getting wasted.

17 08 2010

for me, busy pretty much always equals lazy. i tend only to the most pressing items on my checklist, and everything else just falls away into the land of half-assed-ness (a woefully untidy land filled with frozen pizzas and unpaid bills). as most of you already know, this last week was fucking nutsuo for me. well, one of the big things that i’ve been copping out on is grocery shopping. i haven’t even been glancing at the deals, and i vaguely remember something called a “grocery list”, but i couldn’t tell you what it is or why people use them (maybe i should google it?). anyway, whenever i go to the grocery store sans planning, things fall apart in a huge way. i somehow managed to get all the way to the checkout line before i realized that i had not thrown any dinner food in the cart.  i had however grabbed a weirdly disproportionate amount of cheese.

every week, i clean out my fridge when i put my new food in, and i’ve noticed over the last few weeks of freestyle grocery shopping, that i’ve been throwing a lot away. basically, not planning ahead, not sticking to my budget, and not being more aggressive about my couponing= refrigerator disaster! DISASTERRRRRRR! we’re talking expired food in sealed containers- never to be touched by human hands (wasteful!), or 1/8 consumed and then swiftly forgotten, only to grow a topography of mold so vast that would impress the national institute of health (wasteful AND unsanitary!). let’s just say that in this household, i make a lot of jokes about how i’m growing a new boyfriend in old containers of sour cream.

but it made me think. there are so many things that i repeatedly buy, and repeatedly waste. the prices may be low, or they may be wrapped up in good intentions for my health, but i’ve decided that in the interest of the health of my bank account, i’m placing the following 8 items on the no-buy list:

1. baby carrots: whenever i’m trying to lose weight, i always buy a bag of baby carrots. they seem convenient, healthy, easy to prepare, and otherwise perfect in every way… except for one thing. I AM NEVER IN THE MOOD TO EAT BABY CARROTS. NEVER!!! thus, they are sentenced to get slimy in their protective sack while they languish in my crisper drawer. there’s probably a purgatory somewhere full of baby carrots that i’ve inadvertently killed.

2. greek yogurt: firstly, shit is expensive. at roughly $4.99 for the big tub, i have somehow yet to learn my lesson that even though i enjoy it sometimes, i don’t enjoy it enough to be harboring 17.6 ounces in my fridge every week. why am i plagued with such horrible food denial? it’s been 32 years of waking up and not wanting to eat fresh fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast (which is what i assume skinny people eat- i’m more of the eggs, cheese, and heavily buttered toast school). why would this week be any different?

3. anything “southwest” style: i really need to put together a little southwest style donation box for the food pantry. my cupboards are choked with soup and rice mixes and god knows what else… cheap isn’t really that cheap when i hate the product, and  it’s taking up valuable cabinet real estate.

4. any vegetable that i don’t have definite plans for: hell hath no fury like impulse produce. unless it belongs to a specific meal, i need to learn to back the shit away from the zucchini just because it “looks good”. instead, i need to remember that it will look much less good when it’s forgotten and turning into brown goo in the back of my fridge (behind the food that i actually do eat, mostly cheese).

5. hummus: i buy this to go with the baby carrots. clearly, it does not make them any more enticing to me, it just gives me another product to throw away.

6. fruit out of season: sometimes i’ll really be craving grapefruit or pomegranate at the wrong time of year, but i’ll buy it anyway even though it’s super expensive, a little shriveled, and has probably spent at least a week on a boat being shipped in from some tropical island. what i’m really craving is FRESH fruit, but my tiny dinosaur brain doesn’t understand that. those pathetically dried up examples of fruithood are never going to look/be appetizing enough to make it into my mouth. my house is merely a pit stop on the road to wasted fruit hell.

7. lip gloss: i have a drawer full of lip gloss (no joke, it’s like a fucking arlington national cemetery for discarded lipcolor in there), yet i still wear the same one every single day. seriously, when did i get so stupid?

8. underpants: in one of the true hallmarks of extreme laziness (if there was an olympics of laziness, i think i could win. although, i bet everyone would be too lazy to show up to the competition.), i have occasionally (i mean often) been known buy new underwear rather than do laundry. this isn’t exactly a grocery item (although i have on an emergency basis bought some extremely ill fitting hanes her ways at the grocery store), but it is ridiculous, and i should really still knock it off.

writing this list has filled me with great shame. please tell me i’m not alone! maybe it would help if i slapped brightly colored price tags on all of my food, so that when i’m reaching for something more desirable (like butter or cheese- 2 things that never get wasted in my house), i know how much money i’m wasting in neglected produce? ooh, or better yet, i can draw sad faces on all my healthy food, and give them little speech bubbles that say things that make me feel guilty for not eating them…

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26 responses

17 08 2010
audrey

lady, lady, lady —

I, too, suffer from the baby carrot and underwear-buying-to-avoid-laundry-day affliction. You are not alone! Let’s add granola to the list of “good intentions but never quite makes it to my mouth in the morning” list — I have two huge bags of it in my freezer…want one?

Re: hummus. I’m going to go all Martha Stewart for a second when I say store bought hummus is the work of the devil. For a couple reasons:

1 – it’s full of shit, when the spread itself is actually meant to be made up of only a few ingredients.

2 – it’s EXPENSIVE. Instead of buying hummus when I’m entertaining I buy: 1 lemon, 1 garlic bulb, 2 cups of dried chick peas from the bulk aisle (or you can get pre-cooked in a can) and usually have a stock of olive oil, tahini and salt and pepper at home. So it’s basically 4x the amount of hummus for half the price, and you get to make it how you like. Learning how to cook dried beans changed my life.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i feel like so many people are all “it’s so gross to wear anything without washing it first”, but i wonder what percentage of those people have caved to the underwear trick? probably the same percentage that swore they didn’t masturbate in high school. as for the hummus, you make an excellent point. however, i am very lazy. but you are welcome to come over and make me home made hummus any time you like.

17 08 2010
Evelyn

Omigod, those carrots! Your instincts are spot on – they are not really even “baby” carrots – they are huge carrots that have been cut and then tumbled into submission on massive machinery to LOOK like babies! And furthermore, they taste like pulp. They are better off dying in the fridge than in your digestive tract. Eat a real baby carrot fresh from a garden and you’ll never even look at those imposters again. It’s produce that grows old in my fridge, always the produce. In fact, I’m so resigned to it that I’m learning to toss it out just before it goes bad. I’m trying to face the truth about myself. I really DO love fresh vegetables. I just hate preparing them. What I need is a live-in cook.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

that is the best description of baby carrots that ever was, and ever will be. they do taste like pulp! i’ve never even seen a real baby carrot (and i’m a lousy gardener). maybe we can all get some sort of time share chef that can come over once or twice a week and make dinner with all the food that’s about to go bad? at least you throw it out before it’s bad. i had to clean so much brown liquid out of my fridge this week on account of some leaky tupperware filled with old salad that i was going to “bring to work”. god i’m delusional.

17 08 2010
xine

When I’m feeling… don’t hate me… fat.. I go for Popcicles and Italian Ice… I eat one the first day I have them and that’s it- back to Ben & Jerry’s and stomach aches. I have a box of tangerine popsicles in my freezer from last year.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i could never hate you bunny! and everyone has fat days- no mater how tiny their adorable cartoon pants are (i’m talking about you). i do the same thing with popsicles! and then they get all weird and slimy. and then i throw them away. i’ve been craving edy’s lime fruit bars since i saw nancy botwin eat on on weeds like 3 seasons ago… but they’re like $5 a box! i won’t do it!

17 08 2010
Catherine

Oh you are SO NOT alone. I have tossed many a slimy bag of baby carrots. Yes, produce MUST be planned for, always. I confess, the worst of all food waste confessions…this summer I have thrown away fresh veggies from a FARMSTAND a total of four times. Four. Times. Kale, cukes, more kale, carrots, and peas. But I love fresh peas!!! Yes, busy week effed me a bit too.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i don’t even pretend that it’s a good idea to go to the farmer’s market. i know it’s great to support the local farming community… i just feel less guilty about wasting crappy grocery store produce. also, kale is disgusting. why would you do that to yourself!?

17 08 2010
Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap

I buy produce for my 3 year old son because I know it is good for him- actually it is because it makes me feel like I am a good mom. I suppose I would be a good mom if I served it to him but I usually get lazy and give him applesauce and raisens while my well intentioned produce rots in the fridge or gets infested with fruit flies on the counter. My daughter is 1 and hasn’t yet learned from my son that veggies are yucky. On the upside I am starting an indoor worm composting bin so that I don’t feel like I’m wasting all of the un-eaten produce; it will get turned into compost for my garden that I will most likely be too lazy to start next year.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

hey, applesauce and raisins are still healthy! you’re totally a good mom! yeah, summer is the worst with the fruit files. they are the bane of my existence. well, cleaning is the bane of my existence, but they sort of go together. nice work with the composting though, at least you’re trying! i on the other hand have NOTHING. well, if nothing means a garbage bag full of rotting fruit.

18 08 2010
kate

haha, this is all so spot on. except the hummus part- i love that shit, can i have yours? and after i read your post, i went to this next in my reader: http://blog.mainefoodandlifestyle.com/2010/08/drowning-in-zucchini.html
and it looks delicious. zucchini, plus you can add cheese to polenta! healthy too.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i actually really like hummus, but mostly at restaurants and parties. i don’t know why i buy it for home… i just never eat it. as for zucchini, that recipe looks phenomenal. i recently came into a large zucchini that i have no idea what to do with. you may have just solved my problem (and yes, there will be cheese).

18 08 2010
fore front

i’m impressed you admit to the underwear thing. guilty!

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i figure that through my shame, we can find some solidarity. i now own so much really bad underwear, i could make a quilt out of it.

18 08 2010
blackgirlinmaine

I am too cheap to do the underwear thing also my hubby would kill me but I am guilty of food waste. I hate yogurt, the only use for it is in a smoothie but in my line I like to act as if I will eat it with a handful of granola. Yeah right…

Granola is another one that I have no idea why I buy it, after a handful I am done yet I buy it as if I am going to munch on it all the time.

I think when we shop there is the us we want to be with regards to eating habits and then there is the person we really are. Kind of like what you really want are Cheetos but you buy the 52 grain pita chips which you never eat and they go to waste.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

the underwear thing is such a bad habit! it’s financially wasteful, and i always end up buying really awful desperation underwear that i don’t want to wear once the crisis is over. also, if you look below, you’ll see that you’re not alone with the granola. and i am SO WITH YOU about the 58 grain chips that i don’t actually want to eat ever. they are not a substitute for cheetos. they are not “just as good”. they taste like salty bark, and are destined to get chewy in an open bag on top of my fridge for all eternity while i’m going across the street to buy the cheetos that i actually want.

18 08 2010
Kelly

I’m with you on 1, 4, 6 and 7. I gotta say though, #4 isn’t totally my fault. If I bring my 10-year-old shopping with me he loves to ooh and ahh over the produce section. He’ll ask for a couple of things and I’m all “Sure, why not?” lest I look like a mom who won’t buy her kid veggies. And then he doesn’t eat them. Guess I’m buying fresh veggies to make myself look good.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

ha! i totally don’t hold you responsible for $4. what mom wouldn’t buy her kid vegetables if he asked for them? plus, looking good in front of other parents is at times worth paying for. you’re just paying for it in vegetables. i should really at least start composting so that they’re at least returning to the earth (instead of returning to the sewer via my garbage disposal). i suck!

18 08 2010
The Dealer

I SO agree, and hate wasting food. I get so tempted at the Farmer’s Market but can never use all the zucchini I buy. I will take ALL your greek yogurt though, I LOVE it. Just discovered it, actually.

Question – My boyfriend, oops husband, refuses to eat Hot Pockets that have been in the freezer for more than a couple months. Do they go bad? Get stale? Is he crazy or am I?

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

your boyfriend is definitely crazy. they’re double wrapped inside a box. as long as your freezer doesn’t have wild temperature fluctuations, your hot pockets should taste fine for several months. more than 6… maybe they get a little funky, but in my universe- still edible! i do definitely prefer greek yogurt to regular yogurt (specifically the FAGE variety), but i don’t prefer it enough it eat a 17 oz. container. ever.

18 08 2010
jill

Haha.. you are soo funny. That greek yogurt is gross btw.. i stick to yoplait. Im totally with you on the baby carrots and the produce. i think someday when i grow up and have kids i wont be so wasteful maybe?? we’ll see. oh and deli meat. talk about waste.

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

the funny this is that i’m not really a yogurt person, at all. i sort-of like greek yogurt (more than other yogurt), but not actually enough to eat it when there are more enticing things around (which is always). i think that every single person who commented on this post admitted to buying and wasting baby carrots. is anyone eating them? it’s a conspiracy! i don’t know if we’ll get less wasteful as we grow up and have kids… i distinctly remember my mom tossing a lot of produce as a child. can any other moms out there confirm?

18 08 2010
Pook

Oh the carrots. I have done that and the salad mix bags too many times. I am terrible about what goes into my fridge going into my stomach. I am a huge waster of apples too. One day I will realize that I like apples, but do not love them. Can you be my budget queen? Yell at me for wasting and make me feel bad for buying food at west end groc or Ohno? I have southwest veggie burgers in my freezer. But have sinve eaten veggie burgers out instead of eating those. Where in Pland with no car do you buy underpants? I am out of change for the washing machine…

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

i have 2 pluots and 2 nectarines slowly turning to ooze on my countertop as we speak. i’ve stopped with apples (for now), but i had a momentary lapse of judgement at the grocery store this week. maybe we need to be budget buddies. i need someone to yell at me just as much. maybe we can discuss over hot pockets at geno’s? as for undies, you can buy nice ones at bliss, but i’ve gotten cheapies at rite aid before (not cute, but at least functional). secondary (and more gross confession), i’ve thrown a pantyliner onto dirty underpants and called it clean. i really hate laundry.

19 08 2010
Evelyn

I’m sure no one who reads your blog has ever done that pantyliner trick, right??!! 🙂

19 08 2010
bessmarvin

certainly not. that would be disgusting and shameful. almost as disgusting and shameful as turning them inside out. which no self respecting woman would ever do. ever. especially not at her sister’s wedding.

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