Country star Shania Twain insists on keeping her backstage needs to a minimum, because she hates to waste food.

The THAT DON'T IMPRESS ME MUCH singer's poor upbringing taught her never to waste anything - because there was a time she had absolutely nothing.

She explains, "In my dressing rooms I always ask for what I can eat, and what I've started doing now is saying, 'Look I only need two bananas, I only need four waters,' and I give numbers of how much I need so I don't get a dozen bananas."

Twain admits her frugal ways continue when she's cooking at home: "My husband complains. He says, `Why do you make just two potatoes?' and I say, `Because there's only two of us.' He says, 'Just make four and then I have the choice of having more or I can have the rest tomorrow.'

"But I remember doing everything I could just to prevent the CHILDREN'S AID from coming to take us away. Our standard of living was that low we were in 40-below winters in Ontario and you had no heat.

"You were sleeping with your clothes on. I was 22 when they moved in with me, but our poorest days were with my parents when we were younger - when we had no grocery money and we were doing laundry in the bathtub and going to the dump for clothes."

06/11/2003 01:30