Food and Recipes

My grandmother always used to say, “If we didn’t need food, we’d all be rich!” This may be true. But then life would be a little less pleasurable. Still, there are ample ways to make great food cheap, make perishable food last, and still manage to stretch the grocery budget.

These articles are filled with practical wisdom, novel ideas, and inspiring recipes like The Ultimate Restaurant Cheat Sheet, Muffins So Amazing They’re Insane, Make it Yourself: Homemade Coffee Creamer, and the wildly popular Cinnamon Rolls—So Decadent, So Simple It Might Be Illegal!  Mary’s tips, tricks and food hacks will make cooking fun and rewarding for you and your family. Bon appetit!



ingredients on a table for homemade pizza with no-rise dough

I Challenged Dominos to a Pizza Bake-Off and This is What Happened

Millions of families rely on pizza because it is quick, cheap, and convenient. But is it? To find out, I
kraft mac n cheese

9 Delicious Ways to Hack a Box of Mac n’ Cheese

As one who still finds Kraft Dinner prepared according to the printed instructions to be a guilty pleasure, the idea
Dump Cake Cranberry

Festive 4-Ingredient Cranapple Dump Cake

Cake lovers rejoice! So you're not a pie fan? Here's the perfect dump cake to finish off your Thanksgiving feast.

Copycat Panera Bread Mac & Cheese Recipe

This copycat Panera Bread Mac & Cheese is, in my family’s opinion, even better than the real Panera menu item—and
tomato storage method using tape

How to Store Tomatoes Perfectly Fresh for 10-Days or Longer

I have tested so many ways to keep tomatoes fresh long enough to use them—on the counter, upside down, attached
pumpkin puree v.2

How to Make Pumpkin Puree From Scratch—Better, Cheaper Than Canned

Hello fall baking! I can’t think of a better way to get started than with fresh, homemade pumpking puree—the star

Ask Me Anything: Best Cookbooks for Kitchen Newbies | Insuring Fine Jewelry

Here it is, another episode in our Ask Me Anything series where I reach into my virtual mailbag and pull
Banana Pudding

This Banana Pudding is My Summer Showstopper

If you ask me, no respectable summer cookout is complete without a big finish with a creamy, cookie-laden banana pudding
The Complete Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables book on kitchen countertop knolling

The Complete Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables

With a few simple tricks to reduce the amount of fresh produce we toss, we can minimize the disposal of
Woman holding basket with products at supermarket

Good News for Shoppers: Prices Dropping on These 13 Grocery Items

You don’t need me to tell you about skyrocketing food costs. Over the past couple of year a trip to

Banana Pudding—Quick and Easy Show Stopper!

  Here it is ... the most decadent, beautiful, quick, easy banana pudding ever. No summer (or any time of
home cook making gourmet meal

14 Best Gifts for Anyone Who Likes to Cook (or Eat!)

Over the past few years, many people have discovered a love for cooking and baking at home. And a lot
two women eating in a restaurant

How to Break the Habit That’s Eating Up Your Future

Let’s not beat around the bush. Eating out is eating up your future. It’s gobbling down your present and keeping
hawaiian sliders credit justapinch

Hawaiian Sliders: Perfection in a Bun

A “slider” is a small sandwich that is served in a bun. Typically we think of sliders as small hamburgers,
female cooking on stove top

Kitchen Substitutes: You Can Use This When You’re Out of That

It happens to all of us. Your discover you’re all out of a certain ingredient just when you’re in the
tired depressed young mother too tired to cook in contemporary kitchen

What to Do When You’re Too Tired to Cook

The last thing you need is someone to tell you to get a grip and plan ahead. So I won’t.
how to store dry fresh and cooked pasta

How to Properly Store Dry, Fresh, or Cooked Pasta to Avoid Waste and Save Money

I’m one lucky gal. My husband’s favorite menu item is pasta—any shape or presentation. He would opt for a pasta
collage make-ahead thanksgiviing

Famous Make-Ahead Sides for Your Holiday Meal

The secret for cooks who wish to have Thanksgiving day off is to embrace a meal prep and cooking method
cabbage casserole made with Ritz Cracker topping

Budget Bites: Cabbage Casserole (with Gluten-Free Option)

This dish with its Mediterranean flair is popular in the southern US and Canada. The basic ingredients are cabbage and
brown sugar

8 Easy Ways to Keep Brown Sugar Soft (and Remedies If It Hardens)

How maddening to reach for the brown sugar expecting it to be soft and fluffy, only to find a rock-hard
potato doughnuts with chocolate glaze cooling on a rack

How to Get Clever with Leftovers: Mashed Potatoes, Coffee, Meatloaf,

Leftovers and I have a kind of love-hate relationship. I can’t bear the thought of tossing perfectly delicious food into
Creamy loaded baked potato soup with scallion

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

You know what they say—everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it! That always makes me
a stick of butter cut into 8 1-oz portions

How Many Tablespoons in a Stick of Butter

One standard stick of butter in the U.S. contains 8 tablespoons, measures 1/2 cup and weighs 1/4 pound.
sandwich made with gluten free white bread

How to Bake Gluten-Free High-Rising Beautiful Soft Sandwich Bread

If you bake gluten-free for yourself or others, you have likely attempted to bake soft, airy, sandwich-worthy bread. And your
starbucks pumpkin lattes

Calling All PSL Lovers! How to Make Amazing Pumpkin Spice Lattes Yourself

With great patience comes great reward. That’s what Starbucks aficionados count on—waiting, patience, more waiting each year for Starbucks to

Don’t See Inflation in the Restaurant Menu? Look Carefully at the Bill

Times are tough. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Restaurants continue to face budget-busting challenges from the pandemic and labor
man smelling sour milk and not enjoying the experience

Don’t Throw That Out! 7 Ways to Safely Reclaim Spoiled Food

Have you ever walked into the kitchen to get that first cup of coffee only to discover someone left the

Make It Yourself: Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Original Blend Seasoning

With this copycat recipe and a strategic collection of spices, you'll be all set to clone Mrs. Dash Original Salt-Free
homemade baby formula

Homemade Baby Formula That is Safe, Nutritionally Sound, and Doctor Approved

A quick online search for homemade formula specifics smacked me in the face! Dozens of loud warnings to never even

Sweet Onion Salad Dressing Recipe

Because sweet onions don't pack the punch of their cousins—red and yellow onions—they're perfect for making dishes where you want

Everything You Need to Know About How to Select Store and Freeze Avocados

Avocados are fickle. Sometimes, they seem like they’re ready to eat, and at other times avocados look like they’ll be

This is How I Cook and Bake Using Free Power from the SUN! 

Many types of solar ovens are available these days, even simple plans to help you build your own. However, Sun
ketchup with french fries on wood tray

Recipes for “Heinz” Ketchup and Other Favorite Grocery Items

Chances are good you've noticed the price of ordinary grocery items beginning to soar. The Wall Street Journal is reporting these
Empty Stockings Hung On Fireplace On Christmas Eve

Last-Minute Gifts, Ideas, Stocking Stuffers, Free Printables

With only a matter of days before Christmas, it’s easy to allow a sense of panic to set in. Could
caramel corn collage

The Ultimate Gift-Worthy Caramel Corn Recipe (Quick, Easy, Good!)

Here’s a quick and easy way to make what I find amazing gift-worthy caramel corn, with stovetop and microwave instructions,
salad spinners

How to Achieve Perfectly Dry Lettuce Without a Salad Spinner

I used to have a salad spinner. It worked OK, but not as well as the currently popular OXO model.
A display of frozen turkeys in the refrigerated meat aisle of a

Fresh or Frozen? Large or Small? How to Choose the Best Turkey

Fresh or frozen? Large or small? Hen or Tom? Here is everything you need to know to select the best
semi homemade dinner rotisserie chicken with corn and french fries side dish

Semi Homemade: How to Combine Quick-Service Food and Home Cooking

On those super busy days when you just don’t have time to cook at home but it’s just too expensive
homemade bread

Ingenious Tips for How to Store Bread To Keep It Fresher Longer

Whether store-bought or homemade, is it asking too much for bread to remain fresh long enough to use it up
centerpieces featuring cranberries

9 Fabulous Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries Starting Now and Throughout the Year

Fresh cranberries are available in supermarkets and grocery stores from October thru December—a very short season! Stock up on fresh
A cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Latte—Cheaper, Better, Faster!

Originally created by Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) has developed a cult following. It is so popular, PSL even has its
Boiling pasta spaghetti in pot

How to Cook Your Way Out of These 15 Common Kitchen Mistakes

It's only a mistake if you can't fix it, and that is especially true in the kitchen. Here are 15

These 3-Ingredient Cakes are So Easy It’s Almost Scary

Just in time for the holidays, quite possibly the easiest, most versatile, amazingly delicious boxed cake hack ever to be
Photo of Irish Stew or Guinness Stew made in a crockpot or slow cooker.

Best Inexpensive Slow Cookers

A slow cooker is an ingenious appliance. It’s simple. It cooks slowly. Really slow—like it takes 8 hours to get a

Think Cost-Per-Serving, Not Price-Per-Pound to Cut Cost, Reduce Waste

If you want to reduce cost of meat, poultry and at the same time raise your grocery shopping IQ, think
In-n-Out Burger with fries in the background

How to Make In-N-Out Style Cheeseburgers—Cheaper, Better, Faster!

It happens all the time. Someone asks me if I miss living in California, a question I find truly appropriate.

How to Regrow Scallions and Other Vegetables from Scraps

At our house, we're getting much better with storing and using up produce. In fact, we've all but completely stopped
Homemade Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Slow Cooker Shredded Barbecue Chicken with Homemade Coleslaw

If you love good pulled chicken (pork, beef) barbecue sandwiches, this recipe is going to knock your socks off. It’s
Canned peaches with large pot or canner

The Basics of Home Canning and How to Get Started—Quick & Easy!

One of the best ways to preserve—the method of food preservation that is making a big comeback—is known as “canning.” Canning

A Casserole Connoisseur’s Guide to Healthy Substitutions

It's easy to see why casseroles have fallen out of favor with the weight- and health-conscious crowd. One serving of
kitchen hack uses two glasses of water to test if eggs are rotten or fresh

31 More Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

Here is a wonderfully creative collection of tips that spotlight my readers' resourcefulness and intelligence in the kitchen and pantry.
Shocked man doing grocery shopping at the supermarket and checking a long receipt, lifestyle and budgeting concept

The One Quick and Easy Way to Slash the High Cost of Groceries

The news is not good: Grocery prices in the U.S. were up 11.8% in December 2023 compared with a year

DIY Ketchup Just Like Heinz

Heinz Ketchup is about as common a product as any in the Hunt refrigerator. We love it. We've tried other
eggs milk cheese on a wood board headed or the freezer

Eggs, Milk and Cheese … in the Freezer?!

I’m sure my supermarket is not the only grocery store that slashes the price on perishable items nearing their "Sell
Football party food, super bowl day, nachos salsa guacamole

Yummy Snacks and Appetizers—Quick & Easy!

For those of us for whom Super Bowl is more about the snacks than the game itself (someone had to

How to Liquefy Crystallized Honey and Best Way to Store It

It's discouraging when you reach for the honey, only to discover it is no longer a smooth liquid, but all
chicken noodle soup

The Healing Power in Chicken Soup

How to make simple, rich, hearty, healthy and flavorful chicken soup in about 50 minutes—from scratch!—start to finish.
Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts

Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts—Inexpensive and Sinfully Delicious!

Yes, I did. I made Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts. In fact, I've made this recipe four times in 30 days
my clean kitchen

How to Cook and Keep the Kitchen Clean at the Same Time

I love to cook. And I enjoy inviting guests for dinner parties or more casual meals. What I hate is

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

I know what you’re thinking: Make the mashed potatoes AND gravy ahead of time—up to several days before the big
Woman Keeping Piggybank In Shopping Cart Full Of Groceries

15 Insanely Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries

According to the USDA, a normal American family of 4, is spending on average, $$1,108.10 a month on food at
chicken tortilla soup

3 Quick and Cozy Slow Cooker Soups

Dump and run. That’s the kind of slow cooker recipe I love. No muss, no fuss— and no hovering over
female hands typing on white computer keyboard on white desk

Ask Me Anything: Pet Odor, Line-Dried Towels, HOT Cold-Brew and MORE!

Here it is mailbag day, when I reach into my virtual mailbag to read and respond to a handful of
rack of Costco rotisserie chickens

How to Use Up Every Last Bit of a Supermarket Rotisserie Chicken

If you’ve ever ducked in the supermarket to pick up a yummy, hot rotisserie chicken for dinner then tossed the
apple pie in a cast iron skillet

Hands Down This is The Best Apple Pie in The Whole World

Classic Apple Pie with a flaky crust, perfectly set filling, and just a hint of cinnamon—does anything shout autumn more
quesadillas from leftovers

34 Ways to Make Fabulous Meals from Leftovers

How to use leftovers? Oh, let me count the ways. There really are so many ways to make meals from leftovers,
Hamilton Beach Set and Forget 6QT slow Cooker

How to Use a Slow Cooker to Discover the Joys of Easy, Delicious Meals!

Without a doubt, slow cookers have improved immensely over the years, while the prices have remained remarkably affordable!
Homemade Bisquick biscuits with freezer jam

How to Make Copycat Bisquick Cheaper, Better, Faster!

This is a copycat recipe for Bisquick, but even better than Bisquick, because it includes dry milk, which means that
money saving appliances

4 Kitchen Money-Savers That Pay for Themselves in No Time at All

My favorite gadgets, of course, are ones that actually help me to save money and/or time. I’ve been fooled from
collage showing fresh basil being propgated in a paper cup then planted in a pot

How to Propagate Basil, Grow and Turn it Into the Most Amazing Pesto

While I came bearing gifts and lunch to celebrate my friend Sharon’s Birthday, I left with a gift of perhaps
cheeses displayed on wood cutting board

Moldy Cheese: How to Prevent, Fix, and When to Toss It Out

Whoever said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” must have been a deli owner. Think about
Cucumber and Harvest

Cucumbers Galore? Enjoy Cucumber Salad and Easy Pickles Recipes!

Today we celebrate cucumbers which will soon be in the peak of their season and dirt cheap! Cucumbers are not only

How to Clean the BBQ So You Can Get Grilling

A couple of weeks ago, with all the confidence in the world that winter had passed, I got everything ready

31 Non-Perishable Foods to Stockpile Now and Where to Store Them—UPDATED!

If recent world events have given you on big fat wake-up call, you are not alone. The message is clear—every
A dish is filled with pasta

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce—So Good, Easy & Cheap, It’s Insane!

I love my Instant Pot—the greatest time-saving, magic-producing, easy-to-use kitchen appliance known to [wo]mankind.  But I have to admit the
Bread and Loaf

Best Ever NO-YEAST Homemade Bread

Good Morning, Dear Readers! First thing this morning I checked my favorite overnight news source, Morning Brew (it's free and
A bunch of different types of food, with Refrigerator

27 Things Never to Put in the Refrigerator

Have you outgrown your refrigerator? Thinking it's time to replace it with one that's bigger? Before you do that, take
A close up of a metal pan on a stove top oven, with Dough and Yeast

Homemade Artisan Bread—Amazingly Easy and So Delicious!

Just in time for the weekend—homemade, artisan bread! I'm convinced that anyone with an oven, flour, yeast, salt, and water
Homemade Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Gravy—Quick and Super Easy!

What’s for dinner? How about Pot Roast in crock pot that makes its own gravy? That takes only a few
A sandwich sitting on top of a table

How to Make Flour Tortillas—Scrumptiously Delicious and Super Cheap!

Once upon a time, there was a restaurant located in Fountain Valley, Calif. Mañanas’ claim to fame—fresh, hot, homemade flour
box of emergency food

The Emergency Food Items You Need to Stock Up On Now

Life is uncertain. Regardless, every home needs a stockpile of food. It's part of any sensible emergency preparedness plan. You
A sign on the side of a building

How to Break the Restaurant Habit

Whether this wicked virus that continues to spread represents a temporary disruption or it changes life as we know it,
traditional st patricks day meal corned beef and cabbage potatoes carrots

Corned Beef and Cabbage: A Classic Irish Dish Made Simple

I can count on the simple ingredients in this meal to be on sale just when I need them, in
A plate of food on a table, with Cornbread

This 65-Cent Hack Has Forever Changed the Way I Make Cornbread

As a Northerner, born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, it wasn't until I was well into my adult years
Food on a table next to a cup of coffee, with Butter and Cookie

Budget Bites: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

If you were to look up “peanut butter cookies” in a dictionary dating back to the mid-1960s, I’ll bet you’d
family picking up walmart groceries

8 Ways Online Grocery Shopping Can Actually SAVE Money

There are few things more annoying than stopping at the supermarket to pick up a few things, hauling bags of
overhead angle of a coconut cake covered in white frosting and lots of shredded coconut on a midcentury countertop

This 3-Day Coconut Cake Is So Delicious It’s Going to Knock Your Socks Off

This is a wonderfully beautiful and delicious cake that is sure to impress. Very easy to make. So moist, without
salad in a bag

The Best Reason Not to Buy Prewashed Salad in a Bag

Those bags of prewashed chopped salad greens are certainly a tempting option because what's not to like about having someone
Instant Pot New York

How to Make Perfect New York Cheesecake in Your Instant Pot

You could have knocked me over with a feather as I was searching for ways to use my Instant Pot
A close up of a doughnut

How to Make a Perfect Baked Potato in the Oven

Potatoes—they're nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive. And as they come perfectly baked from the oven, they're gluten-free, low-fat, dairy-free, vegetarian, and

Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup

You can plan on this to be your signature dish with your friends and family. Guests to beg for the
Homemade Hot Butternut Squash Soup

6 Quick and Easy Homemade Soup Recipes to Soothe the Soul and Budget

With my crazy schedule, I am always on the lookout for the fastest meals possible. These homemade soups are fast,
bacon collage

Hands-Down the Easiest Way to Perfectly Cook Bacon

I must admit to a kind of love-hate relationship with bacon. On the one hand, my family loves bacon, which
white fruitcake my grandmother made

White Fruitcake is What Dreams are Made Of

I have no pride and, according to some, no taste. I love fruitcake. Sickeningly sweet, loaded with pecans, cherries, pineapple,
asking question (1310 × 833 px)

Ask Me Anything: Credit Reports, Storing Potatoes, Deadbeat Relatives and More!

I don’t really have a mailbag but it would be fun if I did. What I do have is a file
red slow cooker

Stop Making These Slow Cooker Mistakes

I gave away my slow cooker. I’d stopped using it feeling pretty much like a slow-cooking failure. I’d just acquired
A cup of coffee, with Coffee bean

Everything You Need to Know About Storing Coffee

Having reached the level of coffee snob some years ago, I don’t think I’m quite to the level of coffee
A cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte

10 Coffee Hacks, Tips, Tricks, Pumpkin Spice Latte (Starbucks is Going to Miss You!)

Whenever I write about my love of coffee—especially Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte—which admittedly has turned me into a coffee snob,
A cup of coffee on a table

6 Awesome Gifts of Summer to Make Now for Christmas

Even if you didn’t have an abundant garden this year, don’t worry. You can still make these beautiful gifts of
A man and a woman posing for a picture

24 Ways to Chop Your Grocery Bill

It's impossible not to notice that the cost of everything is going up, but learning just how much is quite

Use This for That to Reduce Clutter and Save Money

We could go broke furnishing our kitchens with the ‘right equipment’ if we look to television cooks and professional chefs
fresh produce in small baskets

How to Store Fruits and Vegetables at Home to Remain Fresh Longer

Here's a fun, crash course on the how, where, and, why of fresh fruits and vegetables. Start following these insanely
Food on a table, with Corn on the cob and Sweet corn

4 Absolutely Brilliant Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

There's just nothing that screams late summer like sweet corn when it's fresh, hot, and slathered with butter and salt.
Iced Tea at Picnic in Grand Junction, Colorado

How to Make Perfect Iced Tea (Plus Real Southern Sweet Tea Recipe)

The only thing more comforting than a big, tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day is knowing
Inflation is the culprit eating away at your budget

Make Sure You Have These 9 Essential Pantry Items

Have you been paying attention to what’s going on with the cost of food? I just read that the average
pile of rotten produce food waste in Amerian

Simple Ways We Can Stop Throwing Our Food Dollars Into The Garbage

I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around this documented fact: Nearly half of all produce grown in the
A plate of food and a cup of coffee

How To Make Family-Friendly Finger Foods Kids Love

In less time than it takes you to get into the car and drive to the closest drive-thru, you can
homechef displayed on countertop

How We Use Home Chef to Cut Food Costs

During these times of quarantine, lockdowns, shut-downs, and restrictions, Home Chef has become a godsend for so many families and

This is What to Do With Leftover Green Salad

If throwing out perfectly delicious leftover green salad were a crime, I’d be serving a life sentence. It kills me
pickles in a jar and a bowl

16 Brilliant Reasons to Stop Throwing Out Pickle Juice

A friend asked if she could borrow some pickle juice. Huh? Who keeps pickle juice? The purpose of pickle juice

The Ultimate Restaurant Menu Cheat Sheet

Before restaurant menus ever make it to print, restaurant owners hire menu engineers and consultants to bury super sneaky psychological

Yummy Sweets to Make for Valentine’s Day

Friends. Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  Thankfully, we have several days and one beautiful weekends between now and
Three eggs boiling in pan of water

4 Ways to Boil Eggs So They Come Out Perfect Every Time

Eggs. They’re nutritious, delicious and cheap! And who's not thinking eggs right about now as we head into Easter Weekend!Cooking
butter along side a knife that has cut it into small pieces sitting on a black cutting board

21 Brilliant Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

Whether you are naturally gifted in the kitchen or had the pleasure of growing up with some talented cooks who
Confused woman doesnt know what to buy in supermarket

You’re Not the Only One Confused by Date Labels on Packaged Foods!

No doubt, you've noticed that some food products come with dates and codes printed on them. Does that mean it
homemade blueberry muffin on wood board

Muffins So Amazing, They’re Insane!

I love to bake, however, baking has not always been fond of me. We’ve had our moments. It wasn’t until
Home Chef delivery box filled with meal kit sitting on

Dinner-in-a-Box is Not What I Thought

Dinner-in-a-Box. Seriously? Who in their right mind would trust seafood, meat and produce from some unknown assembly plant, piled onto
Chips, football and Six Pack of Beer on a table in front of a big screen TV with a Football field.

11 Easy Delicious 3-Ingredient Party Dip Recipes

Delicious hot, cold, savory, spicy, and even sweet dips—an amazing variety sure to please all—beautifully arranged so that everyone can
Christmas gifts wrapped in brown paper with red ribbons.

5 Favorite Handmade Holiday Gifts With Complete Instructions (So Easy!)

Whether it’s something from your kitchen, craft room, woodworking shop, or computer, there’s nothing like a homemade gift. A tree
Homemade Golden Caramel Popcorn in a Bowl

Gift-Worthy Caramel Corn Just in Time for the Holidays

For years, I’d attempted to make caramel corn, without success. It was either too soggy or too chewy. Or the

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls—So Decadent, So Simple It Might Be Illegal!

Trust me on this. Magnificent Cinnamon Rolls in just 43 minutes from start to glorious finish—and just 3 ingredients!
chicken breasts on a plate ready to be cooked

How to Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (No-Fail Secrets!)

They’re convenient and, we’re told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare
Baking ingredients on a wooden board, horizontal, close-up

Baking Supplies: Best Time to Buy, Shelf Life Secrets + FREE Printable

One of my basic rules of grocery shopping is this: When it's on sale, buy enough to last until the

The Useful Life of Spice Plus How to Repurpose

When I packed up my kitchen for our big move a few years ago, I was embarrassed to discover what
Instant Pot with Beans Rice and Fresh Vegetables

The Best Accessories, Tips, Secrets of Instant Pot Rockstars!

Everyone, it seems, is talking about Instant Pot—the revolutionary electric pressure cooker that for all the hype, promises to turn
peach collage

Peaches—Tips, Tricks, My Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler and More Recipes!

Who doesn't love a perfectly ripe, fresh peach? Whether freestone or clingstone (don't know the difference? read on ... )
A close up of food on a grill, with Chicken breast

Worst and Best Ways to Grill Chicken

In a previous post, I asked readers to share their worst barbecue and grilling experiences that could have been spared
Instant Pot

Favorite Super Short, Easy, Inexpensive Instant Pot Recipes!

I have loved my Instant Pot since the day it arrived back in 2016. I'll admit to being slightly intimidated in the
outdoor grilling

Outdoor Grilling on a Budget

Getting our outdoor grill cleaned, polished, and ready for summer got me thinking about how much fun it would be
salad greens in farmers market

The Best Way to Store Salad Greens to Make Them Last Longer

Has this happened to you? You open the refrigerator expecting to pull out the fresh, beautiful healthy salad greens you
crispy skin chicken honey garlic salmon

Two Recipes on the Menu Every Week at My House

There are two meals I prepare nearly every week—Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs and Honey Garlic Salmon. These are my go-tos
boxes of cake mix on marble counter for cake mix hacks recipes

3 Sneaky Ways to Hack a Cake Mix So No One Has a Clue It’s Not From Scratch

When cake mixes are on sale, I load up. And that's a good deal provided you like the taste of
Woman washing produce in kitchen sink

How to Make Highly Effective Fruit and Vegetable Wash

To avoid illness from foodborne contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends washing produce thoroughly to help kill bacteria
copycat collage 1

Most Requested Copycat Recipes

Here for your mixing pleasure are the four copycat recipes most frequently requested by Everyday Cheapskate fans and followers. Whether you
English Muffin Bread

Homemade English Muffin Bread

Here's an easy way to cut your grocery bill this week: Make your own bread. Wait! Hear me out. Let
chicken tortilla soup

How to Turn Those Leftovers into Awesome Homemade Soup (Recipes!)

Soup is a great frugal, potentially delicious meal that can successfully be made from leftovers. It’s a great way to
A piece of cake sitting on top of a table

Favorite Egg Recipes for Instant Pot

I've been using Instant Pot for a couple of years now. Somedays I wonder how I ever got along without
Hot chocolate mug with marshmallow

Just in Time: Ultimate Last-Minute Holiday Gifts From the Kitchen

You do not need a lot of money nor must you have the gift of craftiness to assemble fabulous gifts
Gift and Bacon

Bacon Jam: Maybe the Best Homemade Gift Ever

When the holiday season arrives, the best gifts just might be from your kitchen. And when those gifts are extra

How to Make Four Popular Mixes to Slash the Soaring Prices

They’re convenient and tasty, but have you ever considered the high cost of your favorite prepared mixes and spices? In
A bowl of pasta sits on a plate, with Casserole

How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe

Ever feel like kitchen klutz? Wish you could take that odd assortment of stuff in the pantry and freezer mix
Roasted steaming coffee beans

How to Roast Coffee at Home to Save Money and Enjoy Really Great Coffee

It all started about 10 years when I had a conversation with Dax Wilson, who’d recently taken up this hobby
Beef Jerky homemade on crystal plate

Budget Bites: Beef Jerky

If your family loves beef jerky as much as mine, you definitely need to learn how to make this grocery
Frozen food in the refrigerator. Vegetables on the freezer shelves.

Money-Saving Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to Put Your Freezer To Work

Whether yours is a stand-alone unit or part of your refrigerator, your freezer costs a lot in wasted energy or
A woman surveying the apples in a grocery store

Three Apples a Day to Lose Weight

Now, while apples are plentiful and super affordable, it's a good time to save some dough. And you'll be saving
women serving small bites for appetizers party

Skip the Dinner, Bring on the Appetizer Party!

While traditional dinner parties have their charm, I’ve learned that starting with hors d’oeuvres can be a risky move. Guests

Common Money Myths and How to Stop Believing Them

The wedding was complicated and expensive. But it’s over and you are ready to settle back and enjoy your new
instant pot

How to Use an Instant Pot—It’s Safe and Simple!

Maybe you have an Instant Pot and are afraid or just plain clueless what to do with it. Even if
flank steak sliced on wood platter

Flank Steak So Tender and Delicious They’ll Think It’s Filet Mignon

From time to time my supermarket runs a special on beef flank steak. It’s a very lean piece of meat,

Make It Better Yourself: In-N-Out Burgers

It happens at least once a week: Someone asks me if I miss living in California, a question I find
A piece of cake sitting on top of a wooden table

Make It Better Yourself: Starbucks Lemon Loaf

It was a happy day when my daughter-in-law Wendy texted me this recipe for what we now believe is better
Italian chicken cacciatore served with pasta

Budget Bites: 19 Ways to Make Dump Chicken

Dump dinners are my top strategy for conquering the “What’s for Dinner?” challenge. Picture this: having dinner on the table,
chinese brown sauce with stir fry vegs

How to Make The BEST Chinese Stir Fry Sauce

I’m done buying bottled, disappointing Asian-style sauces. That's because I can confidently make all-purpose Chinese brown (stir fry) sauce cheaper,
Cup of Coffee and Pouring Creamer

Make it Better Yourself: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Cream. It's coffee's perfect mate. And when that creamer comes flavored in a handy bottle from the dairy case, even more perfect, right? Oh,
A leftover pizza sitting on top of a table

The Hands Down Best Way to Store and Reheat Leftover Pizza

Don’t let your leftover pizza sit in the fridge until it dries up, curls up, and turns downright disgusting. Do

How to Turn Your Barbecue Grill into a Baking Oven

If you have an outdoor barbecue grill with a cover that closes over the top of the grill, you can
A bowl of food sitting on top of a wooden table

How the Right Thermometer Makes Me Look Good in the Kitchen

Faithful readers know how much I love to cook. That has not always been the case. It was coming face-to-face
gardening dirt and tools

How to Make Dirt: Compost 101

Some home gardeners call it "black gold." I understand, it is truly that amazing. But really, it's just dirt. Rich,
grated cheese

16 Strategies to Stretch Your Food Budget

If soaring food prices are getting you down, help is on the way! Here are some basic saving strategies, practical solutions,
Instant Pot Duo

Instant Pot Quick Start Guide: Best Tips, Recipes, and Accessories

Instant Pot comes with an owner manual and recipe book. Both should be considered required reading but honestly, I found them
A bunch of food sitting on top of a wooden table

Dinner-in-a-Box is Not at All What I Thought!

Over the past year or so I’ve been hearing a lot about a new way to get dinner on the table.
Surprised man looking at store receipt after shopping, holding a paper bag with healthy food. Guy in the kitchen. Real people expression. Inflation concept.

Highly Effective Food Cost-Cutting Strategies for Every Lifestyle

Ever wonder why you never have enough money to consistently save some of it for emergencies? I'm talking about consistent,
A close up of many different types of food on a table

Your Best Thanksgiving Feast Ever, Healthy, Delicious

If there’s one thing we should be thankful for this Thanksgiving, it’s this: Turkey is cheap! And the rest of
female hands holding small brown paper wrapped gift with sprig of fresh greenery

How to Make Pure Vanilla Extract

Great news! Time is one of the most important ingredients in homemade extracts. Fortunately, with Christmas nearly five months away,
crock pot casserole slow cooker

Crockpot Casserole Slow Cooker: A Review

Since I purchased my manual version in 2016, before a programmable version was available, I've been using it regularly to

Hot Weather Meal Idea: Slow Cooker Summer Salads! Plus My Fresh Salsa

Your slow cooker has a hidden talent for making incredible salads. Let it slow-cook the main ingredients (and keep the
spicy homemade pico de gallo vegetable chopper tomato onion jalapeño cilantro

Confessions of a Compulsive Chopper (Shopper)

I did something I hadn't done in years. I took a weekend—plus the holiday—off. It was wonderful. Had friends over. And
peach cobbler recipe in slow cooker and served up with ice cream

Super Slow Cooker Recipes—Dessert, Entrees, Sandwiches, Too!

In keeping with one of my favorite philosophies of food, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first!”, today’s first super recipe
bowl of cilantro lime rice

Cilantro-Lime Rice Just Like Your Favorite Restaurants

I have no idea why on the one hand I seriously do not care for cilantro but on the other
A close up of a lemon tree

What Would You Do with 35 Pounds of Lemons?

I kinda’ went nuts on my last trip to California. You’ll recall from a previous column we make that trip quite
Healthy Homemade Carrot Cake Ready for Easter

Einstein in the Kitchen or Let Them Eat (Carrot) Cake

I have a special treat for you today. It’s a recipe. I usually sell this recipe for $1,000 but it’s
counter top covered with prepped ingredients for once a month cooking

Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month

The title, Once a Month Cooking, made me laugh. Cook once a month? I didn't need a book to do
DIY muffin liner homemade tulip baking lavender cutting board shadows

DIY Tulip Muffin Liners: A Genius Hack for Perfect Muffins Every Time

I'm about to give away all my secrets for how to make muffins that are so great your friends and family will
collage of well prepared eggs

How to Cook Eggs: Fried, Poached, Scrambled, Boiled

They’re packed with nutritional goodness, available almost everywhere, and relatively cheap when compared to the soaring cost of other proteins
blue cheese wedge salad with salad dressing tomatoes bacon crumbles

17 Quick and Easy Recipes Homemade Salad Dressing From Scratch

Let me show you how to make 16 of the BEST homemade salad dressings you can imagine—from scratch! Chances are
A plate of piles of various spices used in making a taco seasoning blend.

How to Make Taco Seasoning Mix and What to Do With It

Seasoning packets from the supermarket may be convenient, but they have drawbacks—not the least of which is they’re relatively expensive!
A box filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on display

Recipes for Tastes of Autumn and Slow Cookers Go Together

There’s just something about the bountiful tastes of autumn and slow cookers that go together. Recently, I’ve been doing a
supermarket case filled with chicken

Supermarket Chicken Labeling—What Does it All Mean?

If you’ve ever stood in the supermarket wondering if paying more for chicken that is free-range, antibiotic-free, no hormones added,

Easy Delicious Impossible Pies

Impossible pies are just the best because they're easy to make and always turn out so well. They're family-friendly, too.
Stir fry with chicken, mushrooms, broccoli and peppers - Chinese food. Top view

Budget Bites: How to Make Awesome Stir Fry Like a Rockstar—So Quick and Easy!

I can’t think of a more perfect food than stir-fry. It makes good use of leftovers; it’s healthy and, when
Filling up a glass with clean drinking water from kitchen faucet

Do I Need to Drink Filtered Water or Is the Tap Okay?

These days, a trip to the grocery store requires nerves of steel. The cost of everything, it seems, is soaring.
A close up of a bottle of wine

Perfect Homemade Vanilla Extract

Every year about this time I start scrambling for gift ideas for my long list of friends, neighbors and colleagues. I
A bunch of fruit sitting on a table

Now is a Good Time to Join a CSA for Your Health and Wealth

Being a savvy consumer means a lot of things. It can refer to a person who knows how to get
crispy orange chicken with rice

Budget Bites: How to Make Crispy Orange Chicken at Home

You can make Crispy Orange Chicken (a dead ringer for the Applebee's version) today, quick and easy (cheaper, too) in
Summer drinks with blur beach on background

These Fabulous Frozen Summer Treats are Cool—and Cheap!

In these sizzling days of summer, it’s tempting to load up the freezer with pricey frozen treats. Or to duck
chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce

A Simple Delicious Way to Cut Your Food Costs Even as Prices Soar

These scrumptious sauce recipes help you eat out less, enjoy eating at home more—and pocket the difference.

The Scoop on Free Ice Cream

Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day? Well, yes there is—FREE ice cream! And I’ve
A group of glass bottles on a table, with Canning and Jar

Salad in a Jar—Good for Health and Wealth

If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you know I’m pretty wild about making Gifts
cut cucumber in plastic wrap to extend useful life

Cucumbers in Plastic Wrap, and More Great Reader Tips!

It’s universally understood that a red flag means to stop or some variation of caution. A green flag, on the
Roast beef on cutting board with saltcellar and pepper mill

From Chuck Roast to “Prime Rib” in Three Hours Flat

Here it is! The specific steps to roast a cheap cut of beef so that it turns out like prime
A group of people sitting at a picnic table

Recipes to Feed a Crowd and Not Go Broke

Graduation parties, rehearsal dinners, family reunions—it’s the season for large gatherings. If feeding lots of people has you in a

Think You Can’t Eat Healthy on a Budget? Sure You Can!

I could almost feel the panic in Barbara’s message. It seems that her teenage son has taken up bodybuilding and
a plate of Pasta Mama from the acclaimed restaurante Hugos in West Hollywood CA

Budget Bites: Pasta Mama (Gourmet World-Class Dish)

Hugo’s, A popular restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., has been critically acclaimed for one of its menu items, Pasta Mama.

Let Us Eat Coconut Cake!

What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We share the same birthday.I only
meat loaf with vegetables close-up on a cutting board. horizontal

How to Stretch Ground Beef to Cut the High Cost

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official data says the average price of a pound of lean ground beef climbed to a
Roast beef on cutting board with saltcellar and pepper mill

How to Roast a Cheap Cut of Beef

These days, with beef prices hitting all-time highs, buying the cheaper cuts of beef is one way to make our
Closeup of a man slicing into a rotisserie chicken leg

Budget Bites: Supermarket Rotisserie Chickens to the Rescue

If you're fresh out of ideas (let alone desire) to make one more home-cooked meal, but even the thought of
quick dinner recipe italian cheesy meatball bake casserole dish

Quick Dinner Recipe: Italian Cheesy Meatball Bake for Busy Cooks

Got unexpected guests or need a quick dinner idea? Look no further than this Italian Cheesy Meatball Bake recipe! Easy,
cereal aisle supermarket

6 Winners in the Generic vs. Name-Brand Competition

The truth is that generics are often a great buy because the quality of the product is exactly equal or
muffin breakfast collage family homemade

Budget Bites: Healthy Homemade Muffins Solve the Breakfast Dilemma

Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many
banana and carrot gluten free muffins

The Best Homemade Gluten-Free Muffins

I thought this matter of gluten-free was pretty solid—that some people are truly allergic to gluten, others have celiac disease
soft spreadable butter on brown bread

How to Make Soft Spreadable Butter

You’ve seen the little tubs of “spreadable butter” in the dairy case of your supermarket. In fact, you may purchase
A sandwich sitting on top of a table

Bake Bread to Cut Food Costs and Soothe Your Soul

Fifteen years ago, I became a bread maker. I read a book, gave it a try and found immediate success.
homemade crunchy croutons made from grilled buttered bread

8 Delicious Ways to Use Up Old Stale Bread

Got stale, leftover bread? Don't toss it—use it up instead. Here’s the secret: Grilling, toasting, baking, or frying gives bread a

7 Easy Ways to Give New Life to Leftover Rice

Instead of pitching the leftover cooked rice from tonight’s dinner, try using it in different ways in your next meal.
food store in NYC that is well stocked.

Worried About Global Food Shortages? Don’t Be Scared Be Prepared

Who cares about all of this talk of food shortage, really? And why should we, as consumers, even concern ourselves?
A plate of food on a table

4 Easy Ways to Make Perfectly Baked Potatoes

Think you have nothing to fix for dinner? As long as you have a few potatoes in the pantry, you

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

There’s an art to preparing a perfect grilled cheese sandwich that is crispy, golden brown on the outside, soft on
Portrait of cheerful family at restaurant

17 Easy Ways to Cut the Cost of Eating Out

Dining out can be an enjoyable experience, but it can also be easy to end up spending more money than
meat loaf on plate with potaotes and corn

Cheap Meals That Are Easy, Fast … Good!

As food prices continue to soar, I am more convinced now than ever that given the right recipes, we can

The Easiest Summer Barbecue Ever— Ribs, Beans, Slaw, Dessert

On the off chance that your fear-of-ruining-a-pile-of-ribs keeps your backyard grilling events stuck in hamburger mode, you can let those
A piece of paper

How to Make Tulip Muffin Cups

In a past post I gave away all my secrets when I taught you how to make muffins that are so
Orange Chicken Three Ways

Budget Bites: Orange Chicken Three Ways—All Kitchen-Friendly and Easy on the Wallet

For years, I'd been searching for the perfect recipe for one of my family’s favorite dishes, Orange Chicken. And then
Iced coffee in a tall glass

How to Make Perfect Cold Brew Iced Coffee

As a coffee lover, there’s one thing I just didn’t get—Iced Coffee. What?! The idea left me well, cold. Coffee

11 Surprising Ways Lemons Can Make Your Life Easier

Several years ago, my son gave me the bounty from the two fruit trees that pretty much rule his backyard.