Friday, September 19, 2008

Wasting Food is a Sin!!!!

Seriously, my Dad used to say that to us as kids. At the time we all thought he was crazy/odd/off his rocker, and we are finally able to tease him about it now without him getting offended. I think when he coined the phrase it was more motivated by the expense of wasted food rather than his fear of our eternal damnation. We were a family with six kids – and every dollar counted.

Now that I have my own family, I see a lot of wasted food (a.k.a. wasted money), and I know how my Dad felt. Every day I am sweeping at least a bowl full of Kix cereal off of the floor below the high chair and throwing it in the garbage. Ugh!

I’ve written about the Tightwad Gazette before. It is a great resource for money saving tips and ideas from very simple to extremely extreme. I highly recommend it. One of my criticisms of the book, however, is that she is so matter of fact about what she does and/or allows and it doesn’t seem like the theory would hold up in the real world (my world!). One of the articles in the Tightwad Gazette talks about how she simply doesn’t allow her children to waste food (she has six kids). They must eat everything on their plate etc., etc., etc. I don’t know how she could possibly have done that with a 3 year old or a baby girl who insists on feeding herself. I just don’t see that as a possibility.

So, how can you avoid wasting food (a.k.a. money) without policing everything your kids eat (or don't eat)?

-Give your child a small about of food to begin with. It is much easier to give them more than throw away excess. A good rule of thumb is to give them ½ of what you think they will eat. At least in my experience, ½ is what they usually eat.

-Set rules – my son will ask for a pb&j then see me eating leftover casserole and drop his pb&j on the floor and ask for casserole. This is extremely frustrating. He throws a fit, but he must eat what he originally chose. If I don’t give in, he usually calms down.

-Realize that you will waste some food. Strive to improve, but realize that not everyone can meet the standards of Amy from the Tightwad Gazette; she is a tried and true black belt tightwad with years of experience!

How about you, what are some of your great tips to avoid wasting food?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I'm like you. I like to give my kids smaller portions and if they want more then I give it to them.

I'm also big into freezing stuff. If I made to much lasanya, casserole, etc. then I like to freeze it in smaller portions for my husband to take for lunch at work.

I also like to take an inventory atleast once a week of what's in the fridge that looks like it needs to be used . . . for instance sour cream. Then make a meal specific to that so we'll finish it off.

We're getting better but we still waste food and it drives me nuts.


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