As I stood in line at the grocery store yesterday, these wise words from Beatrice Vaughn reverberated in my mind. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
In these days of soaring food prices, it's imperative that each homemaker keep a wary eye on her shopping cart, weeding out the non-essentials. It is fun, as well as thrifty, to pass by glamorous ready-made food products in favor of materials that will better answer the same purpose, and with only a little more time spent in their preparation.
I recently stood at the checkout next to a young housewife who I knew was in fairly straitened circumstances. Her one cart load totaled $48.30. I could see why, when I noted the packaged cookies, the frozen meat pies, the refrigerator biscuits, the mixes of all kinds. I'd rather have seen, in her basket, cuts of cheaper meat that could have been prepared to serve several delicious meals, instead of the smaller and relatively more expensive pre-packs hardly large enough for one meal. I'd like to have seen a sack of flour, yeast cakes, raisins and spices to make loaves of bread and dozens of cookies. I'd like to have seen a bag of pie apples instead of a frozen pie or two. I'd like to have seen a package of chicken wings and backs -costing less than fifty cents- that would make many times as much good soup as she could get from the cans of soup in her cart.
It seems to me that it's high time for women to free themselves from the bondage of standardization, rigid conformity and dependence on packaged , dried, or frozen quick-and-easy cooking. It's time to face the fact that what is gained in convenience they lose in individuality and in savings with good nutrition.
~Beatrice Vaughn , The Ladies Aid Cookbook, published 1971
By the way, I did a bit of research and that $48 would be about $260 today. Isn't the internet amazing?