It’s expensive to be a foodie. A carton of heirloom tomatoes alone can set you back $5. Last night my friend Thomas ate out at Gjelina, the most-talked about place on the west side of L.A. right now. Dinner for two? $200. If you follow the food trends, you’re going to want that $35 bottle of olive oil that can only be used for drizzling on top your bread. If you have expensive taste, you are going to want truffle salt in your pantry.

While writing my Seacookery blog, my most popular post was the one I wrote in response to the question: How do you do this on six dollars a day? When I got off the boat, a lot of people asked me if I thought I could keep my costs that low while just cooking for myself. I wondered the same thing.

Something to be said for thrift
This project shows how, with a little forward thinking and a lot of thrift, you can eat fabulous gourmet meals with very little money. If you follow along with me you will slowly build your pantry, allowing for those big-ticket purchases down the line. If you are cooking for more than one, you need to increase your volume, but you should not need $20 a day to feed a family of four. In fact, I had so much food left over after the first week, I could have fed two people.

Three square
I have not included breakfast or lunch in my meal planning, but you will have enough extra food to eat leftovers for lunch and I will suggest ways to use the ingredients you have to quickly make a salad or sandwich. If you have ideas, please post them! I’m not posting anything about breakfast because I eat the same thing almost every day: yoghurt with toasted walnuts. If you want to eat breakfast on that $5 a day, by the end of a month you will have all the ingredients to make something gourmet every morning if you want.

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