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. Jennie says:

    You’ve written that this website will probably be most useful for those who don’t normally cook or are afraid to try. I beg to differ — I have excellent skills in the kitchen and have been cooking since I was a young teenager. I still find this blog to be a great source of recipes that can be the tipping point between giving in to someone’s demands for Subway because I’m tired and just can’t think what to make, and making dinner at home that I’m excited about cooking. Don’t underestimate the amount of value for working parents who value quality (as you do), but need an easy way to add new stuff to the repertoire that can be made on a weeknight. Although from that perspective I admit that one of the things I value *is* that my now-teenager can approach these recipes and get them started if necessary before I get home. :-)

  2. Stephanie says:

    Yes! Everything you said here is MONEY. I love to cook and I love to eat, and yes it hurts my budget when I go crazy. Thank you for writing about such a novel and winning concept.

    As a dietitian, I meet with too many people who have long lost the art of cooking. If we can recapture the beauty and simplicity of it (without breaking the bank), then we can all be a little healthier, happier, and more resourceful!

  3. I happened across your Budget Bytes cookbook at the library the other day. I am always trying new cookbooks, hoping to find a good one, which I will then purchase if it looks useful to me. I knew your book was the one for me from the very start where you list items for the pantry — I have every single item on that list, and not much more!! I knew every recipe would be using those basics, and I would not be rushing out to buy some obscure ingredient or spice just to “try out” a recipe. I LOVE your book and immediately put together two of your recipes, SO incredibly simple when I only had to walk to my pantry and get started!! You have no idea how happy I am to find a book (and website) full of recipes that use good, basic, wholesome food. I like my food simple. I want to taste the food itself, not the sauce it is buried under. Thank you for sharing your ideas and recipes and for keeping it real. LOVE it. :-) :-) :-)

  4. Denise says:

    As a Registered Dietitian, I am always looking for good resources to share with my clients. Your website is great — especially will be useful for people who say “I don’t know how to cook” or “I don’t have time” or “Eating healthy food is too expensive”. You have covered it all! Great work….

  5. Iyabo says:

    I am very excited about your site. This seems to be the answer to my prayers! I am very cost conscious and need to cut my food budget in half. I had no idea how to do this and still eat health as healthier options seem to be the more costly options. I am not creative in the kitchen, so this site has me soooo excited. Thanks Beth!

  6. I’ve never liked to cook. Thought it was a waste of valuable time in the kitchen on my feet. I was always impatient and tend to burn everything…meal wasn’t done until I smelled it charing or smoke alarm goes off.
    I don’t remember how I stumbled onto Budget Bytes during the holidays. Your recipes are simple, manageable and delicious! Vowed to cook more and eat out less this year and your site is keeping me to my word.
    My wallet thanks you!
    My feet thank you!

  7. Katie says:

    I’m new to Budget Bytes but I’m already in love! I’ve already tried a few of the recipes and I’ve enjoyed every single one! I’ve never been much of a chef but these recipes are so simple and delicious, I feel like I’ve accomplished some culinary genius when I’m done. I love what you’re doing!

  8. Oh God I am in love with your website. I am saving every recipe. This is what I have been needing, and looking for, delicious cheap, but not really cheap, meals for my husband and I… I seriously can’t wait to start cooking, saving money, and enjoying my food!! :D Extremely thankful for your work <3 I am cooking right now.

  9. Dear Budget Bytes,

    I was introduced to your website this morning and I fell in love with it! I have been in a rut in the kitchen lately. I need new meal ideas for week days (I work full-time) and found lots on your site. Thank you for the very inspiring and easy to prepare meals. The fact that they don’t cost an arm and a leg to prepare is a bonus! Keep up the great work.

  10. James says:

    I wanted to let you know how awesome your website is. I’m a recent college grad working full-time in the New York city area, so needless to say I’m strapped for time and always on a budget. I’ve tried countless recipes of yours and have yet to find one I don’t like. I’m always pushing the envelope and trying dishes that I don’t think I’d enjoy, but am continually proven wrong (African peanut soup is bomb). I try to eat healthy and your recipes make it easy and affordable for me. Just wanted to say thanks!

  11. Luna says:

    I started visiting your website only recently and it’s really helpfull. because I study, I have to eat lunch outside and I need simple, quick and affordable recipies to make every evening before and even easy meals to store away for some day later! you really came out with some brilliant ideas!!

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