With a relatively straight face, the BBC reports that the Royal Society of Chemistry is touting a toast sandwich as Britain’s cheapest meal option. A Victorian-era toast sandwich—if you’ve never contemplated something so gob-stoppingly redundant—is two pieces of bread around a slice of toast, accompanied by butter, salt, and pepper. Total cost: 7.5 pence (12 cents). Only arguably a meal, but undeniably plenty cheap. We think we can do better.

1. Acorn Syrup

According to a foraging dinner I attended recently in San Francisco, it’s technically possible to make a reasonably sweet and palatable syrup by processing the living goodness out of acorns. This is (a) fairly inexpensive and (b) surprisingly chic.

2. Dandelion Salad with Rainwater “Vinaigrette”

Pick some wet dandelion leaves. Tah-dah!

3. Just Olive Oil

Olive oil’s got calories, right? Down the hatch…with economical food goodness!

4. Cheerios on a Half Bagel

For best results, match your Cheerios type with an appropriate bagel, e.g., Honey Nut with a raisin bagel, or Multi Grain with an everything bagel.

5. Open-Faced Toast Sandwich

Nearly 33 percent less expensive than the traditional toast sandwich, with the bonus of being Scandinavian cool. Win-win.

Image source: Toast image from Shutterstock

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