I Lived On A $5 A Day Budget For A Week In New York City

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- This is a disaster.

Do you hear this pot hissing at me?

It's mocking me.

I deserve to be mocked.

Good morning.

Happy Sunday.

Yes I am filming on a Sunday

because what are days anymore?

We're going to try to feed ourselves on $5 a day

in New York city.

I went grocery shopping yesterday,

I spent just about $35 for the entire week.

I'm excited to show you what I got

and I'm excited to cook with you throughout the week.

But first, I have not fed Tom yet.

He's a hungry boy.

We're fostering him until his dad feels better,

so let's get Tom some food.

How is it?

Does it taste good?

Is it acceptable, your highness?

I'm hungry, let's start planning.

Let's see what we got.

(upbeat music)

diced tomatoes, canned tomato sauce.

We got my all-time favorite natural peanut butter.

Some chick peas, which were outrageously priced at $2.20.

Split peas, a little bit cheaper.

Lentils, always delicious.

We got brown rice, only a buck O nine.

And some sushi rice,

which I can't say no to sushi rice.

We got two bags of oatmeal.

These were only $1.99 each.

We got some eggs.

These absolutely killed me.

They were like 4.40 for a dozen

and that's from the least happy chickens ever.

Some tortillas.


We got some four bananas

that I'm hoping they will ripen by the time we use them.

Carrots, a buck a bag.

A stock of celery.

A single pinata apple.

I love the name.

54 cents, I believe.

We got two onions.

We got four red potatoes.

I think these came under a dollar.

Two sweet potatoes,

I think also under a dollar.

Three russets.

Woo hoo.

And the total for that came to be 34.94.

(cash register chiming)

I feel like this is a good amount of food

for a week for a single person.

I definitely went a little bit heavy on the carbs.

I think I did fairly well.

Stores were crowded,

so I tried to make it as quick as possible.

For this challenge, I will not be counting in the cost

of minimal amounts of cooking oil, salt, spices

that I already have in my pantry.

I am especially excited to take you through the week with me

because now you'll see how I actually eat at home

when not developing recipes for Delish.

♪ Take a shot at love ♪

♪ Take another, take a lover ♪

♪ Take a shot at love ♪

- [Camera Woman] Did you just black out.

- My at-home diet is a completely different side of recipes.

I mean, they're not even recipes,

I just cook on the fly, you know?

I don't really measure, I don't really scale things,

I just


(upbeat music)

(water running)

Breakfast, day one.

Banana oat peanut butter pancakes.

It was $1.99 for two pounds of oats.

Flour can be hard to find nowadays,

and I actually really like baking with oat flour,

so the first thing I'm gonna do

to this bag of oats is grind it up into a flour.

(blender whirring)

(upbeat music)

All right, here's meal number one.

One day at breakfast,

banana peanut butter oat pancakes.

I really want some maple syrups on this baby,

but you know, not in the budget.

I only used half a banana

because I only got four bananas for the week

and I need to ration them.

But the banana flavor is still coming through.

The peanut butter adds a little bit of nutty saltiness.

Oh my god,

if I could have maple syrup on this,

it would be probably in my top five pancakes.

As is, I would rate this dish six out of 10.

I'm a harsh critic.

Lunch time, we gotta plan ahead.

Let's get started on that split pea soup.

I'm thinking super simple.

I have onions, carrots, celery.

Rinse the peas, boil them.

I'm gonna parboil some of those potato as wedges

and then roast some of them.

Okay, so big pet peeve of mine is turning on the oven

when I'm only baking one thing,

'cause I just feel like it's wasteful.

And I'm thinking maybe for tomorrow,

we can make a sweet potato oatmeal gnocchi.

I'm gonna go ahead and wash those sweet potatoes.

I'm gonna wash some extra carrots,

maybe slice up another quarter of that onion

and then we're gonna toss 'em all on a tray

and just let them bake.

Heat plus time plus stuff equals flavor.


These potatoes are looking nice and golden.


An hour at 400.

Nicely completely tender.

Let's eat guys.

Definitely not the prettiest meal in the world.

But man, I look forward to it.

If you are doing any sort of budget eating,

spices, condiments, all of that is extremely crucial.

You're my victim.


I think I need hot sauce.

Not too much hot sauce.

Just a little bit.

Just for that acidity.

You want some?

I don't think you can eat onions, dude.


I'm gonna give this one like a seven out of 10.


Let's make dinner.


I have brown rice.

I think it'll go really well with lentils

because the dish has caramelized onions in it.

I'm just now realizing I only grabbed two onions

for the entire week, which was a dumb decision.

I think I'll reserve half an onion for other recipes

later on in the week.

And caramelize the rest.

I am sweating.

So traditional mujaddara,

I believe has a lot of herbs on top,

so I'm just gonna take some from my window sill

because I have it, I'm gonna use it.

'Cause I'm also gonna be using a pat of butter

because you can't stop me.

But also I would like some butter, please and thank you.

And then I'm gonna throw in some ground coriander,

cumin seeds, an aleppo pepper.

We don't wanna burn the spices,

we just wanna toast them.

I'm gonna go in with a cup of rice.

I'm gonna hit it with equal amount of lentils.

So one cup of lentils.

It's looking pretty crispy, pretty golden.

Rice, lentils, caramelized onion.

White sauce, herbs, all of our spices.

Crisp, tender rice.

Soft, mushy lentils

with a nice white sauce and some herbs.

When food smells good, you know it's gonna taste good too.


Pretty well cooked rice

with that extra bit of crispiness

from the high heat and the cast iron.

This has been a delicious Monday.

I'm gonna take a break from cooking

and then I'll see you tomorrow,

Tuesday, a whole new day.

(upbeat guitar music)

It's Tuesday.

You ready for breakfast?

I have to come clean about something.

I was awake all night last night.

Got really terrible sleep

because I was lying to you

and lying to myself


the banana pancakes weren't that good.

They just were too dry.

So we're gonna make them again today.

The secret ingredient is Bailey's.

(upbeat music)

Okay yes, I recognize this is not really within my budget,

but it's Tuesday and it's already feeling so hard

and I feel like

alcohol, put it in, I don't care.

Look yonder, what is this I see?

A new and improved stack of pancakes?

My lord,

do my eyes deceive me?

Pancake success though.

Super moist.

Nice and fluffy still.

Nice pancake.

Okay guys, I think for our snack today

we're gonna try to make peanut butter granola.

Got an egg, crack it in here,

I'm gonna save the yolk for something else.

(upbeat music)

This might take a while by hand.

- [Narrator] Five hours later.

- This is good for me.

It's starting to get nice and shiny.

Okay I'm gonna call it.

My hands are dying.

Shiny, runny,

but still voluminous.

Nice, nice, nice.


That's not scientific at all.

Fold it in gently.

It's been 28 minutes and I just pulled them out

because it's looking nice and golden.

Smells peanut buttery.

It's perfect.

I do miss the sugar in it,

but on its own,

perfectly perfectly delicious.

Six and a half out of 10.

6.8 out of 10, I change my mind.


I have been thinking of what to cook for today,

but I think I really just want more split pea soup,

and I thought, I bought those tortillas,

let's make some tortilla chips.

Using some grape seed oil here.

Black pepper garlic salt.

I have some more of that miscellaneous spice thing

that I still don't know what's in here.

Gosh yes.

Love cumin.

And I have some Japanese togarashi here.

A little bit spicy, a little bit nutty.


So today I seasoned my soup with a little more lentil broth,

let's call it.

And I also put in some turmeric.

Made the color a lot more vibrantly green, I love it.

Like a split pea tortilla soup baby.

I dig it.




I think for dinner I'm gonna make use

of some of yesterday's brown rice

and I'm gonna make one of my favorite childhood eats,

which is tomato and egg over rice.

I just got some canned diced tomatoes,

they were the cheapest ones.

Stir fry some scrambled eggs into it.

And then plot the rice in the same pan

and then I'm gonna eat it.

Did you know that red and yellow together make you hungry?

Eggs, garlic, chives, tomatoes, brown rice,

a little bit of salt, a little bit of seasoning,

a little bit of sugar, what's not to like, guys?

I miss my mom's cooking, that's for sure.

This probably won't beat hers by miles, but.

Needs more salt.

Oh yeah, when in doubt, add more salt.

Exactly what I needed.

Gonna give this a 7.1 out of 10.

See you tomorrow.

I'm gonna eat this, I'm gonna go watch some YouTube videos,


(upbeat music)

(car honking)

Tom and I are not on speaking terms.

He tried to eat three, broken, moldy bones

on the side of the street

and I was very stern with him

and now we're not talking anymore.


(blending whirring)

Oat milk.

A little bit of granola,

a little bit of oat milk.


Once you put the granola in milk

all of the sudden it tastes way more peanut buttery.

This gets a seven out of 10 for me for now.

I think for lunch

we're gonna make some vegan sloppy Joes today.

Maybe we'll take our potato wedges

from two days ago, smash 'em,

and then we can dip into our sloppy Joe with that.

Let's make some rice cakes, yeah?

(blender whirring)

(upbeat music)


(upbeat music)

Oh, this is fun.

Here you go Chels, you wanted camera angles.

- [YouTube Video] So you can see

- It's time to check on our potatoes and rice cakes

and who's that you hear?

Why it's


Let's give these a flip.

Another 10 minutes.

Let's watch more Julia.

- If I were a vegan, I would like this as an option.

The veggie burger.

Our test kitchen manager, June-

- I miss you.

Oh my god, she just said my name.

- Or she just told me to try it.

I don't know that she said that she loved it.

- [June] I do love it. - Just make sure you try it.

- I love the veggie burger.

I love you too.

(upbeat music)

First parboiled, then baked,

then squished flat and baked again.

And our tomato-y vegan sloppy Joe

with our lentils, our roasted carrots and onions.

We say vegan sloppy Joe, I think it taste pretty close.

But really it's just like a lentil tomato-y stew.

And it's absolutely delicious.

It's so hearty.

This is really good.

I'm gonna give this an 8.5 out of 10.

Rice cracker.


Thin, crispy, well-seasoned.

I need to make this more often, my gosh.

Gonna go watch YouTube.

Maybe more Julia, you know?

See you at dinner.

Dog bowl's gone because we just said bye to Tom.

(Ave Maria playing)

I'm pretty tired, so I think to end today

I'm just gonna heat up some split pea soup,

eat it with

these rice crackers.


Makes me feel a little bit better

about saying bye to Tom.

(Ave Maria playing)

But, I'll miss you Tom.

(upbeat music)

I think that's it, guys.

It's a Wednesday.

I also made these dang delicious chips.


Forget the soup.


(upbeat music)

Are you guys bored of this angle yet,

what if we switched this angle

to this angle. (laughing)

First thing today, I'm going to drain, rinse, drain

the chickpeas.

We're gonna set it to a boil

and we're gonna let them cook until they're nice and soft

with one teaspoon of baking soda in the mix.

And then we're gonna make some brown rice pudding.

I'm down to my last serving of brown rice,

so I figured we'll make some brown rice pudding

to eat for breakfast and

we'll go from there.

How does that sound?

Sounds great, I'm talking to myself, obviously.

Brown rice oat milk rice pudding.

(upbeat music)

Honestly surprised by how naturally sweet this is already

with only a tablespoon of sugar in it.

That cinnamon really helps it along.

The surrounding porridge portion of it is so creamy

that I don't mind the texture contrast.

Gonna give this one a 7.1 out of 10.

I keep waiting for birds to land on the fire escape

'cause I just wanna see something alive,

but there's nothing there.



But our beans are ready.


Very nice.

I think I'll just eat a bowl of it for lunch.

Maybe we can steam some rice to go with it.

Here is what's happening to our pot.

Chick pea stew.

Tomato, our roasted carrots and onions,

some celery, a lot of spices.

Cumin, paprika, dried garlic, pepper, some salt,

some togarashi, which has red chili pepper flakes in it.

Put a little bit of fresh basil on there.

It's a complete meal, y'all.

Love it.

I love that little hint

of spiciness from the togarashi, too.

The sauce and the rice are just like.


Yup, yup, yup.

I'm gonna take a lunch break.

So, I'm ashamed

because I just ate all of the tortilla chips

that I made two days ago and basically

all of the granola that we made two days ago.

Stress eating, you ever heard of it?

Not really about anything in particular,

just existential stress.

We'll make that sweet potato gnocchi

as well as the matzo balls for tomorrow.

I will not be making anymore of this granola

maybe I'll make more of those chips

because this is dangerous stuff.

Oh boy.

(upbeat music)

We'll fridge it, we'll roll it and we'll shape it tomorrow.

I think I'm gonna cut it into quarters.

Here are our gnocchi, cut.

For now I'm just gonna put 'em in the fridge,

cook 'em off when I'm hungry,

maybe that's tomorrow.

Matzo ball.

I don't have matzo meal, I don't have chicken,

I don't have chicken broth.

Maybe a little bit of peanut butter.

Is this supposed to be loose like this?

I don't think so.


I'm a little bit scared

and I'm just gonna see how it looks tomorrow

and if it still looks not shapable tomorrow

then we'll add some oats to it and

wing it, I guess.

I'm gonna go take a nap.

See you guys tomorrow.

(upbeat music)

I woke up late today

and I have a Zoom meeting in about eight minutes,

so, happy Friday to me, let's get this started.

Okay, so now somebody else entertain us, please.

I'm feeling a little bit chilly

and I feel like I need some warmth.

So I'm gonna turn the oven on.

I'm gonna try to bake some peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

(upbeat music)

Cool, so we have our dough now.

And then I'll probably make some more tortilla chips

while I have the oven on.

(upbeat music)

10 minutes.

It looks a lot stiffer, which is good.

I'm getting so hungry just smelling the peanut butter.

In you go.

Slightly golden on the bottom,

if you can see that.

Here they are.

Our peanut butter so-called cookies.

Do I think they feel like cookies?


Do they look like cookies?


I'm thinking we can shake a little bit

of cinnamon sugar on top.

Does that look more like dessert?

I don't know.

They smell like peanut butter banana oatmeal thingies.

It's really pretty, actually, with the cinnamon sugar.


Actually, tastes way better than it looks.

Good breakfast cookie.

Maybe that's a 7.2.

I feel like I'm already eating a drunk food diet right now.

Don't know what's going on.

Up next, matzo ball soup.

Let's get our broth started.

Some celery, some onions, some carrots,

some chicken bullion, some water.

I'm going to be cooking the balls in the broth itself.

I know some recipes call for boiling it in salted water

and then plopping it into the broth.

We're just gonna go one pot for this.

It's only been about five minutes

and they're already bobbing up to the surface.

Woo, they're getting big.

Puffy boys.

The broth looks so silky.


Definitely a little bit gooier

than your traditional matzo ball.

I'm gonna give this like an eight out of 10

for how impromptu everything was.

And I'll be back,

dinner time, gnocchi.

I took like a 19-minute nap,

I feel pretty good and I feel a little bit hungry.

Let's make some gnocchi.

I think I'm gonna boil them until they float

and then I'm gonna pan sear them really fast

and then we'll coat them in a spicy peanut sauce.

Does that sound good to you?

Maybe some sesame seeds on top?

I don't know let's wing it, let's do this.

Okay with the spicy peanut sauce this almost smells like,

weird, chicken nuggets? (laughing)



These are pretty darn good.

Really soft, not quite as pillowy as I would like it


we used oatmeal instead of flour.

It really really works with the crispy outside.

And also with this peanut sauce.

I was really hungry when I started making this but

man this is pretty good.

I'm gonna give this one an 8.4.

(upbeat music)

I hate this angle.


Maybe I just hate myself today.

I made consecutive bad decisions yesterday

because I ate both trays of the tortilla chips

that I had made.

I feel a little bit hung over from the chips

and I think I'm going to make some rice milk to start with

so I can just liquid my way through breakfast

and then maybe we'll make some hummus

and I can finally eat my celery and eat my veggies

and have some fiber in my diet

and not feel like (beeping).

Saturdays are for redemption.

Pretty light in flavor.

It's a little bit grainy and gritty.

I probably should have used raw rice grains

because that's how you make like horchata and stuff,

you just soak the rice a little bit and then blend it.

But I had cooked all my rice.

So here we are drinking cooked rice soup.

AKA cooked rice milk.


rice-y tasting water.

It's not bad.

It's still a little bit creamy at the end.

Maybe I should have put less water.

I don't know, I'll live with it.

I was thinking of making this

weird rice cake aloo paratha thing later,

so I'm going to blend up some rice

so that maybe we can make a pancake

out of that rice mash.

Just eye-ball it.

(blender whirring)

We're gonna call that quits,

that looks good to me.

I think we're gonna cook some potatoes next.

I'm thinking we take the left over matzo ball soup,

the liquid portion of it

and then we peel our potatoes, chop them up,

boil them so that all the flavors from the stock

get infused into the potatoes

and then we can mash up the potatoes.

Just goes right through, perfect.

(upbeat music)

That looks pretty smooth to me.


So I have no idea what I'm doing with this recipe.

I thinking rice mash flattened on the outside

sandwiched with mash potato on the inside

and then pan sear it.

I'll just keep swishing my pan, you know?


(upbeat music)

Here are our potato and rice pancakes.

Mushy, creamy potatoes on the inside, sandwiched.

That's hot.

That's delicious.

A little bit spicy.

A little crunchy crisp on the outside.


this is really good.

I am so proud of myself.

The rice milk this morning

was definitely like a 1.5 out of 10,

it was very disappointing.

But this

solid 8.5 out of 10.

Happy Saturday to me.

Oh we have to make hummus next.

I don't have tahini.

I'm probably just gonna save this for garnish on top

and I'm just gonna go ahead with some chickpeas,

some seasoning, I found some fish sauce in my pantry.

(blender whirring)

That was definitely way too much liquid in there.


(blender whirring)

(blender whirring)

What do we think?

Do we like runny hummus?


Not quite what I was imagining but

I guess it's hummus.

Man, that was a fail.

I've never before done anything like this with hummus.

Letting you know that I'm not always this crazy.

While this batch is hummus is cooking down,

I plated this up,

not too shabby I guess if you don't pay attention

to the fact that it's not at all hummus.

Honestly this is a real disaster.

This probably the worst thing I've cooked so far.

I mean I just, I'm,

(sighing) I'm so ashamed of it.

Listen, I'm not even gonna pretend that this is hummus,

it's not.

Although not half bad with the salt

and the paprika and the sesame seeds on top.

This is a disaster, do you hear this pot hissing at me?

It's mocking me.


I deserve to be mocked.

Failed hummus, I failed it.

Cool, fried rice, let's go.

(upbeat music)

Here is our beautiful fried rice

and yes, I did put mayo on it

because it's the one and only Kewpie mayo

which is the best mayo in the world.

One of those days

where I don't feel like doing another dish,

so I'm just gonna eat it straight outta the pan,

you know?

Why not?

At least I didn't (beeping) this one up.

Mayo makes everything better.

This is true.

May tomorrow be a better day, guys.

May tomorrow be a better day.

Want some dinner?

Good morning guys it is Sunday, we've made it.

This is the last day of the week,

I'm pretty excited.

We've gone through about all of the groceries.

Except the apple,

so we're gonna do something with the apple today.

Let's make one of my favorite ever things to eat.

It's an apple oatmeal peanut butter bake.

Those are your three core ingredients.

I'm just gonna slice up the apple,

put some peanut butter over it,

put some oatmeal on the bottom

so that it gets baked

as the apples leak their juices inside

and bake it.

I like using whatever apples you like eating for these.

Dab a few mobs of peanut butter.

Then we repeat the layers.

(jazz music)

Toaster oven 350, maybe 20 minutes,

maybe 25 minutes.

I was also thinking we could make some oat crepes today,

we still have a little bit of oat flour left over.

We still have a little bit of oat milk leftover

and I think we still have maybe three eggs

and a crepe sounds good.



Okay, so I lied.

That took about an hour in the toaster oven.

It's like half granola,

half roasted apples with peanut butter.

I mean, what's not to like?

I've never made oat crepes before,

I actually don't know if this will turn out.

Apples a little sweet, a little tart.

Paired with that nice scratchy, earthiness of oatmeal.

Definitely one of my all-time favorite bakes.

So easy.

Made it and it's beautiful.

This is all the peanut butter I have left.

Obviously if I'm doing this again

I have to buy two jars of peanut butter.

What was I even thinking?

To make the peanut sauce for this crepe thing

I'm gonna have to water this down.

(upbeat music)


Did we do it?

Oat crepes.

This looks fantabulous.

I mean.

Peanut butter banana oat crepes

with cinnamon sugar.

I would pay 14 bucks for this

if I were a brunch kind of gal.

But I'm not.

That oaty flavor works really well with the peanut butter.

Hell yeah.

Our apple oat meal peanut butter bake.

I mean this is just like peanut butter heaven

for me today really.

I love this almost granola-y vibe to the whole dish

because it's basically just a lot of oats.

With this flavor combination I can't lose.

Well, (bull horns blowing)

here's everything.

All right here we are in leftover land.

We have some mashed rice,

some leftover matzo balls,

brunch crepes, bean liquid, oat mash, roasted veggies,

one paratha, some sweet potato gnocchi,

pickles, various canned tomato products,

caramelized onions, chick peas,

failed hummus, lentils, a little bit of white rice,

we got a little bit of tortillas,

a whole bag of instant oats,

some oat flour, some carrots, a roasted sweet potato,

a little sliver of onion,

our mashed potatoes that are spiced,

we got some leftover matzo ball soup.

We got some chickpea cooking liquid

and we got one egg.

That's all we got.

Not bad for a whole week.

I don't think I'm gonna put all of everything

that we have here in our dinner tonight,

but surely we can make something.

I think I'm gonna go with a shepherd's pie,

let's just keep it easy,

push it into the oven, call it a day.

Can we do some camera magic

where I snap and it's all gone?

Lentils, leftover roast veggies.

I hope you didn't forget our caramelized onions.

I do know that if you make patterns with a fork

you will get more crispy potato-y bits.

It looks ugly,

it is ugly,

but it might just be delicious.

Here's our grand finale.

Leftover shepherd's pie.

Spiced mashed potatoes and chickpea mash on top

and everything you can imagine on the bottom.

Let's gussy it up.

Surely you do not think that I would pass by a chance

to put mayo on something, right?

(upbeat music)

Crunchy mashed potato chickpea top,

with Kewpie mayo and some random furikake

that is extremely colorful that I found in my cupboard.

And some garlic chives

straight from my window sill to yours.

Oh my god,

this is like baby mush to the max,

which you should know by now

is my favorite texture ever,

so this totally works.

I could eat this kind of thing forever.


That's a wrap.

I am tired.

(faint voice speaking)

I need a nap.

Cool, write me down below.

Say hi, hello.

And see you next time.


(upbeat music)