Taking Leftovers

@much2say (40041)
United States
May 29, 2016 1:13pm CST
It was quite obvious there were tons of food leftover after a kiddie party. Corn dogs, fried chicken, mac and cheese, fruit salad, cookies, fancy pastries, and trays of Filipino food like lumpia eggrolls, pancit noodles, and rice. The host said there was too much . . . so please help ourselves to whatever we want and take it home. I actually hesitate when asked to take leftovers. When I was growing up, my parents thought it was rude to take them, or at least to help themselves to too much of it. I remember them often talking about my aunt by marriage after any of our family gatherings and how she'd make many leftover plates for herself - my parents would give her the eye. Anyway, at this kiddie party, another parent said, "You heard her - let's grab some plates and help her!" . . . meaning the host needs to get rid of all that food, so we should be obliged to give into the request to "help". A few ladies took a lot of food. Like always, I was reluctant for a moment, but I did grab a little of this and that - just not too much. I often have this guilty feeling when I make these leftover plates at someone else's party. So what is your take on taking home leftovers? Do you gladly help yourself or are you more hesitant like I am?
29 people like this
37 responses
@JolietJake (51114)
• United States
29 May 16
I always end up taking less than I am offered...I imagine I might get some pushed on me at my brother's cookout later today.
6 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
Hey, well if it's pushed on you - then you don't ever need to feel guilty about it . With close family, I'm not bothered by it at all . . . but when you don't really know the party hosts too well, then I'm super hesitant. Have fun at your bro's cookout!!
5 people like this
@GardenGerty (101688)
• United States
29 May 16
@much2say How close your relationship is does make the difference.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
@GardenGerty That's true. We know how it goes with family and friends - but for others we just don't want to make a bad impression.
1 person likes this
@topffer (35537)
• France
29 May 16
I see that you are still occupied by kids parties. It would be impolite to offer to take leftovers here, and I never had this offer. I think that I would be like you very reluctant to do it. I rarely respond to an invitation when it is something official and I never go there for a glass of champagne and a cookie. I have not the soul of a freeloader : except if it was a social necessity to take something, I would not.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
You know me too well @topffer ! Ah, freeloading - that is the word I was trying to think of. Perhaps the leftover taking is a cultural thing too? Is it generally impolite to take leftovers home out there? Not for the champagne, but I can always go for a cookie !
5 people like this
@topffer (35537)
• France
30 May 16
@much2say At a few feet of my house and no car to drive later, I believe I can handle a lot. I just had a finger of each to taste, and a bit more when affinities.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@topffer Oh yah, I forgot you just walked there . . . you won't have far to run if any pink elephants come your way. How much is just "a finger" - I don't think you just dipped your fingers into the bottle, right?
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
29 May 16
It depends who it is. We had a friend who had a habit of making WAY too much food and they didn't eat left overs so when she offered we would bring it home because we knew it would end up in the trash if we didn't.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
Yes, it does depend on the person - how well we know them I guess. We had a guest at my son's party whom we knew, but didn't know that well. She went ahead and literally stocked up when we asked her to take food home - that was just tacky!!
4 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
30 May 16
@much2say I would never do something like that! That's just rude.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@LovingMyBabies Oh yah, people were talking about that . . . they asked me who was that mom who was just so happy to be picking out all that food! She stacked those containers while her husband took them to the car!!
4 people like this
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
29 May 16
I would take some home. Better than to put it to waste :)
5 people like this
• Philippines
30 May 16
Me too. Hahaha
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@Lucky15 @Macarrosel If offered, I will at least take a little so as not to be rude. But only a little.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@Lucky15 So would I if there is plenty and it's something we will eat.
3 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
29 May 16
If I tell people to take leftovers home I really mean it. The leftovers would last too long for the two of us. I try not to take too much if someone lets me take leftover though.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
I know what you mean - too much food is too much to store and eat when you're the one who gets stuck with it all. We know how it is, yet isn't that funny we don't want to be the ones taking too much when the tables are turned?
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
29 May 16
@much2say yes, we don't want to look greedy. But I am sure most hosts would rather someone took it than have to through it out.
1 person likes this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
@paigea If we throw a party, we always have too much food - but that's because we'd rather be prepared than to have not enough food. Even if people don't take stuff home, I know there's always other people I can give it to so I don't have to throw it all out - and I would think it's the same for other hosts. But as the guest, yah, I don't want to look greedy.
@akalinus (20026)
• United States
29 May 16
I take leftovers home to my son after church potlucks. He works at night and appreciates the meal when he wakes up. I might take a small plate for myself, always leave plenty for others who want to take food home.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
That sounds ok to me - at least you are thinking to leave plenty for others. I have seen some people take way too many containers home filled with food - now that's too greedy.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (130208)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 May 16
I would be a little hesitant but if it is definite invitation and you can see there will food wasted if no-one takes anything then I would take some too. But I wouldn't take huge amounts. (I nearly wrote 'would take huge amounts') I'm glad I noticed in time to edit it!
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
Good thing we are allowed to edit here ! I tend to not take huge amounts either - oh but I've seen people do that!!
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@JudyEv When there is more than plenty, I will take as much as I think we will eat.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (130208)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 May 16
@RubyHawk That's fair enough I think. I'd do that.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54867)
• United Kingdom
29 May 16
If you have been asked to take the leftovers I think it's fine, as long as you aren't too greedy. I know if I have any gatherings I'm always pleased if people take things home, as it's likely that they would be wasted if they didn't.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
I guess that's the question - what's that fine line of being seen as greedy? I am glad to see people taking home stuff too, but I have had some nervy guests take WAY too much - meals worth - and I feel like they're taking advantage at that point.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@jaboUK Me too, but I don't want one person grabbing everything.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (101688)
• United States
29 May 16
We have always taken a decent amount, bearing in mind not to take more than we can use in a good amount of time. Most of our large gatherings we all contribute, anyway. I guess it depends on how well I know the person offering.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
That's the thing too - if we contributed, then we might feel better about taking leftovers too. Now I remember my parents gave my aunt by marriage the eye because she rarely brought anything to any of the family gatherings - it just wasn't right for her to just take food when she didn't even bring any.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25738)
• Aurora, Missouri
18 Jun 16
I will only take leftovers if the host/hostess themselves have made up something and insist I take it. I would never make up something myself, even at the instructions of the host/hostess. I always feel like I am... IDK, stealing it, or something... I just can't do that.
2 people like this
@vandana7 (66836)
• India
18 Jun 16
We have parties - small gambling sessions actually. Monthly once. It is pretty much pot luck. There is always surplus. Those who are having health problems and do not mind eating left overs are given the first preference, followed by those who have guests or larger families. But everybody gets share of everything, even if it is a small piece. Neatly ziplocked. :) Nice planning. It, however, gets more noisy around that time...because all ladies are there trying to do the judicious distribution.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
18 Jun 16
@DaddyEvil Well if the host/hostess told you take stuff home and you took the dining table knick knack or their house plant, then that would for sure be stealing . But since they're asking you to take food home, then I'm sure they're ok with it - even if we may not feel ok about it.
1 person likes this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
18 Jun 16
@vandana7 That sounds like a well organized community effort on what to do with the leftovers! Most of the time it seems people are hesitant to take anything . . . so if people are actually dividing and distributing for them, that sure makes things a whole lot easier.
2 people like this
@hereandthere (32489)
• Philippines
30 May 16
it's quite common here during gatherings with family and friends because we don't want food to be wasted and we ourselves get sick of the leftovers haha!
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
Our Filipino friends tell me (and we have witnessed) that Filipino gatherings mean lots and lots and lots of food! There are always leftovers and you have no choice but to take a bunch of it home! Oh my gosh - at our friend's last kiddie birthday party, they gave us a big box of filled with fried chicken (I'm not kidding that it looked like a small dog carrier - it was a huge box) and they had more to give to other families - they totally over bought food. As we go there often we know how big their fridge is - we know they can only keep so much leftovers - and we know what they don't want to keep to eat as there are certain things they don't like to eat but serve to guests who do!
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@/hereandthere we do that at family dinners.
2 people like this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@much2say In that case, take all you have room for.
2 people like this
@miniam (9233)
• Bern, Switzerland
29 May 16
There is nothing wrong taking left overs home as long as the host of the party agrees.I attended a party once,there was so much left and the host told me to take anything and everything i need,took almost a week to eat it all.The only thing l did not take was cake.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
I can understand that it is ok because the host would give us permission to take the food. But still I don't take a lot - or at least I don't feel good taking too much. Wow, a week's work is certainly a big amount of leftovers!
1 person likes this
@miniam (9233)
• Bern, Switzerland
30 May 16
@much2say It was also a very big party.
1 person likes this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@miniam Ah, got it. Yah, usually big parties have an over abundance of party food - which is what it should be - so I can imagine there were indeed a lot of leftovers.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (39591)
• United States
30 May 16
When the hostess tells you to take leftovers I think it is perfectly all right.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
It is ok, but what would be the proper amount to actually take before one would be considered greedy? I've seen people take massive amounts of leftovers - that can't be be cool.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39591)
• United States
30 May 16
@much2say I would never take massive amounts, just a snack for my husband and myself. Yes I have seen people be greedy as well.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@BelleStarr It's hard to believe some people don't realize when they're being so greedy that way. They see it as "free food" and grabbing whatever they could get their hands on.
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33316)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
30 May 16
Like you, my parents often told me that we shouldn't take stuff home, even if we brought something. So, now, I feel bad if I take stuff home after a party. I usually hesitate, in this kind of situation. I might take something if the host really insists, but I'm usually hesitant.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
Ah, then we are like minded. If offered, I will only take a small plate of minimal items . . . I wouldn't have the nerve to fill it to make a complete meal - though I've seen people do that. It's ingrained in me that we shouldn't take stuff home too.
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33316)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
30 May 16
@much2say same hear. I'll take some but not a lot. I don't quite understand how some can take a lot of food home.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
@dodo19 I guess those people just never learned proper manners!
2 people like this
@Marcyaz (35618)
• United States
29 May 16
If told to take some food home I will but I don't take a lot just enough for a snack.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
I think enough for a snack is just fine - that's just about how my take home portions would be. But I've seen people just "load up" . . . it's as if they don't hesitate to take free food and must not think anything of how anyone else feels about it.
1 person likes this
@Marcyaz (35618)
• United States
30 May 16
@much2say I don't believe in taking a lot as others might like to take a snack home also.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@Marcyaz It's nice to have a snack handy that you don't have to prepare.
1 person likes this
@chris2050 (1335)
• Manila, Philippines
31 May 16
I usually don't feel comfortable taking leftovers, even when I am giving the opportunity, actually it's a big deal for me. If it's a family gathering, well, maybe I might, but in a party with friends, or in a barbecue with neighbors, no way, count me out
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
31 May 16
I am mostly that way too - I don't feel comfortable taking leftovers either and will only do so if the host really wants us to. I don't think much about it if it's close family, but I really don't feel good about doing it at other people's parties - I don't want to be looked at as a "taker".
1 person likes this
@chris2050 (1335)
• Manila, Philippines
1 Jun 16
@much2say exactly, "Taker", that's the name I don't want to be associated with. In the family circle, people know who you are, they know your principles and your rules, so taking leftovers even once in a while, might seems surprising for them. But in others people parties, you are dealing with outsiders, your name is likely to be spread around...
1 person likes this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
2 Jun 16
@chris2050 Here, it is acceptable to take as everyone does it all the time. But there is a fine line . . . taking "too much" is frowned up - but it's hard to say what that line is. That is why I only put a few things on the plate . . . no need to make a bad impression to anyone.
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
29 May 16
I would try eating some more of that fruit salad and even those cookies (if they were delicious). Taking home the leftovers... well, there are very high chances of me not opting in. I have to be that close to the host... maybe, if it was my brother, I would not think twice. But with many others - I have to be polite enough to decline. If I was hosting such a party where there was much as left over, i might consider donating it to some kids around who are from slums (we did that when my brother got married way back in 1996)... and agreed, fruit salad will not be served if there is any of it as leftover.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
Maybe it's a cultural thing too - about what is polite and what is not? Here, even at kiddie parties where adults are included, I have seen parents who come only to pick up their child yet take a plate of leftovers home (from the request of the host of course) - but if I did not attend the party at all, I wouldn't dare take anything either. Yah, close family - then it's ok. Awwwwww . . . you have such a giving soul. Of course our @thesids would think of the children like that! I don't know what all the "laws" are about giving food to the homeless now . . . apparently professional kitchens are not allowed to donate leftovers anymore . . . even our schools which I know for a fact has tons of leftovers from breakfast (even unopened items) are not allowed to be donated.
2 people like this
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
30 May 16
@much2say Oh no. That is quite odd and ridiculous a law that you are not allowed to donate leftovers from the professional kitchens anymore. It can definitely lead to too much wastage of food. Most of the local schools here (run by the state government) have something called mid day meals (this was introduced to lure in students in villages where they did not send kids to school). I am unsure how they manage the leftovers... (probably the management/teachers take them home for dinner)
1 person likes this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
31 May 16
@thesids I know it's odd and ridiculous. I think it all has to do with one homeless man who got sick off of leftovers donated from a movie studio caterer (studios have a lot of catered food on their sets). I can't believe the homeless man actually sued - but he did and apparently won. So because of that, no one can just donate food so easily like they used . . . makes sense and doesn't make sense at the same time. At school, there is a lot of wasting for sure. I volunteer to clean and take any leftovers but mostly give them to a deaf parent in the class who gladly takes them all. Sometimes the teacher will take shelvable items and save them as snacks in case any of the students forget to bring food. Apparently our program started to make sure everyone has a filled tummy so they can focus on school work - but fact is most kids already eat at home in the morning . . . they do not give it just those in need to make it equal opportunity I guess. Oh, I hope that mid day meal out there has gotten more kids to go to school!!!
2 people like this
@Wordly1 (477)
• Kingston, New Hampshire
29 May 16
I'd hate to think that anyone would have the gall to take enough to feed a family of four. But, perhaps, the spouse could not attend or the two kids. I would take enough to give them a 'sample of what we had' so to speak. Or, for myself, in this instance, perhaps enough for a 'later on' good snack and leave it at that. The only way I would take more(and within reason) is if the host insisted(awwww-c'mon! That's barely enough to feed a bird!).
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
29 May 16
I totally agree with that - a "sampling" sounds reasonable. Oh, but I have seen people take way more than they really should . . . it's happened to us at my kids' parties - I couldn't believe it. I have told people to take some home for their family members that could not make it - after all, they were in the food count originally.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@Wordly1 I do that with family and close friends, I can't stand to see food wasted.
2 people like this
@Wordly1 (477)
• Kingston, New Hampshire
30 May 16
@RubyHawk Absolutely. Same here.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 May 16
When I have too much food leftover after a party I'm happy when guests take some home. It's a shame to throw away any food so my family always knows they're welcome to the leftovers. I probably would frown on someone taking too much so there's a balance I think
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
That's exactly it - there is a balance. I'd want people to take home leftovers too - and I will tell them please take stuff home because there's too much, but that wouldn't mean take the whole table of food out the door (which I've seen some people do too!!).
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@Marilynda1225 I always prepare extra for family and others if they don't try to take it all.
1 person likes this
@marlina (76618)
• Canada
29 May 16
If the host insists I will take a small container of the food.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
30 May 16
I don't take too much either . . . a small container is reasonable.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (28345)
• Atlanta, Georgia
30 May 16
@marlina With just the two of us, we can't use much.
1 person likes this