(WATE) — The term “ingredient household” is making rounds on TikTok, but the term has been part of Google searches for years. Which means people want to know: what is it?

The term refers to a household where there is no ready-to-eat food, but rather ingredients that need to be prepared in order to eat. That means no frozen lasagna, breakfast pastries and so forth.

In December, terms “ingredient house” and “ingredient-only household” have become more popularly searched but the term is not new. Google Trends records show that the term was searched for as early as 2004.

One blog explains that the choice to buy ingredients may help people save money, be more environmentally conscious, eat healthier food and have more control over what they consume. To run an ingredient household, however, there has to be enough time in the day to plan, shop for and cook from scratch.

A household where pre-made food is available could just be an indicator of a busy family life, not necessarily any disagreement with the motivations mentioned above.

The TikTok trend of those who currently live or have lived in ingredient households is to share what they eat as snacks or when they don’t feel like preparing food. The quick items that some say they grab include nuts, spoonfuls of peanut butter, chocolate chips, croutons, cheese, sprinkles, and even dandelions.