The Tribe of We Who Do Not Waste

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You re-use your ziplock bags, right? And the bags the kolaches came in?

I have yet to reach my grandmother’s level of thrift. She put out a small bag of trash about once every three years.

She re-used plastic containers. I learned that the Cool Whip container in the basement freezer contained not Cool Whip  but raspberries, so it was still a win.

When she bought frozen vegetables instead of using the ones she had grown in her garden, she carefully cut the bag open and then re-used it for other thingies in the freezer.

She canned her own fruit and veg – I tried to follow her crabapple example, but mine didn’t work so well (they are so ugly!) and she would have been appalled at the idea that I actually paid for crabapples instead of picking them myself, but I don’t have a crabapple tree, so I can’t.

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She didn’t throw food away. Bones were saved for stock (OK, that’s not unusual – everyone does that, right?). Bacon grease was saved because bacon. Any leftovers a human wouldn’t eat went to the neighbor’s dog, who knew a good deal when he saw one and hung around my grandma’s back door every evening.

Coffee grounds went to the roses. Recycling to the recycling.

And coffee cans and Crisco cans were saved for important things like cookies.

As in, she sent me home once with a can of cookies. But did you know that a Crisco can will not fit into your luggage? So you have to carry it? As you change plans at O’Hare? And people are wondering why you are carrying a can of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil through an airport?

Which is weird.

It is weird to be stared at for carrying Crisco or what people think is Crisco but then I remembered I was carrying cookies and if my plane got stuck on the tarmac, everyone would want to be my friend.



One thought on “The Tribe of We Who Do Not Waste

  1. Ha, she sounds like my mother – eggshells are used for the garden soil, used coffee grounds are used to get rid of bad smells in the fridge, and so many other things. I’m always in awe of people like them!


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