I really love to cook for people. Most notably, my wife Rebecca.

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I’ve loved to cook since I was a little boy, standing on tiptoes to help my mother stir a pot of turkey soup, or shell fresh peas, or shuck corn, or just watch popovers rise to impossible heights in the oven on Christmas morning. Food smells are burned into the memory centers of my brain and never fail to elicit momentary time-travel to my New England home (coffee+pancakes+bacon).

Now I find myself a newlywed, supporting a wife who is studying to be a marine biologist, on a small primary teacher’s salary. We make sacrifices, food-wise, because we must. We rarely splurge on meat and seafood. If a recipe calls for saffron, I skip it. I try to keep grocery shopping to $50 a week, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for extras. I try to shop for local, in-season produce whenever possible, but I am not averse to buying a South American lime when a hankering for a crisp G&T arises. I am not so dogmatic about eating natural that I don’t occasionally stuff my face with Cheez-Its either.

I am, however, serious about eating wholesome, good food and saving money. I explore food blogs and cookbooks for inspiration and look for what’s on sale at the supermarket for recipe planning. Shopping the Charleston Farmer’s Market also tends to cut costs, if I can manage to avoid impulse buying (try walking by the candied pecans without buying some). Planning a week’s worth of meals in advance helps limit trips to the supermarket and, well, is just more fun that way!

I hope this blog helps you plan cheap(er) meals that are big on taste. I don’t have permission to reprint cookbook recipes, naturally, but they may be google-able or you can find them at your local library. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to the online recipes I used to create the meal.

A Tavola! (To the table!)


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