We're a family of foodies—all of us are obsessed with great food bursting with flavor, but we don’t enjoy bursting our budgets. Lost in a sea of pricey choices at the grocery store, we found that cooking a good dinner at home seemed to cost nearly as much as going out. Yet the very thought of a mediocre meal turns us pale. Wonderful food uplifts body and mind, and budget or not, we refuse to sacrifice that to a plastic cup of ramen noodles, bloated with MSG and preservatives. What to do?
We started experimenting to see how little we could spend on food and still feel healthy, energized, and delighted--fat and happy, so to say. It seemed unlikely that we could cut back on spending without compromising quality and flavor but we intended to find out just how little could we survive on and still eat well. Five dollars per person a day seemed impossible, but we decided to give it a try. Putting heads together, we came up with simple, healthy, and out-of-this-world tasty recipes that amount to—almost incredibly--about $5 a day.
One of our crew is a trained chef and another has published a cookbook, but we all enjoy cooking up fantastic meals—fast. Between us, we figured we can claim about 219 years of cooking and eating experience, and add a couple of hundred years for what our grandparents handed down. In fact, they’re the important ones because they taught us frugality—not that we paid much attention at the time.
We're normal people with modest incomes. If we were having trouble with the food budget, it occurred to us, lots of other people must be, too. So we decided to share with you our best—and cheapest—recipes. All of us tested the recipes in our kitchens, so you can be sure they work.
Please enjoy, and happy feasting!
Lucy, Carol, Hugo, Ethan