I sometimes eat dried pitted dates as a healthy snack. They are naturally sweet and have no added sugar. When the supermarket ran out of them last month, I picked up a bag of chopped dates instead. If I had looked at the label I’d have noticed that the chopped dates were sprinkled with sugar, but I just picked them up without paying attention. When I opened the bag later and discovered that they were too sweet to eat as a snack, I tossed them into a drawer in the refrigerator, thinking that maybe they would be okay mixed with something else.

Bag of chopped dates in a refrigerator drawer next to butter and cheese. 

Unfortunately, they weren’t. I tried putting them in unsweetened hot cereal, but they still had a weird aftertaste. Then I thought, what the heck was I doing? As kids, we’re taught not to throw away food if it has not spoiled because we don’t want to waste money. But, if the chopped dates had been unsweetened, then I would have eaten them last month and still would have bought more of the pitted dates when the supermarket restocked them; so, I did not spend any extra grocery money on dates as a result of my blunder. As far as I know, I did not spend significantly more because of eating other snacks, either.

And if the chopped dates had tasted okay in hot cereal, they wouldn’t have been ideal because I prefer to mix in berries or other unsweetened fruit. I might have saved a little grocery money buying fewer berries, but then I’d have felt annoyed every time I ate hot cereal until I used up all the chopped dates. It’s also possible that I could have eaten more snacks if the sugary chopped dates left me feeling not quite right—and then, not only would I have made myself feel unhealthy, I wouldn’t have saved any money at all.

About Clutter Comedy: Every Sunday (which I envision as a day of rest after a productive week of de-cluttering) I post a Clutter Comedy article describing my most memorable clutter discovery of the week. Other bloggers who wish to join in are welcome—just post a link in the comments! There’s no need to publish any “before” photos of your clutter, if they are too embarrassing. The idea is simply to get motivated to clean it up, while having a bit of fun too!


  1. Hi Meg, I used to have this same dilemma, but not anymore. Before I’d eat something only for not throwing it out, like a baked a cake, and if there was left over, I’ll eat all of it. Few years ago I read a book, that said ‘ it’s better throw away the left over food or the food you don’t like than put it inside your body’ so simple and I had never realized it. Imagine, it will go to the garbage or to our body, how can we compare our body with a garbage bin?

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