Over 46 million Americans buy their groceries through SNAP, the program that used to be called food stamps. A lot of those groceries are processed foods, which bothered NYU food studies grad student Leanne Brown. Those on such a tight budget have a hard time stocking ingredients for meals found in cookbooks, so Brown developed a cookbook based on ingredients that are inexpensive, widely available, and easy to store. Good and Cheap aims to reach those whose food budget is as low as $4 a day per person, and it’s available free online.
So what are Brown's secrets to eating well on $4 a day? It's about stocking the pantry with cheap basics to build meals from: things like garlic, canned vegetables, dried beans and butter.
She also emphasizes flexibility, and avoids prescribing strict meals and methods. That means lots of options for substitutions, especially when it comes to the produce aisle, where prices can fluctuate based on season and availability. Each meal is priced out by serving.
Earlier this week, Deborahmichelle Sanders, 63, of San Francisco, Calif., turned to the cookbook and found an intriguing recipe: cornmeal crusted vegetables with an Asian-inspired peanut sauce for dipping.
Since she couldn't afford the suggested beans or peppers, she tried carrots. The result? "It's so wonderful," she tells The Salt.