It’s everywhere – on television, in stores, in restaurants: the single-serve package. I have been obsessed with it, thinking it will assist in my over-indulgence of ice cream, with my new-found love: Edy’s® single-serve carton in a 5.8-ounce size. I found cookie dough and half-fat vanilla bean. Touting 240 calories for the entire cup? I am in! The company calls them ice-cream cups, but they are bigger than the ice-cream cup you would get at a street-side ice-cream truck. Of course, what isn’t bigger in portion-size than 30, 20 and even 10 years ago.

Sargento® has come out with Snack Bites™, cheese sticks that you eat like a small version of string cheese. Touting “real cheese people get big flavor in a little bite,” they come in a bag, not actually single-serve. The idea is ease-of-use by taking a handful in a single-serving as a snack or a side. Coming in four flavors: Wisconsin sharp cheddar, Savory garlic and herb jack, Colby pepper-jack and Chipotle bbq cheddar, there is sure something for everyone

Even our laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent is now single-serve with the pod. Make sure to read the pouch, though. As I found, many times, one pod is not enough for a normal size load.

My take? As a single person, I like the practicality. Sometimes it works for me; yet sometimes (as in the ice-cream), it doesn’t. I use the pods for my laundering activity all the time. It’s easy, not messy and to me, most cost-effective. The single serving of Edy’s ice-cream? Definitely not enough and, with the 12g of fat to go with the moderate 240 calories? Yikes! I could rationalize that the 3g of protein made it “healthy”… sort of. However, this made me realize how much I eat in my own “single-serve” mind. So in that respect, it was eye-opening.

Do these items work for big families? I can see the idea of Snack Bites or the like for kids’ lunches. But I would think that buying in bigger sizes would be more cost-effective, as well as handy for mealtime – the large “family size” chip bags, produce and meat packaging, or even buying in bulk from the big bulk stores (think: Sam’s Club and Costco).

How do you buy, and why?