CONVENIENCE

            "The Biggest Ways People Waste Money" is the headline a Wall Street Journal full page interview with a handful of successful business and financial gurus in the weekend paper.  The headline caught my attention, but what is really interesting is how much of the discussion centered around food.  I would not have anticipated that from this group.

             The recurring theme was convenience food and comfort food, from lattes to impulse buying at the supermarket to failure to plan.  I'm always amazed at the notion of bottled water.  Why anyone uses or buys bottled water--or Starbucks coffee-is completely beyond my comprehension.

             Just get a nice vacuum water bottle and bring it from home.  Nothing to throw away and these bottles keep things cold for 24 hours.  I took one with me to Ohio on a speaking engagement last year and it sat in the front seat of the car on a roasting July day.  The car must have been 140 degrees all day but when I got in to head home, that water was as cold as ice.  I have no idea how they engineer these things, but they're fabulous. 

             Unplanned grocery store trips and impulse buying figured heavily in the interviews.  The only other significant waste was big houses.  I agree.  Who needs a big house?  Just more to keep up.

             But back to the food.  Here at Polyface, we give huge price breaks for volume purchases.  Perhaps the most successful marketing effort we created was several years ago with the larder program.  Rebuild a larder by buying bulk.  Such a simple concept, but abundantly opposite of our culture's trajectory.

             Our kitchens have every techno-sophisticated gadget you can imagine and yet we don't leverage the technology.  What we leverage is technology away from home that can package, stabilize, and pre-process.  What we need to be doing is leveraging the technology in our own kitchens and save lots of money in the process.

             What do you think is the single biggest reason people don't do the economical thing, like buy food in volume and prepare meals at home?