I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I made one this year. Something my husband and I have always struggled with is wasting food, from over-shopping, over producing and not using leftovers. In our effort to be as efficient as possible with our finances as we approach parenthood, we made a joint resolution to shop less, use everything we buy, cook smaller amounts and eat our leftovers. It’s something we have intended to do for years, but not until this winter did we make a plan and put it into effect.
We have been doing pretty well, I’ve been very pleased with how just a little attention to an issue can make changing habits easy. We actually run out of certain foods, or come very close, before I go buy more, which feels like success. Not having an abundance of new food crowded in with the old makes eating leftovers more appealing, but can sometimes still be a challenge to remember everything and when it was made. When I heard about Mabel’s Labels newly redesigned Household Labels I knew I needed them in our kitchen. Part of the reason leftovers go to waste is because they’re easy to forget about when covered in plastic and shoved in the back of the fridge. I knew that containers with dated labels, like the Date Mates, would even further help our effort to make the most of every bit of food we prepare.
Turns out I was right. Not only do the cute, colorful and customizable labels make my husband more inclined to heat up dinner from two nights ago for a late snack after work (he was big on, “I don’t know how long it’s been in there” before and now that’s not an issue) but they make me want to keep the fridge more organized and tidy. What good are labels if you can’t see them? So I find myself stacking leftovers in neat little stacks, labels facing out, neatly printed with permanent marker, just because it looks so nice when the door is opened. And being able to read what’s in all the containers requires less effort than sorting through containers, guessing what’s what and searching for something you think is there. All and all, having these labels as a part of our kitchen has made our effort to waste less so much easier.
More Mabel’s Labels!
Mabel’s Labels doesn’t just make Date Mates labels for leftovers. They have a huge line of all kinds of labels, with a variety of personalized labels. In the Household Labels section you can custom order labels with all your spices, pastas, grains, etc. printed on them in colors to match your kitchen to organize your cupboards impeccably. Or large Curbside Labels, to keep track of your trash can and recycling bin.
Even classroom labels, cord keeper labels and crafter supply labels. Many are made specifically for kids, from babies to teens. Imagine your child’s name printed on a sticky little label, the perfect size to stick on bottles, books, toys, anything that has to leave the house with your little one. And in the Tween line they come in bright, hip, playful styles, just right for keeping track of iPods, cameras, school books, water bottles. There is also a line of bag tags, clothing labels and shoe labels, some specifically for toddlers designed to help distinguish the right and left shoe. The shoe labels are waterproof and extra durable. The clothing labels come in Iron On and Tag Mate, either to be ironed on with a household iron or stuck to the care tag inside a piece of clothing, both are laundry-safe.
Mabel’s didn’t just stop with labeling stuff, they even have labels for your kids, with their Kid Safety products. The “My 411 Wristband” is designed like a standard paper wristband, except this one has your child’s name, your phone number and any other vital information you’d want attached to your tyke while out and about at an airport, zoo or amusement park. The Allergy Alert labels can be adhered to lunch boxes or backpacks with a list of your child’s allergies for easy reading.
To Buy or Not to Buy
To Buy… I can’t think of one family or household that wouldn’t benefit from these organizational stickers and labels. They would make great gifts too.
Not to Buy… Since they’re difficult to reuse, and people have so much stuff to label, I can see the cost seeming a bit extravagent to some folks.
Shop! Mabel’s Labels come in packs from 6 to 80, depending on the size and variety. They range in price from $12 for 60 Classroom labels to $16.95 for 54 Book labels to $21 for 12 sets of shoe tags. The Household Labels are $21.