day twenty-four

(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $2.94 yesterday, January 25, 2011.


whole wheat peanut butter waffle $0.18
2 tablespoons “maple syrup” $0.15
banana $0.25


pinto bean & cheese burrito $0.52
Fuji apple $0.38


1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36
tempeh curry $0.66


1 ounce piece leek & morel cheese $0.44

total $2.94

That was a pretty tasty curry. I think next time we’ll play with it to make it creamier and spicier. It turned out to be really affordable with our cheap bulk tempeh. Here’s the cost minus the herbs & spices (including cilantro which only I eat due to the others having the Cilantro Tastes Like Soap Gene). It was only 66 cents a serving even though almost all the ingredients were organic this time.


1 1/2 pounds small organic potatoes $1.50
1 tablespoon unsalted butter $0.08
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil $0.26
1 medium organic yellow onion, peeled and chopped $0.62
1 cup canned organic diced tomatoes $1.50
splash of organic half & half $0.07
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch pieces $1.89

TOTAL $5.92
9 servings
66 cents per serving


Filed under food

4 responses to “day twenty-four

  1. Ooh, great recipe! Thanks for sharing, I’m gonna use it tonight. You guys are doing such an awesome job with this!

    • thanks, ms jacks! i liked this recipe a lot, although next time i would cut the potatoes into smaller chunks. they were perfectly steamed, i just don’t like to cut them up to fit in my mouth.

      hmm, that makes me sound really lazy. i just like when my curry is bite sized chunx.

      (maybe you can buy all the ingredients at your new JP whole foods? oh wait)

  2. caitlin

    this looks awesome.
    i made the baked tofu krista posted the other night because i always fail at baked tofu and this time it didn’t fail! i am re-won over by baked tofu.

    i wonder how this project would compare with a similar sized family that eats meat? Obviously you wouldn’t be the ones to test that out, but I am curious if omnivores would try to skip meat because of the expense or if they would try to add it in. It would not work to do it with grass fed organic not factory raised meat, that is for sure.

    I still love this. Y’all have inspired me to be more careful about eating in this month too, and I love new recipes to try.

    • It is so awesome that you are following this and cheering us on. It helps a lot. “But what would Caitlin say if we crap out on dinner tonight?” is good motivation!

      Krista is truly the master of baked and fried tofu. I had semi-successfully baked tofu before joining households with her, but she has much more consistent results. I am glad you’re back on the baked tofu band wagon.

      We have talked a couple times about what it would be like for a family of omnivores to eat for $5/person/day, since most Americans aren’t vegetarians. Maybe one of our omnivore friends will stop by and provide some insight? If I were going to try that (which I wouldn’t xvegxferxlifex but for the sake of conversation) I would try to find balance between non-meat protein and grass-fed organic healthy meat. The cost-incentive of eating better meat would lead to a smaller portion – like a side of meat or chopped meat in a vegetable-centric plate, like many Indian or Asian dishes. Eating the American plate – big hunk of meat in the middle of the plate, side of carbs, side of veggies — is not an economic choice. In the book Eating Animals (I think?? Maybe it was a different book) the author proposes that you can only afford to eat “good” meat (i.e. organic, grass fed, free range, humanely slaughtered, etc, etc, etc), and if you can’t afford that, you can’t afford meat, period. I know that you can buy “the whole cow” or direct sales of bulk meat from a farmer to bring down the price, but I have no idea how it compares cost-wise to organic tempeh. Short answer: I don’t know, but I would be interested to find out.

      I have never actually bought meat in my adult life, so I am completely out of touch with price comparison. You eat meat, though, right? So do you have any ideas or input on the subject?

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