Inexpensive cooking under USD 5.00



Many people have to or want to save. Your budget for nutrition is usually just under EUR 5.00. Even people who are at work but still in debt are advised to make do with USD 5.00 budget for their diet and to pay off the debt from the money saved. With a USD 5.00 budget you can eat a healthy diet, this is possible.

What do I have to consider staying on a budget of less than USD 5.00?

It is significant that you do without the usual supermarket atmosphere and go shopping in discounters. Discounter is not synonymous with poor quality, but with an inexpensive organic and conventional range that tastes good. Most discounters now have their own organic brand.

It also makes sense if you stray from brand belief and also that beautiful packaging automatically includes good food. They are clever, skillful graphic designers who design such beautiful packaging so that the customer definitely buys this product.

The contents of the packaging cannot be inferred under any circumstances. You can see this in nicely opened chocolates or gummy bears, which have hardly any healthy nutrients, but all the more fat and sugar. Gummy bears contain 46% sugar. The rest are flavors or fruit juice.

Please never go shopping hungry because then much more will end up in your shopping cart than you originally wanted to buy. Make a shopping list with a smartphone app or the classic way with a sticky note and pen and stick to this list while shopping. So you can also calculate something that the planned purchase will cost you.

If you are single, please do not be surprised that you naturally spend more than USD 15.00 for three days per purchase. This is because, among other things, you buy packs that can last for several weeks with 500 g of rice, for example. Overall, however, you shouldn't spend much more on average, if possible. You can find out how this can work if you read on.

What foods should I buy?

In erster Linie sollten Sie dafür sorgen, dass Sie immer einen Vorrat an den sogenannten “Grundnahrungsmitteln” zuhause haben. Dazu zählen:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Oatmeal
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Rusk (for stomach upset and diarrhea)
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Mineral water
  • Bread (or a baking mix)
  • Honey

From these ingredients, which form the basis, you can conjure up delicious dishes that don't cost much by buying in fruit, vegetables, salads, meat, sausages and fish.

It makes sense to buy fruit and vegetables there (half an hour before the end of the weekly market) (cheaper also in larger quantities). The traders want to get rid of the fruit and vegetables in the evening, since they can no longer offer them the next day. Then you should access. Sometimes you get 2 kg of peppers at a bargain price.

Do you think that you cannot eat such large amounts and that you get sick? Deal with the shelf life methods of food. These are:

  • Freeze
  • Drying
  • Preserving in mason jars
  • Pickled in oil or vinegar
  • Prepare jam or compote

For example, if you chop these 4 lb peppers and blanch them, you can freeze them for about 3 months. They taste delicious after thawing and also have the most vitamins. Freezing is a very gentle form of preservation. You can also do this with many types of fruit (e.g. berries) that taste excellent after they have been thawed. However, I advise against sugaring these berries, otherwise they will become calorie bombs in addition to the natural fructose. This only shortens the shelf life. Freeze unsweetened berries for a maximum of 2-3 months.

If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, you should go for the cheaper regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables. I have a free seasonal calendar here on the website in the download area, which you are welcome to download. Lesser known, older fruits and vegetables are also mentioned there. Then you always know which fruit or vegetable is currently in season.

In season, you can get tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, lamb's lettuce, leeks, berries etc. very cheap. However, you should definitely avoid strawberries in December. These are often available, but far too expensive when is not the season.

If you buy sausage from a butcher or sausage counter, always ask which sausage is currently on offer. Here it can also be worthwhile to shop shortly before the shop closes. A mixed cold cuts is usually inexpensive. However, you should not overdo it with sausage, as some varieties, e.g. salami sausage, liver sausage are extremely fat and therefore very unhealthy.

Make a sandwich with radishes or tomatoes and garnish with parsley. A sandwich or roll with hard-boiled egg slices (very high in protein) is also delicious. These would be a few alternatives to a sausage topping.

You should refrain from reduced meat products, especially minced meat. It is often the shopkeepers who have been hanging around for a few days. Please only buy meat from the refrigerated counter at the normal price, even if you have to live economically.

Which foods should I avoid or only very rarely buy?

There are foods that people who want or need to save should better avoid or only them very rarely buy. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Sweets
  • Chocolates/Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Convenience products
  • Preserved fruits and vegetables
  • Exotic fruits (except oranges, lemons and kiwi)
  • Softdrinks
  • Lemonades
  • Fruit nectar, fruit juice (fresh "direct" juice is ok)
  • Commercial smoothies (expensive, sugar-coated, frequently other fruits then expected)

How can I use leftovers?

Sometimes leftovers remain. You have prepared too much because of hunger and now half the roast is still on the plate. Freeze it! Or put it in a plastic bowl and eat it with some salad or vegetables the next day. And you have already saved a main meal.

Sehr hilfreich sind die Apps (iOS und Android) vom Verbraucherministerium “Zu gut für die Tonne”




Finally, a trick: Instead of the huge shopping cart, please only use the plastic basket to carry the groceries, which many discounters offer next to the shopping cart. Then you have the subjective feeling that you have bought more and there is not so much unnecessary stuff in your shopping cart, which usually looks half empty. I wish you success!






Homemade low-salt instant vegetable broth

Salzfreie Instant-Gemüsebrühe, Martina Ledermann, Ernährungsberaterin

Instant vegetable broth
- What the trade offers

There are many instant vegetable broths to choose from in supermarkets and discounters. They are usually expensive and, above all, very salty. For most people, instant vegetable broth is a good alternative to homemade vegetable broth, which takes a long time to prepare. Particularly stress-stricken people like to use this alternative.

The advantage is that it is quick, it requires little effort and within seconds this broth has dissolved in boiling water. Their big disadvantage is the high salt content, which can have a negative impact on health. Hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are at risk. The body needs a certain amount of salt to live, but not more than approx. 3 g to a maximum of 5.5 g per day. The information on this fluctuate.

There are already high amounts of salt in ready meals and fast food. Just like in the commercial instant vegetable broths. This post will show you a way how you can make fresh soup vegetables into a delicious instant vegetable broth yourself, in which you can completely determine the salt content yourself or omit the salt.

What are the advantages of a low-salt instant vegetable broth?

With a low-salt vegetable broth, you determine how much salt you want to add to the vegetable broth. In addition, you can use organic soup vegetables for the instant vegetable broth, so that your vegetable broth is also of very high quality. Another advantage is that you can determine yourself which vegetables come to your homemade instant vegetable broth.

In the commercial instant vegetable broths, salt comes first on the list of ingredients. This means that it has the largest share in the instant vegetable broth. A maximum of only 550 mg of salt should be consumed per day, i.e. 5.5 g. With a commercial instant vegetable broth, this can quickly be exceeded and lead to health damage (high blood pressure, edema, etc.). You can create your homemade instant vegetable broth however you want.

How do you make an instant vegetable broth yourself?

You need:

1 baking sheet

1 baking paper

1 warm place where it is approx. 50 ° C / 122 °F warm
(Oven, single gas oven, heating)

Electric shredder or
much patience to cut the ingredients into small pieces (possibly with a weighing knife)

1 airtight sealable glass (e.g. a jam jar)

1 adhesive label and 1 ballpoint pen


1 pack of soup vegetables alternatively
Vegetables of your choice (e.g. carrots, leeks, onions)

Alternatively, fresh spices
Dry spices (e.g. parsley, chives)

Salt as desired (be careful not to take too much)


Wash the soup vegetables thoroughly under warm water.

Cut the soup vegetables into very small pieces or, better, put the soup vegetables in a shredder after you have cut them into medium-sized pieces and chop the soup vegetables very finely.

Cut the fresh spices with a weighing knife or use dry spices.

Place the baking paper on the baking sheet and put the soup vegetables with the spices on them. Spread the ingredients generously on the baking sheet so that not too much of the amount is on top of each other.

Switch the oven to 50 °C / 122 °F or place the baking sheet on the single gas oven or the heater for 24 hours. In any case, 50 °C / 122 °F should be reached. Finally, carefully sprinkle the desired amount of salt over the instant vegetable broth.

After 24 hours, your instant vegetable broth is ready and you can let it cool and pour it into the airtight sealable glass. You can of course print out a nice label on the PC to stick on the glass. Remember to write the date of manufacture on it. Please use the instant vegetable broth within three months.

Good Appetite!

Possible uses

You can use the homemade instant vegetable broth for soups and sauces, you can drink it in boiling water as a snack to stop hunger. You can also add the soup broth to a salad with a homemade dressing, then the salad will taste even more spicy.