Calorie Per Dollar List – Eat For 21 Dollars A Week


UPDATE 2: Please read the article, you will thank yourself. Do not just look at the table.

UPDATE: Our Nutrient Per Dollar list is now complete. This is the ultimate guide to saving money on food.

3 Years ago, my wife and I were starting Grad School, and we needed to save $30,000 a year. I remember in college I’d ask:

What Fast Food Item Will Feed Me Most Efficiently?

  1. Little Caesar’s 5 Dollar Pizza – 420 Calories Per Dollar, 21g Protein Per Dollar
  2. Panera’s Cinnamon Raisin Bagel – 430 Calories Per Dollar, 14g Protein Per Dollar
  3. Taco Bell Beefy 5 – 400 Calories Per Dollar, 15g Protein Per Dollar

Applying this to grocery shopping, I was appaled:

Greek Yogurt only gives us 10g Protein Per Dollar but the Chicken we eat gives us 50g of Protein Per Dollar?”

“Instant Oats cost 5 times more than regular oats?”

Canned foods cost absurdly more than fresh, why do people think canned meats are a good deal?”

That’s when I realized, we think we know what food costs, but we have no idea what nutrition costs. We needed a way to value food.

The results:

We graduated college, Masters and PhD. No Debt.

calorie-per-dollar-formula
calories6

Download as Excel File

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“How can I use all of this data?”

Here is how we build a delicious and healthy meal:

  1. Pick A Low Cost Protein : Lentils, Beans, Chicken, some Pork, some protein powders, and some ground beef get you around 50 grams of protein per dollar
  2. Pick A Flavor : Spend 1 to 1.5 dollars on spices and veggies. Carrots, Garlic, Onions, Frozen peas, Frozen Green Beans, and bulk spices are delicious and healthy.
  3. Pick A Low Cost Carb : Rice, noodles, potatoes, tortillas, all add a base to the meal providing a median to deliver food to your mouth.
  4. Pick An Oil/Fat : Necessary to your life, you need to eat fats. Add some to anything you cook. Feel good about it too, filling, great calorie per dollar, and tasty.
  5. Search: (Protein)+ (Carb) + (Veggie/Spice) on the internet and follow a recipe.

 

How to google it

30 million results? You will find a few good recipes in there 😛

 

You should aim for around 700 calories per dollar if your goal is to eat for about $1,000 a year.

“What do you eat?”

Recipes

Combining high value foods with delicious recipes that are time efficient, we have developed 28 recipes that we rotate through.

Other Tips

  •  The most inexpensive fast food item is almost 2 times more expensive than eating at home – The 5 Dollar Pizza wins at 420 Calories Per Dollar. The cheapest food you can get is at home.
  • Eating only white bread will cost you about $200 dollars a year in grocery bills but thousands of dollars of medical bills when you get Scurvy! Eat diverse foods for your health and sanity.
  • In general, processed foods(ones that are usually boxed, and have a ton of ingredients) are more expensive than their homemade alternative.
  • Canned food is very expensive.
  • Cereal isn’t a value but is delicious with whole milk making it absolutely worth it… to me 🙂
  • Most ‘Junk Food’ is expensive
  • My ‘Super Food’ is (Pinto) Beans and Lentils.  They are give between 80g-140g protein per dollar, give you 60% of your daily fiber in 180 calories, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. I eat them minimum, a few times a week.

 

Want to find out if Dried Fruits have better Vitamins Per Dollar? Want to find out if Frozen Vegetables are healthier per dollar than Fresh?

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