We have a food waster in our house. One of the boys has gotten into the habit of leaving bowls of food and glasses of beverage completely full and then refusing to eat or drink them. This has actually been going on for quite some time. However, with our newly simplified budget (i.e., less money!), we can no longer afford to let this continue. And, truth be told, the habit should have been stopped well before now on principle alone. Wastefulness is antithetical to our biblical worldview. As stewards of creation, we want to make good use of what has been provided to us and take nothing for granted.
So, starting this week, we are kicking off our math time by figuring out the value of the food that has been wasted on the day prior. Once we make this calculation, I collect payment from the offending party. The payment must come from their own money that they have earned or received as a gift. If they do not have the money to pay, then either we do not buy any more of that food (if it is non-essential) or we work out an alternative payment arrangement in trade (e.g., extra math problems, lose game time).
The goal (of course!) is not to see anyone go hungry, but to teach the value of food. We take the abundance we enjoy in this area for granted most of the time, and this does lead to abusing the incredible privilege we have. And the corrective is fitting and appropriately incisive. I hope it will quickly end this practice! Not to mention that any time character formation can be combined with mathematics, the opportunity is to be seized.
Total collected so far: $1.85
- $0.50 – one apple
- $0.30 – one full glass of milk, approx. 16 fluid oz. (1 pint)
- $0.80 – 4 biscuits
- $0.25 – approx. one serving of Cheez It crackers
It has been interesting to learn the cost of some items the boys commonly eat. If this sad habit does persist, perhaps I will have my own food paid for!