Food & Drink

7 Of The Best Food Blogs For Eating On A Budget

You don't have to go at it alone.
11/11/2014 10:54am ET | Updated April 27, 2015

It's no secret that eating on a budget often ends up in eating a lot of processed food. Fruits and vegetables, especially if they're organic, are more expensive than most food you'll find in a bag. A study released last year in the British Medical Journal found that it costs $1.50 more a day, or $550 a year, to eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables over one packed with processed foods -- and that doesn't account for any health care costs that might come from eating poorly.

Eating on a budget doesn't have to leave you confined to mostly processed food, however. Nor does it have to be a chore. If you stick to a few "commandments" of budget eating, you can build a foundation from which eating well and cheaply will follow easily. Planning in advance, to avoid impulse buys but also to maximize your ingredients, is the first rule by which to live. Other commandments include buying in bulk, using ingredients you can stretch -- like one roast chicken to make 17 meals -- and never letting anything go to waste, which will likely involve getting to know your freezer a little better and making use of food parts like broccoli stems and radish tops. It may sound daunting, but luckily you've got a world of food bloggers to help you out. Here are seven of the best food blogs for eating on a budget.

1
Budget Bytes
<a href="http://www.budgetbytes.com/" target="_hplink" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Budget Bytes</a>
Didn't we say eating on a budget doesn't have to be boring? These Parmesan Garlic Pretzel Bites from Budget Bytes are here to back us up. Budget Bytes is one of the great ones. It's so great, in fact, it's been turned into a cookbook, which, among many recipes, features a great guide for stocking your kitchen -- perhaps the most crucial step of committing to cooking on a budget. Once you're prepared, it'll be easy to follow awesome recipes, like Budget Byte's Parsley Salad With Almonds And Apricots or Easy Sesame Chicken. In addition to a "kitchen basics" guide, Budget Bytes also has a very comprehensive list of principles for eating well on a budget, which explains strategies like "shopping wisely" and the "freezer is your friend." We love this blog because it not only has excellent recipes with great photos, but it's also very methodological. Every recipe includes the price of each ingredient, the price of the recipe as a whole and the price per serving. It's hard to do much better than that.
2
BrokeAss Gourmet
<a href="http://brokeassgourmet.com/" target="_hplink" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Broke Ass Gourmet</a>
Broke Ass Gourmet's been around since 2009, for good reason. The recipes are exciting but accessible, and they're all under $20. It's also another blog-turned-cookbook. With collections like "5 Cheap And Easy Ways To Cook Chicken Legs" and individual recipes like Sweet Potato Nachos, Homemade English Muffins and Bangkok Style Deviled Eggs, BrokeAss Gourmet's recipes run the gamut. It also features a good amount of Jewish-inspired recipes, like Honey Whole-Wheat Challah and Salted Matzo Crack. If you're looking for something special and want to keep it under $20, BrokeAss Gourmet is your one stop shop.
3
Stone Soup
Jules of Stone Soup
Stone Soup offers healthy, affordable recipes that won't leave you feeling like you're making any sacrifices. In addition to recipes like Green Curry Of Broccoli Soup and Kale Carbonara, Stone Soup offers wisdom, like the "three golden rules of do-it-ahead-meals" and the "dos and don'ts of keeping leftovers safe." Even better? According to the woman behind Stone Soup, Jules Clancy, most of the recipes are made with five ingredients, and can be made in mere minutes. (Hence Clancy's book, "5 Ingredients, 10 minutes."
4
Not Eating Out In New York
<a href="http://noteatingoutinny.com/" target="_blank" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Not Eating Out In New York</a>
Cathy Erway started her blog Not Eating Out In New York after "going AWOL from eating restaurant, take-out, or street stand food throughout the five boroughs of New York City" from 2006 to 2008. Her blog, which turned into her book, "The Art of Eating In," features recipes that she thinks are worth skipping the NYC restaurant scene and eating in for. In other words, they're pretty darn good. Recipes like Grilled Steak “Shoulder Bites” with Chimichurri and Roasted Eggplant “Salsa” and Curried Carrot Soup with Red Lentils strike a good balance between sophisticated and homey. Erway lists the cost of all ingredients as well as the total price of the recipe. She also rates her recipes based on health and environmental costs. On top of offering all of these guidelines for her recipes, Erway also shares inspirational reasons for not eating out, beyond just budgeting. For example, reason 52 is that you can better enjoy the seasons by cooking at home. She knows her urban audience needs consistent reminders to stay in and cook when it's too easy to just eat out.
5
The Law Student's Wife
<a href="http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/" target="_blank" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">The Law Student's Wife</a>
The Law Student's Wife offers budget-friendly, straightforward but exciting and often seasonal recipes like Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts and Feta and Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Freekeh Salad With Kale. It's a reliable spot for weeknight dinners, and blogger Erin also makes great desserts too, like Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream and Brown Butter Churro Crispy Treats.
6
The 99 Cent Chef
<a href="http://the99centchef.blogspot.com/" target="_blank" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">The 99 Cent Chet</a>
The 99 Cent Chef may not look as pretty as some of the other blogs, but what it lacks in glossy photos it makes up for in useful GIFs and videos. Blogger Billy Vasquez has a great sense of humor -- he says he "takes the haute out of cuisine" -- and makes eating on a budget fun and entertaining. His recipes consist of ingredients that either cost 99 cents each or 99 cents per pound. They range from spruced up breakfasts like Fried Egg on Breadcrumbs with Asparagus and classics like Patty Melts and Fish and Chips, to homemade versions of store-bought foods like Roasted Creamed Corn and even Egg McMuffins. He's also a big fan of seasonal produce as a means of budgeting as well as adding flavor.
7
$5 Dinners
<a href="http://www.5dollardinners.com/" target="_blank" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">$5 Dinners</a>
The title of this blog says it all -- and what could be better? $5 Dinners brings you recipes and weekly meal plans for making dinners that cost $5 or less. Blogger Erin Chase doesn't stop at dinner, however. She shares great breakfast recipes, like Blueberry Lemon Pancakes and Berry Quinoa Parfaits, and healthy desserts, like Black Bean Brownies With Shredded Coconut And Chocolate Chips. Chase also offers cooking tutorials that explain techniques like how to shred cabbage, and how to choose and cut and avocado, making her blog great for new cooks.

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Eat Healthy On A Budget