Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Small is beautiful

While living with my parents, I noticed my dad buys enough groceries every week to feed an army. I became so used to opening a huge jar of peanut butter or rummaging through three refrigerators well stocked with food. It's like a mini-supermarket, we never run out of fruits and vegetables.

When we moved out one year ago, I stocked up our pantry with essential items. This morning, I threw out a jar of half-finished peanut butter, Nutella and some jams. Though they have not expired, they are no longer fresh after lying around for a year. We've not been eating fast enough.

The half-eaten box of cornflakes and Koko Crunch got tossed into the bin. We've only used half a box of pancake mix, so that will have to go too. I made SK drink the last sachet of Milo this morning. I can't imagine it took us one whole year to finish 12 sachets.

If I dig deeper into the cabinet, I'll be able to find dried mushrooms, different kinds of flour, sauces and canned food that had sat in the dark for far too long.

For some reason, having a small kitchen that is tucked away in one corner of the house (compared to my parent's large open-concept kitchen) discourages eating. I don't find the boys rummaging through the fridge for things to eat. It takes us ages to finish a loaf of bread or a block of cheese. A small bunch of bananas may sit there for days until they turn black.

Nowadays I've learned to buy jams and peanut butter that come in tiny sizes. The entrepreneur in me is already thinking of setting up a shop that sells everything in small packages to cater for people like us.

More people are living alone and families are getting smaller. We have more choices and are eating less of everything, I believe this will help to reduce wastage. I don't want to end up eating blackened bananas or peanut butter that has gone rancid.

My friend in UK was telling me about his aged father who lives alone in the countryside. His early morning ritual is to walk to the neighbourhood grocer to buy one potato, a tomato or whatever he fancies. The grocer frowns and says he only sells by the pound but the old guy doesn't give a hoot. He just pays and go. Well, he has lived there all his life, so they oblige. But really, what's he going to do with a whole bag of tomatoes?


WaterLearner said...

Hey, I thought of setting up online shop to sell things in small packages too you know!

By the way, how is your aching knee? I have not been blogging much about running recently cos I had to stop due to my aching right knee.

Recently, I have been doing more of yoga. There are many postures that strengthens the core area. The stomach area that yogis refer to as the Power House. Just a suggestion, you might wish to try. Although I do understand that yoga might not appeal to everyone though.

BTW, I like that cycling thing you bought to cycle while you watch TV. How much that cost?

Blur Ting said...

Hi Karen

I believe you're also buying things in small packages too. You've got a good idea there!

My knees don't ache anymore unless I run too much. I haven't been running for a week after I bought the cycling machine. It's small but very stable and costs only $160.I got it from Good Health Distributor. Now I cycle when I watch TV or read. My knees don't ache after that. Time passes really quickly when you're cycling and watching TV, so you don't really feel like you're doing any thing strenuous though it can really make you sweat!

I've done yoga before and enjoyed it but I can't find time to go for classes. The traveling time plus couple of hours of lessons will take up all evening. That means I will have to rush with dinner, walking dog, laundry and cleaning up, so end up more stressed out!

auntielucia said...

Small packages for some stuff will be very useful; another thing is y tubes? We waste so much when we get to the end of a tube and yet can't get to the extra bits short of cutting the tube open... I'm thinking of tooth paste and expensive face creams. Why not open mouthed jars..?

Btw Blur, if yr jams etc are unopened and still within or just past expiry date, they cld be eaten. Odd job/foreign workers wld be very happy to have them!

The Real Mother Hen said...

I still buy fruits and veggies in bulk, that way I will have no choice but to eat more fruits and veggies.

Nick Phillips said...

Lucky you. With my perpetually hungry younger boy, I'd be surprised to come home and find the loaf of bread I bought yesterday still around :D

charlie hotel said...

With two teenage boys at home it's unusual that food doesn't get eaten...

Blur Ting said...

Auntie Lucia - Yes, your comment about tube is true.I always squeeze and press until I can't get anything out.

These have been opened and were already half eaten. The leftover nutella was turning hard and weird. The peanut butter got rancid. The jam looked watery and unappetising. The cornflakes got soggy. So no choice but to throw away. I'm more careful with what I buy now.

Blur Ting said...

MH - Like you, I buy lots of vegetables. That is not a problem cos I can cook them for dinner and nothing gets wasted. Fruits like apples and oranges can keep for a long time. The biggest problem I have are tropical fruits. On some days,the boys are crazy over bananas and then on other days, they just stop eating.

Blur Ting said...

Nick - You should be glad nothing goes to waste. Maybe he's still young. When he gets older like my kids, he'll start choosing.

Blur Ting said...

CH - It's strange actually how they don't eat cookies, chips, cakes, nuts and diary products. They're probably just not into snacking.

WaterLearner said...


I think you should be more gentle on yourself about cleaning. That way you would have more time for yourself :-)

If you keen for free yoga session, I can try to get free pass for you. But I go to Fitness First in AMK hub though. Not so convenient for you huh?

Then again .. your condo should have gym facilities and swimming pool right? A run on threadmill or a dip in the pool is refreshing too!

Blur Ting said...

Karen - Thanks but yah, too far. We have CCs across the road that conduct lessons too.

I need to do the laundry at night so I can hang the clothes out to dry, especially the school uniform and PE attire or their favourite jeans.