Being Frugal,  Greenmarket Grub

Entirely local and under $5 per person? Yes.

Saturday was Slow Food USA’s $5 Challenge — to serve a meal for less than the cost (per person) of a fast food value meal.

I spent nearly all of last week catching up with a class I just transferred into, so after cramming about three weeks of work into one week… I had kind of forgotten I had signed myself up for this challenge until I got a reminder email that morning.

In keeping with the challenge idea of $5 being equivalent to fast food, I didn’t want to make anything fancy or complicated. Just something you could come from work and throw together rather than ring up the pizza place or hit the drive-through. It’s not the prettiest meal, but filling and tasty (and even dessert, too).

And so, for a grand total of $3.77 per person, I made kale stamppot with some local kielbasa, and an apple cake:


This was A LOT OF FOOD. I ate the portion in the photo above and was almost immobilized by food. We picked at the leftovers a little yesterday and I sent my husband to work with more today and there’s STILL some left, so I calculated for dividing the meal between four adults (assuming they were all pretty hungry).

A pound of Kielbasa from Millport Dairy: $8
Big bunch of kale: $2
About a pound and change of potatoes: $1
Butter: $2 (in the stamppot and the cake)
Apple: $0.75
Flours: $1
Egg: $0.33
Spices, baking soda, etc.: less than $0.05


$15.13 / divided by 4 = $3.78

A serving size of kielbasa is 2 ounces and the cake made 8 servings as well, so these are big portions for four people. (I probably could have even divided it up six ways instead, making this meal $2.52 per person.) And everything, with the exception of the spices and the flour, came from the Greenmarket.

One Comment

  • Christian

    This was a rewarding article to read. The challenge was cool enough but seeing it put into practice, with such excellent results, really provoked some emotions in me. Just up the street from me is a hipster dive where the appetizers cost as much as what entrees used to, yet for the price of one of those, four adults could be fed (with leftovers). This is revolutionary thinking.