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Good and Cheap: Eat Well On $4/Day

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,733 ratings  ·  247 reviews
A perfect and irresistible idea: A cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes created for everyone on a tight budget—and a cookbook with a strong charitable component: With every copy of Good and Cheap purchased, a second copy will be given to a person or family in need.

While studying food policy as a master’s candidate at NYU, Leanne Brown asked a simple yet critic
ebook, 132 pages
Published June 30th 2015 (first published October 1st 2011)
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Shannon I would say one person. She puts the prices per serving and for the whole meal. Most of the serving prices are around $1 and most of the meal prices…moreI would say one person. She puts the prices per serving and for the whole meal. Most of the serving prices are around $1 and most of the meal prices are around $4. There are some that are $.50 or less per serving, but your diet wouldn't be very varied if you did that. It's designed to help families living on food stamps, but I use it because I'm a grad student with very limited income, and I love it. She really put a lot of attention into making the food not only cheap, but healthy and delicious. There's a free pdf available if you want to look at it before buying it or if you can't buy it for whatever reason.

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3.90  · 
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Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


part two can be found here:

this is a perfect project for january resolutions, with its dual ambitions of eating healthy and saving money. i will start project tomorrow, since i still have so many soft cheeses and smoked meats from new years, and it would not be frugal to just throw it all away. tonight: gout, tomorrow: good and cheap.

and oops - i remember reading erica's awesome review of this b
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



 photo IMG_9408_zpsynh9ygrj.jpg

cumin: already on hand
oregano: already on hand
cinnamon: already on hand
cocoa powder: already on hand
canned chipotle chiles in adobo: $1.79
ground beef: $7.39
chorizo: $5.99
onions: 92¢
garlic: 76¢
peppers: $2.99
carrots: 49¢
black beans: 99¢ each
canned tomatoes: $2.29 (one can already on hand)
salt: already on hand
scallions: 59¢
cilantro: 50¢


Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I love getting cookbooks from Netgalley. I get to check them out and if I end up loving them I can decide to order an hard copy of it. This book gets that status of me buying it. And I'm cheap.
I'm cheap by necessity. I won't go into great detail but my husband and I both work and have semi-decent paying jobs. I have a chunk of my paycheck that has to go to something so well..I have to be the one to lay down the hammer sometimes on spending.
This book is made for people that receive snap benefit
Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: college students, newlyweds, people on a tight budget who want to eat better
This is going to be a long, ranting ramble so for those of you who hate those, here's the gist of my review:
The recipes are good (some need tweaking for added flavorfulness, but that's all personal taste. Literally)
The pictures are lovely which is incredibly important for cookbooks.
Unfortunately, I don't feel this book succeeded in its goal.
It's a good start but much more is needed.
Buy copies, keep one and give the others to all the college students, newlyweds, and tightly-budgeted folk you know
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Are you broke but bourgie? Do you have time and energy to obtain fresh beets and roast them and mash them? Do you realize that toast is trendy? This book is for you.

Are you actually trying to feed your family on food stamps while you work a low-paying job? Have you ever been to Food Lion? Do you work at Food Lion? Not so much.

I am irritated with non-poor people telling poor people how to be (more like rich people).
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was designed for the people using the SNAP (food stamps) program. It is a good book for anyone who wishes to eat well on a small budget. An added bonus is that most recipes are very quick and easy to prepare. I have used a number of the recipes and all have turned out well.

You can get a free PDF version from the author's website:
There is a free PDF version on the website in Spanish for those who need it.
Ivonne Rovira
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Ivonne by: BookBub
Shelves: cookbooks
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 Per Day is a five-star read.

Not that there aren’t any decent recipes in this book; however, you won’t find any stellar recipes in this cookbook, no crème brûlée, no coq au vin, no Beef Wellington, no prosciutto-laced side dishes. So how is it a five-star read?

The cookbook began as author Leanne Brown‘s capstone project for her master’s degree from NYU. When she posted the PDF of it online, it went viral, with nearly 100,000 downloads within the first few weeks. Th
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
The math just doesn't work. Not for people on SNAP. Not $4 a day per person. I have read the recipes, came up with meal plans and there are too many missing pieces. Besides the food deserts in poor communities where it is costly and hard to find veggies and fruit and homemade bread ($$$) and a bunch of other ingredients it is just too expensive. It doesn't differentiate between family structure. For example, if I have two teenage (growing) sons or daughters in a family of four and make four eggs ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook
I may have to buy this book again! I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday and she told me that she wanted this book, so, I bought her a copy, then, intrigued, I decided to borrow a copy from my local public library. So far, we have made the Pasta with Eggplant (yum), Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine (so easy to make & delicious!) and the Cauliflower Cheese, which is to die for! We have now made the Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine twice. Both times I substituted 1/4 cup of half and half fo ...more
Saddam Bouchaib
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"The Book of Junk Food" would have been a better name

I didn't find any recipes that i thought sounded intersting, some of theme are "What you put on a hod dog, or Popcorn" REALLY!! You call that a recipes ?, or even food ?
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
The idea of a cookbook designed for those on SNAP or on a tight budget is a wonderful idea. Whether you're single or have a family trying to buy groceries is a hassle, for numerous reasons. Groceries can be pricey, couponing can be difficult if not useless, depending on where you live. Eating healthy and cheap is also a pain in the arse. So, having tailor-made meals that are price conscious is a total plus.

I've looked over this cookbook several times already, and have tried a few of the recipes
Dirty Dayna
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
 photo arc_zps18b56b1b.png

4 4 dollars a day stars

The author used her degree and is working on changing people's lives who live on 4 $ a day food stamps

I like that she took a significant issue plaguing our food stamp population ahd instead of just having the excuse of its only 4 dollars I cant survive I can only eat mcdonalds cheeseburgers and coke. She went through and found meals that are not just fat filled they are nutritious
BUT this book is flawed!
The recipes show that they are under 4 dollars to feed the family a
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I love this cookbook. It is simple, straight forward, and great for beginners and regular cooks alike. If you are on a budget, managing food stamps, or just want a simple cookbook to give as a gift, this is the right one for you. I understand the need to balance and budget carefully, and how frustrating it can be to make your grocery list seem more appetizing than pasta, beans, and rice. Good & Cheap provides alternatives with flavor and variety, as well as giving you smart tips on how to di ...more
Kylara Jensen
Probably the most realistic cookbook I've ever read.

Great diversity of food. A lot of Indian food.

I like how each recipe has a price with it. (That's the whole point of the book so that's good.)

There were a few things that were geared more towards people with little to no cooking experience, but also a lot geared towards people who want a wider cooking palette
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Two and a half stars.

First, I'd like to say that I appreciate that (at least as of the time that I'm writing this review) the author has placed this cookbook as a free PDF on her website. Since the point of the book is to eat on 4$ a day and is aimed at those on SNAP, I'm really happy to see that a lot of people will have access to this guide.

That's really how to take this book- as a guide, not so much as a recipe book. The book straight up says that there's a lot of room for variety, and to a
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief, but well done book. I estimate that about 20% of the recipes included are usable. (That's a high percentage in 'my book'.)

I've prepared several of the recipes in this book. Its surprisingly easy to prepare non-traditional meals with these recipes. I recently prepared the: Philippine Adobo Chicken, Chicken with Broccoli and Peanut Sauce and the Hearty Cocoa Chili. Following the recipes results in successful meals.

I did find I needed to have a heavier hand with the spices and condiments t
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
While the government offers an extensive group of free recipes for SNAP users (, this book is still a welcome resource. The tone is positive but never preachy, and I appreciate the plentiful photographs and simple yet sound advice about shopping, storing, and (in general) preparing food frugally without sacrificing nutrition or enjoyment. It's also nice to see meals that take inspiration from cultures where thrift is a frequent necessity (Mexico, China, E ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristie by: Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Shelves: food, netgalley
This is a fairly mediocre cookbook. There were a few recipes in here I might try, but I didn't need someone to tell me that hotdogs are inexpensive, or popcorn is a cheap snack, and by the way, a whole roasted chicken costs less than cut parts. No kidding... I also didn't need a whole page on various ways to eat the cheap hotdogs, etc.

Overall, a few interesting recipes, but nothing great. I was hoping for something more creative. I will admit that I am probably not the target audience for this
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley*

Wow, this was a great book full of wonderful recipes and pictures. There's a mix of good old home cooking and very professional recipes that would impress any guest, and better yet, they all cost under $4 per serving, most of them were $1.50 or under. I was really surprised to see that some of these really good, healthy, professional recipes cost so little, and that really made me want to try these. Overall a su
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded Good and Cheap online several years ago and have been referring back to its simple, economical recipes ever since then. I ordered the physical book to make it easier to look up recipes and refer back to my favorites. It provides great advice on how to mix up recipes and get creative with basic dishes, and how to maximize your grocery budget in the process.
Heidi Williams
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super book. Nutritious recipes. Fantastic for anyone living on a budget.I loved the fact that for every book purchased one is donated to a family that cannot afford to buy this fantastic resource.
Christine Kuhn
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This is a great resource for anyone interested in trying to eat good, healthy food on a budget. It is intended to be a guide for those on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP...formerly Food Stamps), but I have my doubts as to the actual feasibility of these recipes for most SNAP users.

This book assumes that the reader has a good basic culinary and nutritional knowledge set as well as a kitchen well-stocked with food basics (flour, butter, eggs, etc.)and basic equipment (full set of p
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author specifically designed this cookbook for people living on SNAP, the federal government food assistance program. I had no idea that people were allotted only $4/day for food! There is a lot of good information in this book for anyone on how to stretch a limited food budget. I have some concerns, though, with many of the actual recipes. Although she says in her introduction that in her work with low-income families in New York, “items like blenders, food processors, and electric mixers a ...more
Jodi Geever
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first learned about this book online, while I was watching YouTube videos about health, diet, and nutrition. Healthy food, and the food industry have been an ongoing interest for me since I first saw Supersize Me in approximately 2005.

I think of myself as pretty well-versed in food as an act in attaining or maintaining good health, food deserts and the problems faced by the working poor to feed their families on very limited budgets, etc. I'm aware that there are so many people who face these
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, nonfiction
Lots of fairly easy recipes, and definitely inexpensive to make ones. For the most part, these don't require weird ingredients, and you're not using weird amounts of them.

I liked that there are a bunch of variations on a single item. Like toast. There are a couple pages on how to make different (easy) toppings for toast so you can have it any time of day and aren't getting bored with the same thing. There was an entry on hot dogs too.

At the start, there are some helpful entries about things like
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food
For me the title should be Bad and somewhat cheap: eat eh on $? a day. I didn't find any recipes that I thought sounded interesting. Some of the "recipes" are what to put on toast, hot dogs, or popcorn. There are some recipes that I couldn't even pronounce. Tzatzili? Raita?

There were some good instructions: how to cook dry beans, different toppings for oatmeal, making croutons or breadcrumbs, pizza dough from scratch.

Kari | Books For The Living
Love how she breaks it down by price per meal. For someone on a strict budget, this is really helpful. I've made a couple of the recipes and enjoyed them so far. Full review to come once I try more of the recipes!
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is as good as its name. I'm practically evangelical about the Brussels sprout hash.
Christie’s Books
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I don’t recommend buying

My family already eats and cooks in this manner, and I’m not sure how she got her math to work in regards to us eating for $4 per day.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A necessity for anyone on snap, WIC, etc. and for college students and young families alike. Gives a great perspective on how you don’t HAVE to spend a ton to eat a well-rounded diet.
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Leanne Brown wrote Good and Cheap as the capstone for her master’s in food studies from New York University. She and her husband live in New York City.
“1 To prepare the squash, peel off the tough skin with a potato peeler. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp chef’s knife, then scoop out the seeds and goop. (You can save the seeds for a tasty snack later, if you like—see page 52.) 2 Next, slice off the stem and the very bottom of the squash and throw them away. Place each half of the squash flat side down on a cutting board. Chop each half into ½-inch slices, then cut each slice into cubes. 3 Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. 4 Add the cubed squash, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and” 1 likes
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