Food

Chronicle Archives: Eat Well on a Dollar a Day

In honor of Throwback Thursday, we’re kicking off a new feature on our blog: From the Archives. Twice a month, we’ll dig deep into the Chronicle Books’ archives and feature long-lost (but not forgotten) gems that deserve admiration, observation…and maybe even a few good-natured chuckles.

Living in the Bay Area, we’re always on the lookout for good ways to keep monthly spending down—but reducing the grocery bill isn’t usually the first thing to spring to mind. But there are ways to trim the fat, as detailed in this Chronicle classic from 1975, Eat Well on a Dollar a Day, by Bill and Ruth Kaysing.

From Eat Well on a Dollar a Day, by Bill and Ruth Kaysing.

Although $1.00 in 1975 is now closer to $4.30 with inflation, Eat Well was written in the same spirit many of us try to live in today: eating square, healthy meals without breaking the bank. And while most San Francisco dwellings aren’t necessarily suitable for the chapters on “Food You Can Grow Yourself” or “Where to Pick Your Fresh Foods for Free” (does the Trader Joe’s sample table count?), there are still some invaluable recommendations.

From Eat Well on a Dollar a Day, by Bill and Ruth Kaysing.

Simple techniques such as preserving perishable foods for longer shelf life, eliminating pricier (and less healthful) sugary sweets, eating less meat and more raw foods, and stocking up on staples such as grains and oats (bought in bulk) that can be partnered with fresh fruit and vegetables (bought regularly) are just a few  ways to see that final grocery bill go down, as well as to improve the overall quality of the meal.

My favorite tip is this, probably because I am the consistent maker of too-much-sauce: “Have you ever made more spaghetti sauce than you could use? Turn that surplus into a fine soup by diluting with a bit of water…add chopped celery, more onions, and as much broken spaghetti or macaroni as you like. Presto! Soup for lunch!”

From Eat Well on a Dollar a Day, by Bill and Ruth Kaysing.

There are very few things to buy for only a dollar in 2014, but learning how to improve your diet and increase the contents of your wallet is a quest anyone can pursue. So take a second look at your cart the next time you’re shopping for groceries, and see if you can’t stretch that dollar just a little bit further.

Julia + Irene
The Archivists

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