Menus: A Dollar Christmas Dinner

This menu comes from Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six, a pamphlet released during one of the nation’s worst depressions, the Panic of 1873.  The author, Juliet Corson, strives to lay out decent meals for families on a restricted budget (I once spent a week eating her suggested diet, read about it here).  She allows for a bit of holiday joy with this Christmas dinner for a dollar, which is the almost the exact same Christmas dinner the Cratchits ate in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Notice the special attention paid to the price of ingredients, which she says are based on the prices at Washington Market; the 5-lb turkey, and the last line: “After you have eaten it, think if I have kept my promise to tell you how to get comfortable meals at low prices.”

1 Response to “Menus: A Dollar Christmas Dinner”


  • Wow! Cheap carbs boiled up in large quantities. I’ve done similar research for my household based on historical practices, and boy have expectations changed. Not that the quality of ingredients is any better thanks to Walmart and such.

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