Food for Fourty

To introduce this post, I’m going to quote directly from the inspiration for this new feature. My friend Katie left this on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago…

“I think you should start a new blog feature. It’s really awesome, and going to bring you fame and fortune. Ready for it? Okay.

Mainly young people read your blog. I’m assuming single, college students. What do all single, young people have in common, you ask? They are all poor. and they all like to eat. SO… with that said…. at the beginning of every week, you should post a cheap grocery list and then 6 dinner recipes (leftovers on the 7th day, duh). People (mainly me) would LOVE that. And it’s something that you would kick ass at due to your severe love of food and your ability to resonate to the poor, college student.

You’re Welcome.”

I read this and IMMEDIATELY fell in love with the idea. I do love to cook, I’m unbelievably poor (oh, hey unpaid internship!), and I’d like to think I can use these two things to help all of you eat well on a budget. Because I like to do my grocery shopping on Sunday, I figured I’d post this feature on Saturdays (yes, on the day I promised I would take off from blogging). I think this is going to be a LOT of fun. So, without further adieu, let’s kick things off!!

Here’s how it’s going to work:

1) Once a week I’ll post a grocery list that should cost $40 or less (sometimes I might go over a little). On this list will be enough ingredients to make at least six dinners but I’m confident I can supply you with some lunch and breakfast recipes for your $40 as well. If you break that down, that ends up costing you just under $2 per meal.

2) I will post the accompanying recipes for the week’s food. I will do my best to find all the recipes online so you can access them but occasionally I may have to use recipes from books or magazines. I will also do my best to post a healthy mix of vegetarian, vegan, and carnivorous options so it will appeal to all readers. As my vegetarians/vegans know, it’s really simple to substitute meat for something a bit more veg friendly!

3) We can all eat some scrumptious meals and feel good about ourselves because we are so damn thrifty.

This week, I thought I’d share my pantry staples with you. These are things you should always just have on hand. I try to buy these items in bulk because I use them almost daily. I’d recommend going out and stocking up on items from this list becuase you’re definitely going to need them!

Pantry Staples

– rice (brown, white, & arborio)
– Quinoa (doesn’t matter what color)
– Pasta! (all kinds)
– Minced Garlic
– Sticks of Unsalted Butter
– Onions
– Flour
– Sugar

I’ll be back next week with my very first menu for all of you. Also, I’m looking for guests to help with this series! If you think you’re interested, email me for details!


3 thoughts on “Food for Fourty

  1. Mel–There's definitely going to be a learning curve with this feature so I'm sure over time it will become more refined :). I've got the next few weeks all set to go so I'm excited to see where this takes me!Naomi– Count your lucky stars that you live with your parents and they feed you. Hopefully you can still find some new recipes through the feature!

  2. This sounds fantastic! Really great idea, I think it will appeal to many. I'm a college student but I am blessed enough to still be able to live under my parents roof and therefore don't have to pay for food, but I'm really interested to see/try the recipes!

  3. Awesome idea for a feature. It sounds like a lot of work for you – even one recipe a week would be plenty. I can kick in a recipe here or there (we just had a dinner for 4 for $12)p.s. I'm in Chicago this week!If you'd like to meet, send me an email :)melaniegodecki at

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