In my house we like Asian flavors. Pad thai, swimming rama, coconut curry, and teriyaki are frequent visitors on my plate. In the spirit of Hunger Week, I’ll share my curry recipe that only costs $1.30 per serving, including brown rice.
Total Cost for Breakfast: $1.25
Now then, I started off my $7 day with a slice of .16 oat bran bread with a .15 slather of pure peanut butter. On the side I had one 1/2 cup of defrosted frozen strawberries (.25 from $1.69 package) in one 1/2 cup of plain yogurt (.31 from $2.50 quart). I drank 1 cup of organic milk for .37 (from a $2.99 half gallon).
Total Cost for Lunch: $1.46
For lunch I had a citrus salad made from a grapefruit (.20, bought on sale for 5/$1), a navel orange (.33), and 1/4 cup organic arugula (.50). I also had 1 pan-fried egg (.20) with a negligible sprinkle of sea salt and some baked potato wedges (.10 for 1/2 pound) with ketchup (.08). I had water with lunch.
Total Cost for Snack: $0.47
For snack I had 1 cup (after popping) air-popped popcorn (.15), with a little olive oil (.32) and sea salt.
Total Cost for Dinner: $1.67
Dinner was a delicious Pineapple Coconut Chicken Curry, but I warn you that it is a rather untraditional recipe. It includes 2 cups brown rice (.90), 3 chicken tenders (.90), 2 potatoes (.15), 1 red bell pepper (.69), coconut milk (.99), pineapple chunks (.79), 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste (.08) and broccoli (.70). Total cost of all these ingredients is $5.20, but it makes 4-5 servings. At 4 servings it is $1.30 per serving. This will be lunch or dinner for a few more days. I had 1 cup of organic milk with dinner (.37).
If you would like to make Asian food for cheap, I suggest buying ingredients at an Asian grocer. The yellow curry past only cost me $2.29 for 14 ounces and the coconut milk was .99 for 14 ounces. The vegetables were not organic, but I picked those up from a discount produce stand. I could have added more meat, but it's expensive and I don't always need to eat that much of it. This recipe is very flexible and forgiving, to find a variant of it click on the widget below.
To read more about the Hunger Challenge, visit the United Way Hunger Challenge website.
Total Cost for the Day: $4.85
I surprised myself that I spent so little, but I also found a lot of these things on great sales, like the grapefruit being 5/$1 or buying frozen fruit instead of fresh. Planning your meals around produce that is in season is one of the best ways to eat on a $7 per day budget. Incorporating cheap proteins, like eggs and peanut butter, and buying in bulk will also cut costs.
One last tip, learn to cook a few fast and healthy meals that use fresh ingredients (like curry). Then you will be more willing to cook a fresh meal (benefiting your health and budget) than choosing convenience food.