Skillet Meatballs and Marinara

$7.98 recipe / $1.33 serving
Simmered Skillet Meatballs and Marinara

I think I've hit the September Challenge jackpot with this one, folks. When I had my first bite of this dish I literally moaned and let out a quiet "Oh, hell yeah..." These super easy meatballs only have four ingredients (thanks to Italian sausage, which is basically like pre-seasoned ground meat) and they come together in just a few ... [Read More]

September Challenge 2015: Week 1 Summary

Week 1 Groceries

I can't believe a whole week of this year's challenge is already finished! I kind of dreaded doing the challenge, but I've already learned a lot from just one week's worth of mistakes and victories. In the summary below I'll show you what I bought last week, the recipes I made, a daily breakdown of what I ate, and what hurdles, mistakes, ... [Read More]

Bowties and Broccoli

$3.50 recipe / $0.58 serving
Bowties and Broccoli -

One of the things I've learned about eating on a budget is that simple recipes win. The fewer ingredients you need, the fewer ingredients you need to buy, and that generally helps keep that grocery bill low (not to mention, it makes cooking easy). So, when I was planning for the first week of my September Challenge, my favorite dinner ... [Read More]

Everyday Cornbread

$1.51 recipe / $0.19 serving
Everyday Cornbread Sliced

Cornbread isn't really anything special, but its role in this month's September Challenge is important, so I wanted to share it with you. Planning out menus on a strict budget is a lot like planning individual recipes on a budget. You have your elements that are flavorful and a little pricey, and you have your elements that are ... [Read More]

September Challenge 2015

September Challenge 2015

How did September get here so quickly?? For the past month I've been trying to decide if I was going to attempt last year's SNAP Challenge again this year. It was a tough decision because the challenge itself was extremely difficult, but also extremely insightful. In the end, I decided to compromise. It's not the SNAP challenge, but it's ... [Read More]

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pizza

$5.14 recipe / $1.71 serving
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pizza -

I'm starting a difficult challenge tomorrow where, like last year's SNAP challenge, I'm going to attempt to eat only $4.50 worth of food per day. I remember how hungry I was last year, so I kinda wanted to have one last indulgent hurrah just before I started the challenge. What's the best indulgent food, IMHO? Pizza, of course. But ... [Read More]

Mini Black Bean Turkey Burgers

$9.81 recipe / $1.96 serving
Turkey Burger Patties

One of my favorite techniques for stretching my food budget is substituting half of the meat in my meals with beans. So, when I got an email from one of my readers, Lori, with a link to this Black Bean Turkey Burger recipe on, I had to go check it out. It looked super simple and tasty, but I wanted to make my own version. I ... [Read More]

Vegetarian Mustard Greens

$4.21 recipe / $0.70 serving
Vegetarian Mustard Greens -

Let's talk about greens for a minute. Hearty greens, like mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, and sure, kale too. These are some of the few vegetables that actually benefit from what would normally be considered over cooking. Simmering these vegetables low and slow makes them become soft, drab green, and honestly pretty ugly. ... [Read More]

Creole White Beans with Chicken

$11.75 recipe / $0.98 per cup
Creole White Beans with Chicken above

Hello! I just got back from an extremely restful, yet indulgent, beach vacation. The sea was beautiful, but the food and drinks were even better. I have to admit, my friends are far better cooks than I am, and they went all out on our vacation. After a week of eating and drinking with abandon, I was ready to cook some simple and good for ... [Read More]

“Oatmeal Cookie” Baked Oatmeal

$4.15 recipe / $0.69 serving
"Oatmeal Cookie" Baked Oatmeal -

I get a lot of recipe requests and ideas from readers and, although I can't try them all, I absolutely love hearing them. They're so inspirational! Not too long ago, Sarah dropped me a line on Facebook asking if I had ever thought about making an oatmeal cookie flavored baked oatmeal. Well, that got the wheels in my head turning. What ... [Read More]

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Frittata

$5.75 recipe / $1.44 serving
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Frittata -

I purchased three rather expensive ingredients this week: roasted red peppers, feta, and a large bag of fresh spinach. I was really intent on not letting any of that go to waste, so after I made my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps, I grabbed up the leftovers and tossed them into a frittata. Frittatas are great because you can throw just ... [Read More]

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps

$11.69 recipe / $1.94 each
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus -

Today I had this insane craving for cold and crunchy vegetables all wrapped up inside a fluffy pita, so I threw together this super simple Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wrap, using homemade hummus and some of the leftover feta from my Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo. Since I'm always getting requests for "cold lunch" ideas, I thought I'd ... [Read More]