Waste Not

My mother prides herself on being frugal. I’ve gone to book stores with her where she has picked up a book about how to save money and said, “This book doesn’t contain the half of it. If you want to know how to save money, I can tell you.” She is a fan of outlets and outlets of outlets. She scours dollar stores for much needed items and shops at dented can stores. She saves every last bit of leftover food, even if it is only a spoonful. She has storage containers small enough for one spoonful of food.

These are good things. Saving as much money as you can is good. Who wants to pay too much for an item? Who can resist a bargain? I like to find the sales. I like to buy marked down items. I don’t like to waste things. The problem is that sometimes my mother takes this to an extreme.

Last weekend we stopped by my parents’ house. They had company over and we were all sitting around the living room chatting when my mother offered us dessert. Only my husband and I accepted the offer. It was some sort of fruit cobbler. I have to admit that it was good. When we had finished eating my mother said proudly, “I had all this fruit in the fridge going bad and I decided that instead of throwing it out I’d make a dessert out of it.”

I was shocked and later pulled her aside and told her that the next time she makes food out of something that needs to be thrown out, she shouldn’t mention it to the guests. She seemed puzzled by my advice. Even when I asked her if I could write this blog about the incident she still seemed proud of the dessert, especially the fact that she almost threw that fruit away. The most important part to her is that she didn’t waste anything! Nevermind feeding the company trash.