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Here's How to Host a Feast for $5 a Head

How to cook a healthy, organic feast for friends for less than $5 a person.


$5 doesn’t sound like much. In fact, I have trouble thinking of many things you can buy for just $5. But turns out $5 can buy you a feast. Here’s how.
Two years ago, some friends and I began gathering for monthly home-cooked dinners. The challenge? Dinners had to be tasty, well-balanced, and sustainably sourced. And cost no more than $5 a person.
Our aim was to test a simple idea: that being on a budget doesn’t mean having to eat fast or processed food. On the contrary, we wanted to show that eating real food—that is, buying fresh ingredients, cooking at home and eating a meal in good company—is not only a better alternative for eaters, producers and the environment, but also a more affordable one.
17 “Frugal Feasts” later, many of which have come in under budget, here’s what we’ve learned:
First, it turns out that by not putting meat at the center of the plate, you free up funds to buy higher quality fruits, vegetables, and grains—many organically grown and therefore free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals in their production cycle.
Second, despite what seems like a major budgetary constraint, when you bring 10 or so people together to eat as a community, economies of scale kick in. $5 a person turns into a $50 budget—more than enough to create a satisfying meal.

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