Hello, I have a cracker problem…

Today I took on the task of cleaning out my kitchen. I think moving food from one home to another is one of the more challenging aspects of moving. When I moved from my first apartment back to my mom’s house, I was ready to say my final goodbye when I opened my freezer and realized I had forgotten everything in there.

I learned a lot about myself through cleaning out my kitchen. I’m not at all proud of it. In fact, I’m disgusted with myself. I waste so much food. I work with children whose only meals are provided by the school, and I waste so much food. I found things with expiration dates almost 2 years old. I found at least 10 half eaten boxes of crackers. If I ever questioned why I didn’t have much space in my cabinets, feast your eyes on my shame below:

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The pile of boxes that I discarded. Most of them were half full. Or empty, depending on your POV.

Then, there were the wine and beer bottles. Sometimes when I have a rough day, I’ll go to the store and buy a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer. I’ll drink one bottle or glass, and then forget all about it. I plan on recycling the bottles, but before I made that decision I checked Pinterest for ideas on how to reuse them. Nothing appeals to me, so I’ll take a trip to the city recycling bin and put them there sometime this week. Here is another example of my shame:

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They need to be clean and dry to be recycled. That is my excuse.

Four garbage bags later, I have enough food left to eat for the next 2 weeks. I’ll mainly be eating garbanzo beans because I have about 5 cans of them, and also I’ll be eating meals based around sausage because I have 2 packages of that.

While I was surveying my shame, I made a promise to myself, and to hold me to it I’m going to make a promise to you, my readers:

I promise that when I move into my new home I will no longer hoard cracker boxes and I will only buy what is necessary to make my meals for the week.

I will create a menu prior to going to the store and stick with it. I’ll get a tattoo that reminds me “No more crackers” so I won’t forget. Every time I threw something into the trash, I heard the faint sound of cash money being thrown away. I don’t even want to consider how much money I just threw away. All I want to do is commit to changing my lifestyle in my new home. I plan on planting herbs right away, so I’ll make meals where I can use the herbs I have. I plan on going to the farmer’s market and buying what is in season, which I can also base my meals around. Next year, I want to try to grow my own vegetables which will also influence my menus. No more wandering around Walmart deciding to buy things I never use and eventually throw away. Or don’t throw away until 2 years later, as was the case today.

Despite the fact that I’m embarrassed and ashamed of what was in my kitchen, this was a necessary step to take in my life. This experience helped me realize where all my money has been going. Owning a home is going to cost a lot of money, so now I can pay more attention to my grocery bill in order to be able to afford the things I want/need for my house. This experience was also the important first step in admitting I have a problem. I can now recognize that I have a problem when it comes to buying and using food. People can’t change unless they can admit the problem, so watch out change, here I come.

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