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Trays are the Best

i got a tray 2 years ago for carrying food.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FOPU1E/?tag=curi04-20

(this tray is out of stock but you can see the 23" x 15" dimensions. don't go much smaller. i got a 17" x 10.6" one first and it SUCKED, i returned it. note that you lose some flat space to the angled sides)

it's AMAZING.

note i linked a BIG tray. there's a bunch of smaller ones that can't even fit 2 plates.

benefits:

  • easy to carry more than 2 things at once (this is why i wanted it)

  • easily carry hot things

  • easier to keep things level while walking

  • even just a plate, a cup, and a bottle with a sauce is 3 things and not that easy to carry with your hands. adding a bowl of soup or a side salad on its own plate makes it way harder to carry. and even when carrying just a plate and cup you may have to balance your silverware on the plate and get it dirty.

  • i started sometimes having multiple different drinks with meals because it's easier to carry 2-3 different drinks at once this way. i drink smaller amounts but sometimes i like the variety. or sometimes i don't know in advance which drink i'll prefer and end up drinking one and not the other, and it was good to have the options (having a bit extra of each, and "wasting" some, is totally reasonable. most drinks are cheap). it just sorta didn't occur to me to have 2 different drinks before i had the tray to put them on and had used it for a while.

  • you can put food discards (e.g. corn cob, clam shells, bones) on the tray without needing a separate plate or trying to stick them on the side of your main meal plate. cleaning the tray is no problem, but you generally wouldn't wanna put that stuff directly on your table. (unless you're using a tablecloth and clean it routinely, which sounds dumb. )

  • it's easier to carry a bunch of different sauces/toppings/spices as extra options, even if you aren't sure which you want. you can just try a little of each while eating.

  • you can set other stuff on the tray, like a towel or iPhone (good for speaker phone calls, and more convenient than taking it in and out of your pocket)

  • if you don't know how much of a food you want, you can bring a bunch (like in a tupperware) and then serve multiple small portions to your plate during your meal

  • for people who sometimes leave dishes in their room instead of immediately carrying everything back: if you use a tray once per 2-5 meals, you can then carry all the dirty dishes back at once with the tray.

  • SAVE TRIPS WALKING BACK AND FORTH

  • you can eat directly from your plate or bowl while it's on the tray. the tray doesn't take up a lot of extra space. this won't work in all situations. if you have a bunch of stuff and a crowded table, a tray still helps for carrying things to the table and taking dirty dishes back. also if you don't eat at your computer desk sometimes, or your computer desk can't fit a large tray, i think that's bad and you should change it. (i push one of my secondary displays back a bit to have tray space.)

i use my tray most days. A++++++++++++


Elliot Temple on July 10, 2018

Comments (8)

Trays are also useful for kids' food. A tray makes it easy to bring food to and from wherever a kid wants to eat. It helps keep food from tipping over and spilling on a soft surface like a sofa.


anon at 7:02 AM on July 11, 2018 | #10030 | reply | quote

i was thinking about all of these points while reading them, and wasnt sure if i was gonna respond to them or not, so i decided to just start writing my thoughts down while reading the points

>easy to carry more than 2 things at once (this is why i wanted it)

depending on what your carrying you could do that without a tray.

for me, the most i could probably carry to my desk with just my hands and without many problems is: 5 liquid containers that have lid and handle, and 2 other objects that are not hot.

i could carry the 5 liquid containers by putting their handles on each one of my fingers on my left hand, and then use my right hand to put something on my left hand (left hand should have its palm facing up so you have better control of what your carrying, and the way your fingers naturally bend will act like a hook for the handles of the objects your carrying), and then i could also put something on my right hand, and then put it down with my right hand when i get to my desk, and put down everything else down with my right hand as well.

>easily carry hot things

you might be able to use paper towels for most hot things. what i usually do for hot things is: hold them at a specific point then let go when my fingers get to hot, then let my fingers cool down, and repeat until that spot is cold enough to be able to hold without my fingers hurting from the heat.

>easier to keep things level while walking

if its more than 2 things yes, but if its 2 things or less i think it would be easier to keep them level by holding them with your hands. idk tho cuz i dont have experince using a tray.

they might be better at keeping things level cuz if you try to hold a flat thing with 2 hands and your hands are really close, then just a small height difference in your hands will cause the thing to tilt more than if your hands were further away (you can see what i mean if you try holding your keyboard from the sides and then raising your right hand 1 inch while keeping your left hand at the same height, and then doing the same thing but this time with holding your keyboard closer to the center).

>even just a plate, a cup, and a bottle with a sauce is 3 things and not that easy to carry with your hands.

you could suction the cup to your mouth if you suck on it while its entire rim is touching your face, doing that seems to work with any glass or plastic cup which has a small enough opening so that all the rim can touch your face. but depending on how tall and how full the cup is, some of the liquid could touch your face, so it has limited applications. and if it happens to be a can instead of a cup, then you can hold the rim of the can with your teeth for 30ish seconds without discomfort (time may vary, and it might be bad for your teeth).

>i started sometimes having multiple different drinks with meals because it's easier to carry 2-3 different drinks at once this way...

it seems like a mini-fridge could do the same thing but better, but would way less cost effective than a tray.

>you can put food discards (e.g. corn cob, clam shells, bones) on the tray without needing a separate plate or trying to stick them on the side of your main meal plate. cleaning the tray is no problem, but you generally wouldn't wanna put that stuff directly on your table. (unless you're using a tablecloth and clean it routinely, which sounds dumb. )

it seems like having a garbage can next to your desk would solve those problems as well.

trays definitely seem useful if you move alot of stuff at once, but what i usually do is just move a single plate (or napkin that food is on) and then 1-3 liquid containers, if i moved more food things then i would probably get a tray.


internetrules at 10:06 AM on July 11, 2018 | #10031 | reply | quote

carrying something on every finger isn't very realistic. the pinky isn't very strong and the thumb isn't in line with the rest. tray would be better. and lots of drink containers don't have handles that'll go over your finger nicely.

walking around sucking on your drink with no hands is even more ridiculous of a plan, lol.

> if its more than 2 things yes, but if its 2 things or less i think it would be easier to keep them level by holding them with your hands. idk tho cuz i dont have experince using a tray.

consider just carrying a medium sized bowl of soup (not too hot) or cereal, and a glass (or anything to keep the second hand busy).

to carry a bowl with one hand you have 2 choices:

- put your hand under the bottom of the bowl, so you hold up the center, and you have to kinda balance it on your hand. you don't have very good grip on it.

- grip it with some fingers under the bottom and your thumb at the top rim. now it's easy to hold but you're holding it off-center so it's harder to keep it level.

a tray does this better. probably doesn't matter if it's not very full or you have both hands to hold it with (plus it's not hot). but a tray is good at being level and also holding things up from the bottom instead of off-center.

> it seems like a mini-fridge could do the same thing but better, but would way less cost effective than a tray.

that works well for soda cans cuz you can have some of them in the main fridge and some in the mini fridge. it's good if you have space for it. but it doesn't work as well for things like milk, OJ, or a 2-liter of soda. then you don't want to have one for each fridge (that's a lot of drink to have, and more will go bad or flat). also for drinks that need a cup (cuz they don't come in their own can) then you'd also have to keep extra cups in your room or the mini fridge won't help much. a mini fridge has some good points to it and solves part of this problem but the tray still does some other good things too.

> it seems like having a garbage can next to your desk would solve those problems as well.

lots of people have a waste paper basket instead of one with a plastic bag, so they don't wanna throw dirty/sticky/moist stuff in it.

and you don't always eat in your room. what if you eat in the living room or on the balcony or porch? maybe you don't have garbage everywhere.


Anonymous at 10:20 AM on July 11, 2018 | #10032 | reply | quote

also lots of people accumulate dirty dishes in their rooms instead of taking them back one plate at a time.

suppose you use a tray 50% of the time, and you carry food by hand 50% of the time. you can put the hand-carried plate on the tray for taking it back, so you only carry dishes back once for every 2 meals.

or like if you build up a bunch of dishes in your room, you can then use a tray for your next meal and use it to carry them all back.


Anonymous at 10:27 AM on July 11, 2018 | #10033 | reply | quote

>carrying something on every finger isn't very realistic.

i think it would work if you tried to, but being able to utlize all 5 fingers would be damn rare son! at most i sometimes need to carry 3 liquid containers that have a lid and handle.

>the pinky isn't very strong

my left hands pinky can hold a 1.75 kilo object for 1 minute without needing to put it down (havnt tested my right pinky), and if it gets to be to much you can also use your ring finger as well as your pinky, and still be able to carry 4 liquid containers.

>and the thumb isn't in line with the rest.

so? i dont see what issues that would cause.

>tray would be better

i disagree if you are carrying 10 (or less) liquid containers that have a lid and handle. but if its more than 2 liquid containers that dont have a handle, then i think tray would be better

>walking around sucking on your drink with no hands is even more ridiculous of a plan, lol.

how so? you only have to suck on it once, and then it stays there, and then blow a bit of air into the cup to detach it. and you can still breath thru your nose while its suctioned to your mouth. and if your fine getting some of the drink in the cup on your chin, then you could do that trick more than i originally thought.

>> if its more than 2 things yes, but if its 2 things or less i think it would be easier to keep them level by holding them with your hands. idk tho cuz i dont have experince using a tray.

>

>consider just carrying a medium sized bowl of soup (not too hot) or cereal, and a glass (or anything to keep the second hand busy).

>

>to carry a bowl with one hand you have 2 choices:

>

>- put your hand under the bottom of the bowl, so you hold up the center, and you have to kinda balance it on your hand. **you don't have very good grip on it**.

i think the grip you would have if you did that is good enough to make it rare for spills to happen, and you can bend your fingers up to surround more of the bowl

>- grip it with some fingers under the bottom and your thumb at the top rim. now it's easy to hold but you're holding it off-center so it's harder to keep it level.

i think it would be harder to hold like that cuz your fingers would get tired sooner. also i dont think it matters to much to hold something off center, and think that hands are good enough at compensating for holding things off center.

>a tray does this better. probably doesn't matter if it's not very full or you have both hands to hold it with (plus it's not hot). but a tray is good at being level and also holding things up from the bottom instead of off-center.

i think a tray would probably be better if it was 2 bowls and both of their contents were close to the rim. but if it was just 1 bowl that had its contents close to the rim that you held with just one of your hands, or 2 bowls and their contents werent close to the rim, then i think hands would be barely better at making sure the bowls dont spill

>> it seems like a mini-fridge could do the same thing but better, but would way less cost effective than a tray.

>

>...it doesn't work as well for things like milk, OJ, or a 2-liter of soda. then you don't want to have one for each fridge (that's a lot of drink to have, and more will go bad or flat).

i dont drink straight milk, i only really use it in smoothies and cereal and macaroni, so i agree that milk shouldnt be put in a mini-fridge (i think you do drink straight milk tho so you would probably disagree with me for the reason i stated), but i disagree with the OJ and 2-liter of soda point, i spend most of my time in my room that has my computer, desk, mini-fridge and bed, so i could just put the OJ/2-liter sodas in my mini-fridge, and not put them in the main fridge.

>for drinks that need a cup (cuz they don't come in their own can) then you'd also have to keep extra cups in your room or the mini fridge won't help much.

you could probably use the same cup for the entire day, i have done that befor and dont think it would be bad to do that. so you would only need 1 cup in your room to use for the entire day, and then at the end of the day put it in the dishwasher, or leave it on the counter, and then grab another cup to put in your room. or wash it your self and put it back in your room so you can use the same cup tommorow.

>> it seems like having a garbage can next to your desk would solve those problems as well.

>

>lots of people have a waste paper basket instead of one with a plastic bag, so they don't wanna throw dirty/sticky/moist stuff in it.

i just looked up what a waste paper basket was, and i have one of those as well, but i just put a garbage bag on it, and it works fine at being a garbage can, its open tho and i dont recall putting meat/vegetables/fruits in it, so it might smell bad if you do that.

>and you don't always eat in your room. what if you eat in the living room or on the balcony or porch? maybe you don't have garbage everywhere.

i eat in my room like 90% of the time. and i dont recall the last time i have eaten something with an un-edible part, but if i did eat something with an un-edible part and was not in my room or kitchen then a tray would be usefull.


internetrules at 3:43 PM on July 11, 2018 | #10036 | reply | quote

> i dont drink straight milk

> i eat in my room like 90% of the time.

the issue isn't what you do, the post is about general advice, not about you personally.

all your arguments are extremely biased. you are doing everything you can to favor one side and downplay the other side, not to neutrally look for the truth.


Anonymous at 3:56 PM on July 11, 2018 | #10039 | reply | quote

ah! i forgot to respond to the very last comment in the same comment that i just posted

>also lots of people accumulate dirty dishes in their rooms instead of taking them back one plate at a time.

they should take them back one at a time after they are done with them (i only do this like half of the time when i leave my room and im not sure why).

>suppose you use a tray 50% of the time, and you carry food by hand 50% of the time. you can put the hand-carried plate on the tray for taking it back, so you only carry dishes back once for every 2 meals.

it doesnt seem like it would be that much more convenient tho, like cant you just grab the plate, walk to the kitchen, and put it on the counter? it doesnt seem like thats any harder than not grabbing the plate.

>or like if you build up a bunch of dishes in your room, you can then use a tray for your next meal and use it to carry them all back.

i can already do that without a tray, if i have say, 3 bowls, 3 plates, 2 cups, 3 forks, and 3 spoons. i could bring those all to the kitchen with just my 2 hands


internetrules at 3:58 PM on July 11, 2018 | #10040 | reply | quote

> i can already do that without a tray, if i have say, 3 bowls, 3 plates, 2 cups, 3 forks, and 3 spoons. i could bring those all to the kitchen with just my 2 hands

you seem confused about

1) what is easier and more convenient

2) what you "can" manage to do, by an effort.

it was the same with the pinky holding up a weight for a minute. can do it? ok. convenient? how most ppl want to run their daily life, as an extra burden while also doing other things? no.


Anonymous at 4:07 PM on July 11, 2018 | #10042 | reply | quote

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)