I'd predicted. If I had a dime for every croissant I've thrown away recently, I'd have several dimes.  He assured me they would not wind up in the garbage, and just to make sure they wouldn't I ate the last one this morning.  Don't tell him.

I will also acknowledge that sometimes trash really is trash.  Unlike some people I know, I won't attempt to fashion bracelets out of toilet tissue cardboard nor will I wear a lampshade as a hat. 

I actually did wear a lampshade once in my early twenties, but it had nothing to do with frugality and everything to do with an outrageous party thrown by a friend of a friend.

Come to think of it, it really was a cute lampshade. It totally brought out my eyes.

But I digress....

In my opinion, waste is wrong.  Wasted food, wasted time, wasted talent, wasted youth - if we utilize the ingredients we already have, perhaps we'd all be a bit richer, and not necessarily in monetary terms.

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