Tips

Yes, It’s Possible to Serve 4 People an Elegant Meal for Just $30! Chef Jacques Pepin Shows You How

by Jeanine Asencio 1:05 PM, January 27, 2017

Aired May 29, 2017

Cooking an elegant meal for four people doesn’t have to be expensive -- in fact, if we told you it’s possible to do for just 30 bucks, would you believe us?

Well, believe it, because we have the video footage above to prove it! Legendary chef Jacques Pepin visits one of his favorite places in the world (the market -- are you surprised?) and shares his tips on how to pull it off.

READ: Save Time + Money at The Grocery Store with These Tips

Buying Produce By the Pound vs. Per Piece
When shopping for produce (in this case, cauliflower), make sure you pay attention to the price tag. If the sticker says $2.99 per pound, the weight of the cauliflower matters. If it says $2.99 per head, then make sure you pick the one with the heaviest weight you can find to get the most for your money. Get his recipe for Yellow Turnips and Mashed Potatoes here.

Shop Around for Different Cuts of Meat
Chicken in general is an inexpensive protein, so it’s great for meals on a budget, like this one! At first, Pepin picked up a package of drumsticks, but they were pretty expensive and would eat up too much of the budget. After some digging, he found a package of thighs that were much cheaper, and he says he likes them better anyway! Click here for the recipe he used to make it.

WATCH: Grocery Shopping Tips From Chef Curtis Stone

Search the Store for More Options
Like many products, oil and vinegar aren’t always stationed in just one part of the store. Make sure to keep an eye out as you’re shopping for different options that may be on sale for a better price than what you found in the aisle. The first bottle of vinegar Jacques picked up was $5.99. He ended up finding a much less expensive option for just $1.99. He used it for this simple, flavorful salad.

Always Buy Veggies When They’re in Season
Jacques says they’re usually less expensive, are nutrient-rich, and taste better. Take tomatoes for example; when they’re not in season, Jacques says they don’t have any taste, so don’t be afraid to pick up a can of tomatoes instead.

WATCH: The Best Time of Day to Shop for Groceries

Unsalted Butter vs. Salted
Jacques says salt in butter acts as a preservative so it has a longer shelf life. He prefers fresher, unsalted butter instead.

In the end, his grand total came to $28.30! “Now I have enough money to get the subway!” jokes Jacques.