How to Go on a Grocery Bill Diet and Feast Like a Foodie for $5 a Day

If you're reading this you’re probably thinking, like we were, about food costs but you don’t want to sacrifice flavor or quality. If you crave delicious, healthful food but are spending way too much for it, give these recipes a try. The shopping is simple, preparation time short, and the flavors crazy good. We tell you what each serving costs, ingredient by ingredient, and have created some amazing recipes that will set your taste buds dancing on as little as $5 a day. That’s $5 a day for one person, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Thinking up delicious recipes is one thing, but success at feasting like a foodie for cheap, as we discovered, hinges on the shopping. How to shop for inexpensive items and use them creatively and efficiently are absolutely key. We tell you which ingredients are most cost-effective, and give tips for maximizing them by using leftover ingredients in other recipes. We also explain when it's a good idea to splurge on organic ingredients and when you can safely penny-pinch with nonorganic foods. (Visit our resources page for our recommendations for healthy produce: the "dirty" dozen and the "clean" fifteen.) We also uncover lists of fish that are healthful and which are tainted, as many are these days, and should be avoided.

Pick and choose your favorite recipes, and relax knowing that your spending will total about $5 a day per person. How we calculated these costs is explained below.* Coming soon, we will offer meal plan ideas for a full week and more tips to make the most of your ingredients so as not to waste anything—essential to saving money.

Try a recipe and let us hear from you. Happy cooking and eating!

Lucy, Carol, Hugo, and Ethan

* Food prices are based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average Retail Food Prices, and from our favorite discount grocery stores. Ingredient costs are rounded to the nearest cent, so the cost of a dash of salt or pepper, for example, is negligible. While we encourage buying organic as much as possible, if you plan to do so exclusively, add about 10-20% to your costs.