Fantastic cookbook of extremely inexpensive meals

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 1.49.39 PM

Good and Cheap is a free/donation-based ebook filled with recipes geared toward helping you eat on $4 a day — which is the average amount SNAP (food stamp) recipients have to spend.

Notable Replies

  1. That’s about $4 per day, for three meals, for a family, though it’s less than most of us spend by ourselves for a morning coffee.

    I'm not a coffee drinker, but I think a large at Tim Hortons is maybe $2. Where are you people buying coffee?

  2. ImJon says:

    There is this little coffee shop by where I work that sells coffees for that much. I think It's called Starbucks or something.

  3. The site mentions that the book started as a free pdf, which is worth repeating here. I'm not poor now, but when I have been short of money or unemployed in the past I find one of the most important things is to keep a varied and interesting diet that gives you everything you need. When I didn't, I got depressed pretty fast and had less chance of getting out of the slump. One of the things I enjoyed most when I had the time was to learn more about the foods I could find growing in my area. A lot of the time they were plentiful and untouched, as other people didn't have the knowledge or interest necessary to take advantage of them. Here in Germany I've been discovering uses for different weeds (dandelion, nettle, wood sorrel, Hamburg parsley etc.), which often adds a free and different taste to meals, or can even make up the vegetable part of the meal. People don't seem to pick a lot of blackberries in my area, so I've been visiting a nearby vacant lot quite a bit recently where I've picked about 10kg of blackberries in the last week and am waiting for a harvest of damsons and apples in the next week. It helps if you have a freezer, of course, or if you have a lot of seasonal foods that are available at different times of the year. If not, it's still good to have something to look forward to and especially if you are un/underemployed, it gives you a sense of purpose to be finding and cooking your own food.

    Another thing I find helpful is to find the joints of meat that are a bit cheaper. Where I am this seems to be offal and meat on the bone, which can make a great stew or curry. Chicken breasts may be easy to cook, but they're kind of boring and the limbs are much better in stews, which stretch out the meat a lot more. Chop the bones into chunks to allow the marrow to get into the stew, and you get even more flavour. Most people won't feel any ill effects if they reduce their meat intake quite a bit anyway, so having good meat rarely is probably much better than eating cheap meat every day. If you use this book and follow a few other principles, you can prove that spending less doesn't have to involve eating terrible food.

  4. I really hate the "Can you get enough food to survive for $x a day?" meme.

    It is a set-up for stupid challenges that has mayors and other notables walking through Safeway planning their meals $1.33 at a time. (And doing stupid things like buying a BBQ chicken and pesto sauce.)

    Instead of thinking $4/day, think $120 a month. You buy big sacks of oatmeal, rice and beans, bags of carrots, onions, and potatoes, powdered milk, day-old bread, dented cans, and marked-down meat.

    YEAH, I KNOW: Food deserts, overpriced bodegas, poor transportation, little Johnny is allergic to everything but alpaca meat and quinoa. Go ahead, mount the goalposts on motorized carts and go for a drive.

  5. bryan says:

    I could get behind an initiative to provide a free crock pot for every SNAP recipient.

Continue the discussion

13 more replies