By Noah Kaufman
Updated May 05, 2014

In February, Congress cut close to $9 billion from SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program. This is a particularly big deal because at the time, the program was assisting more people than ever: about 46.5 million a month, according to the Department of Agriculture. The massive cuts impact real people who relied on SNAP benefits to feed their families. If that doesn’t seem like a problem to you, we encourage you to watch this or any speech on the topic by Tom Colicchio, one of the country’s premiere advocates to end hunger in America.

One of the supposed problems with the SNAP program is that it doesn’t provide enough money to allow people to eat delicious, healthy food. When some people think of shopping with Food Stamps, images of off-brand soda and un-labled cheez-puffs come to mind. But Leanne Brown, a researcher at New York University’s Food Studies program, is out to prove that is not true.

Brown just released Good and Cheap: A SNAP Cookbook, which is designed specifically for people using SNAP benefits. In 126 pages of recipes there are only two that cost more than $3 per serving and the vast majority are less than $2 a serving. The best part is that the book is absolutely free to download. If you or anyone you know might find it useful, you can get it here.

One other striking revelation from the book is just how beautiful a $3 meal can be. Don’t get us wrong, we love all of the Instagram photos of expensive meals, but we’d like to say thank you to Leanne Brown for proving that you don’t have spend big for something professional and tasty.

Chana Masala ($1.50/Serving)


Poutine ($3.50/Serving)


Cauliflower Tacos ($2-$3/Serving)


Shrimp and Grits ($3/Serving)


Savory Summer Cobbler ($2/Serving)