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The Frugal Foodie

Budget-Conscious Food Blogs

All I hear lately is doom and gloom about financial matters – a stagnant economy, sinking loonie and escalating food costs. I can’t solve these issues, but what I can do is provide help for those who care about eating good food, even when we have to keep an eye on the bottom line.  

I found a number of blogs featuring both recipes for healthy, real foods and food costs for the recipes. Some of these are American, and of course costs vary depending on where you live, but this is a helpful tool if you are trying to work within a budget.  

One blogger worth mentioning is Toronto-born Leanne Brown, Author of the award-winning cookbook, Good and Cheap (available at www.leannebrown.com), and written specifically for very tight budgets. Available for free online, Brown launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a print run for families in need.  Recipes are not complicated and include multicultural options such as baked “Cornmeal Crusted Veggies”, “Broccoli Rabe and Mozzarella Calzones”, and “Spicy Pulled Pork”.  

I got a kick out of the Broke Ass Gourmet, a food and lifestyle blog featuring recipes that are always under $20 (U.S), but often less. This blog is a free-for-all collection of interesting things to cook, eat and drink, with food costs included. Pastrami bacon on the one hand, tempeh bacon on the other. It’s hard not to like “How to Cook Tofu That Doesn’t Suck”, and “Brown-Butter Pumpkin Cauliflower Gratin” looks delicious.

I also spent some time on Squawkfox, a personal finance blog run by Torontonian Kerry Taylor.  Not specifically a food blog, popular topics include cutting the cost of groceries, cooking for less and smart shopping. A few years ago, Taylor wrote about “One organic chicken, 22 meals, 49 bucks”. I question the 22 meals part, but it was worth looking at.

Budget Bytes is another good one, with the tagline, “My stomach is full and my wallet is too”. New recipes are posted often. Recent posts that caught my eye include “Lemon Pepper Chicken and Orzo” and “Weeknight Enchiladas”.

It’s perhaps obvious, but worth mentioning, that vegetarian food tends to be less expensive than meat. And you’ve probably heard that 2016 is the International Year of the Pulse. So I can’t let this opportunity go without suggesting a few vegetarian sites or recipes. Minimalist Baker is a mostly vegan food blog featuring yummy-sounding but straightforward recipes like “Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower”. For other interesting ideas, have a look at the blogs, How Sweet It is, Top with Cinnamon, and Gluten Free on a Shoestring.  

Cooking well on a budget is always a challenge, but it can be done. Further, there is a benefit to thinking about food costs, whatever our financial circumstances.