December 1, 2011

Check it Out!

I made another website! Yay! This time I wrote a script for a game. It's called Culinary Queen. You can check it out here. Let me know what you think!
Also, if you want to check out some great recipes, follow the game to the end and you'll find three. Included is my lemon meringue pie recipe, which is delicious. It's my favorite pie recipe I've ever used.

November 28, 2011

Bargain Bites

Another great way to save on cash is to go to bargain restaurants. These kinds of places deliver great food at an alarmingly low price. One of my ultimate favorites is in Campbell, California. It’s called Royal Taj. I went there today and it was delicious. They have an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet for $7.95. So amazing. I also love the Salt Flats Cafe in Wendover, Utah. They serve you loads of Mexican food for way cheap. Plus, they never charge you full price. Also the food is delicious and the waitstaff are excellent; they never write down anything and always get your order right. It's kinda in the middle of nowhere, but it is my favorite stop on road trips. What is your favorite restaurant for bargain bites? Let me know in the comments below!

November 14, 2011

Make Your Own Bread

Another great way to save your cash is to make your own bread. Sounds scary, I know. Bread is not the easiest thing in the world to make, but if you start with an easy recipe and practice, even you can make some pretty darn good bread. This recipe is one of my favorites, it's easy, simple, and cheap:

60 Minute French Bread

1 packet of yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1 1/4 C of warm water
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of oil
1 1/2 tsp of salt
3 1/2 to 4 C of all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 375°
Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a mixing bowl combine the yeast mixture, sugar, and oil. Stir. Add 2 cups of the flour, stir to combine. Add salt and 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir until a medium dough forms. If the dough is too soft, add 1/2 cup flour.
Turn dough out onto well-floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
Divide dough into three roughly equal pieces, stretch each out into a rope. Braid the ropes of dough together, tucking under ends. Place braid on lightly greased baking sheet. (For a round loaf, pull ends of braid together into a circle, tucking one end under the other)Let rise 5-30 minutes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes

Tada! You just made bread! 

November 7, 2011

Check It Out!

Okay, so this makes two weeks in a row diverging from the main topic of my blog, but I just have to tell you all about something. I made a website! As part of a project for a class I'm in, I created a website all about the health aspects of chocolate. It's far from perfect, but I'm proud of it. I hope you read it! You can find it here. Let me know what you think! Oh, and I promise to get back to eating on a budget next week!

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Please excuse the diversion from food for today, but I just have to say: HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I love Halloween. Dressing up, going to parties, and eating pumpkin shaped cookies. It is the one time a year where you can be anyone or anything you want. It is so much fun! I hope everyone had a spooktacular Halloween!

October 24, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

It's a breakfast for dinner kind of night. Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? It is delicious and so much fun, as well as a great money saver. Some of my favorite menu items include omelets, breakfast burritos, waffles, hash browns, and french toast. Add a side of fruit to make it a more balanced meal. My favorite way to make french toast in the fall and winter is to use egg nog in place of milk. I also like to add a dash of pumpkin pie spice for a festive flair. So tasty!

October 17, 2011

Skip the Packaged Goods

One great way to save on cash is to not buy pre-packaged foods. A couple things that will cost less if you make them yourself include bread (which costs about 30 cents to make), cookies, power bars, and granola bars. Alton Brown (who is awesome by the way) has an excellent recipe for granola bars:


  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 chopped dried fruit


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x9-inch glass baking dish and set aside.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


October 3, 2011

Make it a Meatless Monday

Meat is expensive. When you shop, oftentimes the most expensive items in your basket will be meat products. So to save a little cash, try skipping the meat at dinner once or twice a week.  It may be hard to get started, but it will become habit if you do it a few weeks in a row.
Here are some tips for your Meatless Mondays:

  • Make sure you are getting protein. Some good foods to get protein from (other than meat) include beans, eggs, cheese, and soy.
  • Start with familiar meals, such as macaroni and cheese or veggie pizza. Later you can get more creative, like stir-fry with veggies and tofu or lentil soup.
  • Eat breakfast for dinner. Everyone I know loves breakfast for dinner, it's fun and can easily be meatless. For example, you could have scrambled eggs with waffles and chocolate milk for dinner.
  • Research vegetarian food blogs. Vegetarian food can be scary to some, but there are many recipes out there that taste good and are easy to make. They are also often good for you.
  • Remember that not eating meat one or two dinners a week is good for both your body and your budget.

September 26, 2011


Freezing food is a great way to save money. Most foods can be frozen, which means you can buy in bulk and save for later. For example, say beef is on sale, you can buy a larger cut of meat than you'll eat at one meal, cut it into pieces, and freeze it to make a meal with it later, even months from now. You can also freeze foods such as bread, berries, and seafood.
Be careful though, there are some foods that do not freeze well. For instance, canned foods, mayo, and eggs in shells don't do well in the freezer.

Want more information? The USDA has instructions and tips on their website.

September 19, 2011

It's as Easy as 123

Do you ever need a dessert for something but are running short on time and money? I have the answer. These cookies are so easy and so cheap. They're so simple, you'll probably have the recipe memorized after making them once.
Here it is:

123 Cookies
1 Cake Mix (I like lemon or chocolate best)
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Oil

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix until dough forms. Form dough into balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar and place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

So easy! And so cheap! Cake mixes run about a dollar a piece, so a dozen of these cookies will cost you about $1.50. Awesome right?

September 12, 2011

Crock-Pot Pot Roast with Gravy

Mmmm.... pot roast. So tasty, and surprisingly, not too expensive if done right. Pot roast can also be made and frozen, thus giving you leftovers for a later date.

1 medium sized pot roast
5 cups water
5-6 red potatoes
1/2 pound carrots
1 large onion
1 Lipton brand onion soup or herb and garlic mix
salt and pepper to taste

For the meat, I like to buy the cheapest cut possible, while still being good quality. Add the meat and 2 cups water to the Crock-Pot first, turn to low and let cook for approximately 4 hours. Next, add the potatoes, carrots, and onion. For the veggies, I like to use what I have laying around my apartment, which this week included some red potatoes, onions, and baby carrots. Sprinkle soup mix on top, then pour in the remaining 3 cups of water. Turn the Crock-Pot to high and let it cook for 2 more hours.

For the Gravy:
Take 3 cups of water from the Crock-Pot and pour into a sauce pan on the stove. Turn the stove to high. Next, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch or flour. Make sure to whisk continuously or you'll end up with lumpy gravy.

Voila! A simple, tasty, and inexpensive meal for the whole family.

September 5, 2011

Before We Start Cooking...

Before we start cooking, lets start with some basics. If you want to cook great food on a small budget, there is some equipment you should own. 
First, you need some standard pots and pans. You will also need spatulas, wooden spoons,whisks, etc. to use with these pots and pans. No need for anything fancy. If you don't have any, I suggest Target, Walmart, or Ikea, which have fairly inexpensive kitchen supplies. Thrift stores are also an option, just be smart and don't buy something that will break the first time you use it. Family and friends are also a great resource. Just let them know you need some and chances are they'll give you the stuff they were thinking about getting rid of, that's how I got mine.
1.6 quart slow-cooker
$16.99 at Target
Second, you will need a 9x13 inch or 8x8 inch glass baking pan. Pyrex or Anchor brands are the best and will last forever unless you drop it. 
Third, I suggest you get a slow-cooker. Slow-cookers are great for making just about anything, such as soup, chicken, beans, even bread and cake. Also, using a slow-cooker requires very little effort. If you are just cooking for a few people, I suggest a 2 quart slow-cooker, which will cost you $20 or less at Target or Walmart.
Fourth, I strongly suggest that you get a rice cooker/food steamer, it will make your life so much easier. Rice is a very inexpensive food and is very good for you. If you follow the directions on the rice cooker, your rice will never burn, thus saving you money. A rice cooker that is also a food steamer is excellent because you can make an entire well-balanced meal by cooking rice on the bottom and steaming meat and vegetables on the top. If you are not cooking for a lot of people, I suggest a 4 to 6 cup rice cooker/food steamer, which will run you about $20 or less at Walmart or Target.
6 cup rice cooker/food steamer
$16.99 at Target
Fifth, if you want to do any baking you will need a rolling pin, baking sheets, and a wooden cutting board. Again, these don't have to be super nice. Target and Walmart have good prices on this sort of thing.