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Silly Frugality?
Old 01-10-2018, 12:42 PM   #1
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Silly Frugality?

I suspect we all have at least one thing that we know is overly-frugal, but we don't (or can't) stop doing anyway.

For me, I have a hard time throwing out leftover food.

Growing up, we were never hungry, but couldn't afford to eat food that wasn't on sale. We never ate out. We cooked large batches of inexpensive foods and ate it all.

My wife and I are financially independent. We don't need to scrimp. So now, I might make a nice soup - but I find that I still can't throw extras away. If I cook too much chicken, I find it hard not to have leftover chicken for lunch the next day or two.

Now we try to cook smaller amounts, but we haven't quite mastered that skill yet. I don't mind eating leftovers. But I know that I can afford to throw them out, yet don't. Crazy, I know.

Anyone else do something overly-frugal?
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:53 PM   #2
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Not sure I'd call what you're describing as overly frugal. To throw leftovers out (well, maybe not fish) is simply wasteful IMHO and we generally don't do. Wasteful is something I find kind of offensive, as in carelessly buying more than you can use and then throwing the excess out. The world just doesn't need that even if you think it proves you have become financially well off. We're well off but just don't think it makes sense to consume for consumption's sake. I will admit I think using razor blades as long as I do is excessive, just can't help myself.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:57 PM   #3
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I see nothing wrong with what you are doing, I do the same. I look at it as helping to conserve the Earth's resources. I have a hard time getting rid of a lot of things because I always think I may have a use for it in the future.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
I suspect we all have at least one thing that we know is overly-frugal, but we don't (or can't) stop doing anyway.

For me, I have a hard time throwing out leftover food.

Growing up, we were never hungry, but couldn't afford to eat food that wasn't on sale. We never ate out. We cooked large batches of inexpensive foods and ate it all.

My wife and I are financially independent. We don't need to scrimp. So now, I might make a nice soup - but I find that I still can't throw extras away. If I cook too much chicken, I find it hard not to have leftover chicken for lunch the next day or two.

Now we try to cook smaller amounts, but we haven't quite mastered that skill yet. I don't mind eating leftovers. But I know that I can afford to throw them out, yet don't. Crazy, I know.

Anyone else do something overly-frugal?
I do not get the issue. I guess anything is grist for the ER.org mill, but really?

Eat it, through it away, do whatever you want with it. I don't throw away food, unless I didn't like it, or I let it get past safe consumption and I don't feel that is is safe.

But many people hardly ever eat something that they make at home. let alone eat leftovers. Their business from my pov.

Ha
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:02 PM   #5
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We happen to love leftovers. Many saute's and stews actually taste better the second day, and cold leftover chicken or turkey is delicious. There's rarely enough left for a third day to be a problem.

With good menu planning, we buy what we need and rarely throw away food unless something unusual happens (something spoils early, or we go away for a few days and don't want to keep perishables around). Whether we do throw away food or not, would make little difference in our finances either way.

I did have a frugal "thing" for keeping clothes forever, but have managed to overcome that. I mean, even though I could still get into those 1987 high-waisted jeans, even I didn't want to look that out of style Instead, I buy clothes from a secondhand/consignment store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
I suspect we all have at least one thing that we know is overly-frugal, but we don't (or can't) stop doing anyway.

For me, I have a hard time throwing out leftover food.

Growing up, we were never hungry, but couldn't afford to eat food that wasn't on sale. We never ate out. We cooked large batches of inexpensive foods and ate it all.

My wife and I are financially independent. We don't need to scrimp. So now, I might make a nice soup - but I find that I still can't throw extras away. If I cook too much chicken, I find it hard not to have leftover chicken for lunch the next day or two.

Now we try to cook smaller amounts, but we haven't quite mastered that skill yet. I don't mind eating leftovers. But I know that I can afford to throw them out, yet don't. Crazy, I know.

Anyone else do something overly-frugal?
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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DW and I usually save straws when we dine out and us them at home. But worse still, we often wash the straws and reuse them. How's that for frugal?
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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I'm going to start a pool on how many posts in this thread before someone mentions straining broken glass from a dropped jar of peanut butter. My guess is 7.

I win.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:09 PM   #8
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OP - same thing about food.
I get super upset with myself if say I buy $5 of chicken and then forget to cook it so it's rotten. The actual value does not matter as I easily give away in donations lots more without a thought.

I think it is because we were so poor, we had to eat free food. Back in the day the town butcher gave away chicken wings and we would eat them nearly every night cooked on a BBQ. We also got free bones for the dog, and my mom would make soup out of them before the dog got them.

Once I was told by a woman, when making soup from a roasted turkey carcass that I was only person she had ever seen recycle food ! And she was a single mom who tried to stretch the dollars.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:20 PM   #9
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Like others, I don't see this as silly. IMO, there's absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers from meals made at home, or even meals at a restaurant.

Of course, if there is any question of whether it's spoiled, I opt for throwing it out. One of my first corporate jobs was in the Legal Dept for a grocery chain. I got to review complaints people made when they consumed contaminated food. Those reports were enough to convince me: When in doubt, THROW IT OUT!
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:28 PM   #10
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Leftovers are great. DW and I both grew up in large families where the food budget was tight. We saw and learned from our parents how to stretch it.

It is a common thing for us to cook enough food that will last 2-3 days. As was mentioned above, some food is better after a day or two. And we are also guilt of making soup stock from the bones. Tastes delicious!

So many restaurants now serve so much food that we regularly bring enough for another meal. No reason to waste perfectly good food.

My silliest frugal action is probably reusing teabags - I saw my parents do this regularly. While I rarely do it these days, I still feel funny throwing out a tea bag after using it for just a small amount of tea.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:37 PM   #11
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Yeah, but we buy the big (frugal) jars of PB, which are made of plastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I'm going to start a pool on how many posts in this thread before someone mentions straining broken glass from a dropped jar of peanut butter. My guess is 7.

I win.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:38 PM   #12
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Silly? Frugal? Together?

Oxymoron? Contradiction in terms?

DW has a leftover thing and I generally don't mind and find that some things get better with age. I draw the line at a week or it starts to look like a science experiment, whichever comes first.
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Silly Frugality?
Old 01-10-2018, 01:50 PM   #13
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Silly Frugality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Yeah, but we buy the big (frugal) jars of PB, which are made of plastic.


Off topic but....
At my local store big jars of peanut butter cost more per oz than the normal size.

On topic...
I can't toss out good pieces of wood. Not fine hardwoods, just like a quarter of a 2x4.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:53 PM   #14
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There is no standard for frugal, so no right answer. We all do things that we think are overly frugal, but one persons frugal is another persons 'you've got to be kidding.' What Martha Stewart considers frugal might not be the same as you...
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:01 PM   #15
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Silly Frugality?

We always keep a supply of tortillas on hand. Any kind of leftover meat, beef, chicken, pork, or whatever, gets reheated, splashed with a little salsa and eaten for lunch. Quick delicious meal.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:06 PM   #16
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Growing up, we were never hungry, but couldn't afford to eat food that wasn't on sale. We never ate out. We cooked large batches of inexpensive foods and ate it all.
DW and I were both raised in an environment like that. I didn't see the inside of a restaurant until high school, and that was a pizza place with some guys after getting off work from my job at a gas station.

So we don't throw out food either. My parents came of age during the Great Depression and throwing out food Just Wasn't Done.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:11 PM   #17
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We purposely make more to have leftovers. They get put in the freezer in containers like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Containers-Co...ners+with+lids

Easy to look in and see what is missing for that container. Pull them out for lunches and evenings we do not feel like cooking. Any food that accidentally goes bad (except meat) goes in the compost bin along with the used coffee grounds so it not all wasted.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:15 PM   #18
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DW and I like to eat at a local diner a few times each month. The portions are huge and we either brought some home or left a pile of food. Now, we share one entree and side salad - perfect for the two of us.

Chili is another food that improves with a few refrigerate - reheat cycles
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
Off topic but....
At my local store big jars of peanut butter cost more per oz than the normal size.

On topic...
I can't toss out good pieces of wood. Not fine hardwoods, just like a quarter of a 2x4.
Me too! I hate to waste good wood!
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by joeea View Post
I suspect we all have at least one thing that we know is overly-frugal, but we don't (or can't) stop doing anyway.

For me, I have a hard time throwing out leftover food.

Growing up, we were never hungry, but couldn't afford to eat food that wasn't on sale. We never ate out. We cooked large batches of inexpensive foods and ate it all.

My wife and I are financially independent. We don't need to scrimp. So now, I might make a nice soup - but I find that I still can't throw extras away. If I cook too much chicken, I find it hard not to have leftover chicken for lunch the next day or two.

Now we try to cook smaller amounts, but we haven't quite mastered that skill yet. I don't mind eating leftovers. But I know that I can afford to throw them out, yet don't. Crazy, I know.

Anyone else do something overly-frugal?
Eating out is my biggest money suck. And I hate it. Just about every time I eat out, look at the bill and compare it to the food I got, I'm disappointed. And then knowing the food is high in salt and whatever unhealthy ingredients.

My goal, and it might sound foolish, is to get to where you're at now. It's a given that eating out is something we do or possibly deserve.

Thanks for your post. I did learn a lot from it.
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