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Want to save a few hundred dollars every month? Stop eating out and start cooking! When you eat out, you’re paying a premium for the service that went into cooking it and that can really add up over time. By cooking for yourself, not only do you eat healthier and save money, it could even become a fun and relaxing hobby.
Finding the best deals and couponing online are two useful methods that’ll save money in the long run, but cooking is a dime-saving skill that will make you feel better about yourself. Furthermore, “you get what you pay for” is not always true when being your own chef; cheap food can be delicious if you find the right recipes.
Angela wrote about Android apps that suggest recipes based on what’s available in your fridge and they’re great for minimizing waste and maximizing value. These websites will offer up even more ways to cook tastier and healthier for less.
If you want to read drool-inducing recipes with dazzling high-def photos of each step along the way and a large helping of personality, The Pioneer Woman is where you want to go. She started from humble beginnings but now her website has an insane level of production value and she has thousands of loyal fans.
Her recipes aren’t specifically designed to be inexpensive, but they happen to be. Back when I first graduated from university and had no job or money to spare, I used many of her recipes to get me through tough times without spending a fortune. Let me tell you first-hand: her recipes are delicious.
“My stomach is full and my wallet is too.” What a great tagline that perfectly defines what this blog is all about. Budget Bytes is managed by Beth, a self-proclaimed “food lover and number cruncher” who has learned how to stretch her dollars without having to eat ramen noodles and mac-and-cheese every night.
Despite the blog-style layout, Budget Bytes is well-organized into various categories: by food type, by meat, by ethnicity, a section for vegetarians, and more.
But what I like even more is that each recipe has two price tags: a price per recipe and a price per serving. For those of you who really like to play with numbers, those price tags can really help you budget your money and plan meals for the week.
Food Hero is less of a regular recipe blog and more of a recipe collection that has been building over the past few years. Their mission is to help low-income families improve their health by providing low-cost, easy-to-cook recipes that won’t cost much money at all. But hey, if you’re a lone student living off of a pittance, these recipes will be just as useful to you.
All of the recipes on Food Hero have been tested by nutrition educators and must meet these health criteria.
Recipes on Food Hero are categorized in numerous ways: an A-Z List, a Kid-Friendly list, a list for quick-to-fix meals, foods by meal type, foods by meal time, and more. There are a lot of recipes and they’re a breeze to browse. They also have a kitchen tips section that’ll teach you: kitchen setup, food handling, cooking techniques, eating healthy on a budget, and more.
Don’t be scared away by this website’s name. Even if you aren’t a student, you can really benefit from the recipes. This blog started in 2004 as a way for first-year university student James Bailey to catalog recipes that were quick, easy, and cheap. Though he’s no longer a student himself, the site lives on as a great place to find affordable recipes.
The site layout is intuitive and easy to search. You can look up recipes by ingredient (though there are only eight categorizing ingredients right now: Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Fish, Pasta, Salad, and Soup) or you can look up recipes by occasion (also eight categories: For One, For Someone Special, For Snacks, For Dessert, For Parties, For Vegetarians, For Outdoors, and For Busy People).
Perhaps the most compelling part of the site is its community nature. You can submit your own recipes and others can rate them and comment on them. Not so different from most recipe sites, but Student Recipes has a way of bringing the communal aspect to the forefront.
Eating cheap can be delicious and these recipe sites will get you cooking fantastic meals for a fraction of the price in no time at all. Know of any other budget-based recipe sites that I missed? Tell us about them in the comments!