Hello and welcome to a new feature here on Ridinkulous. It’s Cost Per Serving!
If you’re like me, and I think I’ll just assume that you are, you’re desperate to know what the true cost of your home-cooked meals are. That is, how much does the hamburger you made cost? How much is the slice of lasagna? How much for each square of chocolate? Only through measurement can we maximize the frugality of the foods we enjoy! And vice-versa!
I’ve tried to come up with spreadsheets that would calculate meal costs based on how many of a given ingredient you used, and the going price for those ingredients, but it quickly gets overwhelming. Some recipes use cup measurements, some use a quantity of items, and some morons use weight. So it’s hard to compare.
So once in a while here, I’m going to make a recipe, take all the costs involved, divide it into servings, and then rank them as I go.
BUT WHAT’S A SERVING? Is it ever what the recipe says? No, never! Originally I was going to include calorie counts and divide all recipes into 650 calorie meals, but even that ended up being inaccurate, because today’s recipe in particular has, like, no calories in it, but filled four bowls. I guess the best way is to see how many meals it makes for us, and divide by that.
Today’s meal is garden vegetable stew. I took it out of Food & Wine magazine, and it doesn’t appear to be online, but this one is very similar. Food & Wine sometimes repeat themselves.
Here’s what went into it:
|Ingredient||Cost||Unit size price|
|2 Carrots||$0.25||$3.99 for 5 lb bag|
|2 Turnips||$0.49||49 cents/lb|
|Half a cabbage||$0.50||79 cents/lb|
|3 Celery stalks||$0.30||$1.49 package|
|1/2 lb mushrooms||$1.66||$2.49 for 12 oz box|
|10 Radishes||$0.79||small bag|
|Onion||$0.40||$3.99 for 5 lb bag|
|8 Garlic cloves||$0.30||69 cents a head|
|Fennel seeds||$0.20||Little McCormick jar|
|1 cup orange juice||$1.00||12 oz bottle for $1.49|
|5 cups broth||$0.50||Cubes|
|2 tbls Butter||$0.25||$4 a box!|
|Cost Per Serving||$1.61|
Even though the recipe recommended vegetable broth, the broth you see here is chicken since I’ve been having a heck of a time finding cheap vegetable broth (only the Polish market seems to stock it, pun intended). Also, I took out two whole fennels because I’m not a fan, and they’re 2 bucks each. You might notice the lemon juice in the photo. The recipe included, like, 1 tablespoon of lemongrass, which of course I didn’t have. Whenever a recipe calls for a small bit of some obscure ingredient, I invariably substitute something stupid I have around instead of buying a whole new jar just to get a teaspoon of something.
You know what would also be cool here? A deliciousness rating, so we can maximize our eating enjoyment while reducing costs. I think of this now because this recipe didn’t really float my boat. It’s weird, with it’s orange-y fennel broth and insubstantial vegetables. But it sure is healthy, and that should probably count for something, I guess.
Deliciousness Rating: 4
(Where 1 is gross, 5 is good, and 10 is Captain Parker’s clam chowder in Yarmouth, MA)
Here are the rankings so far!
|Recipe||Cost Per Serving||Deliciousness|
|Garden Vegetable Stew||$1.61||4|