How to Cook Dinner for 2 for a Mere $440

It's possible, and you only have to visit one store to do it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2010 11:30 AM CDT
A customer walks home from the Whole Foods Market in Cambridge, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008.   (AP)

(Newser) – Tired of reading all those "How to Make Dinner for Less Than $10" articles, Noreen Malone decides to try an experiment in the opposite direction. She goes to Whole Foods to see how “the other half lives,” she writes on Slate, and assembles a $443.48 imaginary dinner for two:

  • Appetizer: $50.09, thanks in part to Medjool dates at $8.99/lb, Marcona almonds at $16.99/lb, and of course the store’s most expensive cheese: the soft, creamy “Sophie” for $9.99 per quarter pound.
  • Drinks: $45.96. She may have been able to spend more if her Whole Foods sold liquor. Instead, she settles for mocktails made from $7.99 tonic water and $9.99 pomegranate juice, among other things.

  • Salad: $152.26, including ingredients like bell peppers at $5.99/lb and homemade dressing using $41.99 olive oil and $49.99 balsamic vinegar.
  • Main course: $63.97—a surprisingly low price, thanks to a meat department that carries things like “veal cutlets for a mere $19.”
  • Dessert: $74.23, including the $24.99 hot chocolate.
  • Coffee, tea, etc.: $56.97, owing in part to the most expensive coffee in the store: $15.99/lb.
For the rest of the ingredients she used in her imaginary meal, click here. If you’d rather make a day of your imaginary shopping trip and spend a whopping $4 million, click here to see how.

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