There are 13 boxes of macaroni and cheese in our pantry right now. There are also another six packages of an easily microwaveable one, and two boxes of shells and cheese.
If you’re thinking we must have elementary children doing our grocery shopping, you’re half right. They are making the list.
While our overflowing stash of cheesy goodness might help us through a preteen apocalypse, it highlights a growing problem with our family’s shopping habits.
We recently started using the shopping list on the Alexa in our house, who, like our 10-year-old, secretly eavesdrops on every conversation in hopes of hearing her name. In theory, it’s a good way to track what we need. Whenever my wife or I find we’re lacking a food-stock, we tell the magical device in the kitchen. Then, when we’re shopping, we refer to the list on our phones to see what we need.
It’s slightly higher tech than scribbling your needs down on a piece of paper. It’s easy to believe we need some foods and drinks, since we tend to run through them in a hurry, such as apple juice.
It also has a major flaw: You can’t tell who added something to the list (without digging into the app). At least when you’re writing a list, you can see when someone else scribbled in how badly you needed toaster pastries or tortilla chips.
It’s completely possible someone did request a few more boxes of macaroni and cheese, a kids’ favorite that our 16-year-old likes to prepare for her little sisters. (These would be the same children who complained during last week’s school cancellation due to fog that there wasn’t anything in the house to eat.)
I suspect someone added macaroni and cheese to the shopping list because they couldn’t see the plethora of boxes already in there. Or perhaps they just really liked the idea of their dad lining up a baker’s dozen of these blue boxes in the pantry. Whatever the reason, we have those 13 boxes, apparently purchased on three different occasions, based on their expiration dates.
I noticed this abundance while cleaning up the pantry. We have shelves set aside for different kinds of foods, be it boxed dinners, breakfast foods, cans of fruits and vegetables, etc. Sometimes things from one end of the shelf end up intermixed, or someone not familiar with the system will put things away.
I shouldn’t pick on macaroni and cheese alone. There are also enough sugar cones and cake cups for ice cream to feed a football team, although now at least they’re all on the same shelf together.
Sometimes you just forget what you have available. I’ll admit to marveling at our supply of raisins, nuts and types of croutons, which aren’t top of mind if they’re not at the front of the shelf.
We’re on a quest to start wiping out all the foods in the pantry before they expire. No one likes wasting food, especially an admitted cheapskate like me.
I’d avoid accepting dinner invitations from my family for a little while, though. There’s an above-average chance we’ll be eating macaroni and cheese, with ice cream cones for dessert.