With some savvy shopping, you can make a delicious four-person meal for less than $5 per serving.
Writer Julia Rutland
1 of 5Photographer Jean Allsopp
Pasta with Clam Sauce
Cost per serving: $2.20
Budget Tip: Pasta is great for the grocery budget―it’s filling and inexpensive. Canned clams are always available, and even sometimes on sale. If you’re in the mood to splurge, try this recipe with a pound of fresh peeled shrimp sauted in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Budget Tip: Find ways to use smoked salmon―in quiches, tarts, eggs, etc. Its dense, rich taste means you don’t need a lot of other ingredients to flavor the dish.
3 of 5Photographer Howard L. Puckett
Shrimp and Brie Linguine
Cost per serving: $4
Budget Tip: Buy medium or small shrimp. They may take longer to peel and devein, but there’s more quantity per pound. Another tip? Halve large shrimp lengthwise (three can look skimpy on the plate, but six … ). Warehouse clubs have fantastic prices on sun-dried tomatoes and cheese―two items that can bust your budget if you don’t shop carefully.
4 of 5Photographer Becky Luigart-Stayner
Mussels with Red Pepper and Chorizo
Cost per serving: $4.25
Budget Tip: Mussels are among the best seafood deals out there. Look for sustainably farmed mussels―they are clean and meaty. If you can’t find chorizo, try smoked kielbasa sausage.
5 of 5Jean Allsopp
Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Mint Gremolata
Cost per serving: $5
Budget Tip: There aren’t a lot of fussy ingredients here, so start with the best piece of fish you can find. Try any firm white fish―thin fillets will fall apart on the grill. Pacific halibut is more plentiful, so you may see better prices in the market. Frozen fillets are an even better deal, but purchase from a retailer that has a high turnover so you don’t get fish that’s past its chilly prime.