Old Calorie Per Dollar List

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3 Years ago, my wife and I were presented with a chance at graduate level education. I knew this was a wonderful opportunity, but with the cost of $100,000.

I thought, “Okay, graduate loans are crazy expensive, how long can we survive off Ramen before we need to take out loans?”

I went down the list of our expenses

  • “Car and Gas Costs are necessary.”
  • “Rent is pretty cheap, we live in a low cost area”
  • “Food – Well hold on now…. how much do we spend on food?”

I had already thought about this question during undergraduate education. Occasionally we would go to a fast food restaurant and I’d try to figure out what would fill me up the most, Calories Per Dollar.

Me and Mandy went to the Grocery Store, shopped together, and bought our usual groceries. This time, instead of tossing the receipt, I opened a spreadsheet and started plugging in numbers.

I was shocked,

“Greek Yogurt only gives us 10 grams of protein per dollar but the chicken we eat gives us 50 grams 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:

Beautiful Calorie Per Dollar

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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?”


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

If you want to get Free Recipes that are delicious, healthy, inexpensive, and time effective join our email list:

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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
  • 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 are very expensive.
  • Cereal isn’t a value but is delicious with whole milk making it absoutally 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 100% of your daily fiber in 140 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? Join our email list to be notified when the list is expanded to include the nutrition of the foods You buy.

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