Today’s guest post comes from Clyde of Mankato.
In an effort to save a couple bucks, I bought a can of Folgers Coffee. Not a can actually, a plastic. Can we call it a plastic? If the English can call a can a tin, I declare that we can. Usually I buy coffee in a bag, the better stuff.
As far as taste goes, it was an error to buy the plastic. As far as economics go, it was a wise decision, but barely. My mother would have been proud of me. Frugality, punctuality, individuality—the three virtues of Adeline Anne, bless her departed self.
As I opened the plastic, I wondered how farmers would have survived the last century without coffee cans. In our neck of the woods, Duluth’s own Arco brand was the most common. The one pound cans were particularly prized, but that caught my mother at odds–to pay more per ounce for her coffee to have the size of can she and my father wanted. Life is full of dilemmas.
They were everywhere on our farm. Grain scoops, chicken feed scoops, clothes pin holders, grease containers, egg baskets, retainers of nuts and bolts and screws and washers and cotter pins (wonderful word that–cotter pins). In the garden they were watering cans and baby plant protectors. In the house, holders of my mother’s mammoth assortment of buttons, crayon container, coin collector, shoe lace storage (odd ones left over when one broke because they could be used to tie plants to support sticks; my mother was cheap), sewing kit, flower pots, and many more uses. The wonder is that we had that many around, considering how weak my mother made their coffee—frugality again.
Now, of course, I have this plastic, which will be empty in a few weeks. However, I cannot think of a storage use for it. I could keep my cotter keys in it, except I gave up all my cotter keys three years ago. We live in a smallish apartment and have eliminated all the stuff we can, which means we have little to store, and no business keeping a plastic in which to store nothing.
I also have these perfect little tins, which I acquired by ordering an expensive tea. I say tins because tins of tea sounds much more elegant than cans of tea. (Do not, please, tell Adeline Anne I used to order expensive tea instead of buying Lipton’s.)
Are not these tins perfect for storing cotter keys or lots of other things? Well, if I stored cotter keys in them, then they would have to be cans. Nope, haven’t found a use yet. But I am keeping them, so help me. Maybe I will go out and buy some cotter keys.
The plastic, is of course, an environmental error as well, unless I can find a permanent use for it. Now that I think frugally about it: I am going to be cremated.
Maybe that’s the true meaning of good to the last drop.
What would Adeline Anne think of your spending habits?