Is fear of running out of something just a lack or creativity?

I hate running out of stuff. Witness the 5 boxes of organic flax seed crackers I bought yesterday at 5 bucks a pop (largest grocery bill ever, by the way). I don't like the idea of wanting something and not having it there (within reason of course...I'd like a new BMW but I'm not getting one!). Coming home after vacation and knowing the roads weren't safe for travel, it wasn't like I could run out and grab my crackers (which are embedding crumbs in my keyboard as we speak). I tend to buy stuff in quantity.

I tell people that the time to build your network is before you need to look for a job. In effect, you look for a job while you still have one. I feel the same about replenishing the cupboards. It's less painful to buy liquid soap before you have used up the last drop. I have stuff socked away in little nooks and crannies of my house. The hutch in my living room is brimming with jars of salsa, bags of almonds and beef jerky.

I think part of it for me is a feeling of security (still see the connection to the job search?). You know it's there when you need it...the boxes of laundry detergent in the garage, the stuff in the chest freezer. The trade off for having to allocate extra storage space to the stuff is the pleasure of really never running out of something. That's just how I like it. 

I used to go to Costco. I could spend days wandering around that crazy place. And while it's still a possibility that I will renew my membership if I do some volume entertaining (but let's get real, at a shade over 1000 square feet, my home is far from party central), I have let my membership lapse. I found that I ended up buying stuff I wouldn't ordinarily (who needed that huge tub or red licorice?). I also found that I bought perishable stuff that there was no way one person could get much lettuce can you eat at a sitting? I used to go with a friend in Chicago (it may have been Price Club or Sam's Club...can't remember) and split stuff. I don't have a similarly inclined friend here. No matter, I am not sure I saved enough to justify the cost of membership. It's probably better for people with many mouths to feed. And less of an impulse buying problem.

Today, I was listening to National Public Radio. A man with a lovely French accent was taking calls from people that had a few ingredients that they were curious about how to use; "some kale and some apples", "pork fat and eggs", that kind of thing. I could have listened to this guy talk about food all day. He could take the most mundane ingredients and turn them into something that sounded delicious. One of the callers was a woman stranded in a cabin in Friday Harbor (still quite snowy there, I guess). She was down to some veggies, some yogurt, hot cocoa mix and instant oatmeal. Listening to the French gentleman talk to her about what she could make really made me think about my tendency to keep the house "stocked". And that really, at least when it comes to food items, perhaps some creativity is lacking on my part. I generally think of myself as a creative person (versus an analytical person), but when it comes to food? I can play with recipes...add and subtract ingredients. But I am not the type of person that sees ingredients and  is able to say "Of course! Artichoke Soufflé'".

Of course this all ties back in with the job search. Oh shoot me for talking about something work related. It's all fun to play around with food items when you can but don't have to. If it came down to it and you just had kale and eggs, I'm pretty sure you would develop a hankering for a kale omelet. At some point of desperation, food becomes fuel. So I guess the words of wisdom are to stock your network now so you never run out of job prospects. And don't ever, ever stand between me and a sale on chocolate mint zone bars.

Comments (6)

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  1. vicki says:

    I’d prefer fresh foods over those that have been conserved or canned. Those would be alternatives, of course, in a desperate situation…. but I’d still opt to grow my own too.

    I don’t think one could ever have too many canned or preserved food items (or, metaphorically speaking, too many people within one’s network). But it is also possible to go out to the store to "get more" when you need ’em.

    If you’re picky like I am, I’m not about to open up a can of good Progresso soup if I can hold out for a freshly made gourmet meal… if it means waiting.

    My point, HH, is that it is good to have stock and be prepared, but it also worth waiting for just the right meal when you’re hungry for something more. There’s a big difference between simply eating for sustaining life and consuming because one has an appetite.

    Just some "food for thought."

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Exactly! And if the meal comes to you, all the better!

  3. T Medina says:

    Have you thought of finding a Costco shopping partner on Craigslist? Maybe even finding more than one partner.

  4. Don't Call Me Tommy says:

    I grew up in a family grocery store so my basement looks like a convenience store, plus I shop almost daily because I eat a lot of fish and salads which are always better fresh.  Both of these behaviors drove my ex crazy…

    I do shop at Costco because I have two sons…

    Hey, you’re my kind of girl: a foodie, NPR listener… I’d share a Costco membership with you but WA is a little far from OH to make it work…

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    T Medina- that’s a thought! I can always go with my dad and step mother when they are in town. You know..stock up on the basics; laundry detergent (I use more woolite than normal people), paper towles, dog food.

    DCMT – fish and salads…yum! I had salmon cakes for dinner last night and lunch today. My mom was in Ohio over Thanksgiving, partially to visit my relatives and partially to visit Trader Joe’s. Have you been yet? i know they have at least one in Ohio and according to my mom, TJs is worth driving for (I’d have to agree).

  6. Don't Call Me Tommy says:

    Yes, we have a TJs – its Great! and it’s the only place around you can get Two Buck Chuck.

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