Breakfast this morning cost just pennies to make, and it was both delicious and satisfying.  Lunch will be, too. 

Breakfast was French Toast, slices of bread dipped in egg and skillet-toasted over low heat.  We bought the bread at a thrift store; three loaves of white bread for $2.25, or about 75 cents per loaf.  Each loaf has between 20 and 25 slices of bread in it, for just over 3 cents per slice, and we each had two slices.  Call it about 7 cents per person. 

The eggs are harder to figure, because we get them “free”–but we have to feed the chickens.  We give them both cracked corn and laying pellets; the extra cost for the laying pellets is more than made up for in the consistency of their laying.  It costs $6-$8 dollars per month to feed our flock (which currently has 8 hens and 2 roosters), and we get, on average, a dozen eggs every two days (15 doz. per month).  That’s about two dozen eggs for $1, or a little over 4 cents per egg.  We use two eggs, lightly beaten, for two people.  Add in about 2 cents worth of margarine to cook them in, and you reach a figure that’s approximately 25 cents for breakfast for two.  Not bad for something so utterly delicious!  Of course, if you’re naughty and add sugar, the cost goes up a little, but only by a penny or two at the most. 

 Lunch will be very similar, only we’ll be having scrambled egg sandwiches.  Again, two slices of bread per person, or about 14 cents for two, four eggs (two apiece), for about 18 cents, and perhaps 5-10 cents worth of mayonnaise in place of butter.  We’ll also add a couple of lettuce leaves, but those are from our own lettuce, so there’s absolutely no cost except the seed. 

Even rounding up, you still come to 42 cents for a meal for two people–and that’s 42 cents for the meal, not per person! 

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein, and the chickens who produce the eggs also produce wonderful fertilizer for the garden.  And they hardly take any room; a 10×15 area will house a small coop and a large yard for as many as five or six chickens without being crowded.  (A crowded chicken is an unhealthy chicken.)  If you want to raise your own chicks and keep your flock young, you’ll need a rooster; otherwise, hens lay just fine on their own, and you don’t have to feed an extra beak. 

Later, I may post on the fine points of keeping chickens; how to keep the coop from smelling, for example, and the one thing chickens need more than anything else to stay healthy.  For now, though, just remember: it’s something to think about.  A few good laying hens are worth their weight in gold.