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January 25, 1991 - Image 97

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SINGLE LIFEI

Groceries
For One

ETHEL G. HOFMAN

Special to The Jewish News

W

ho says that all
singles are young,
sexy, have lots of
money and live in the fast
lane?
Quite the opposite. Ac-
cording to a 1989 report
from the United States Cen-
sus Bureau, there are close
to 23 million people living
alone.
These include newly di-
vorced and widowed, "emp-
ty nesters," senior citizens,
50-plus, off-campus college
students and those entering
the work force for the first
time. The numbers are grow-
ing and for many, going it
alone isn't easy. Most are
hard-working, money is
tight and they like nothing
better than a quiet evening
at home.
At long last, the food in-
dustry has taken heed.
Not everyone is part of
what was once considered
the typical American family
of a mother, father, a boy
and a girl — where a meal
planned around a pound of
ground beef and a head of
lettuce disappeared faster
than it took to prepare. In
the singles' kitchen, lef-
tovers from these same
items would be reduced to a
slimy, smelly mess — for
how much can one person
consume the same thing
without being bored silly?
The result of these new so-
cial circumstances is the in-
troduction of an enormous

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Tips for working solo at the
supermarket and in the kitchen.

variety of products designed
to make food shopping —
and survival — more of a joy
and less of a nightmare for
the unmarried.
Now supermarket shelves
are loaded with single serv-
ing soups and canned goods,
zappable dinners and des-
serts, and one of the best
market innovations of the

twentieth century — the
salad bar. It's fresh salad to
go and goodbye to rotting
veggies and leftovers of du-
bious origin.
These are the convenience
foods, items true to their
name, needing little or no
preparation by the consum-
er. They have been hailed as
the working person's

lifesaver. And there's no
doubt they make eating at
home a cinch.
Zapped in the microwave,
dinner can be ready to eat in
seconds. There's no waste
and better still, no dishes to
wash since the meal comes
in its own container.
There's no guesswork or
excitement in this kind of

cooking. Convenience is
grand. But make no mis-
take, it comes at a price — as
shoppers discover at the
checkout dounter.
For the single shopper,
careful shopping is essential
to get the most for each food
dollar. The shopper must
decide how much a conve-
nience food is worth in terms
of time, quality and money.
There's no question that
items such as frozen orange
juice or instant coffee are
invaluable. But generally,
the more that's been done to
a food, the more it costs.
For some, who don't work
outside the home, foods may
be shopped for and cooked
at leisure. For them, there's
no need to pay for conve-
nience. But for others, there
might be times at the end of
a long, hectic day, when it
makes more sense to stop at
a good take-out food shop.
The take-out menus are
varied. Go home, add a sal-
ad, fruit and beverage for a
balanced meal. Gourmet
take-out food is expensive,
however it's still cheaper
and more comfortable than
dining out alone.
But no matter how you
look at it, the cheapest and
healthiest way to eat is still
cooking "from scratch."
A steak dinner prepared at
home costs about the same
as a hamburger and trimm-
ings at a restaurant. The
added bonus is control over
ingredients and flavorings.
And since shelf-life isn't a
consideration, there's no

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

97

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