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The task was easy: to choose some of our favorite seasonal recipes and everyday classics, and then go shopping at a typical Manhattan grocery store for the items. From whole roast chicken to Maldon sea salt, we added up the cost of each ingredient to find 20 easy, terrific recipes for less than $4 per serving. (For household staples like salt, olive oil and flour we calculated price by the spoonful.)

Each portion of these starters, main dishes and desserts costs less than a gallon of gas.

Additional research by Audrey Yu.

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