11 In Thoughts & Observations

Better Get It While You Can

I’ve noticed there’s a kind of food hierarchy that’s developed in my household…and I’m mighty close to the bottom. 

food hierarchy

I shop for groceries every Sunday.  As with most households, the week never ends “evenly” with a completely finished loaf of bread.  So, I pick up one or two more at the store, depending on upcoming carb needs for the upcoming week.

This is when my bottom feeder placement on the food chain becomes apparent.

I tuck the new loaf(s) away in the bread box and put the still half-full loaf from the previous week up on top.  Kind of a, “Hey!  Eat this one first!” message for la familia.

bread box

Yeah, it never works out that way.  Everyone goes for the new loaf I stuffed in the box.  It’s ME that ends up finishing off the week old bread.

<Scratches head in bemusement.>

It’s not just the bread either.  It’s the chips, the yogurt, the pre-sliced apples…even the lunch meat. 

Now, hubby making a grab for the good stuff I get.  He grew up in a household of nine kids so it was, “grab what you can or starve.”  I’ve pointed out the roll waiting for him on top of the breadbox.  He just rolls his eyes and laughs, chalking up yet another of my quirks to OCD. 

He’s probably right.  A sane person would just shrug, toss the old loaf away and dive into the fresh one along with everyone else.  But I can’t.  (Side Note:  I’d like to point out that I’ve just publicly admitted on the internet that my husband was right about something.  My quota for the month is now complete.  <Blows kiss and winks.>)

The same type of behavior rears its head when I come home from work and the girls are finishing up their dinner.  As a rule, I can expect at least a quarter of whatever the sitter fixed them to be lounging on a long abandoned plate.  So, guess I what I have for dinner?  Yep, leftover kid dinner.  I don’t even bother to heat it up. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Part of me is proud of my behavior.  I think of all those starving kids my parents told me about while I finish off a kiddy plate.  I think about how the price of groceries has gone sky high as I finish off the decimated crumbs at the bottom of the Salt and Vinegar chips bag.

But then my gaze drifts over to the unopened package of some delicacy I’d been wanting to try, but am now too full on leftovers to tackle and I think, “Well, maybe tomorrow.” 

It’s kind of depressing.

So, what do you think?  Has my compulsion to finish things relegated me to bottom-feeder status for my household?  Or am I being food/environmentally conscious and doing the right thing by not wasting?  How does it happen in your house?  Maybe it’s just a mommy thing?  Are you low on the totem pole too?  Or do you go for the good stuff?

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  • Reply
    Kristen Lamb
    May 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    What is the rule that MOM gets to be the garbage disposal? When I found out about my food allergies, I had to be SO careful because out of habit I would eat the last piece of cheese or the crust of bread (can’t throw THOSE away!). I poisoned myself SO many times.

    I try to pass the leftovers to the dog, but now she’s so spoiled she won’t eat dog food.

    • Reply
      May 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      I think the dog snatching the bits I won’t eat is the only thing that saved me from being at the bottom of the pyramid. 🙂

  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    May 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    At least you’re above the turtle, Rhenna! And there’s nothing wrong with that last heel in the bread wrapper, right?

    • Reply
      May 2, 2013 at 5:03 am

      Poor little turtle. I have no sympathy for the cat though. He’s solid black and I swear he’s determined to kill me–by tripping me in the dark every morning. Bastard cat.

  • Reply
    Karen McFarland
    May 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Rhenna, I don’t think there’s anyting wrong with you. lol. For most of us, we were raised not to waste food. Yes, there are staving people around the world. But as you also brought out, the cost of food has sky-rocketed. And after a long day at work, isn’t it easier to just finish what is set before you rather than wait for the delicacy that you actually long for? Somehow I know that you’ll splurge. And you’ll enjoy every morsel. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 2, 2013 at 5:04 am

      The grocery store scares me anymore. You watch the numbers go up….and up….and then almost cry when you see the final tally. Sad.

  • Reply
    gretchen wing
    May 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    That is so me. But I’m also a DON’T EAT THOSE LEFTOVERS I WAS SAVING THEM FOR TOMORROW’S DINNER obsessive. (I would say Nazi but that’s getting a bit overused these days.) There’s just something about having everything come out EVEN. But then–argghhh!!!–you eat the leftovers for dinner, and there’s just a teensy bit of leftover leftovers! Will someone just EAT that?? OK, fine, pass it over.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Ha! No one touches my bread. Of course, it’s gluten-free and stays frozen until I take out a slice and thaw it in the toaster, so I’m thinking no one WANTS to touch it.

    I’m not much of a leftover person, but when I cook comfort food, out of habit I cook huge batches so we always have leftovers. By the time I’ve eaten jambalaya or gumbo or chicken stew three days in a row, I don’t care about anything but getting rid of it.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:53 am

    So true! I am the same way. And I am the only one who will eat the heels of the bread, etc. it’s a fine line between not wanting to waste food, especially on a tight budget, and perhaps a bit of self- worth tied into our choices? Still trying to figure that one out, but I think it’s tied into how we view ourselves, maybe???

  • Reply
    Susan Jaymes
    May 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I’m in the same position as you are. The worst in my household is the peanut butter. I think the bottom of the jar taste the same but I guess they don’t.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Hahaha! I’d forgotten the peanut butter! But you’re right. No one but a mother will dive down for the last few inches. You know it has nothing to do with taste and everything to do with effort and mess right? Seriously, is there a knife long enough to effectively get the bottom part without sliming your knuckles? LOL Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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