50 Best Food Blogs for the College Budget

There’s a common misconception that college students are supposed to accept the fact that they have to eat terribly for four years, or longer if they go to graduate school, too. But you don’t have to sacrifice good, healthy meals and snacks just because you eat on campus or are on a tight budget as you pay for an apartment in addition to tuition and books. As these blogs prove, you can eat very well if you pay more attention to the foods you pick up at the grocery store, practice more sustainable eating habits, and learn to cook for yourself, even as a college student. You’ll find recipes, tips for finding local, in-season produce, and even cooking basics so that you don’t have to waste your money on campus pizza.

Shopping

Learn how to to save money at the grocery store and select good quality produce that’s in-season and locally grown, which also saves you money.

  1. 30 Bucks a Week: This Brooklyn, NY couple only spends $30 a week on groceries, for both of them. Get shopping tips, leftover ideas and recipes. Recommended Posts: When Two Soups Become One and This Week’s Spending
  2. Burp!: This Milwaukee, WI couple uses local, seasonal foods in their recipes, which isn’t just sustainable: it’s also cheaper. Recommended Posts: Using and Preserving Summer Herbs: Rosemary Comes to Dinner and Get Yourself Some Booch: Brewing Kombucha at Home
  3. Casual Kitchen: Think more about the food you’re buying, and you’ll start shopping healthier and smarter. Recommended Posts: The 25 Best Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen and A Recession-Proof Guide to Saving Money on Food
  4. Money Saving Mom: This blog isn’t just for moms: it’s great for dorm dwellers, graduate students and others on a budget. Recommended Posts: 31 Days to a Better Budget (Series)
  5. $5 Dinners: Get cheap recipes and shopping ideas here. Recommended Posts: Never Pay More Than — Ingredients for Baking and Freezer Staples List
  6. CheapEats.ie: Find tasty, traditional Irish recipes as well as tips for figuring out food value. Recommended Posts: Ingredient of the Week: Cashew Nuts and How to Save Pasta and Rice
  7. Sustainable Pantry: Learn how to plan ahead to minimize waste in the kitchen. Recommended Posts: Invest a Little Time, Make a Lot of Dough and Pantry Staples + Cheese + Scallions = Another Mexican Casserole from Matthew
  8. The Produce Lady’s Blog: Learn how to select the right produce and save money on veggies, fruits and herbs. Recommended Posts: Four Cs for Fresh Fruits and Veggies and Picking and Preparing Fresh Peaches
  9. The Cheap Gourmet: In addition to finding fancy recipes you never thought you could afford, The Cheap Gourmet shares smart shopping tips. Recommended Posts: Coupons.com: Tips for Stretching Your Household Budget and How to Store Fresh Herbs

Cooking Tips

Cooking usually saves you money, but what if you’re just starting out? These blogs will coach you in grilling, crockpot usage, and more.

  1. The Skinny Gourmet: Get a balance of calorie- and budget-friendly meals and tips here. Recommended Posts: Solving the Homemade Stock Problem and Food Tips for Stocking the Kitchen
  2. Cheap Healthy Good: You’ll find simple but nutritious recipes on this blog, which also features tips for navigating around the kitchen and regular columns about sustainable eating. Recommended Posts: The $25 Food Project Finale: Recipes, Conclusions, and an Exit Interview and 65 Cheap, Healthy, One-Dish Meals with Good Leftover Potential
  3. Kitchenhacker.net: Learn how to cook overripe fruits, use your cooking ware in clever ways, and get creative with food. Recommended Posts: Save Your Vegetable Scraps for Stock and Brewing Beer in a Coffee Maker
  4. Economy Bites: Learn how to get the most out of every bit of food that you buy. Recommended Posts: Breaking Down a Chicken and Scott’s Pizza Tour
  5. Kalyn’s Kitchen: In addition to listing lots of low-sugar and gluten-free recipes, Kalyn offers cooking guides for those starting out. Recommended Posts: Crockpot Recipes and Cooking Tips from Kalyn and Some Favorite Herb and Spice Blends
  6. SlashFood: This food news and culture blog also has good tips for prepping meals and cooking methods. Recommended Posts: Warming Butter and Eggs Quickly and Crock Pot Conundrum and a Pulled Pork Recipe

Recipes

These recipe blogs have seemingly unending ideas to inspire you as you learn your way around the kitchen. From conventional college foods amped up to veggie-friendly meals to creative recipes that will keep you cooking all year round, these bloggers love sharing their culinary tricks.

  1. Broke Ass Gourmet: Perfect for learning about fancy foods and brushing up on your cooking skills, Gabi Moskowitz’s blog is full of great recipes. Search by price range, type of meal or ingredient. Recommended Posts: Brown Butter-Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
  2. Feed Between the Lines: This young blogger is devoted to healthy, simple foods and often posts vegetarian recipes that make enough for leftovers and use basic ingredients. Recommended Posts: Fall Inspired Roasted Veggies and Southwest Grain Salad
  3. Not Eating Out in New York: For two years, Cathy stopped eating out or getting take-out and started cooking everything, often using local, fresh ingredients. You can read her book, or pull original recipes from her blog, here. Recommended Posts: Reasons For Not Eating Out Archive
  4. Healthy Eats: The Food Network’s healthy eating blog is a great resource for making well-rounded, nutritious meals with simple ingredients. Recommended Posts: Budget-Friendly Foods: Top 5 Healthy Picks and Don’t Skip the Bulk Aisle
  5. The Kitchn: Part of the Apartment Therapy family, this stylish blog organizes recipes by course, type of dish, holiday, diet, cuisine and more. Recommended Posts: Keeps Well category
  6. Everything Rachael Ray: You may love or hate Rachael Ray, but the celebrity chef does whip up easy meals with common ingredients, and you can find a stockpile of budget-friendly foods and meal ideas here. Recommended Posts: Menu Plan Monday series
  7. Simply Recipes: This famous recipe index now features a blog format, too. Search by food, cooking method or ingredients. Recommended Posts: Budget recipes category
  8. Two Sisters, Two Kitchens: One sister cooks for a family of four in California, while the other whips up meals for one (or two) in New York City, NY. You’ll find recipes with real, easy-to-find ingredients that satisfy without making you feel guilty. Recommended Posts: Spanish Rice and Brooklyn
  9. Civil Eats: Preaching sustainability and other green eating ideas, this blog is a fantastic resource for researching cookbooks and learning about eating local. Recommended Posts: A Farm Grows in an Empty Lot in Brooklyn and Just Cook: How to Integrate Cooking Into Your Daily Life
  10. Make it From Scratch: It requires a little more effort, but your food will probably taste better, and you can get more out of all your ingredients. Recommended Posts: Homemade Oreos and Strawberry Spinach Salad with Pecans and Balsamic Vinegar
  11. Cheap Eats: Get tips, recipes and techniques for eating cheap, and eating out guides for cities like Denver, Detroit, Eugene, OR, and Las Vegas. Recommended Posts: 3 Dollars or Less Archive
  12. Blog of CheapCooking.com: Everything on this recipe blog can be made super cheap. Recommended Posts: Dinner Tonight: Pork Cutlets, Twice Baked Potatoes & Salad and $1.50 a serving archive
  13. The Frugal Cook: Learn how to buy the right cuts of meat, figure out what to do with leftovers, and find clever, cheap recipe ideas for all kinds of tastes. Recommended Posts: A no-food-shopping weekend and To eat better, eat less
  14. Cheap Appetite: Get satisfying, savory recipes and restaurant features for cheap eats. Recommended Posts: Wasabi Leftover Turkey Salad Sandwich and Green curry mushroom with Thai red rice and Edamame — So easy you can cook with one hand tied behind your back.
  15. Cheap Ethnic Eatz: Besides highlighting some of the best ethnic eateries in Montreal, this blog has great recipes, cooking tips, beer and wine food pairings, and more. Recommended Posts: Maple Vodka and Coffee Cup Chocolate Cake in 5 Minutes
  16. Elegantly Frugal: This London-based cook shares a recipe each week to help you eat “very well in a frugal budget.” Recommended Posts: Turkey, mozzarella and sage meatballs with fettuccine and tomato sauce and Beef enchiladas with a lime sour cream
  17. Beyond Baked Beans: This cheap eats blog is designed for students and others who have to watch what they spend. Categories include Beginners’ Basics, Quick meals for 1 or 2 and How to cut your food bills. Recommended Posts: Egg-fried rice and What to eat when there’s nothing to eat
  18. Integrative Nutrition: A supporter of holistic health and whole eating, Integrative Nutrition’s recipe index is built around easily found and budget-friendly foods, like beans, leafy greens and grains. Recommended Posts: Meatloaf Muffins and Home Touch Trail Mix

Eating Out

Learn how to indulge in restaurant nights without overspending.

  1. Dine Out Cheap: Look for gift cards, deals at chain restaurants and Zagat surveys on this blog. Recommended Posts: Consumer Reports Best Burgers and Free Whataburger – August 3
  2. Broke-Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website: Formerly a college student, Stuart is still on a budget and has great tips for eating out and boozing in places like San Francisco, New York, or even your dorm. Even if you don’t live in those cities, reading this blog should inspire you to search for similar specials in your area. Recommended Posts: More Cheap All-You-Can-Eat Pizza at The Lookout on Tuesday Nights and Bring Wine and Get Cozy at Tartine in the West Village
  3. Cheap Cindy: Cheap Cindy is another coupon resource who shares giveaway and special deal notices from popular restaurants. Recommended Posts: 80% Off Restaurant.com Promo Code – expires 9/22/10 and Free Chocolate Chip Cookie at Great American Cookies Today

Food and Finance

These PF blogs have solid sections devoted to saving money on food, cooking, dining out and food shopping.

  1. The Broke Socialite: This is more of a budget lifestyle blog, but there are tons of posts about entertaining and hosting, cookbooks, cooking, and more. Recommended Posts: Soiree for Six: Only $94! and 5 Things to Do with a Can of Tuna
  2. Get Rich Slowly: Another frugal lifestyle blog, Get Rich Slowly has great posts about eating on a budget. Recommended Posts: Eating Well on One Dollar a Day and The Lazy Mans Guide to Groceries on a Budget
  3. The Simple Dollar: You’ll get great tips for saving money on making your own food and on eating out. Recommended Posts: The Simple Dollar Guide to Eating Out and Summer Meal Series: Six Lessons for Efficient Cooking at Home
  4. Wise Bread: Wise Bread is a PF blog full of frugal living tips and ideas, from small food gardens to investing in the right kitchen tools. Recommended Posts: When Good Food Goes Bad and Ice Cube Trays: Your Passport to Huge Savings
  5. The Digerati Life: This blog for young people shares PF insights, online coupons, deals and plenty of posts about eating well on a tight budget. Recommended Posts: How to Buy Organic Food and Eat Well for Less Money and Last Minute Food Shopping Tips: Shop Late For Big Savings!
  6. Penny Golightly: “Bon viveurs on a budget” turn to Penny Golightly for entertaining and foodie ideas they can afford. Recommended Posts: Kitchen garden catch up and Seasonal foods in August

Leftovers

Leftovers don’t have to be smelly or vomit-inducing. Make impressive meals the second night out of leftovers and things you have stored in the back of your pantry or freezer.

  1. Batterlicker: Kristen is studying for the Bar Exam, and in her spare time, she cooks experimental meals. There’s a whole category devoted to leftovers, and you can search meals by ingredient or cuisine type. Recommended Posts: Conglomerate Cookies and Healthy Mexican-Style Egg Salad
  2. The Leftover Queen: Get recipes for meals that will do well a day or two later, too. Recommended Posts: Homemade Condiments: Mayo, Ketchup and Cranberry BBQ Sauce and Coconut Flour Pancakes
  3. Reactive Cooking: Here you can browse recipes basically made out of leftovers and whatever’s in the pantry. You’ll discover some really yummy treats you never thought you could make. Recommended Posts: wholemeal banana cake and planning ahead
  4. In Praise of Leftovers: Sarah from Seattle opens up her kitchen and recipe vault in a non-snooty way to show you how to make the most of what you already have. Recommended Posts: Analog Sundays: Pantry Minestrone and Eat-it-Every-Day Granola
  5. The Everyday Food Blog: Martha Stewart’s blog is all about everyday cooking, which often means leftovers. Recommended Posts: behind the scenes: pear tart from martha show leftovers and one-pot monday: eggs for supper
  6. Wasted Food: Jonathan Bloom will help you plan and cook better to avoid wasting food. Recommended Posts: Love Yer Leftovers even more the next day! and Old Edamame
  7. Mish Delish: Here you’ll find recipes for meals that last for several days. Recommended Posts: Leftover roast lamb shepherds pie and Leftover Risotto? Chicken Risotto Balls Recipe
  8. iFood.tv: The blogs on this site cover all kinds of cooking tips and ideas, and there’s a hefty archive of leftover tips, techniques and videos. Recommended Posts: The Rookie Cook: How to Handle Leftovers video and How to store leftover vegetables? Ideas on a platter

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