So what does a $1 meal look like anyway? Pictured here is an .85 cent breakfast. For the next several months, I'm going to be doing a series of example meals that cost approximately $1. Understand food prices are always in flux and vary by area and season. So don't expect my prices to match exactly what you find at the store. You can bring down the price of the meals by taking advantage of sales, coupons, and mark down items or growing your own. However, we're going to be putting together meals using regular (non sale) prices from our local grocery store to demonstrate that healthy and cheap are not mutually exclusive things.
Breakfast #1 Breakdown:
.30 O.J. (store brand) - 6oz
.25 Cheerios - 1 cup
.08 2 % Milk (store brand) - 1/2 cup
.22 Banana - approx 6oz.
.85 cents total
Not a bad way to start the day. Nitpickers may be wondering why we used 6oz rather than the standard 8oz juice serving listed on most packages. There are a few reasons. First off, we want you to understand that the serving sizes listed on packages are rather subjective. They're intended to show nutrient ratios but don't really dictate how much we should eat. Two, while 100% juice is good for you in moderation it does pack a lot of sugar and the acid is hard on your teeth (good reason to brush). O.J. is a part of my daily routine (I use it in place of coffee to wake up), but 5-6oz is my normal dose...though I will double that if I'm feeling sniffly.
You may also be wondering how we determined the cost of each item. Simple enough, we took the cost of the full size product and divided by the number of servings or ounces, then multiplied by how much is used in the meal. Generally we rounded up the fractions of cents.
Variations on this meal:
Add 2oz of O.J. = .95
Double the cereal = 1.10
Drop the Banana = .63
Skip the O.J. = .55
We're kind of a funny culture to have developed specific time of day foods, but traditional breakfast food is an easy place to save a few pennies.
You will notice a lot of these meals are simple, and that's kind of the point too. Healthy doesn't have to be complicated. In fact in many cases, simpler is healthier.
For disclosure reasons, we're getting most of our prices from the North Lake Kroger store. They were chosen because we can walk there (walking is thrifty and green). Good store with moderate prices, but we're in no way trying to endorse them over other grocery chains.