A very pleasant book called "$10.00 Enough" ex-plains how a family of two lived well on that sum per week, including house rent and wages of one servant. Mrs. Rorer says $2.00 per head a week is a liberal allowance. Articles are published giving directions for living on ten cents a day; also of dinners for six people costing twenty-five cents. In examining these formulae it is evident that in order to accomplish this very small cost of living, one must first understand the comparative values of foods, so as to select those which at low prices furnish the necessary nourishment, and secondly, to be able to cook them in such a way as to make them acceptable; in fact the rule holds good, however high the scale of living, that the proper cooking of food counts for more than the cost of it. The cheap and the expensive articles can be equally spoiled in the cooking; while the cheap ones, well cooked, are more esteemed than the high-priced ones poorly prepared. The first thing excluded from the list of cheap nutritive foods is white bread. Refining the flour to the whiteness of the so-called best qualities takes out most of its nutritive elements, while the lower grades or brown flours retain the gluten, and make a bread which is preferred when one becomes familiar with it. Beans, peas, and corn-meal have an important place on the list of accepted foods. They supply the wastes of the system and afford a hearty meal. Meat, which is the most expensive food, has come to be regarded here as a necessity, but in the old countries the classes who perform the hardest labor consider it only as a luxury, and seldom use it oftener than once a week. Often the cost of living is more in the waste than in the actual consumption of food. Another needless and unwise expense is buying more than is required, providing for three persons enough for six; and still another extravagance is in buying articles which are out of season. For instance, in the spring veal is a very cheap meat; in the autumn it is the most expensive one, but, at the right times, ore may indulge in sweetbreads, calfs head, calfs brains, and liver. In its season game is frequently abundant and reasonably cheap. The idea prevails that, in order to have variety, it is necessary to buy whatever the market offers, whereas variety may be attained by variation in the ways of cooking, in serving with different sauces, and with different accompaniments, and in arranging the menu so that one course is in pleasing contrast to the preceding one, thus avoiding surfeit.
Many pieces of meat of the best quality are sold at low rates because not in shapes to be served as boiling or roasting pieces. These serve well for entrees and made-up dishes; other pieces, which are tough, but well flavored, can by slow cooking be made as tender as the prime cuts, such as a round of beef braised.
On page 249 will be found a number of menus and receipts for very inexpensive dinners.