• Budget Smart Cook

    Plant Based, Budget Friendly Meal Challenge

    I just received an e-mail about this and thought I’d pass it along to you. If you’re thinking about eating a plant based diet this year or just looking for ways to eat on a budget, Plant Based Meals has a New Year’s challenge you can join, here’s the link if you want to check it out.   https://www.plantbasedmealplan.com/

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Quick and Easy Supper-Mediterranean Cod

    Here’s a quick supper that uses cod (or any similar fish), along with peppers, onions, some herbs and olives for a good for you but budget friendly meal. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add about two tablespoons of oil and then add one onion, sliced thinly and one green pepper that’s been thinly sliced.   Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and sauté until the onion and pepper is slightly softened.   Add a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes.   Stir in one teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil. Add one pound of cod to the mixture, cover and let simmer for about ten minutes…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Homemade Ginger Ale

    I come from a family of migraine sufferers so a bottle of ginger ale has always been a staple in the pantry. (For those of you who haven’t tried it ginger ale helps with the nausea that often accompanies a migraine). While a bottle of ginger ale won’t break the bank, I thought I’d try making my own and use cane sugar instead of regular white or brown sugar. Yesterday was my first attempt and the results were so good I thought I’d share the process with you. You’ll need- A piece of ginger about two inches long. Peel it and chop it and place it in a food processor…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Save Some Dough on Whole Wheat Bread…yes, excuse the pun!

    For those of you who are new to the site and maybe this post doesn’t make sense I’ve been experimenting with various recipes to make homemade bread. What exactly made me determined to come up with the perfect one? In one word, the price. I like whole wheat bread and where I live, to get anything decent tasting, is close to $4. It might not seem like a lot but when you use if for toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and sometimes a snack, loaves disappear fast. And who doesn’t like the smell of homemade invading the house or the feel of dough as you knead it on the…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Mushroom Lasagna using the new Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauces

      I recently got to try some of the new Homestyle Ragu Pasta Sauces. I like the fact that they contain no artificial color or flavors and aren’t made with high fructose corn syrup. I’ll be making lots of recipes with the collection of flavors I was sent and my first one is this mushroom lasagna. Mushrooms have a meaty flavor so I decided to use the Thick and Hearty Flavored with Meat to enhance it even more. It’s a great way to stretch your budget and still get that rib sticking quality to a dish. Mushroom Lasagna 7 pieces of oven ready lasagna 1 23 ounce jar Homestyle Ragu…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Why is Good Quality Bread So Expensive?

    I’ll admit it. I couldn’t go a day without at least once slice of bread. I used to think only artisan bread was expensive but these days it seems (at least where I live), prices of all types of bread have been rising…no pun intended. I’ve been buying bread from a discount supermarket and while it’s okay, it’s not that great and a couple of loaves have been shall I say, stale tasting. Over the holidays I got spoiled because the high end supermarket in town sold their artisan bread for 50% off and I got hooked. How come this bread is so pricey I asked myself, after all it’s just flour, yeast, salt, sugar…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    A Simple Supper

    I recently got to try some wonderful cooking wines and a pasta recipe that I thought I’d share with you. It’s perfect for a cold winter’s night and when you’ve just returned from holiday shopping. To bring a bold boost of flavor to everyday meals this season, Holland House Cooking Wines has partnered with YouTube cooking show Tatyana’s Everyday Food to create a delectable recipe perfect for sweater weather. Tatyana’s Everyday Food and Holland House’s recipe for Bold and Smoky Pepper Marsala Pasta can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLfQMK-1KvU. Holland House is a line of flavor-enhancing premium cooking wines that enhance sauces, marinades, slow cooker recipes, glazes and more. Bold and Smoky Pepper…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Pears with Ricotta Filling

      Here’s a recipe I recently tried out that’s somewhat of a break from pies and anything overly heavy. I bought some pears, and as everyone knows they’re either in one of two conditions. Either perfect for using as paperweights or mushy and only fit for smoothies. I don’t know why there’s never a middle ground for this fruit, but that’s the way it is. So before my purchase turned into mush, I decided to slow cook them. The result was a half descent pear that didn’t fall to pieces. The filling I made is a little more decadent depending on whether or not you use full fat or skim milk ricotta.…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    The Three Stages of Homemade Yogurt

      I’ve always been a fan of yogurt and not only eat it as a breakfast treat and dessert, but use it in things like breads and muffins. Good news is it’s easy to make. I have a Salton yogurt maker but I have heard that lots of people use a thermos with great results. Whatever your method here’s my basic recipe and tips I’ve found that increase the likelihood of a successful batch- 4 cups milk…I’ve tried it with all types, skim, 1% but have had the best results with whole milk ¼ cup dry milk powder ½ cup plain yogurt…once again the best type is made from whole milk…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Five Must Have Ingredients (that save time and money)

    All weeks seem busy but last week for some reason was hectic. Although I love to be in the kitchen, some days even I hate the thought of going in there to cook dinner. I’m gradually coming up with some shortcuts. I wasn’t thinking about saving money as I put them into practice but now I realize some can shave off a few pennies here and there- Flavored Mashed Potatoes When I make bangers and mash (that’s sausages and mashed potatoes in non Brit speak), I always like to serve caramelized onions on top of the potatoes. However, last week, the thought of peeling, slicing and then cooking onions had little…