"Mom, Why are we so Poor?" (Novel Idea for Staging a Kitchen)

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resourceful not poorCrazy as it might sound, what's the best way to clean up a kitchen? Not have so much food lying around! Living in America we are the land of excess, over-eating and over-indulgence. Not adding to it seems almost un-American!

But a simple tip to staging a kitchen would be to actually just eat the food you have and not add to it until you have to. Seems weird to some. I have opened up refrigerators and seen so much food you couldn't stuff in another leftover. Cabinets so chalked full of half eaten bags of chips and cereal boxes that the food bank down the street would be over flowing had you only given half that food away.

When we moved across country of course we took very little food. A couple bags of flour, sugar, some basics, etc... but the refrigerator literally had only 1 gallon of milk from the local convenience store and a couple cans in the pantry.

Heading out to Sam's Club (oh I miss Costco!) to finally stock up after being in town for 24 hours my son says to me, "mom, why are we so poor?" ... I turned around in the car and said, "WHAT? Why would you say that?"

He replied, "Because we don't have any food".  We had to laugh a little considering we were headed to the staging a kitchenstore just then to reassure him we were not on poverty's door step. But think of the implication that's relaying to him. No food in the house, even for one day, and we were considered poor.

I vowed personally to myself I would not be one of those families that crammed so many left overs in the fridge you forgot what you had and continued to buy more. We have done very well at the goal of eating what we have, saving leftovers for the next day's lunch and using up the food first before buying anymore. This got me thinking about how clean and neat my kitchen looked. Not "Sleeping with the Enemy" organized of course but clean enough to emit a well-staged kitchen.

We haven't left items in the fridge to get moldy before tossing them out. We have eaten the food we have. Made menu's to consume just what we purchase before buying more and it has actually left me with a more frugal and resourceful feeling.

The "take away" here is not just for yourself but your clients. If they are moving anyway, tell them to clean out their fridge well for the listing preparation, then consume only what you buy and don't buy more until you have eaten it all. It will save money, time looking for items, and maybe give your environmental bone a little tickle.

Just say'in!

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ActiveRain and SEOTammy Emineth is an expert in custom content and original articles for blogs, website, press releases and more. Contact me anytime and feel free to subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on my latest blogs and informative information. Email me or contact me for Real Estate Website Marketing and SEO Content Writing.

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Kim McMahon
Executive Realty Group - Skokie, IL

Tammy~ I good lesson for all of us, even if we're not selling a home.  My kids come home with styrofoam containers that fill the fridge. After awhile I don't think they even know what's in them.  Never the less by the time it's looked at again... it could walk itself to the garbage :)

Feb 13, 2011 01:40 AM #1
Mike Reyman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors - Media, PA
Delaware County Real Estate

Just wait until you son hits 16.  There won't be any food in the house because he is inhaling it all!   Any leftovers from the previous night's dinner are usually consumed when he arrives home from school.  Why are we poor?  Have you seen the grocery bill? 

Feb 13, 2011 01:42 AM #2
Lydie Ouellet Dickinson
Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA - Bellingham, MA

Tammy, this is such a great and simple idea! Reading your blog, you had me think of my own cupboard. It is overflowing! I tend to buy things over and over because, I did not know we already had "those" crackers!

Feb 13, 2011 01:44 AM #3
Dawn & Charlie Tetro
PalmerHouse Properties & associates - Johns Creek, GA
Real Service Real Results

This blog had me laughing because that is exactly what my husband feels when the fridge is not filled to capacity!  I often ask him what does he expect to be in there?  The fridge is for items that must be kept cold and for perishables.  Aside from eggs, milk, butter, vegetables, fruit, deli meats and condiments I do not know what else he would like to see.  I keep the freezer stocked and when tht's full then I think we're good.  However, it is funny that it's not so with my husband.  it is funny how differently we look at things. LOL.

Feb 13, 2011 01:53 AM #4
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hey Tammy,  I will have to say I have a problem, I have 2 fridges and a freezer.  Granted the 1 fridge is in the basement and only has food in it for parties or holidays but still, I need to take your advice and cut back.  I am the guy that does the shopping and does the cooking, my wife ( a Lawyer) never really cooks, just on Sundays but I have Mon. to Fri., so I am the one that looks for deals at the store and overstock,  I will think of you next time I am shopping.

Feb 13, 2011 02:03 AM #5
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Kim, Thats hilarious and I know what you mean!

Mike, oh no.. I am just waiting.. that's what I hear.. now they don't eay anything it seems.. I'm sure one day that will change.

Lydie, YUP! Exactly.. oh, we already had that! No more of that for me. :)

Dawn, so true! How we have conidtioned ourselves how to think and behave in this aspect. As Ellen Degenerous once said, "We don't need to be eating, 'all you can eat!'  "! how true.

Will, There is one thing to stock up when on sale but typically it's for items like t.p. and such... but perishables, we really need to think about what we consume and what we throw out. I have been on several mission trips to countries in Europe and Africa... and they have fridges so small, they literally only have room to buy what they will eat that day. What a different perspective.

Thanks for your comments!!


Feb 13, 2011 02:17 AM #6
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

How funny .. I love the perception of children and how they just bluntly say things.  Art Linkletter's show, Kids say the funnest thing, was a hoot.  They certainly do.  Great tips on keeping clean why over stock, just purge and buy as needed, common sense tip!

Feb 13, 2011 02:33 AM #7
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

I love this idea...of course living alone I don't have an overly stuffed refrigerator.  I found that stuff spoiled faster than i could eat it!!!    Even my pantry isn't nearly as full any more!   

Feb 13, 2011 02:43 AM #8
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Connie, I get so many great blogging ideas from my kids! :) They are my insparation!

Deborah, I would tend to make too much then have left overs only because I couldn't eat it fast enough. A problem most likely worked out on it's own given time. ha... But it IS a mind shift into thinking, I don't need that much.


Feb 13, 2011 02:54 AM #9
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Great tips.  I do tend to stock up on things that I use regularly when they are on sale so that I don't have to buy them when we run out & they are at full price.  But, I have a closet downstairs that has shelves where I can store the back up supplies, LOL.  I imagine though if I were getting ready to move, that would be the first thing to cut back on. There's enough to pack up when you're trying to move without adding food to the list!  As for leftovers, well I love having those - it means we don't have to cook the next day!

Feb 13, 2011 05:09 AM #10
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

I have a hard time planning meals ahead, so I go to the grocery several times a week. You are a brave woman taking a photo of the inside of your fridge and posting it!! :=)

Feb 13, 2011 06:36 AM #11
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Tammy- excellent post!  Both my husband and I hate waste especially when it comes to food.  Since there's just the 2 of us, I often will spend more for the smaller portions, or bagged lettuce because I know we'll use it.  I always have the staples in the house but go to the grocery store or produce stand more often to buy as we need it. It does make a statement about our society that 1 day without a stuffed pantry and a child will think they are poor.

Feb 13, 2011 07:42 AM #12
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Tammy ~ your son is adorable.  It's amazing the impressions the little folks have about life!

Feb 13, 2011 07:56 AM #13
Joan Valverde
Synergy Realty Group Inc - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu

Tammy,  I like your blog,  and oh do I overstock!!!  BUT when it is a good deal, I buy like it will never go on sale EVER again.  Now that my kids are older and gone, I have cut back..  We do our best to eat leftovers!!!

Feb 13, 2011 04:05 PM #14
Tommy Taylor
Taylor Properties & TexasForSale.net - Kerrville, TX
CNE- Texas Hill Country Realtor

This post comes with great timing within my household. My wife and I just finished a "debate"(over a year in the works). I wanted to start making a menu at least a week in advance and go grocery shopping just for the things we needed in order to make all the meals on the menu. After only 2 weeks of doing this my wife loves it. We are more organized,  have less waste, save money, and it makes it a lot easier for me to come home and occasionally help out with dinner before my wife gets home(this is her favorite benefit).

Feb 14, 2011 02:35 AM #15
Diane McDermott
Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Real Estate Market

Tammy, this is such great advice and I admit something I never considered going over with sellers but it really does make sense!

Feb 17, 2011 09:10 AM #16
David Zeff
RE/MAX Realty Group - Montgomery Village, MD

I don't like to keep extra stuff in the house either but you would never be able to tell if you looked around.  I do one lump shopping trip every 30-40 days and stock up on everything I would need to get me through that time period.  It's amazing how much time and energy it saves overall to do it at once but when it's time to re-up.....man oh man does the kitchen look EMPTY!

Mar 02, 2011 08:45 AM #17
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Sorry I let this blog slip away from me. Christine, STocking up is one thing, stocking up when you haven't used the previous opened box of crackers and keep throwing things away is where I draw the line . :)

Lori, Thanks, I try and keep it trimmed down and eat it up for the week

Kathy, that is crazy isn't it? Ha

Dawn, Thanks! :) I love all the fun stuff he says

Joan, eating leftovers is my bane, I really don't like it but I try hard to or I just put them in my husband's lunch! HA

Tommy, Making the menu has been my life saver for about 8 years now. I love it and feel stressed when I don't make it.. once in a while we break it but it keeps you from spending money on eating out too.

Diane, thanks, It's a great unknown tip that most don't think of. :)

David,. Thanks for the comment! wow! Every 30-40 days?? What about Milk? I have to buy 5 gallons each week for the 4 of us and there is just no room for more then that.


Mar 02, 2011 10:26 AM #18
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