Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. For more information on the project, see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Bueno y Barato cover

Now in Spanish! Ahora en Español! Bueno y Barato es un libro de recetas maravilloso para las personas que se puede gastar un promedio aproximado de $4 diarios, particularmente las en el programa federal estadounidense que se llamaba cupones de alimentos. Un PDF, de acceso gratuito, ha conseguiedo mas que 1.000.000 descargas.

From Scratch cover

My first cookbook! From Scratch is a vegetarian cookbook intended for people just becoming comfortable in their own kitchens. The price for a print copy is a little higher than you might expect because this book is printed on demand (1 copy at a time) rather than in bulk.

Edmonton Cooks cover

Edmonton Cooks is a little different from my other books — it's a love letter to my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Instead of my own recipes, it features more than 75 recipes from the city's best restaurants, which I collected with the help of my co-author Tina Faiz. If you're from Edmonton or know someone who is, you'll love it — and it makes a great gift!

Frequently asked questions about Good and Cheap

What is Good and Cheap?

Good and Cheap is a cookbook for people with very tight budgets, particularly those on SNAP/Food Stamp benefits. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times.

After the PDF went viral online, I launched a Kickstarter project to fund a print run, using a “get one, give one” system (like TOMS Shoes) so that people who bought a book for themselves could give another copy to a family in need.

The campaign was tremendously successful — I asked for $10,000 to print a small batch, but I ended up with 5,636 supporters who raised $144,681! That made it the #1 cookbook ever on Kickstarter.

Generous backers have given over 96,000 printed copies of Good and Cheap to people in need. We’ve distributed the books through organizations across the US and Canada that work with low-income families, and have also sold more than 115,000 copies to those groups at huge discounts.

And the 2nd edition is a New York Times best-seller!

If you want to see the original video, here it is! (But keep in mind that it’s a bit out of date now.)

Is the PDF really free? Can I print some recipes?

Yes it’s really free. Sharing the power of cooking is the whole point of the Good and Cheap project. Because the 1st edition is under a Creative Commons license, you are free to use the recipes however you like so long as you give me credit and you don’t make money off my work. Enjoy it!

Will you add meal plans?

In the early planning stages, I created weekly and bi-weekly meal plans for families of 1, 2, 3, and 4 people. But they left me feeling pretty unsatisfied — I had to make too many assumptions about people’s tastes, seasonal availability of ingredients, and local prices. After a lot of thought, I chose not to include the meal plans.

The truth is that every family and every situation is unique. That’s why you should be in charge of planning for your family — you’ll do a much better job than I will!

Will you add nutritional information?

I chose not to include nutritional information for a number of reasons. For one, I encourage people to think of recipes as guidelines, not rules. This principle means substituting ingredients based on availability, season, and price. Nutritional information is only accurate if you make a recipe exactly as specified, which discourages substitution and undermines my message.

My other concern is more psychological. In my experience, many people turn away from a book as soon as they see nutritional information or labels like “vegetarian.” If they aren’t on a diet, or aren’t vegetarian themselves, they think “this isn’t for me.” For this book, I wanted to encourage people to take joy in good, vegetable-centric food that just happens to be healthy.

I know nutritional information is very helpful for some folks, but I figure that most of the time, the people who need healthy food most are the ones who are most put off by talking about it! On balance, I think it’s better to leave the nutritional info out.

Of course, if you want to figure out the nutrition information yourself, there are plenty of great tools online, like

Will you be translating into other languages?

The Spanish edition, Bueno y Barato, is now available above! As with the English version, for every copy you buy, Workman Publishing donates another copy to an organization that works with low-income families.

As for other languages, I’ve heard plenty of interest in German, French, Portuguese, and Japanese versions of the book. I won’t be taking on those projects myself, but I’d be more than happy if someone else wanted to. Because the 1st edition of Good and Cheap is under a Creative Commons license, you can translate the book yourself so long as you also make the translation free and credit me as the original author.

Can I send you a recipe to add?

I don’t have any plans to add anything to the book, but I am always interested in new recipes, so send ’em my way! Eventually, I’d like to add reader-submitted recipes to this website, so stay tuned for that.

I can’t print the PDF easily. Can you help?

Sorry about that. The PDF is meant to look nice on a laptop or tablet screen, but it isn’t easy to print. However, many of the recipes from Good and Cheap are available as individual pages on this site and they print just fine. Take a look at the recipe index to find the ones you want to print.

I can’t download the PDF. Can you help?

If you’re trying to view Good and Cheap on a smartphone but it isn’t working, please try a computer. Some phones can’t display such a large PDF (8 MB), so that could be the issue. If that still doesn’t work for you, please let me know and I’ll try to fix the problem.

Can I save the PDF to my computer?

Yep! To save a copy of Good and Cheap on your computer, right-click this download link instead of left-clicking. You should see a menu with an option like “Save Link As…” or “Save File As…”. If you select that option, you’ll be able to save the PDF to your computer.

But please check back here from time to time to see if I’ve updated the PDF! If you want to see whether you have the current version, there’s a version number on page 2 of the PDF.

Do you do workshops or public speaking?

Yes! Please contact Carol Schneider at the Workman Speakers Bureau:

I’m Diabetic, can I use these recipes?

While I did not design Good and Cheap with any particular dietary needs in mind, many of the recipes work well for folks with Diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Since I’m not an expert, the book doesn’t say which recipe work for diabetic diets, nor is the glycemic load information available.

But now I’m excited to share that volunteers at the Ithaca Free Clinic in Ithaca, NY were inspired by Good and Cheap to make nutrition information available for cheap and healthy meals, specifically for people with chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. So they created this wonderful free pdf cookbook, Eating for Health which provides information to and recipes about low-cost, easy-to-make, healthy meals that can be made on a tight budget!

I hope you’ll check it out. Thank you to Michaela Barry, Jasmine Daniel, Patsy Brannon, Sue Mueller and the Ithaca Free Clinic for your hard work and generosity! This is awesome! Click here to check out Eating for Health.



  • Miryam says:

    Hello Leanne!

    I absolutely love your Good and Cheap cookbook! I read that you are expected to have a Spanish version in 2017. Do you know approximately when? How is the book being translated? Do you need additional help? (I’m fluent in written and spoken Spanish!).

    Please let me know!


    • Leanne Brown says:

      Hey Miryam, it should come out late Spring so hopefully we’ll have it by June! We are all set for it, it’s already translated and is just in the editing/design/printing phase now. So excited!

  • Melissa S says:

    What a wonderful, generous idea! As someone who’s been on both ends of the spectrum – a struggling single mom for years, trying hard to feed her (now-grown) daughter more than boxed mac and cheese, hot dogs, and ramen on minimal funds and food stamps – sometimes, even those were difficult to afford and often considered a luxury – to now, with finances – and life – being much less of a struggle, I think it’s tremendous, how you’re assisting a huge segment of the population which need the help living within their too-limited means. This would be fantastic to be a stock giveaway at food banks and social services offices all over and how I wish I had the means to help fund something like that on a larger scale! In the interim, when I’m able, I’ll make a donation and try to spread the word about your inventive and much-needed project! Thanks for being someone who thinks of others so generously. : )

    • Leanne Brown says:

      hi Melissa, thanks for the kind words! We are doing just what you suggested with the project so not to worry 🙂 If you want to see where the books have gone up to now here are the details:

      We’ve worked with almost 1400 different organizations and have got over 200 000 books into the hands of folks who could really use them.

  • Winona says:

    Thank you!

  • Terese Allen says:

    I cook for a Food Pantry at a community center and would love to distribute copies of this marvelous book to our participants. I see you have discounted prices for non-profits, but am wondering if there’s a way to hook into any of the groups who are distributing free copies. I’m also very interested in getting the Spanish version for some of our participants, when that comes out. I do see that you have a free PDF, which I can tell our participants about, but the physical copy would be much more usable for them. Thanks for any leads you can give. And thanks for doing this book. Holy cow, it is a great thing.

  • Wauseca Briscoe says:

    What needs to be done to get your book on SNAP website?

  • Wauseca Briscoe says:

    Great book. Thanks so much for giving back. I notice your book was missing from the SNAP website; how can we Help?

  • Kim Edmonds says:

    Your book was so wonderful that I ordered one for myself. That one would be given to someone else that needed it was astonishing. You seem to be the most selfless, giving person. God bless you.

    • Leanne Brown says:

      Thank you Kim, that is very kind. But it’s not possible without the help of the amazing team at my publisher, Workman and all kinds of generous supporters.

  • Harper says:

    I would love to give my older fixed-income mom a copy of this! Are there any plans to make a large-print version available?

  • Johanna says:

    Hi Leanne,
    I’m an English student from Germany and would love to translate Good and Cheap into German. However, I have no idea how I’d go about combining a translated text with the pictures and general layout. How did that work with the Spanish translation? Did the translator just supply the text or did they format it as well?
    (I’m also not sure how I’d calculate the prices, for example when a spice is needed which is obviously sold in larger quantities than called for in the recipe.)
    Greetings from Germany

    • Johanna says:

      (Not quite sure why the internet decided to delete all my paragraph breaks in that comment, sorry about that!)

      • Jens says:

        Perhaps I can help there – my first job was translating manuals, and I can still create a consistent layout over several chapters/parts.

  • janey says:

    Could you now write a Good and Cheap for family/kid friendly meals, lunches, snacks, kids helping to cook in busy and/or single parent families.

    And all cheap of course, and good too, and easy for kids to make to help out. Heaven knows how many future RDs you might inspire.

    • Leanne Brown says:

      Hi Janey, I have definitely thought about it! I think I might need to gain a bit more experience with kids, but it’s on the long list 🙂

  • Marguerite Rideout says:

    Why does the Spanish version have twice as many pages as the English version? Also will part to be available in pff soon? Thank you for thinking of this and your wonderful generosity.

    • Leanne Brown says:

      Hi Marguerite, the Spanish version has all the new recipes that the 2nd edition has, while the English is still the first edition. Hopefully I will be able to release the 2nd edition in English at some point too!

  • I am excited to find this resource and start using it myself. I run a free food bank and would like to advertise your cookbook to my clients. Do you have a poster or flyers that I can print or that are available to post in the food bank? I think this would be a valuable resource for my clients who are on limited incomes and receive SNAP. (both in English and Spanish)

  • Juia Staas says:

    I want to order your book.

  • Noy says:

    Hi Leanne, I love what you’ve done with this project! I especially like that you note how recipes can be changed around for variation, personal preferences, and local/seasonal availability of produce.

    I was wondering whether you would consider creating a compilation of crowd pleasing recipes that can be prepared at low cost for large groups? I imagine that plenty of organizations from soup kitchens to campus groups with tight budgets would love your help with healthy, low cost dishes that can be combined into a meal that would hold up well on a serving line.

  • J says:

    Heard you interviewed on Splendid Table. Got book from library. Love it. Do good and practical. Global recipes, big batch and freeze. Making do and using up – so important now during COVID. I am vegan, and I adapt it to what I eat. Best cookbook ever, for what I want and need from food.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free (ahora en Español!) and has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks!

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