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Ask Ginger: Meals on a Budget
Jul 23

Ask Ginger: Meals on a Budget

By Let's Move Pittsburgh

You've got questions ... we’ve got answers! Email your queries about healthy foods, physical activity and screen time for kids and Ginger will answer them here on the Phipps blog.

Q: I was hoping that you could suggest a few recipes that would be affordable for people living with SNAP benefits. As a SNAP recipient, I receive roughly $4 per day to spend on food. I am looking for flavorful, satisfying meals that don’t require fancy kitchen equipment or excessive culinary techniques. Thanks! - Jordan (Pittsburgh)

A: Hi Jordan, thanks for your question! There are lots of barriers that can block us from nourishing our bodies and satisfying our appetites, but money doesn’t have to be one of them! Recognizing that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, author Leanne Brown published her novel Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. In her writing, Brown strove to celebrate the many meals available to those on strict budgets by creating recipes that use money carefully - without sacrificing flavor. Her readers learn how to shop smart, build their pantries, cook for a crowd, and resourcefully reinvent their leftovers.1

Below I’ve highlighted three of my favorite recipes from her publication. For the full recipes and to explore the entire text, follow this link


Tofu Hot Pot1

Serves: 4 | Price Per Serving: $1.80

If there’s one cooking method that crosses nearly every Asian cuisine, the hot pot may be it! Hot pot cooking is simple, social, nutritious, and fun! Invite friends and family to gather around this simmering brothy pot and watch as they jockey for their favorite ingredients which are soaking in an earthy mushroom stock.]


Filipino Chicken Adobo1

Serves: 8 | Price Per Serving: $1.30

Just picture it: marinated, vinegar-braised chicken that is so flavorful and so tender, it practically falls off the bone! Classically served over white rice, this easy make-ahead meal tastes even better the next day.


Spicy, Crunchy, Creamy Polenta1

Serves: 2 | Price Per Serving: $1.75

Best cooked low and slow, this spicy, creamy, crunchy porridge can be served at any meal during the day. Simple ingredients with diverse textures combine to make this dish a real winner. Cozy up and satisfy your cravings with this classic Northern Italian comfort food.



Source and Photo Credit:

1. Brown, Leanne. Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. Turtleback Books; 2015.


Additional Resources:

Filipino Chicken Adobo. Worthy Pause. Accessed July 12, 2018.

How to Make an Easy Asian Hot Pot. Published February 12, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2018.


Cover Photo Credit: Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons