Monday, March 1, 2010

I just don't get it.

I don't buy cases of water any more.

I've made my kids their lunches ever since I joined them at school for lunch and I saw what they ate. French toast sticks for lunch?


It's nachos day! Ole!

Not so much.

So I started packing their lunches. Even if they don't eat it, I attempt to pack something out of each food group in the pyramid.

And instead of that juice box crap, I thought water was a good alternative in the beverage category.

So for a whole long time, I bought cases of water for less than five bucks a case. Each kid would get a bottle of water instead of the juice box, and I thought I was getting a total bargain while providing my kids with a healthy beverage alternative.

Water. Go figure.

But then I got some information.

The plastic bottles don't recycle well. And the plastic itself can leach all kinds of junk. So if you think you're doing the universe a big favor by using each bottle more than once, you may be doing yourself a bit of a disservice.

So there are a bunch of down-sides that outbalance the up-sides of packing the bottled water in the lunch box, or simply buying the cases as a matter of course.

And there are other items that I used to buy without thinking. I'd buy them simply for my convenience.

Kleenex. It's so luxurious, so conventional, so extravagant, so nice for the guests with the runny noses.

A foot or less of tee pee squares will do if I need to blow my nose or take my makeup gunk off. So Kleenex is no longer purchased.

Trash bags. I don't buy them any more. I either use the plastic bags I've received at the store if I forgot my own bags, or I use the plastic bags I get from having thrifted. Those bags are the perfect size for my trash can.

Tasty things in boxes. There are lots of healthy and delicious cereals I can buy, and their boxes almost weigh more than their contents. So I try to buy cereal in bulk. Almost every supermarket has cereal available to buy in bulk, and all you're left with is a reuseable plastic bag. No big silly box.

I still love the reduced fat wheat thins. I wish I could buy those in bulk somewhere, so I don't get my teensie bit of thins in a box that will be around longer than I will.

Overpackaging pisses me off.

As does the movie thing, as you may have gathered from previous blogs. It makes me crazy to have an evening out with Mr. Fabulous, during which we decide to go to a movie, and then the movie sucks, and we've spent 20+ bones (lots more when including snacks) for a movie I wouldn't rent, if I knew better.

So there's the netflix alternative. We can see a month's worth of movies that come highly recommended for the price of two tickets to a movie that sucks.

This is not to say that I don't enjoy luxurious indulgence. I'd simply prefer to make those selections myself, without feeling I've compromised much of anything.

And I don't think it's much of a compromise, drinking water out of water bottles made of thick neoprene plastic, reusing my bags when I have them, eating tasty organic cereal sans bulky box, watching a good movie reclining at home for pennies on the dollar compared to what Mr. Fabulous and I would pay at the theater.

Yes, I don't get it. But what have I received in return?

Most of the time, a whole lot more than that I bargained for.


  1. I too have discovered that I am much more satisfied with many economical alternatives like dish towels as opposed to rolls and rolls of paper towels (three toddlers = a lot of spills). We take the movies one step further and get all ours from the library. Very very free and they are willing to borrow from other libraries to accomidate.

  2. Great idea with the movies from the library!

    And I forgot to mention we've gone to cloth dinner napkins. Adds a cool flair to the table, and you buy them once and you're done! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Recently at the Toy Shoppe we've started carrying the Laptop Lunchbox system (which altogether is obscenely overpriced at $49.99) but separately we carry the Bento Sets which are just the reusable, phthalate & BPA free tuperware-like things that go inside ($15.99), and they're a clever way of packaging more than just the usual sandwich for lunch. I'm thinking about getting some myself. Also, there's a cute little place out of Nederland that makes reusable cloth bags for lunches. Cute idea, no?

  4. It's a great idea! It's weird - during a meeting at work a while ago I suggested we bring our own plates, glasses and coffee mugs as opposed to using what was offered in the break room (all things styrofoam....). There were a few folks who balked at bringing in their own cutlery and dishes because of a sanitation concern. Huh?

  5. Mesh produce bags by CredoBags and Kootsac for bulk things like flour etc. are great!