Senior Writer
Cooking at home is a great way to save money, especially with inflation at a 40-year high.
But prepping, shopping for and cooking affordable meals isn’t always easy.
Glossy cookbooks and celebrity cooking shows are nice and all. But where can you actually learn to cook, in your own kitchen, on a budget?
Enter our top picks for budget food bloggers and influencers who can teach you how to cook cheap, delicious meals at home.
These popular foodie personalities can spice up your social media feed with easy-to-make recipes and money saving grocery hacks.
Let’s dig in.
We all know how hard it is to balance a healthy diet on a budget.
As supermarket prices climb, there’s a growing appetite for budget food blogs.
We’ve rounded up our seven favorite food influencers who specialize in easy, inexpensive recipes.
And by inexpensive, we’re talking $5 dinners that feed a family of four and an entire Thanksgiving dinner for $35
Your stomach — and wallet — will thank you.
Instagram: @frankiecooks
Best Known for: His show “Struggle Meals” where he teaches beginners on a budget how to cook.
Frankie Celenza is all about making cooking accessible, healthy and cheap.
His TV show “Struggle Meals” teaches viewers how to whip up frugal dishes — like $2 or less per serving — along with ways to save money on groceries and practical meal planning advice.
His funny, energetic personality makes the episodes entertaining as well as informative.
Celenza started cooking as a New York University student around 2009 but rose to fame with “Struggle Meals” by Tastemade during the pandemic.
You can check him out on Instagram and watch episodes of Struggle Meals on YouTube, where you’ll find gems like “Frankie Goes to the Grocery Store With Only $3,”  “How to Make the Perfect Scrambled Eggs” and “How to Use Leftover Herbs and Citrus Peels.”
Instagram: @FullTimeMeals
Best Known For: “Full Time Meals” where he and co-host Marcus Rashford teach children and families the skills to cook affordable meals with limited kitchen equipment.
Tom Kerridge is a well-known British chef who launched “Full Time Meals” in April 2021. The series of 5-minute videos is aimed at making budget-friendly, super-filling recipes at home.
Kerridge partnered with Marcus Rashford, a British soccer player, to create the 52 video series as part of a campaign to end child hunger and poverty in the U.K.
All 52 Instagram videos offer seriously tasty recipes the whole family can cook. In fact, most of the meals are made using a single pan and everyday pantry essentials.
The duo’s IG also includes spotlights on affordable ingredients like potatoes and chickpeas, along with tips for creating a supermarket cheat sheet and organizing your fridge.
Instagram: @thefrugalchef
Best Known For: Her food blog and YouTube channel, The Frugal Chef, which helps people cook healthy meals without going broke.
MaryAnn Allen is the founder of The Frugal Chef, a popular blog and YouTube channel serving up insight, tips and humor on budget-friendly meals.
Allen founded her blog back in 2008, and The Frugal Chef’s YouTube channel still posts multiple new videos a week.
Her website is also stocked with pages of delicious meal ideas like easy keto brownies, squash soup and Instant Pot beef stew.
The Frugal Chef dishes up weekly meal plan menus, advice on reducing food waste and how to freeze basically any food.
Instagram: @joshuaweissman
Best Known for: His YouTube channel, which features a “But Cheaper” video series of low-cost recipes.
Joshua Weissman is an Austin-based professional chef, cookbook author and food blogger who started sharing recipes on YouTube in early 2015.
The twentysomething chef has since become one of the platform’s most popular foodies with more than 6.5 million subscribers.
Weissman’s series of short videos called “But Cheaper” focus on creating fast, easy meals on a shoestring budget.
He has shared more than 50 “But Cheaper” videos, including “A Whole Thanksgiving Day Meal for 35 Dollars,” “The 2 Dollar All American Breakfast” and a $30 charcuterie board.
You can also find tons of budget-friendly recipes and inspiration on his website and Instagram account, which boasts 1.3 million followers.
When you see recipes in your Instagram feed you want to try, save them to a collection to reference later when you’re meal prepping or writing your weekly grocery list.
Instagram: @plantbasedonabudget
Best Known for: $25 per week cheap vegan meals via Plant-Based on a Budget.
Toni Okamoto founded the food blog, Plant-Based on a Budget, in September 2016 to share money-saving vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Plant-Based on a Budget shows that cutting meat and dairy from your diet is a smart way to save money — and eat healthier.
Whether she’s sharing ideas for spinach potato pie, buffalo cauliflower veggie wraps or tofu tacos, Okamoto proves you don’t need to sacrifice time, taste or money to eat a plant-based diet.
Okamoto, a Japanese and Mexican American, also offers advice on recreating cultural favorites with meatless substitutes.
Aside from her food blog and IG account, Okamoto posts affordable healthy recipes on her YouTube channel.
Instagram: @budgetbytes
Best Known for: Budget Bytes, a food blog aimed at low-cost recipes and meal prep.
Beth Moncel launched her food blog, Budget Bytes, back in 2009 after graduating from college.
“I was working a low wage job and was barely able to make ends meet,” Moncel wrote on her website’s About page. “I had already cut all discretionary spending, so the only place left to cut was food.”
Thus began Moncel’s journey into budget meal planning, smart shopping and affordable cooking.
Her philosophy? Cooking on a budget shouldn’t mean eating canned beans and ramen noodles every night.
She’s still turning out creative recipes, with eye-catching meals like lemony cucumber couscous salad and tomato basil chicken.
The Budget Bytes’ Insta boasts nearly half a million followers and is regularly updated with mouthwatering recipes and easy-to-follow live videos.
Instagram: @5dollardinners
Best Known For: Her food blog, 5 Dollar Dinners, which teaches you to “spend less on groceries and make peace with cooking dinner every night.”
Erin Chase is the mastermind and mother of three behind 5 Dollar Dinners, a food blog aimed at helping busy families save time and money by organizing, planning and cooking inexpensive meals.
The 5 Dollar Dinners site includes a library of affordable recipes like chicken pesto pasta and beef fajita skillets. And lots of articles like “7 Money Saving Tips for Packing Lunches” and “15 Grab and Go Breakfast Ideas.”
Chase is also the author of several cookbooks and the host of “The Erin Chase Show,” which broadcasts on Amazon Live and Facebook Live.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.
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