Can you make a 4-course meal to feed 4 people for less than $10, or $0.62 per course? Absolutely!
How? Buy your groceries at discount, scratch-and-dent type stores. As a way of showing people just how good cheap food can be, The Sober Sous Chef is proud to announce a new series of posts, which will arrive in your email inbox once a week—if you’ve signed up!
Before we get into the food stuffs, let’s talk about discount groceries. The Barn, in a small town in Massachusetts, offers weekly specials and has a wide variety of fresh, frozen, expired and bizarre food. Shopping there is like shopping at a garage sale, except you don’t have to haggle—everything is already cheap.
The bizarre food is my favorite, and comes to The Barn sometimes because of misprinted labels, or experiments gone wrong. Some of it is overstock stuff, while others are products that will expire soon after purchase. Shopping here forces you to think creatively, and my recommendation is to buy the cheapest of the cheap.
Many of my subscribers are vegetarian, or vegan, or farmers and whole-food consumers. I think that’s wonderful! But this type of cooking, which uses only the cheapest, and often chemically enhanced and produced foods, while not natural, is actually one of the most responsible and challenging types possible.
Food is really only meant to nourish us, and we have changed our opinions of it so much that it now entertains us, inspires us, compels us, whatever it does to you, in its pure, “natural” state food is a survival mechanism. While you browse through recipes and decide what to eat based on a craving you have, or argue over which restaurant to go to, remember that millions of people around the world don’t have food.
Here’s one way to help the hungry:
I say it’s responsible because the food here is getting one last chance to be eaten before it finishes up fertilizing a landfill. It is here that the failed Lay’s brand chips go to die, like the Superbowl runner-up t-shirts that no one wants.
Here’s what we made this time:
Nachos with Lime Queso and Fennel Garnish
Total cost of above: about $1.25 (some ingredients were used in multiple places in this meal) with leftovers!
About $0.31 per person
Beet and Fennel Soup
Total cost of above: $4.30 ($1.08 per person)
Plum, Grapefruit and Blackberry Sorbet
Total for the meal: $9.81 ($2.45 per person For FOUR COURSES!)
And about half of the lime curd, queso starter and things of that nature are still in my pantry, and wait for another edition of Barn Finds: Discount Groceries and Gourmet Meals.