Good and Cheap: The Cookbook for Any Budget

NPR’s Molly Roberts wrote about Leanne Brown’s cookbook Good and Cheap in August, and it got me thinking. Although the focus of this cookbook is Americans receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funding, tasty and nutritious meals on a budget are also important to college students preparing their own food. Both groups of people are working with tight budgets, and could likely use help sometimes avoiding three times a day ramen consumption at the end of the month. The average SNAP stipend is $126 per month per person. How much do you budget for food?

The US Government has previously funded cookbooks with a similar purpose, such as Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals (noted in the aforementioned NPR The Salt blog article and even has a Build My Cookbook website. The difference between those sources and Brown’s is that Brown is very concerned with taste and variety and works with many common spices to liven up her dishes. Her recipes are also guidelines, allowing for substitutions as desired or needed. Decide for yourself which of these recipes would you rather eat.

Although the USDAs Cream of Broccoli Soup II sounds interesting, it has no spice beyond that in cream of mushroom soup. Here are the ingredients at $.83/serving:

  • broccoli
  • carrots or mixed vegetables
  • cream of mushroom soup
  • milk
  • low-fat cheddar cheese

Brown’s Lightly Curried Butternut Squash Soup at $1.50/serving, on the other hand, has:

  • butternut squash or other winter squash
  • butter
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • cumin powder
  • coriander powder
  • turmeric powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • coconut milk
  • salt and pepper

Or, if you prefer something cheaper than that, try the Dal at $.60/per serving, which has:

  • lentils
  • butter
  • onion
  • cumin seeds
  • black mustard seeds
  • turmeric powder
  • garlic
  • green chili
  • ginger root
  • salt and pepper

I’m getting hungry just thinking about soup, and am going to try one of Brown’s. What do you want to eat?

About Martha

Martha is a Reference & Instruction Librarian and the liaison to the Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Languages and Literatures, Mathematics, and Physics Departments
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One Response to Good and Cheap: The Cookbook for Any Budget

  1. DJ says:

    Thanks for the great suggestions for a cookbook with recipes on a budget.

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