• “Banking” Meals

    One of the biggest challenges I’ve come across since changing my diet has been the struggle to always have ingredients on hand for meals I can eat. Regardless of how carefully I make a meal plan, I always felt like there were one or two meals a week that would throw a monkey wrench in …

  • Dinner With My Family #12: Slow Cooker Jamaican Red Bean Stew

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Kevin wrote in this week asking me if I could show …

  • Dinner With My Family #11: Enchiladas, Vegan or Otherwise

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Several people have emailed me recently, asking why I’m vegan. It’s …

  • Dinner With My Family #10: Curry Pumpkin Soup and Sandwiches

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard of …

  • Making Homemade Yogurt

    Yep, you read that right. Homemade yogurt, in our crock pot. Of course, before we get started, it’s worth noting that I’m sharing something we do routinely in our own home, and if you choose to do this in your own home, I assume no liability over the results. We’ve done this many times and …

  • Dinner With My Family #9: Spinach and Artichoke Calzone

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. This week, I’m going to take two previous food articles (chicken, …

  • Putting Food on the Table When You Can’t Make Ends Meet

    Tony writes in: About two weeks ago, I lost my job. I was being paid cash to do some maintenance work but the guy hiring me couldn’t afford it. A few days after that I tried to use my credit card to buy groceries and I was over my credit limit. Right now I have …

  • Dinner With My Family #8: Fried Rice with Artichoke Hearts

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Artichoke hearts are one of my favorite foods on earth. Whenever …

  • Dinner With My Family #7: Spaghetti di Pesto alla Genovese

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. I love Italian food. Sure, it can be pasta heavy, but …

  • Dinner With My Family #6: “Anything” Soup

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. We live in Iowa. This winter has been a long one …

  • Does Cutting Meat, Eggs, or Dairy from Your Diet Save Money?

    In October, due to some medical results and the encouragement of a dietitian, I made the choice to switch to a vegan diet (with the minor exception of occasional fish consumption) for the time being. A vegan diet simply means that I avoid meat and all animal products, which would include milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, …

  • Dinner With My Family #5: Burgers and Fries!

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Yep, burgers and fries! Here’s a peek at my wife’s plate …

  • Taco Bell’s Beef Problem: Convenience and the Value of Knowing What You’re Consuming

    Over the past week, the fast food restaurant chain Taco Bell was sued for claiming that the taco mixture used in their products was actually beef. According to USDA standards, a beef mixture served by businesses must contain at least 40% beef in ordered to be labeled as such, and the lawsuit alleges (with some …

  • Dinner With My Family #4: Bean Burritos

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Here’s what I’ve had for a lunch and for a supper …

  • Dinner With My Family #3: Stir Fry with Asparagus

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Earlier this week, I discussed using grocery flyers to plan meals …

  • Using Grocery Flyers to Plan Meals

    As I’ve mentioned many times on The Simple Dollar, one of our most frequently-used methods for saving money on food is to simply create a meal plan each week based on the sales found in grocery flyers. I then take that meal plan and prepare a grocery list based on it, which naturally includes many …

  • Making Good Coffee at Home Without Breaking the Bank

    “Have you ever written about coffee?” Sarah asked me one morning. I haven’t written about coffee, actually, at least not in a direct way. I’m not an avid coffee drinker. I have a cup about once a month or so, and it’s usually in the afternoon. I simply don’t drink it as part of my …

  • Dinner With My Family #2: Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. Our family loves pasta. Our oldest child claims that olives are …

  • Dinner with My Family #1: Vegetable Barley Soup

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. In the past, I’ve created a lot of photo-heavy posts about …