Frugal Idea #30: Wrap it up

I hate seeing food go to waste!

If you work in an office setting, you may notice the trends of October to December: plenty of food, sweets, and treats.The spirit of giving is present more than ever. Last week, I was offered Muddy Buddies by our Receptionist. (Recipe: Muddy Buddies). Bagel breakfasts for the office starts to show up more and more. Tubs of cream cheese brings the co-workers together.

The week after Halloween, I started to notice the candies that failed to go to no-show Trick or Treaters appear in baskets alongside the printers. Print your expense report, grab a Tootsie Roll.

Our annual Thanksgiving potluck was a success. The entire office contributed $8.00 to our Office Manager and in return, we had a catered lunch of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and buttered rolls.

I wonder what Christmas will bring this year.

I have a reputation in the office. If you want to save food, go to Nev. In my bottom desk drawer, underneath the lint brush, are two sizes of Ziploc bags. I started to buy Ziploc bags for my office desk because I despised seeing the Noah’s bagels that were once soft and oven fresh, become hard stale discs because no one wanted to store them. In the trash they went. I have seen one too many potlucks result in food left out to spoil as Sales people scrambled back to their headsets once the food and laughs have died down.

As a child, food was important. We did not eat out at fancy restaurants. We could not afford it. Instead, I learned the importance of coupons, buying in bulk when an item was on sale, and always eating leftovers. My Nana would go to the local church to obtain donated foods for lower income families.

As an adult, I now can afford the hot new San Francisco restaurant (once in a while) and I love to splurge on a good cheap bite here and there, but I will never be one to waste food if I can help it. Here are a few tips with leftovers:

  • Keep a gallon size bag and quart size bag of Ziplock bags in your office drawer. You will be surprised how much you use them. Your minimal investment in the Ziplock bags, can save you from spending a $15 breakfast or lunch one day.
  • Give thanks for the bagels. Did you know that they freeze very well? Store them in the office freezer. When you are ready to use them, pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute and it will defrost enough to slice and toast. If you are in a rush in the morning and skipped breakfast, you will be thankful for the frozen bagels.
  • After the potluck frenzy has died down in the office, offer to help your Administrative staff to clean. You would be surprised how much they appreciate the help. Store the food away properly so that all can eat seconds (or thirds!)

As we celebrate the holidays, be thankful for what you have. There are plenty of hungry people out there and many who can not simply afford an extravagant holiday dinner. Be mindful of what you throw away. If you can, wrap up the leftovers from your work celebrations and do not be ashamed. Someone out there would gladly take your leftovers.

Ziploc Bags

About the Blogger:


Neville (Nev) Bendiola grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, California until the age of 10 before relocating to Sacramento, CA.  Growing up in a low income family, he slept on the floor most of his young life until he got his own twin size bed at the age of 10 – a memory he will always remember. Nev relocated back to San Francisco for college where he continued on in a career in Staffing Sales and Recruiting. Achieving financial success, he spent more than he earned using credit cards along the way. He found himself  carrying debt through the recent recession. Inspired by friends and reading success stories online, Nev moved into a Studio apartment in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district where he minimized his spending and material items. He is currently focused on saving money and sharing the ride with his readers along his journey to financial freedom.


Twitter: NEVBB



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