Unfortunately, when you choose to eat on a budget, you end up eating a lot of processed food. That’s the harsh reality for many people. If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, you’d likely spend far more than you would spend if you choose to buy food in a bag.
It might please you to know, however, that you don’t have to eat processed foods just to stick to your budget. Cooking budget meals doesn’t have to be a chore either. You just need to observe the few commandments of budget eating.
Meal planning is crucial to budget cooking. You need to plan in advance in order to avoid impulsive buying. This is also the key to maximizing all your ingredients. It is also important to knowing which ingredients have to be bought in bulk.
You need ingredients that you can stretch. A roast chicken, for instance, may be used to make several meals. You cannot let anything go to waste, so you need to know what is in your freezer and make use of everything inside. Even broccoli stems can be used to whip up a delicious dish.
This may all seem daunting, but there are actually home cooks, food bloggers and amateur chefs out there who have been doing all this for years – and have been doing so successfully!
Here are a few of the best budget food bloggers:
1. BrokeAss Gourmet
Broke Ass Gourmet has been around for almost a decade, and it’s not surprising why. The site offers exciting recipes, and they’re all under $20. It’s also a blog that eventually turned into a cookbook.
The cookbook offers fantastic tips on how to use and cook chicken legs in recipes. It also offers individual recipes like Homemade English Muffins and Sweet Potato Nachos. You’d also find a generous amount of Jewish-inspired recipes. If you are looking for recipes that you can prepare for under $20, then Broke Ass Gourmet is your one-stop shop.
2. Not Eating Out in New York
In 2006 to 2008, Cathy Erway decided to stop eating in restaurants, getting take-outs, or eating from street stand food. This decision gave birth to her blog, Not Eating Out in New York. The blog became so successful that she eventually published her own book, The Art of Eating.
The book features fantastic recipes that are definitely worth skipping New York’s restaurant scene. The recipes like Grilled Steak “Shoulder Bites” with Chimichurri strike a great balance between style and comfort.
You’d also find a list of all the ingredients and the price of the recipe. There are also ratings based on health and environmental costs. The book also list down inspirational reasons why you should avoid eating out – these reasons are beyond just budgeting.
3. Budget Bytes
Eating on a budget need not be boring. This is what Budget Bytes has proven. You don’t have to eat ramen noodles and canned goods just to stick to your budget. This website is one of the great ones out there. It’s also one of those websites that have been turned into a cookbook.
The website, as well as the cookbook, offers amazing tips on how to stock up your kitchen. They also have a comprehensive list of principles for cooing or eating on a budget. This includes tips on how to shop wisely. You will find delicious recipes with high quality photos that are presented in a systematic manner. You will find the price of every ingredient, price of the recipe as a whole, and price per serving.
4. Stone Soup
Stone Soup offers great recipes that won’t make you feel like your budget is depriving you of good food. You’d find delicious recipes like Fish Wraps with Limey Avocado and The Ultimate Steak Sanga, and Tuna Pesto Pasta. Most ingredients in the site use about five ingredients, and they can be prepared in just a few minutes.
The site offers precious budget cooking wisdom like the “three golden rules of do-it-ahead meals” and “dos and don’ts of storing leftovers”.
5. The Law Student’s Wife
This site offers budget-friendly and exciting cooking tips. You’d find seasonal recipes like Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta with Peas and Easy Asparagus Tart. This is the reliable website for dinners. This is also the go-to place for delicious affordable dessert recipes.
6. The 99 Cent Chef
What the site lacks in magazine-like photos, it makes up for its useful videos. It’s also fun to read. Its author Billy Vasquez has an awesome sense of humor and makes budget cooking a lot of fun.
His recipes consist of ingredients that would cost 99 cents each or 99 cents per pound. You’d find spruced-up breakfast like Pastrami and Scrambled Eggs. You should also check out his Creamy Mushrooms & Pasta recipe. He also creates homemade versions of store-food items like Roasted Creamed Corn.
7. $5 Dinners
The blog’s title says it all – it’s all about $5 recipes. The site offers weekly meal plans and for preparing dinner that cost only about $5 or less. You will also find breakfast recipes and delicious desserts like Mango Raspberry Crumble and Berry Yogurt Bark.
You will also find tutorials that explain how to do certain cooking procedures like how to shred cabbages properly and how to choose avocados.