How to eat on just $4 a day

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  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    Article quote: "I spend a lot of money on food. (More than I spend on my mortgage.)"

    That is absolute insanity.

    There's the occasional, guilt-free splurge but then there is simple craziness.

    News flash: get rid of the "freshly pressed olive oil and porcini mushrooms".

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    I downloaded the cookbook. I think she did a good job. Better than a lot I have see, you can tell she put a lot of though into it. And they are appetizing meals for the most part, and quite a variety. Some I will try, some no way.
    Worthy effort. Folks should at least look at the book before dismissing it.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 24, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Anyone cooking at home will live for less. MacDonald's is not cheap. I would recommend from the photo that whole grain bread would be a better choice. The basic diet should include fruit, vegetables[three a day anyway] whole grains and beans meaning black, garbanzo, green beans, peas, etc. Meat is expensive hardly ever less than $4 a lb.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 6:21 p.m.

    Sounds llike a lot of people are eating relatively expensive processed food. Cans are alright; I eat a can or two of beans most weeks, after removing the pig fat. You can live like a student too, but I wouldn't have more than one or two packest of noodles any day, although you would be wise not using all the salt that comes in those little accompanying packets.

    Potatoes are still pretty cheap if you shop around, or grow some of your own, and they are very versatile. Eggs can make a cheap meal once in a while. I never worry about carbohydrates and they haven't made me sick even over decades. You can live on potatoes with a little salt or butter very healthily - if you have to- and you don't need twenty pounds a day as I once heard someone suggest you would; spuds are very filling, and VERY healthy.

    The book, though, aims at producing appetizing, savory food for four bucks pppd; it probably does that well. You don't need at ton of fat, the small amounnts that come with grains, fruits and vegetables are enough really. No one mentioned growing fruits & berries.

  • MGSnowflake SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    I don't think most people know how much they spend each month on food. Most people stop for a beverage or meal while out, maybe get a snack at the gas station. People who work sometimes eat out for their lunches. When kids are in school, they generally eat lunch there. I think most people would be astounded if they kept a notebook of every single food item bought for every person. I would love to see how someone realistically lives on $98/month for food, as I am expected to do. My money must cover breakfast, lunch and supper every day, day in and day out. I don't go to someone's house to eat, nobody takes me out for a meal, I sure don't waste money on fast food! If people were truly honest with themselves, most spend way more than they think. I just want to be able to afford the basics. I cook everything from scratch.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Believe me, as a health coach I can assure you that you can't cook the way grandma used to on $4 a day. The only way to cook on $4 a day is to use lots of high carb, highly processed foods filled with corn syrup and other sweeteners which is very unhealthy for you and your family but will give them the calories they need but will lead to health problems such as obesity. In today's America, the ingredients grandma used to use in her cooking are very expensive. In today's America, calories are cheap enough you can live on $4 a day, but they aren't the type of calories one should regularly be eating.

  • KathyInCache North Logan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    I feed my family of 8 on 75% of that per person amount. We even have special dietary challenges with 2 of us being celiac, and all of us drinking soy or almond milk due to milk allergies. So, yes it can be done! If I never bought convenience foods, it could be done on far less. Maybe it is easier when you have to buy in bulk. Thank you for the link to the cookbook. It is always nice to have new ideas.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    There are some great documentaries out that reveal the dark underbelly of our cheap food system, and most all point to America's cheap, subsidized corn as the root of it. Specifically, corn is used as a feed stock to not only animals that we consume (think, dollar meals at McDonald's), but also its extractions are used to make high fructose corn syrup and other cheap food-like substances and inputs.

    The fast food industry exerts significant market pressure on food production to lower overall costs so that McDonald's and Taco Bell can deliver $1 meal items. The consequence is that healthier foods, such as fresh fruit and green vegetables don't have that kind of pressure and continue to remain higher priced. A poor family with $10 to feed a family will turn to McDonald's and buy 10 dollar items, most of which will consist of carbs and high fat/fructose corn syrup items.

    I remember reading that a fast food joint couldn't get kids to eat apples, but once it cut them up like French fries, they finally sold.

  • MGSnowflake SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 1:52 a.m.

    I enjoyed the article. Thank you. My reality is that SNAP gives me $1.05 per meal. I am a disabled senior. After paying 71% of my income for a subsidized handicap accessible apartment, plus 10% for my tithing, I have $129/month left for every necessity of life. It is very much a struggle. There seems to be a perception that someone like me gets a lot more to live on.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    I hope that the photo that accompanies the article in no way represents the sort of recipes that are in the book.
    Refined starch white bread -very bad. High fructose corn syrup based preserves -even worse. Typical cheap peanut butter made with hydrogenated vegetable oil - worst of all.
    With A diet like this you will spend many times your food savings in additional health care expenses.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    BSR, I don't know what point you're trying to make, but if you're criticizing the article or the cookbook itself, you obviously haven't even glanced at it. It's free to download in PDF format, and I think you'll find the recipes contained in it are surprisingly healthy.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Mississippi became the most obese state in the union by people trying to eat for $4/day. Cheap foods are high in fat and carbohydrates. They make you feel full...but they also make you fat.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    Thank you I am regretful for the recipes. I can't say if I can give any gratuities. It's not till I can. But I wanted to say; your very kind.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    $4 a day per person is NOT that tough. I feed a family of 10 regularly on less, and the assumption that people don't know how to cook from scratch anymore is arrogant and narrow. Most of the moms I know do what I do--most everything from scratch, with coupons, and healthily.

    No, it's not convenient, but it's a ton better.

  • Pr. Ingqvist Tremonton, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    I agree with needing to teach people how to cook and plan meals. I don't agree with the math in the atricle. No one is trying to feed a family on $4 a day. The average is $4 a day PER PERSON in the family. Feeding a family of 4 on $16 a day or $532 a month, is much more reasonable. The per person cost gets cheaper when you start making meals that feed several people.

    My family was on foodstamps for a while and I can tell you that I have never eaten better. We received a lot more money than we would have spent on our own. At first I felt guilty that the government was almost doubling the amount of money I would have spent on food had it all been my own money. But if they are going to give it to me, I'm going to take it.

    The real question is, shouldn't that money be a supplement to help the family get by? It shouldn't be the only money a family uses to buy food. The program does not exist to completely replace a family's food budget.

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    We downloaded this book and have been incorporating recipes into our meal plan for the past several weeks and without exception they have been delicious! The two meals the writer specifically acknowledges - jambalaya and the summer cobbler - were particularly savory.

    And the best part is that it's re-teaching people that grew up with cream of chicken based recipes how to properly use spices and other cheap flavor enhancers. Couldn't agree more with the 1970's church cookbook reference. Spot on.

    All in all, two thumbs up from this reader.