Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reality squashes idealism, at least for now

I can't believe it myself, but I've realized that I'm becoming more and more mainstream. The frugal and slightly crunchy version of myself doesn't like things like individual packaging and boxed meals. But the truth is that some of those things make my life easier. They've been inching their way into my cupboards and refrigerator without my recognizing it.

I was making a store list of things that we need, and I was shocked to realize how many convenience things were on it.

Individual bottles of Sunny D. The children LOVE that yucky Sunny D. It's the only juice that they really like. If we have a big jug of it, they won't bother to drink it and we waste it, but they'll each drink at least one of the little bottles a day.

Individual cups of applesauce. Same thing. No one eats it out of the big jar, but the individual cups are always a hit.

Clorox wipes. I have children, 'nuff said. :o) Actually, for my "big cleaning" I use old cloth diapers because I always feel like they clean better, but the wipes are great for spur-of-the-moment cleaning. And, trust me, that spur-of-the-moment cleaning comes several times a day when you have a boy.

Microwave macaroni and cheese. Spyder doesn't like it, and it isn't Sass's favorite, but it's just about all that Olivia will eat. If I make a regular box of mac & cheese, most of it goes to the trash. Surprisingly, this makes the individual ones are more cost effective.

Individual bottles of soda. We don't drink enough soda any more to justify buying the big bottles -- or the cans! I open one of the individual bottles, and I'll drink out of it for two or three days. The last six pack I bought (Diet Pepsi, 16 oz bottles) has lasted for three weeks, and there is still one bottle in the fridge.

Individual cups of yogurt. Or worse, Gogurt. Again, no one will eat the yogurt if it's in the big container. That includes me though. I like the blueberry yogurt, and it's just not as good coming from the large container.

Mix and bake packages of peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes Sass just gets the urge to make cookies, and I hate to disappoint her. I really prefer making cookies completely from scratch, but that takes longer, and she (of course) doesn't always choose the most convenient time for cookie-making. With the packages, I can just add oil and an egg and we're ready to go. I haven't moved to the frozen cookie dough, so I suppose that's something.

Swiffer dust cloths. These things are the best for getting up the dog hair that is always on the floor. I'm told that microfiber cloths can be used in the same manner, but I just keep thinking that I'd simply be sending the dog hair through the wash. I'd rather just send it packing.

I'm sure that there are some things that I've missed, but these were all on that particular grocery list. And these probably aren't a big deal to most people, but I feel rather hypocritical in buying them. I was, after all, a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, moderately crunchy one when my children were younger. As they've gotten older I'm turning from my old crunchy ways. Now I feel like I'm more mushy than crunchy. Perhaps as the children get older, the pendulum will swing back in the crunchy direction once more.

1 comment:

JP said...

Well, you know I'm not the granola type, but I do try to be as environmentally conscious as possible... to the point where I have volunteered to take all recyclable items from our church to the recycling station each week, if our congregation would be so kind as to not throw them in the trash.

However, there are a few convenience things that I like as well (most of which are on your list). I absolutely HATE excess packaging... what a waste! I try to compensate for my consumption by recycling as much as possible.