2.28.2009

All up in the Kool-Aid


I’ve been trying to come up with ways to shave some stuff off my grocery list. It’s ridiculous. The chil’rens eat like locusts. I make one big trip to the store and right after we are through organizing and putting everything away, there they are swarming over the crackers or the grapes or the string cheese. You can just hear them descending upon the food. And the juice.

Oh, the juice.

They are juice fiends. I should say, liquid fiends. Juice, milk, bottled water, soy milk, iced tea, lemonade, juice, whatever--they don't discriminate. They are an equal opportunity liquid drinker. Doesn’t matter what it is, they will fill themselves big glasses and guzzle it down. Last month there was a crazy sale on 100% juice, which is what I always buy. I don’t get the cheap stuff, people. So I stocked up, thinking it would hold us down for the entire month. Nope, not even close. And this is with the lockdown still in effect and constant monitoring (i.e nagging and threatening bodily harm) on my part.

“Mom, we need more juice.”
“Well, too bad. You’re not gonna get it.”
“What?!”
“No juice. Water only.”

Blasphemy.

You should have heard the moaning and gnashing of teeth.

So I’m trying to figure out, what else can I give them to drink that is economical but healthy? During the summer, we get by with sun tea--jasmine green tea, mint tea, pomegranate tea, etc but it isn't quite sun tea weather. And nope, I won’t give them punch…no soda…none of that cheap Tampico stuff…no Sunny D--not unless I want some crack fiends walking around. Someone recommended Tang, but meh. Tang usually ends up a sticky mess on my floor. I dig the little sugar-free packets you put in water bottles…but the amount of recyclables my home generates is so not good for the environment, even though it is quite an enterprise for my oldest.

Then I had a light bulb moment. What about Kool-Aid?

I mean, I know we aren’t a black family…but surely we could cross through the cultural barriers and mix up a packet of .25 cent Kool-Aid, right? Now before you get all politically correct on me, ya'll know that black people be lovin' them some Kool-Aid. Just like us beaners who love horchata and tamarindo--its just a fact, not a stereotype.

I have vague memories of Kool-Aid growing up. But I remember eating it rather than drinking it. We would empty the powder into little Ziploc baggies and take them to school so we could stick our fingers in to dip and eat the flavors during recess. Ew. I think I spent the entire fourth grade with a red-stained finger and tongue.

So I went out and bought a few packets. I used less than half of the packet's recommendation for sugar and it was more than sweet enough. The chil'rens were like, yeeeaaaahhhhhhhhh. Little crackheads. As if they have ever consumed the stuff. I guess the excitement was from the novelty of it.

I'm still waiting for the Kool-Aid to grow on me. It just feels so ghetto to tell one of the chil'rens, "Go make a pitcher of Kool-Aid!" I mean, is this what my frugality has reduced me to? I used to squeeze my own Valencia oranges from the farmer's market! I used to religiously juice apples and carrots for the chil'rens, so I could be sure they were getting their fair share of daily nutrients, for goodness sake!

And now, this. Kool-Aid.

I blog about this for humor's sake, but I can't lie. It makes me feel like a crappy mama to admit that I bought Kool-Aid for the chil'rens to drink. Next thing you know I'll be letting them eat Lunchables, frozen chicken nuggets, Lucky Charms and Slim Jims.

Sigh.

11 comments:

  1. Girl, I am about as white as you can get - and we had Kool-aid growing up (although I refuse to buy it for my kids now).

    And we used to sneak little boxes of jello to school for dipping our fingers. How bizarre is all of that?

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  2. Aww. Girl, these days I'm going back to my ghetto roots to save us some money. Shh! Don't tell anyone. And yes, I've been feeling guilty.

    Like when I bought the $1.50 mystery meat tube !!!! THAT just went into the garbage.

    I couldn't do it. I JUST couldn't do it!! :)

    My dad still has a HUMUNGO stash of kool-aid in his cupboard.

    Lovin' your blog,btw.

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  3. We drank so much Koolaid growing up that my mom saved the upc's and got the actual Koolaid PITCHER. Yep.

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  4. we grew up with kool-aid. I can remember going grocery shopping and my sister and I each got to pick like 3 flavors each. What about using Splenda instead of real sugar?

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  5. Kool-Aid is for black people? I hear more stereotypes all the time in SoCal that I have never heard before. But I am pretty sure I knew a lot of okie kids with red stained upper lips.

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  6. Listen, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Right? Right.

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  7. Hey, Kool Aid comes in sugar free too! I don't know how it tasts, but I hear it's pretty good!

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  8. kool-aid was fancy stuff in our house. my mom bought a big box of generic black tea bags and made gallons of ice tea. six bags to every gallon...something to consider? how about agua de jamaica--in case you don't want a caffeinated household.

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  9. I am not ashamed to say I make Kool-Aid all the time.. it's cheap and tastes pretty good. :)

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  11. My sister & I were "liquid fiends" too! Only we called ourselves "guzzle puppies". I cannot tell you how MANY TIMES my mom yelled at us because we guzzled up all the Kool-Aid/Sweet tea/orange juice and she didn't get ANY. Good times.

    Not only did I drink Kool-Aid, I also dyed my hair with it. Yup! We thought we were SO cool. Hee!

    There's nothing wrong with serving Kool-Aid! Do what ya gotta do, girlfriend!

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Break me off something.

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