When you adopt the habit of frugality, you declare war on all kinds of household waste. A successful campaign requires the deployment of specialized weapons—lots of them, in fact. In today’s post, we examine the ever so humble Mini Spoonula: a small-time utensil that combats waste on a big-time basis.
So here’s the scoop. Mini Spoonulas are small concave silicone spatulas (see photo above). They’re about 8 inches long with silicone heads that measure about 1½” by 2″. The heads can be removed from the handles and tossed into your dishwasher’s silverware tray for easy cleaning.
Spoonulas have many uses. They rescue the last bit of product from jars of peanut butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing, jams, horse radish, etc. They retrieve the last bit of whatever you’ve cooked in your saucepan (the silicone works safely in temperatures up to 500°F). They remove the last bit of liquids from blenders and food processors.
Mini Spoonulas cost about $5 apiece. Are they “worth the money?” For me, the answer is a definite “yes.” In the Moose household, we make about 200 batches of smoothies each year. Each time we do this, spoonulas help us save the last ½ cup of our sweet potion. We get most of our savings when we scrape off the inside walls of the blender after we’re done mixing. We get the rest of our savings when we scrape off the inside walls of our glasses once we’re almost done drinking. As always, the savings add up. On our 200 annual blender runs, about 6¼ gallons goes down our hatches instead of down the drain (the math: (200 batches*½ cup)/16 cups per gallon=6.25 gallons). In our smoothies, we use skim milk, frozen fruit, bananas, organic apples, and protein powder. I figure all this costs about $6 per gallon to make, so our blended annual savings total about $37.50. Plus, over the course of the year, spoonulas help us to save additional amounts on peanut butter, condiments, morning batches of oatmeal, and evening spaghetti sauces.
Scooping out the last bit of foodstuffs from jars, saucepans, and blenders takes extra time. Are spoonulas “worth the effort?” For just about anyone, I believe the answer is “yes.” There’s the dollars saved, to be sure. But perhaps more importantly, by using spoonulas, you help transition yourself from a mainstream consumer (oblivious of waste) to a full-fledged member of the Frugal Fringe (sensitive to all that is wasteful). Frugality, at its essence, is a habit. Whenever you adopt a regular routine of expending small bits of labor to save money, you reprogram your brain so that it perceives the real-life costs of waste and combats those costs with efficient, worthwhile steps. With each expedient scoop of a spoonula, you essentially say to yourself: “I despise waste, and here is something I’m doing right now to stop it.”
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Williams Sonoma sells Mini Spoonulas in colorful sets of four. Keep one for your own kitchen and give the others away as small gifts to your loved ones. To view the full product description at the Williams Sonoma website, click here.