Friday, May 11, 2012

The Danger of Free Food

As someone who loves saving money, I've always been very interested in finding free food whenever I can.  Usually when I encounter a free spread, I eat until I feel slightly sick, and I try to take home leftovers.  Unfortunately, overeating in these situations rarely results in me eating less or not eating later on, and I'm forced to realized that my love of free food may be just making me fat, rather than saving me the money I thought it would.

For instance, I used to work at a fancy membership library--those are the kind where people pay an annual fee to be a member, basically the country clubs of libraryland.  People belong to these kinds of libraries (I currently belong to one even though I work in a public library) because they often have historic buildings, unique collections and kick ass events.  The one I belong to was recently featured on NPR for being so awesome.  Anyway, working at a membership library equals tons of access to free food since the library would always buy more than it needed for a particular event.  I'd often take home bags of free cheese and crackers, and there was a time that my lunch at work consisted of only ice cream sandwiches and leftover chips from the children's picnic.

That last sentence probably tipped you off to what I'm going to say next--this free food, and my love (insatiable love!) is starting to make me fat, and probably makes me look very tacky.
Who can resist a cheese tray!  
But what to do?  Odds are good that I'm never going to stop loving a free lunch--who does, afterall?  And when I was in college and my parents were taking me out to dinner, I would often starve myself for 18 hours and then over order (and try to get them to take me to a place with a salad bar) so I'd have leftovers for at least two days, but perhaps I'm too grown up for that kind of behavior?

The free food thing is kind of like all of the other "adult" behaviors that I feel like I'm waiting for to kick in.  I assumed that once you reach the age of thirty, you stop being poor like a college student, and you stop exhibiting tacky behavior in public, but I just...haven't.  Now my 30+ waistline is starting to suffer, so maybe that was the linchpin all along?  Grownups acts like grownups in the presence of free food because they know all those cheese cubes will really stick to their ribs?

I'm going to try to be more mindful, but I don't think I'll be able to turn off the thrill that I get every time I see a buffet of free whatnot.

Anyone else have this problem?  I don't carry around containers to hoard the free food anymore, so that's progress, right?

1 comment:

  1. funny you bring this up: At 52, I still love a free drinks/hor d'oeuvres party, but now they have to be good drinks and good food. Crap won't cut it.

    Age has made me more selective about my freebies, I guess!