Consuming Less

Last night my other half and I had burgers for dinner (frugally home made of course) but a decision I made at the time really got me thinking about the idea of consuming less. In my day to day life I try to shop less, live with less and purge my home of useless stuff I don’t need. On this particular evening in question I decided to have an ‘open’ burger, that is, with only one piece of bread. This choice is what made me think about not only consuming less stuff, but also consuming less food that I really don’t need.

I don’t mean in the sense of a traditional diet or anything like that, but I mean cutting back slightly on unnecessary parts of a meal that can make it that little bit more healthy. The idea of consuming less food was an interesting one because it got me thinking- is this minimalist? Because in a way with that meal, I chose to live with less.

Everything else about my burger was the same as it would normally be just with half the amount of bread, so I consumed less. Did I feel hungry later on that evening or less full that what I otherwise would feel? Not at all. To be honest I didn’t notice the difference much except for the knife and fork. I also didn’t feel overly deprived because I still had one piece of bread so it wasn’t like I was missing out completely on the experience.

Have I really been consuming all this additional food I haven’t needed for years? Now I am allergic to gluten and dairy and gluten free bread is sold at a significant premium. But being able to stretch out a loaf and make it last that little bit longer is a great long term saving so there’s a definite frugal benefit there too.

I remember when I was younger (yes sorry another burger related story) like many young kids I liked fast food. I never really gave this much thought at the time but my Gran used to make fast food cheaper and healthier so I didn’t feel denied but so I was still able to enjoy a treat. I remember making home made burgers with her, but going out to get takeaway hot chips to go with them. This was a lot cheaper than buying a full meal and eating out but still with a bit of the take out experience. As part of this exercise, Gran used to load us grand kids up with as much salad as she could in these burgers which also made them a lot healthier. The takeaway version doesn’t generally have a great deal of salad in between all that cheap white bead.

Perhaps consuming less can be applied to many areas of our lives and not just in relation to clutter that fills our homes. It seems that minimalism can take many different forms and be applied in an infinite number of ways.

How do you consume less?