Margaret and Paul, Wichita, Kansas


How many people does your fridge need to feed?Margaret: Two.

What do eat for breakfast? Paul: A bagel and an orange. I have a bagel. Well, half a bagel. And she has half a bagel and a glass of cranberry juice. She has coffee and I have tea. Margaret: I eat half a bagel every morning. He used to eat cereal, sometimes cooked, sometimes cold.

Is there anything you eat everyday? Margaret: Well, usually candy. After a meal, after lunch or supper—we call it supper here in old-fashioned Kansas—why, I want a little sweet. I usually have some candy on hand. We don’t eat much cake or pie. Paul: We do drink milk every day, twice a day, and we eat bagels just about every day. We like a lot of fruit—we like to eat grapes and we like apples. We have fruit salad a lot of times, with several different kinds of fruit and nuts. We use a certain amount of prepared food. We eat quite a few eggs—we like egg salad and boiled eggs. And we eat quite a few potatoes.


What item are you forbidden from purchasing right now?Paul: Well I'm forbidden from purchasing anything that’s over-packaged. Margaret is very concerned about recycling, even more than I. She’ll be very disturbed if I bring something home that has three different wrappers on it. As long as the contents are packaged conservatively, we can eat it. I don't care for onions so I normally don't buy onions. And we never have beer in the fridge except when the kids come. They move everything else out and fill it with beer.

What’s the most delicious thing in here? Margaret: I happen to know that somebody yesterday brought home a pound of fudge, which is quite a bit of fudge, and put it in the refrigerator. That’s a lot of sweet, a pound of fudge.

The most disgusting?Paul: There are almost always leftover carrots and celery in there getting hairy and real soft. We like them both but we never can eat them fast enough because they come in fairly large quantities for two people.


Where do you do most of your food shopping? Paul: We do our shopping at Dillon’s. We have someone doing the shopping for us twice a week. We go Wednesdays and once on the weekend. Well, I go. Margaret hasn't done the shopping in years. Margaret: I hardly do any any, because Paul does it. And then our friend Marshall shops for us at least once a week at Aldi’s. That’s more of a bargain store. It’s much cheaper at Aldi’s, we think.

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How much do you spend on groceries each week?Paul: We usually buy very economically. I think $25 a week is about it.

Is there anything in here that we would have found in your childhood fridge?Paul: You wouldn’t have found anything in my childhood fridge because we didn't have a refrigerator. We put our stuff down the well. We couldn't buy an electric refrigerator when we got married. They literally weren't making them because of the war. We had to use an icebox. Milk is the one thing that we now have that we had then. Both of us grew up in families that use a lot of milk. Margaret: We didn’t have an electric refrigerator until I was about sixteen or so. We always had iceboxes up ‘til then. I can’t remember what we had in the old iceboxes—I didn’t have a thing to do with it really, it was my mother that did.

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Margaret is a retired schoolteacher and Paul is a retired airplane engineer. They have lived in Wichita, Kansas for more than half a century and are the founders of the PRo Kansas Miller Recycling Center. Margaret is holding the remains of a pound of fudge. Paul is holding a box of cream cheese.