Hot & Cheap: How to Make a Home-Cooked Meal for a Dollar!

Being able to cook is traditionally seen as sexy, but frugality? Not so much. But when you save money on food, think of all that leftover moolah you can apply to romantic dinners out, just-because gifts, and sex toy upgrades!

When we think of sexiness and frugality, we think of Jack Murnighan. We used to work with him back in the early days of Nerve.com. He was a PhD student of medieval literature who penned the column “Jack’s Naughty Bits,” in which he would eloquently introduce the raunchiest bits from the cannon. His voice was deep and smooth like butter. He danced at all those fabulous late-90s internet-boom parties with the sensuality of Sally Rand. And he drank four-day old coffee without shame — indeed, with pride.

Lo and Jack were roommates for five minutes and he would come home from Chinatown with a bag overflowing with exotic (or frightening, depending on your sensibilities)…ingredients? Yes, let’s go with ingredients. All for less than a dollar! No exaggeration. Then he’d make magic in our teeny tiny kitchen and have himself a feast within minutes. As an undaring vegetarian, I was spared many of his zanier experiments, but I could still appreciate the game he was mastering way back when: making interesting, satisfying, home-cooked meals for next to nothing.

Jack is now an executive at Disney (Nerve.com > Babble.com > Disney) where they’ve helped him launch his own online video series called DOLLAR MEALS, which he describes as “gourmandise on the super-cheap.” It’s been a long time coming. He’s as cute as ever, with a voice that’s still as smooth as butter, and he can cut the fat off pork with the sensuality of Sally Rand. Watch, learn, eat, enjoy!




  1. I love what you’re doing, here, but I have a question, or perhaps a challenge: if you’re gluten-free, beans are difficult, because they can be significantly cross contaminated. (Crop rotation that includes beans/barley or beans/wheat is fairly common.) Certified gluten-free beans are difficult to get, and about as expensive as they sound. You can’t wash off the gluten, because even tiny amounts are enough to cause illness. Obviously, pasta is a problem, too. If you can’t have beans and pasta, what would be your next choice for cheap staples? (Major points if your answer does not include the word, “rice.”)

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