$40 A Day

$40 a Day
Title card from 2002 to 2003
GenreTravel, food
Created byRachael Ray
StarringRachael Ray
Theme music composerJonathan Merrill
Killer Tracks
Opening theme"Money Money Money"
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes77
Executive producersAllison Page
Tara Sandler
Jennifer Davidson
Scott Templeton
Running time30 minutes
Production companyPie Town Productions
Original networkFood Network
Original releaseApril 1, 2002 (2002-04-01) –
December 2, 2005 (2005-12-02)

$40 a Day was a Food Network show hosted by Rachael Ray.[1] In each episode, Ray takes a one-day trip to an American, Canadian, or European city with only $40 US, to spend on food. While touring the city, she finds restaurants to go to (often based on local recommendations), and usually manages to fit three meals and some sort of snack or after-dinner drink into her small budget.

The show premiered on April 1, 2002, five months after the debut of 30 Minute Meals, making it her second show on the Food Network. Some clips are sometimes used in Ray's later series, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels. Another Food Network series, Giada's Weekend Getaways starring Giada De Laurentiis, is similar in format. In 2010, The Travel Channel began airing reruns of the show. As of 2013, the show is no longer in reruns on the Travel Channel.


According to Ray, visiting a fast food restaurant, particularly those of national chains, is considered cheating (she says so explicitly in the Orlando episode). On occasion, smaller sit-down restaurant chains (such as Bahama Breeze in the Las Vegas episode, or Bongos in the South Beach episode) are visited. Generally, non-food items and non-food-related activities are not included in her budget.

Ray always offers tips on what to see in the various cities, as well as hints on how to save money and find bargains while traveling. She also emphasizes researching whatever city she plans to visit through the Internet and asking the local citizens for their recommendations.

Initially, Ray only used item prices against her $40 limit. She started including applicable taxes and tips during the first season. On occasion, she does go over budget; however, during her trips to Philadelphia and Arizona, she did so on purpose. Her cheapest day was in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2003, when she spent just under $25 USD including taxes and tips (at the time, less than $40 Canadian, although she budgeted for $40 USD). On occasions, she has had to get creative to stay on-budget; for example, she accidentally blew half her budget on her second meal in her first Miami episode.

The pilot, shot in Los Angeles, had a 12-hour limit, but subsequent episodes raised it to 24 hours. Usually episodes begin in the morning with breakfast, occasionally brunch. Episodes almost always feature four paid meals, but on at least one occasion, in the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC), she did five meals. Also on rare occasion, only three meals are paid, and a fourth ends up being free. On only one occasion, in Antigua, she partook of a hotel's free Continental breakfast, but she still did four paid meals in that episode.

On her first visit to Las Vegas during the first season, Ray began with dinner and stayed overnight, ending with breakfast.

She did several episodes in Europe when the euro was still valued less than the U.S. dollar. She has not visited Europe since the U.S. dollar has fallen under the euro in value. She has also visited several island locales, including Bermuda and Antigua, both of which generally accept the U.S. dollar.

Ray has occasionally drawn controversy when some meals end up calculating with less-than-traditional tips.


Season 1 (2002–03)[]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"Los Angeles"Tara SandlerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 1, 2002 (2002-04-01)AD1A01
22"Napa"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 24, 2002 (2002-04-24)AD1A03
33"Florida Keys"Wade Sheeler and Courtney MacGregorPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 1, 2002 (2002-05-01)AD1A06
44"Vancouver"Wade Sheeler and Courtney MacGregorPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 15, 2002 (2002-05-15)AD1A08
55"San Francisco"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 22, 2002 (2002-05-22)AD1A02
66"Orlando"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 29, 2002 (2002-05-29)AD1A05
77"Seattle"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 5, 2002 (2002-06-05)AD1A09
88"Miami"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 12, 2002 (2002-06-12)AD1A07
99"Monterey"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 19, 2002 (2002-06-19)AD1A04
1010"Portland"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 26, 2002 (2002-06-26)AD1A10
1111"San Diego"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 10, 2002 (2002-07-10)AD1A12
1212"Las Vegas"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 17, 2002 (2002-07-17)AD1A11
1313"Santa Barbara"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 28, 2002 (2002-07-28)AD1A13
1414"Rome"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayAugust 14, 2002 (2002-08-14)AD1A17
1515"Paris"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 2, 2002 (2002-10-02)AD1A14
1616"Amsterdam"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 9, 2002 (2002-10-09)AD1A16
1717"Cooperstown"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 16, 2002 (2002-10-16)AD1A26
1818"Florence"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 23, 2002 (2002-10-23)AD1A19
1919"Charleston"Lesley MayerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 28, 2002 (2002-10-28)AD1A21
2020"Tuscany"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayNovember 6, 2002 (2002-11-06)AD1A18
2121"Savannah"Lesley MayerPeter Field and Rachael RayNovember 28, 2002 (2002-11-28)AD1A20
2222"Atlanta"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayDecember 4, 2002 (2002-12-04)AD1A22
2323"New York City"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 8, 2003 (2003-01-08)AD1A25
2424"Philadelphia"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 15, 2003 (2003-01-15)AD1A24
2525"Washington, D.C."Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 29, 2003 (2003-01-29)AD1A23
2626"Brussels"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayFebruary 12, 2003 (2003-02-12)AD1A15

Season 2 (2003–04)[]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
271"Dallas"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMarch 7, 2003 (2003-03-07)AD1B07
282"Vermont"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 23, 2003 (2003-04-23)AD1B01
293"Oahu"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 30, 2003 (2003-04-30)AD1B04
304"Cape Cod"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 14, 2003 (2003-05-14)AD1B02
315"Hawaii"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)AD1B05
326"Boston"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 28, 2003 (2003-05-28)AD1B03
337"Corpus Christi"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 4, 2003 (2003-06-04)AD1B09
348"Memphis"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 11, 2003 (2003-06-11)AD1B10
359"Maui"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 18, 2003 (2003-06-18)AD1B06
3610"Austin"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 25, 2003 (2003-06-25)AD1B08
3711"New Orleans"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 2, 2003 (2003-07-02)AD1B11
3812"Nashville"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 9, 2003 (2003-07-09)AD1B12
3913"Laguna Beach"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 23, 2003 (2003-07-23)AD1B13
4014"Sedona"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 3, 2003 (2003-09-03)AD1B15
4115"Palm Springs"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 10, 2003 (2003-09-10)AD1B14
4216"Milwaukee"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 17, 2003 (2003-09-17)AD1B17
4317"Tucson"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 24, 2003 (2003-09-24)AD1B16
4418"Chicago"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 8, 2003 (2003-10-08)AD1B18
4519"Montreal"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayDecember 10, 2003 (2003-12-10)AD1B24
4620"Denver"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 7, 2004 (2004-01-07)AD1B21
4721"Aspen"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 21, 2004 (2004-01-21)AD1B22
4822"Portland"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayFebruary 25, 2004 (2004-02-25)AD1B23
4923"Santa Fe"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayMarch 10, 2004 (2004-03-10)AD1B20
5024"Adirondacks"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 2, 2004 (2004-04-02)AD1B25
5125"Cleveland"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 9, 2004 (2004-04-09)AD1B19
5226"Saratoga"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 16, 2004 (2004-04-16)AD1B26

Season 3 (2004–05)[]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
531"Park City"Wade SheelerPeter Field and Rachael RayAugust 20, 2004 (2004-08-20)AD1C02
542"Grand Canyon"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayAugust 27, 2004 (2004-08-27)AD1C04
553"Durham"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayAugust 29, 2004 (2004-08-29)AD1C08
564"Las Vegas"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 10, 2004 (2004-09-10)AD1C05
575"Bermuda"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RaySeptember 24, 2004 (2004-09-24)AD1C06
586"Sun Valley"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 15, 2004 (2004-10-15)AD1C01
597"Chattanooga"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayOctober 29, 2004 (2004-10-29)AD1C10
608"Hilton Head"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayNovember 12, 2004 (2004-11-12)AD1C07
619"Asheville"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayNovember 19, 2004 (2004-11-19)AD1C09
6210"Telluride"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayNovember 26, 2004 (2004-11-26)AD1C03
6311"Newport"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayDecember 17, 2004 (2004-12-17)AD1C12
6412"Martha's Vineyard"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 7, 2005 (2005-01-07)AD1C13
6513"The Hamptons"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 22, 2005 (2005-04-22)AD1C11

Season 4 (2005–06)[]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
661"Mystic"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayJanuary 21, 2005 (2005-01-21)AD1D02
672"Nantucket"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayFebruary 4, 2005 (2005-02-04)AD1D01
683"Salem"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayFebruary 18, 2005 (2005-02-18)AD1D03
694"Jackson Hole"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 12, 2005 (2005-04-12)AD1D06
705"Mount Rushmore"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayApril 19, 2005 (2005-04-19)AD1D07
716"Ashland"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 3, 2005 (2005-05-03)AD1D05
727"Coos Bay"Wade Sheeler and Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayMay 13, 2005 (2005-05-13)AD1D04
738"South Beach"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayJune 10, 2005 (2005-06-10)AD1D09
749"Ft. Lauderdale"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 8, 2005 (2005-07-08)AD1D10
7510"San Juan"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayJuly 22, 2005 (2005-07-22)AD1D11
7611"Antigua"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayAugust 12, 2005 (2005-08-12)AD1D12
7712"New York City"Don ColliverPeter Field and Rachael RayDecember 2, 2005 (2005-12-02)AD1D08


  1. ^ "a Day". Food Network. Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 5 January 2010.

External links[]