BeforeYourNext Birthday-DeniseFisher’s Blog

Get fit, get organized, & get your financial affairs in order

Dinner for $1 (or less)

Posted by denisefisher on January 27, 2009

Yes, you can make dinner at home for less than $1 per person. Here is just such a meal.

Bean soup with vegetables and corn muffins


Bean Soup with vegetables (3 cups total; generous serving size = 1 cup, as shown)

Corn Muffins (6 muffins total; generous serving size = 2 muffins, as shown)

Ingredient Measure(as packaged) Price(as packaged) Quantity(per package) Quantity(as prepared) Price(as prepared)
Dried Northern Beans 16 oz.


13 servings  of ¼ cup, dry ½ cup, dry

$ .29

Potatoes 10 lbs.


12 potatoes 1 potato

$ .25

Carrots 1 lb.


8 carrots 1 carrot

$ .13

Onion 3 lbs.


7 onions ½ onion

$ .10

Seasonings (olive oil, salt, pepper, minced onion)

$ .10

Muffin Mix 1 box

$ .41

6 muffins 6 muffins

$ .41

Egg 1 doz.


12 eggs 1 egg

$ .23

Milk ½ gal.


8 cups ½ cup

$ .13

Total cost

$1. 64

Cost per serving (3, generous size)

$ .55

Cost per serving (6, standard size)

$ .27

House rules and disclaimers:

· This dinner is focused on healthy and inexpensive eating (primarily vegetarian).

· It’s assumed that basic staples and seasonings are on hand in your kitchen.

· Some ingredients that would be purchased for this dinner are packaged in volumes greater than what’s needed for one meal. But remaining items can easily be consumed in other meals, with only moderate planning.

· The number and size of servings will need to be adjusted according to your household. For smaller households, the leftovers can be served on another day or packed for lunch. Bonus!

· The choice of ingredients used for this dinner can be modified to accommodate food preferences, allergies, or what’s available in your kitchen.

· The cost shown does not include transportation costs for purchases, nor does it include utility costs for cooking or baking. (That’s beyond the scope of my tolerance for scientific calculations for this post. Also beyond my scope of this post is the recipe and nutritional information for this meal. Sorry, but I have my limits.)

· Minor adjustments for ingredient choices or cost of living may be required for your situation (for example, the price of eggs shown above is for organic eggs from uncaged hens).


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