I Should Be Able to Buy a Single Stick of Butter and Other Supermarket Loosies

I’m a single dude (or dood, if we’re friends), so I don’t shop at the grocery store the same way you do. I’ve never set foot inside of a Costco. Despite my job eating anything and everything, you might be surprised to hear that I don’t buy 16 rolls of toilet paper at a time; I simply don’t have the space to store it. I don’t purchase the big 24-pack carton of eggs, or the family-size five-pound bag of bacon, or the big, oil drum cans of olive oil. Hell, I don’t even buy a gallon of milk. Why? I’m one guy who lives in a studio apartment in beautiful Thai Town in Los Angeles, California. No roommates. No kids. Just your ol’ pal DP and my dog, Fey.

As such, all that extra food will go to waste. When it comes to grocery shopping, I simply look out for numero uno. Me. The guy in charge of navigating this sack of meat through life. I know I’m not alone in, well, living alone, and  I think grocery stores should sell more products in quantities that make sense for people like me. They could stand to sell more loosie food products. 

Unclear on what that term loosie means? Congrats on your excellent upbringing. A loosie, for those not in the know, is a single “loose” cigarette sold illegally by a corner store. It’s a way for the seller to make a quick buck, but the consumer gets something, too: one cheap cigarette, instead of an expensive, excessive pack of 20. I think loosies are a genius concept. In my opinion, buying a pack of 20 cigarettes is way more likely to get a person addicted than a single smoke. However, in the interest of making a boatload of money by getting people addicted to things that kill them, it’s probably better for companies to sell cigarettes in packs of 20 at a time. There are those that say selling single cigarettes is bad for ethical reasons. Apparently, the FDA believes that prohibiting the sale of loosies will “help protect communities,” the thinking being that loosies are more likely to get children addicted to cigarettes. Personally, I think that’s a big load of Jurassic Park triceratops bullshit—it’s about state taxes and Big Tobacco keeping people addicted to cigarettes more than anything. Because of that greed, well, people are denied the option to purchase one cigarette at a time. 

As a glutton, the concept of a loosie always appealed to me. I would like to purchase one very unhealthy, dangerous thing, sir, not 20 of them. Why? Because I worry about my ability to make healthy choices. I can’t be trusted with 20 cigarettes when I’m drunk, but one? Sure. I can smoke it up and have little regret. Now, apply this same concept to butter. If I buy four sticks of Tillamook Unsalted Extra Creamy butter for $7.99, who knows what I’m liable to do with it. I’m addicted to butter enough as it is. It goes in everything. I don’t need to be staring down the barrel of 32 tablespoons of the stuff. A “knob” of butter (a la Gordon Ramsay) here and there adds up, and then, before you know it, I’m at the doctor complaining that everything is moving in slow motion and I can’t feel my hands.

Plus, the convenience of buying a single stick of butter is incredible—$7.99 is a lot for butter! But one stick for, say, $2 or $2.50? That’s more my speed. While butter actually has a great shelf life, I simply don’t need that much butter for how I live, which is, again, by myself in a studio apartment in Thai Town. Like a loosie, sometimes you just want one of something—whether that’s because it’s expensive in larger quantities, unhealthy, a combination of the two, or, hey, maybe just because they sell too much in a single pack. Here are some more grocery store items that would be great as loosies:

Eggs. Eggs are another prime example of where the loosie idea shines. A dozen eggs? That’s a lot of eggs, guy. Plus, I gotta watch my cholesterol. If given a carton of eggs, I’m liable to eat them three at a time first thing in the morning, and at that point it might be more healthy to just start smoking cigarettes again. Now, one thing that you’re starting to see more of at the grocery store are half-cartons of eggs. I would even take that a step further: Sell me two eggs at a time. Just enough for a single breakfast. Stop telling me I have to buy eggs in multiples of six; it’s crazy.

Bread—pretty much every type—should be sold in smaller quantities. As is, it’s wasteful. Nobody eats an entire loaf of bread. Secondly, hey, don’t force me to eat this entire loaf of bread. I got a real problem having to finish things, and as a result I’m generally going about life pretty full and uncomfortable. And, no, I don’t want a single loose piece of bread like a psychopath, but two at a time would be nice. Enough to make a sandwich. I’m not a family of four. I don’t need 26 slices of Wonderbread. Add bagels to this list, too. I love bagels, but when they come six in a bag and have a short shelf life, I don’t ever see the need to buy a whole bag at the grocery store.

I’m not saying that there needs to be an entire grocery store dedicated to people who live alone, called “Single Shopper” or something insulting like that. But, there should be more alternatives for people who can’t control themselves around butter. People who live with their dog and want two eggs, not 12. People who don’t do meal prep, who always find themselves throwing away a few slices of bread, who have to boil their eggs at the last minute to use them up and then realize they hate boiled eggs. If there’s one thing to glean from the horrible, disgusting culture of smoking cigarettes, it’s that the loosie is a pretty damn good idea. We just need to apply it to food.

About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • I’ve thought for a while that there should be a grocery store called “All For One” for people who live alone and/or don’t need large quantities of food.

    • That would also be a good place to meet other singles

  • Great article and loose items should be sold more and in some sort of easily recycled packaging