what is budget bytes?

There are two things that I will readily admit to: I am broke and I love to eat.

I’m not “cheap” because I do appreciate quality; I just like to be able to have my cake, eat it, AND pay my bills on time.

Balancing your budget and meeting all of your wants and needs is tough. If you haven’t already calculated how much you spend on food every month (groceries, eating out and impulse snacks and drinks) you are probably in for an eye-opener. Next to rent or your mortgage, food is probably one of your largest bills. Fortunately, it is also the MOST malleable category in your budget!

We all know that eating out can be expensive, especially if you like good, quality food. Even fast food these days is not exactly cheap (a full fast food meal can cost between $6-$10 dollars… I can eat for almost two days for the amount of money). Cooking for yourself can also be very costly if you don’t know what you are doing. Newbie cookers beware! That’s why you need me.

The recipes in this blog are SIMPLE, QUICK and SATISFYING. This blog will probably be most useful for those who do not normally cook or have been too afraid to try. I serve up the classics and show how easy, satisfying and inexpensive they can be. If you are a chef or have been cooking for years then, yes, this blog may seem elementary. BUT there is a whole generation, no, a COUPLE of generations that have grown up without simple home cooked meals. Lets bring back the lost art of cooking!

In short, I don’t believe that eating for pennies a day has to mean eating Ramen Noodles 100 different ways. In response to a recent financial crisis of my own, I have begun to run cost analysis on all of my favorite recipes. The results have surprised even me. In this blog I will post recipes along with their cost analysis, prep time, pictures and alternate preparations. As a reader I invite you to post comments on the recipes and discuss with others ideas for recipe alterations or anything else.

So, lets do this. Lets all stop wasting our money on mediocre food that someone else just put in the microwave then handed over to us. Make something delicious. Make something that fills you up. Make something that you are proud of. Make something that still leaves you enough cash to buy something else that you REALLY need or want.


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  1. laura says:

    I have read 3 recipes and I love you. FINALLY someone who offers good recipes with ingredients I already have!

  2. Katherine says:

    LOVE this website!!! This week, instead of my usual $60 grocery budget, I’m spending $40 to eat. Next week, I hope to get it down closer to $35.
    I’m a grad student on a tight food budget. My tuition is paid for because I’m a graduate assistant, and I get a stipend that covers my rent, utilities, and books, but that’s about it. However, I’m saving $1600 a year by not living in the dorms and being forced to buy a ridiculous meal plan.
    Since the stipend doesn’t quite cover my expenses and there’s no time for a second job, I was faced with two choices for food: get another loan, or apply for SNAP. Kind of a no-brainer. This is really going to help once the food stamps kick in!
    Anyway, thank you for running such a great blog! It’s such a big help to a lot of people!

  3. Shayan Waseh says:

    I’m moving into my own apartment soon and will have to cook more often, so I’ve started checking out your website, and I have to say – so many of the foods and recipes look so entrancingly delicious!

    I’m going to make the “Oatmeal Cookie” baked oatmeal and the peanut butter smores pots tonight and will let you know how it goes!!

  4. Carmel says:

    I’ve recently started using your recipes. I started because I wanted to save money on the food bill, and because I wanted to be more sustainable with food. In a month I’ve save over $250 New Zealand. And are not throwing out ANY unwanted food!!! Wish I’d found you years ago. Thanks for the fabulous website.

  5. Julie says:

    I’ve been using your website for several months now and I can’t tell you how much of a help it’s been. I’ve long struggled with knowing what to cook and being a grad student with limited time and money has made cooking meals even more of a challenge. Your website makes cooking accessible and affordable and I can’t thank you enough!

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