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Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half
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Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The debut cookbook from the Internet expert on making eating cheap dependably delicious

As a college grad during the recent great recession, Beth Moncel found herself, like so many others, broke. Unwilling to sacrifice eating healthy and well—and armed with a degree in nutritional science—Beth began tracking her costs with obsessive precision, and soon cut her grocery bil
Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Avery
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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MrsJoseph *grouchy*

I do not have a rating for this book. Sadly, I was NOT able to read this book or any part of it in any significant way.

This entire book is printed in a pale-ish green color - a shade not too far from [US]money green.

And it killed my eyes - I'm not as young as I used to be and my eyes could not take the strain at all. I have to say that the ink color choice astounded me - obviously I think it was a terrible idea. Cookbooks are reference materials and I don't understand the need to try to guss
Ashleigh Mattern
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've made about a dozen of the recipes in Budget Bytes, and they ranged from AMAZING to pretty good. I was pretty certain I was going to enjoy Beth Moncel's cookbook because I've been following her blog for years. Almost all of the recipes in the book are exclusive, and she has continued to post great recipes on her website.

In the cookbook, I miss her blog's step-by-step photos (she explained on her blog that it was too expensive to print that many photos), but her clear directions make up for
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Without the step-by-step instructions with photos (like its blog has), this book is pretty weak. But I do LOVE the blog!
Mrs. Europaea
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Apparently the author's budget was not limited to merely her grocery bill but also on creating the content for this cookbook as there are absolutely no pictures of any of the recipes and the format was bland and uninviting. I really liked the suggestions for meal planning and her budget byting principles. It is just unfortunate everything else was a major disappointment. She doesn't even explain how the recipes save money, just that it is cheaper than eating out. Well, no shit, that can be said ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love her blog and love this simple, quick and easy cookbook. Recipes are quick and easy to make without all the hard work of special ingredients that you'll probably purchase and use only once. Checked it out from the library, but I will definitely purchase it for myself. ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book and her website have helped me learn a tremendous amount about cooking well and doing it on a budget. I've made over a dozen of the recipes in this book and they've all be delicious. ...more
Jackie Zamow
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only cook out of this cookbook, and off of Beth's website. ...more
Jessie Large
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recently started cooking, and a friend of mine introduced me to her favorite recipe blog, I LOVE this blog, and within a month, I had made about 10 of her easy to follow, full color photo recipes. Imagine my surprise when I was perusing the cookbook aisle at my local library, and stumbled upon this book which Beth had published some years ago!

I tried about 6 recipes from this book so far, and I can't wait to try more. As I mentioned before, I borrowed this book from my local
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery
I am a HUGE fan of It's been my primary source of recipes since 2010, so I was beyond excited when Beth announced she was having a cookbook published.
Now that I've had a chance to make meals from the book, all I can really say is...meh. Nothing special.

I made a grocery list the day I picked up this book based off of every recipe I wanted to try. Today I made the last recipe on my list, and I am just completely underwhelmed.
Some recipes list an ingredient, then nowhere in the dir
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this book.. we've tried several recipes from it and they were successes. I thought I knew all there was to slashing grocery bills... but I still managed to learn some new tips from this book. One ingenious tip is cross-cut bacon IN the package in 3 to 4 small pieces and then freezing the new smaller packages so that you can grab what you need for recipes that call for small amounts of bacon (which offers huge flavor punches)... smart!! ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have been a devotee of for over a year and was very excited to buy her book! This woman has taught me to cook more than the salads & scrambled eggs I used to live on. The recipes are approachable, affordable and always delicious!
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Budget Bytes is pretty much my saving grace. I absolutely love the blog and my partner cooks from it almost exclusively. That said, my favorite part of the blog is the step by step photos! Which the paper book lacks, logistically (it would be like 600 pages long if they were included).
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book for ideas on how to stretch my food dollar and picked up a few tips, but I like the look of the recipes enough that I think I'll spring for my own copy! ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really like that this is a cookbook of real food and does not rely on cheap, canned, processed shortcuts to be “budget friendly.”

I appreciate her categories (bread n’ butter, frugal foodies, and sensible splurges) and her affirmation that you CAN eat well and eat real food and do so without spending a ton of money. I love that. Her tone is engaging, helpful, and imparts confidence to even the most novice cook.

The recipes are accessible with easy to find and yet often overlooked ingredients, f
Jenny Thompson
In the introduction, Moncel explained her process of researching her own grocery shopping and meal preparation to ensure she was finding the perfect intersection of nutrition and economy. I accept that my nerdy side is coming out here, but I wanted to see those spreadsheets! I take her point about prices being variable by location, season, etc. Still, I think it would have provided a useful frame of reference.

As for the book itself, the publisher apparently decided that a book about eating on a
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
First, let me say none of the recipes in this cookbook were original to the author. I don't know if she had identified that in the intro and I missed it, but I have seen these recipes all over the internet. Next, for a cookbook titled "Budget Bytes" I would expect a cost per serving, etc. something to identify the cost savings on the recipe. There was none.

On that note, this was a great collection of recipes gathered in one it went into my Amazon cart for later purchase or to search o
Kit Feral
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this blog. I liked this book. I'm so on board with the concept of it and everything being fairly simple appeals to both my picky palate and skills. I thought the layout was very concise and... gentle? it's weird to say a cookbook felt gentle and friendly and like it really wanted me to succeed and be well fed, but that's the truth! I saved far more recipes than I generally do (my last cookbook read I would have only saved one- had it not already been a staple haha. and it was three ingred ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-year-2020
I followed the blog version of this book. I recently bought this book because I've been cooking a lot during the Covid-19 quarantine (when everyone is sheltering in this year to avoid getting exposed to Covid).

I love how the recipes are easy and you don't need outlandish ingredients to cook. The food is pretty straight forward and tastes great! I hope she publishes another book.

Side note, I like how the book is in spiral bound so that it is easy to fold over pages rather than having to worry wh
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have finished looking through the entire book and copying out recipes to try in the future. I will update the review after I have tried some!

This was an enjoyable cookbook to browse through. I liked the conversational tone and the easy-to-follow steps. None of the ingredients are anything wild that you would only buy for one recipe, which is very nice.

From a design perspective, the font could have been a bit bigger - it's easy to mistake 1/2 for 1/8 at a quick glance!
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Full of cheap, easy recipes. A good cookbook for someone like me: cooking for one or two people, wanting to save money, wanting to learn how to make tasty things more simply. I've only tried the lentil and sausage stew, but it's one of my favorite recipes now: super cheap, super tasty, super filling, freezes well. I've been taking it for lunch almost every day.

If you don't want to get the book check out her website:
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
I've made 3 or 4 of the recipes so far and have really liked them all. Not only are they yummy, but they're actually cheap to make as promised! That shouldn't be surprising, but of the several budget-friendly cook books I checked out this one actually lived up to its claims of affordable cooking. It also includes a lot of helpful stuff about how to stretch your budget by freezing leftovers etc. ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I am absolutely obsessed with the BUDGET BYTES website and I use it frequently. I would like to thank Beth Moncel for her hard work so I bought her book. But the book only has SOME photos, so buyer beware. It's kind of interesting how her whole thing is saving money - yes she saved money because the publisher didn't include many photos, but now the readers who bought her book feel deprived. ...more
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
These recipes are easy to make with readily available ingredients, yet the results taste delicious and different enough from humdrum to bring some excitement to your palate. Perfect during pandemic lockdown, when one must not shop all around for ingredients, but also great for busy working people and novice cooks. Most of these recipes support a healthy diet.
Emma White
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delicious, fresh, easy, recipes from common household pantry staples. The simplicity of the recipes doesn't not overpower the refinement of taste.

There are lots of helpful tips for food preparation, storage, and purchasing! I would recommend this book to anyone who is eating on a budget.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This book has some excellent ideas for good tasting budget foods that I would not have conceived on my own. It is a great help if you are stretched for money for food. There is also a blog that continues ideas if you need more than the book and it can be found at
Fullfaun Faun
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so many great recipes, some are even cakes made in a coffee mug!
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
some interesting ways to save money on food bill
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Made: Cumin Lime & Chickpea Salad (amazing)
Chocolate mug cake (good with jam, not good with peanut butter)
Planning to make:
Tomato bruschetta
Jennifer Martin
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Some good ideas but very few photos and I prefer the recipes on her website Budget Bytes, I find they are more inventive than these.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars. I’ve enjoyed every recipe I’ve tried on her website and book!
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Beth Moncel's Budget Bytes 1 12 Oct 04, 2013 07:45AM  

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Beth Moncel has a B.S. in nutritional science and dietetics and a B.S. in clinical laboratory science from Louisiana State University. Her blog, Budget Bytes, won the 2016 Best How-To Food Blog Award from Saveur magazine. She lives in New Orleans.

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