Recipe costs were calculated using supermarket prices (from Peapod.com) in the Milwaukee area. Recipe ingredient costs were calculated by dividing the full cost of the grocery item by the amount of the ingredient required for the recipe. Total recipe cost was divided by the number of servings per recipe to arrive at the cost on a "single serving" basis. Grocery items selected were generally mid-to-lower-priced brands. For example, we used olive oil that was $10.49 per 17-ounce bottle. Some brands were a few dollars less, others substantially more expensive for the same amount. Restaurant prices were taken from the St. Louis and Milwaukee areas. We used single serve entrée, sandwich, salad etc. costs for comparison with the single serving cost of our recipes. For both groceries and restaurants, we used medium-sized cities with moderate pricing/cost of living. Restaurant prices do not include tax or tip.
About the author: Cooking Light contributor Katherine Brooking is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition education from Columbia University. Additional reporting by Kirsten Soelling.