Where's My Cooler?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I have a very vivid imagination, especially when it comes to memories from my youth. My dad loves to call me out when I embellish on events from my childhood. But there are a few memories I know to be true, because I have my mother and sister’s memories to back me up.

There is an infamous story about a family road trip to Disney World where my dad made our family or four share a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s. I’m not sure if this was a dieting tactic (my dad’s always been big on watching weight) or a method for saving money, but I do know my dad has always been frugal.

My dad’s been the senior radiologist in a group of doctors for years, yet he still carries a cooler of Diet Coke around in his car.

Is this a little nerdy (and ironic considering his income)? Of course. But is this smart? Absolutely!

I waste sooooo much money at fast food restaurants. Today was no exception. I was out running errands all day, and I obviously couldn’t make my three-year-old go without food. I couldn’t go without eating either, so we ended-up having lunch and dinner at the drive-thru.

Now, even if I’d had a cooler in my car I wouldn’t have had time to pack lunch before we left the house this morning (late as usual.) But it would be smart of me to try to plan ahead and have sandwiches, fruit and snacks ready in my car for a day when I know we’re going to be gone from morning ‘til night.

I wish I knew how much money my dad’s saved over the years…just on Diet Cokes. (Whatever he’s saved, he’s spent tenfold feeding us as adults. My sister and I joke when we go to visit our dad because it seems we can’t finish breakfast before my dad starts asking us where we want to go eat dinner. I love that man!)

And while we still jokingly give my dad a hard time about that breakfast all those year ago, as the mother of a toddler myself I now know how frustrating it is to watch a child order a big meal only to eat a few bites before throwing it away.