Frugal or Foolhardy? - Live Like a Mensch
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Frugal or Foolhardy?

Sometimes, a frugal individual can wonder whether their impulses are truly money- or environment-saving, or just ridiculous.

J often accuses me of being the latter. For example, after baking more cookies than G-d on Saturday, he found me studiously washing the two sheets of alumninum foil that I had used over and over to line my cookies sheets before hanging the wet foil up on the refrigerator to air dry. "Excessive frugality much?" he asked, idly munching on a cookie. There were some further questions as to whether I would start saving bits of string or otherwise make like I'd lived through the Depression. I ignored him.

However, I have recently had a frugal/foolhardy puzzler. You see, after more years of faithful service than I can remember offhand, this happened to our soup ladle:

Yes, the plastic handle detached from the business end of the utensil, and since I do not trust the idea of placing adhesives on a tool that will come in direct contact with my food, that handle is deader'n a doornail.

Most people would simply throw out the ladle and purchase a new one. We certainly got our money's worth out of the thing, and it's not as if they are expensive. But I am not most people.

You see, I hate the idea of throwing away a perfectly good anything. And while the plastic prevent-you-from-burning-your-hand handle has shuffled off this mortal coil, the part of the ladle that is the utensil's raison d'etre remains. Why not just continue using this bad boy?

As soon as I floated this idea past J, he gave me the "okay, crazy lady" look that he has perfected over the years. He was right. There was no reason for me to fret over the loss of this particular utensil, when we take out tall garbage bags of trash every third day from our house. This will not add unduly to our overcrowded landfills.

So, the next time I was at Target, I picked up a new ladle:

It was $1.25, and it fulfills its duties admirably.

But of course, that is not the end of the ladle saga.

Because there are two rational and intelligent methods for dealing with a handle-less ladle problem:

1. Keep the ladle because you do not want to waste something that is still usable.


2. Buy a new ladle, because life is too short to burn your hand serving up stew.

And yet, I have managed to find a third option:

Yes, despite the fact that I purchased a replacement, I just cannot bring myself to throw out the old one.

I should probably get ready for all the inch long pieces of string I'm going to start saving, shouldn't I?


Update: As soon as I finished writing this post, J threw the old ladle in the recycling bin, reminding me of the fact that I want to declutter the house. We'll see how long it takes me until I go recycling-bin diving to retrieve it. I'm thinking no more than 30 minutes.



marshallmom2001 said:

That's so funny....I've been in the same situation with a spatula.  When it lost its handle, I kept it around.  It's good for putting raw burgers in the skillet, and no one touches it because anyone entering the kitchen knows that the "sad spatula" only gets used for yucky foods.  I made do without replacing it until my dear husband finally insisted, after becoming tired of pulling it out of the utensil caddy thinking it was a full-size and useful spatula.

December 20, 2012 8:23 AM

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