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Frugal or gross? - Page 2

post #21 of 63
My MIL saves 1 green bean. She saves 1/4 of a hard boiled egg. One slice of tomato. Every time she cuts bread, she scrapes up the crumbs into a bowl that she uses later for bread crumbs. However, you have to realize she was raised in a much more extreme time. First, she is a farmers wife, and knows the value of food from hard work and does not waste - ever. Second, she grew up during the war, where every single thing was scarce - even if you did have a farm. Being in europe in the war was different than being in the states; I mean it wasn't just coffee and sugar rations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenStream View Post
Was it her appetizer? I would be fine with MIL bringing over an appetizer she made or an opened box of somethign she had. If it was leftovers from somebody else that she saved and brought to my house, then I would think that was weird. It doesn't make a lot of sense logically, but that's what I would be comfortable with.
This. A dip mom or mil made and at at home and then brought, not my favorite but OK. A dip she made and then shared with her bridge club and then brought, um, no, gross. Not logical, but I guess it is like germs. I don't mind licking off my child's face if there isn't a napkin nearby, but I wouldn't do it to anther kid.
post #22 of 63
Frugal and smart... definitely not gross. People throw out so much perfectly good food it's almost criminal and it's nice to hear of people like this. For a formal party with strangers... perhaps not a good idea... but I would totally rework it into a new dish. Family, I would not even think of it as strange. If you eat food that you have personally not prepared, I guarantee you that you frequently are ingesting food that you would think is much less appetizing (if you knew its history) than what is described.

2 green beans, a teaspoon of leftover eggplant casserole, a couple of raw carrots, 1/2 of a muffin or any other tiny portion that is left over goes into our fridge for leftover night. Someone will combine or eat these small portions alone. I also save scraps for making stock... then give it to the neighbor dog (if there are no onions). Just because there is very little left doesn't mean it has to be wasted. People have and do kill for those portions of food.

I think your MIL is awesome and could teach a lot of younger people some valuable lessons. Kudos to her!
post #23 of 63
From a food safety POV I would probably be a bit weird about the cream cheese dip due to it possibly being held in the "danger zone" for too long, so it *may* be exposed to bacteria. So yes that could in fact be gross, and depending on what it is dangerous.

The cookies, crackers, eh whatever.
post #24 of 63
That wouldn't bother me at all.
post #25 of 63
Ok so half eaten sandwich would be gross. Leftovers of most other kinds, I think its nice that she is sharing, hey I have this maybe you can use it.

The dip, maybe I wouldn't use for reasons listed above, butI don't think its gross for her to offer. It maybe a generational thing. My G-ma leaves the butter out all the time. I would never eat any leftovers from MIL because she (like her mother) leaves food out for hours before returning to fridge.

If it were anyone other than a close friend or relative...its weird. Also, its tacky if that were her contribution to a get together.
post #26 of 63
I would be HAPPY if my MIL brought over some yummy dip with crackers to eat. Also, my friends and I have happily brought and ate leftovers for playdates before. It's just food.
post #27 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input.

I do find it tacky to bring it to dinner I guess. I make a special dinner when she comes and she offered to bring an appetizer. I was just-I don't know-kind of offended that is what she brought.

Sometimes I feel like she uses my house as a dumping ground for things she doesn't want, but yet can't bring herself to just pitch. And that bugs me. She buys a lot of stuff we simply don't eat and I guess I feel the added pressure as I try to be very cognizant of teaching my son to not be wasteful.
post #28 of 63
Wouldn't bother me in the least. And whats wrong with leaving butter out? I have some butter in the freezer, but the portion thats being used is definetly left out... otherwise its all but impossible to spread
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
It'd be weird to me if it was a special occasion, but among family or close friends I don't see anything wrong with finishing up leftovers together.

Tjej
I agree
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

2 green beans, a teaspoon of leftover eggplant casserole, a couple of raw carrots, 1/2 of a muffin or any other tiny portion that is left over goes into our fridge for leftover night. Someone will combine or eat these small portions alone.
This is how we are as well. If we get too many small leftovers during the course of M-F, then Saturday's lunch is "smorgasbord," and everyone takes whatever of the little leftovers for lunch. I really, really dislike throwing out food.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

Sometimes I feel like she uses my house as a dumping ground for things she doesn't want, but yet can't bring herself to just pitch. And that bugs me. She buys a lot of stuff we simply don't eat and I guess I feel the added pressure as I try to be very cognizant of teaching my son to not be wasteful.
I know what you mean by this, my MIL does this sometimes. She lives out of town but when she comes to visit she stays up at my BIL house. He is a single guy, paralyzed from the neck down so he can't prepare his own food so many times he isn't exactly aware of what is in his pantry so my MIL will clear it out (he will end up with like 5 bags of opened dried cranberries ect.) and bring stuff down to our house. On one hand I appreciate her not wanting to waste, on the other hand I get the "dumping ground" feeling. Thankfully for us it is usually all healthy stuff and I just find a way to use it. I would be more frustrated if it was like here is half a stick of crisco and ginger snaps from Wal Mart.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
For a formal party with strangers... perhaps not a good idea... but I would totally rework it into a new dish. Family, I would not even think of it as strange.!
I agree with this. If it were me I would have probably rewhipped the dip and put it in a new clean, decorative (food safe obviously) bowl and served with fresh crackers. If there had been crackers left over from the night before I would turn them into bread crumbs. That way nothing is wasted but you don't look tacky bringing your 1/2 consumed dip and stale crackers left over from bridge club.
post #33 of 63
As her "contribution" to a "special dinner" - it's kinda tacky. I'd still eat it though.

My dad saves everything, including teeny tiny amounts. It drives me nuts because we have chickens. He sees feeding it to the chickens as "wasting food", I see it as trading a little bit of leftovers for healthy eggs. I would not save 2 green beans, I'd feed it to the chickens. He'd save it.
A little OT, but he also keeps trading down the size of the tupperware. Does that make sense? Take a little out so put it in a new tupperware. Take a little more out, put in a new tupperware. I'm not a big fan of all those dirty dishes. Just leave it in the same tupperware until it's gone. (We have a big fridge - space is not an issue.)

I also leave the opened stick of butter out.
post #34 of 63
Your MIL's food behavior sounds like something you just have to cultivate a sense of humor about. Rather than worrying about teaching your son not to waste (a message I'm sure he gets from your everyday behavior), why not focus on using this situation to teach him -- by example -- how to be gracious even in the face of odd or eccentric behavior? That's a much harder lesson, but equally as valuable, IMO.

As is clear from the comments here, her behavior is not out of the realm of acceptable for many people. It may not be your standard, but she's not doing anything dangerous or pathological (not that we can tell from your post, anyway.) Smile and say "thank you" and see if you can find a way to make it acceptable. I like the idea of cutting off the exposed part, as mentioned above. If you can't make it acceptable, just don't eat it, but there's no need to make a big deal. If she'll take some stuff back home with her, fine. If not, then I think you needn't feel guilty about tossing it when she leaves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
whats wrong with leaving butter out? I have some butter in the freezer, but the portion thats being used is definetly left out... otherwise its all but impossible to spread
I totally agree. If you go through butter as fast as my family of 5 does, it does not have time to spoil! (I find that except in the hottest weather, butter will stay good "out" for several days, at least.)
post #35 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Your MIL's food behavior sounds like something you just have to cultivate a sense of humor about. Rather than worrying about teaching your son not to waste (a message I'm sure he gets from your everyday behavior), why not focus on using this situation to teach him -- by example -- how to be gracious even in the face of odd or eccentric behavior? That's a much harder lesson, but equally as valuable, IMO.
This is wonderful advice-thanks.

And I leave butter out to. I HATE trying to spread hard butter on my toast.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties View Post
I totally agree. If you go through butter as fast as my family of 5 does, it does not have time to spoil! (I find that except in the hottest weather, butter will stay good "out" for several days, at least.)
My butter stays on the counter more than a week usually. I've never had it get bad.
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Wouldn't bother me in the least. And whats wrong with leaving butter out? I have some butter in the freezer, but the portion thats being used is definetly left out... otherwise its all but impossible to spread
I don't think there's anything wrong with it...I never got sick. I just mentioned it because I thought it was generational. We don't because of the dog, But I don't know anyone my age that leaves it out. Maybe its more of an area thing than generational? Dh had never heard of it.
post #38 of 63
I wouldn't necessarily find it gross or inappropriate to bring over very recently leftover food.

If it was really old food that should really be thrown away then I wouldn't be happy about someone cleaning out their fridge and bringing it over for my family to eat.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with it...I never got sick. I just mentioned it because I thought it was generational. We don't because of the dog, But I don't know anyone my age that leaves it out. Maybe its more of an area thing than generational? Dh had never heard of it.
I know this is OT, but I'm curious -- do you only use butter for cooking rather than to spread on toast, waffles, etc.? It just seems so cumbersome to take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften for 20 minutes each time it gets used, but that might be because we use it as a spread a lot.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I know this is OT, but I'm curious -- do you only use butter for cooking rather than to spread on toast, waffles, etc.? It just seems so cumbersome to take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften for 20 minutes each time it gets used, but that might be because we use it as a spread a lot.
Now that you mention it...I'm gluten free so I don't use it on things other than cooked. Dh uses it on toasted bagels. if you cut it up then it melts in less than a minute on it warm. If we didn't I probably still wouldn't leave it out. Our Dog has eaten entire sticks before
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