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Old 10-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #31
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Sometimes we are organized enough to make our own "TV dinners". Very handy when you don't have the time/oomph to cook.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #32
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Sometimes we are organized enough to make our own "TV dinners". Very handy when you don't have the time/oomph to cook.
All my dinners when I eat alone are TV dinners . I don't do TV dinners, but I do make entrees, or, like today, I used the oven at the same time the bread and casserole were baking to bake some potatoes to make freezer hash browns (wanted hash browns the other morning, didn't have any in the freezer, didn't want to wait for breakfast for the potatoes). I have solved the problem of losing the "insta-entree" in the freezer by keeping those items in the freezer compartment of the spare fridge (since I haven't managed to empty it and not need it--it remains plugged in for now). And, I write with white board pen on the front what I've added/subtracted. When I add s/thing, I also include the date.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #33
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As I was peeling carrots, a friend with whom I haven't been in touch for a couple of years, called. This triggered the memory of when her husband was dieing. Here in the Ottawa area at that time there was a group of chefs and cooks who donated, yes, that's right, donated, meals to people who had family members in hospice, undergoing transplants, etc., etc. That is another thing about eating at a restaurant (and, I have priced HRMs, you can get less expensive meals at some restaurants), people who work in the restaurants are part of the community. HRMs sold in grocery stores are often packaged elsewhere and shipped. Sure, the grocery store owner/manager and staff are also part of the community, but will the companies supplying the HRMs ever give back to the community? I guess it is a question of social consciousness. I can't afford either--HRMs or eating in restaurants. I have no choice but to cook at home and to eat what I cook.
I am not sure what other grocers do but Wegmans has a program called Waste Not Want Not that distributes day old baked goods, produce, dairy products etc to charities in the local communities it serves. In 2011 the program gave away 14.9 million pounds of food that would have ended up in landfills. This is just one of the programs they have to help feed the hungry.

To me these HRM's are one of many choices we all have.

In my case it is just a better choice than fast food burgers or pizza.

I could just as easily go home and scramble a couple of eggs or open a can of soup.

I don't see any hidden agenda, sometimes dinner is just dinner!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:54 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Aunt Bea

I am not sure what other grocers do but Wegmans has a program called Waste Not Want Not that distributes day old baked goods, produce, dairy products etc to charities in the local communities it serves. In 2011 the program gave away 14.9 million pounds of food that would have ended up in landfills. This is just one of the programs they have to help feed the hungry.

To me these HRM's are one of many choices we all have.

In my case it is just a better choice than fast food burgers or pizza.

I could just as easily go home and scramble a couple of eggs or open a can of soup.

I don't see any hidden agenda, sometimes dinner is just dinner!
:)
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:35 AM   #35
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I guess I failed to make the point--are HRMs the restaurant equivalent to off-shoring jobs in other areas? Does the fact that grocery stores offer HRMs mean people pick an HRM vs. going out?
No. When we go out to restaurants, we go to have an experience that we can't get at home. So no, I don't view them as a replacement. I see them (HRMs or HMRs - there seem to be different acronyms in different areas) more as a convenience for nights when there is no time to cook.

For example, I was going to a class a few nights ago that was scheduled for 6pm. I didn't have enough time after work to make a meal, and I don't eat fast food, so I stopped by our local co-op on the way home and picked up a couple of pieces of hot spinach quiche and salads for my wife and I.

Buying hot food at the co-op where I shop, I know that it's made from the same food I buy when I shop there (mostly organic, often local). It's just that someone else has cooked it. Usually they are quite good, and the value is not bad.

It's not something I do every night or even once a week, but there is definitely a place for it. If I were a young bachelor, or not much of a cook, or out-of-town on business for an extended period of time, I could also see using them.

But not a replacement for a restaurant. While these HRMs are simply an alternative to cooking at home, going out to a nice restaurant is more of an event.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #36
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I have some bachelor friends who don't cook. They eat in restaurants all the time. If they were to buy HRMs, it would be instead of eating in a restaurant.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #37
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Restaurants are a business. They also employ a lot of people. My parents sold their restaurant, which was located downtown where we lived, when the big box stores started moving in and taking business to the outskirt of town, essentially killing off a lot of the downtown businesses because people no longer shopped downtown and the local stores could not compete with the chain stores. My parents were fortunate, they sold the restaurant before the chain restaurants came in. But, the new owners folded within 5 years. This restaurant had been a mainstay of the downtown area for some 35 years before my parents sold it.
Fast food restaurants have killed a lot of the restaurant business in the town I live. And new restaurants starting up tend to serve the same sorts of fare in order to compete: burgers, fries, and that kind of thing.

I find this to be irritating myself. I love nothing more than going out to a good sit down restaurant and enjoying a nice meal. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the occasional burger, but over the last 30 years, we've become a country of people who seem to think of going to McDonalds as a night out.

Example. We had a nice little family-owned Russian restaurant open here a couple years back. Nice people, and the food was excellent and well-priced. DW and I would eat there once every couple of weeks. As we sat there one night enjoying our dinner one night, I took a look around and noticed we were the only people in the place. Looking out the window at the Wendy's, BK, KFC, and McD's across the street, there was a steady stream of people coming and going. In less than a year, our nice little restaurant had closed down.

That pretty much sums up the state of affairs for restaurants these days. It probably also explains why disease is rampant and a third of the population is morbidly obese.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:00 AM   #38
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HRMs, Costco rotisserie chickens, take-out sections of restaurants, TV dinners, etc. are all reasonable options for people. I don't see a stigma attached to it at all.

I can't imagine the hot meals available at the local Whole Foods store are sending American jobs out of the country.

Every time you make a choice of where your next meal is coming from, all your other choices don't get your business. If I cook at home, the executive chef at the upscale restaurant doesn't get my business. Same as if I go to another restaurant. I can't imagine his business is suffering materially from HRMs. I'd guess fast food and casual restaurants would suffer more.

Our 'go to' supermarket recently did a major renovation including the addition of a food court. This offers a variety of take-out food options above and beyond the rotisserie chickens they sold for years. Granted the food court isn't selling groceries but why is that important?

If the HRMs are good food, I see it as a great option for some people some of the time.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:00 AM   #39
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I buy ready meals sometimes just to get a break from cooking since I'm the only one in my house that ever cooks! We can't afford to eat out much or get take out so this is as close as we get. I like the spinach and feta canneloni from Woolworths and the Indian Lamb Curry with Basmati. Tastes just like restaurant food and it's much cheaper.
We have one night a month that we buy ready meals, get some DVD's and Popcorn and have a family night. No washing up after!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:20 AM   #40
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i was trying to catch up, thumbing through lots of recent posts when i saw this thread which i found very interesting.

lots of good perspectives and opinions.

i found barbara's comment about restaurant's existing to serve us (rather than vice versa) to be spot on. if a restaurant fails, it's because the food or service wasn't equal to what the customers expected, and/or their location was their demise.

also, except for the most top scale restaurants, i've never heard of one that did not offer take out. there are certain exceptions, such as korean or mongolian bbq (the experience of cooking or choosing your own food, respectively, IS why you go there). now, some restaurants offer a reduced menu for takeout, but i can't see why one would refuse additional business.

in any case, i don't see a problem with any food type business offering hrms, from grocery stores to places that specialize in take out, but unless you know exactly how the food was prepared, it should be viewed as another type of fast food. as in the old wisdoms of buyer beware, and all things in moderation.
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