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What A Pro Budget Food Blogger Actually Eats In A Day

We caught up with Beth from Budget Bytes to find out how she saves money in her own kitchen.

Meet Beth Moncel — she's the blogger behind Budget Bytes.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

And chances are, even if you don't recognize her face, you'll recognize her recipes.

Budget Bytes

Beth, who's based in New Orleans, started the site in 2009 — and since then, has seen it grow to one of the top recipe blogs on the web. True to the site's name, each of her recipes includes an exact budget breakdown, down to the cost per plate.

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Given that Beth's full-time job is coming up with affordable, budget-friendly recipes for her readers, BuzzFeed Food wanted to find out what she ate in an average day. Below, you'll find Beth's food journal — along with recipe links — from a recent day in her kitchen.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

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Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

6:30 a.m.: I'll start my day with coffee + milk.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

I like to use a French Press for my coffee because I feel like the long steep pulls more flavor out of the beans than a quick drip. This also allows me to use a smaller amount of higher quality beans, without increasing the cost too much.

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Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Around 7 a.m., I'll usually make some sort of savory bowl where I'll use up the leftovers in my fridge and put them over rice.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

One of my favorites lately has been a Pineapple Sriracha Breakfast Bowl — with a quick fried egg on top. (This is also where I'll dig into my second cup of coffee. ☕)

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Or, on mornings when I'm craving something sweet, I'll make oatmeal.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

With a little brown sugar, and a spoonful of peanut butter mixed in.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

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If I have a really long day ahead (or if I had an extra strenuous workout the night before), I'll have a ~second breakfast~ around 9 or 10 a.m.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

Usually something fast and easy: like a quick quesadilla. This one's got egg, spinach, cheddar, and chili garlic sauce.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

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Lunch is around noon or 1 p.m., and it's often just whatever I cooked and photographed for my blog that day.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

I'm usually cooking and photographing recipes in the middle of the day because that's when I have the best light for photographs. So, I'll chow down on whatever I made as soon as I finish that last shot.

On days when I'm not cooking for the blog, I'll reheat something from my freezer.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

I like to freeze 2 or 3 portions of most of my recipes for quick meals later. This way, I always have a rotating stock of freezer dishes ready to grab-and-go. This was my routine when I worked away from home, too: I could just grab a meal from the freezer to bring for lunch as I ran out the door.

Soups, stews, casseroles, and even some pasta dishes = all great freezer leftovers. Some of my favorites for keeping the freezer stocked are: Taco Chicken Bowls, Garden Vegetable Lasagna Roll Ups, and Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (above).

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Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

Snack-wise, I always like to have some sort of fruit available, so when I grocery shop I make sure to check out what's on sale. For me, anything that is priced below $1.50/lb. is fair game.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

At the same time, I also like to stick to fruit that doesn't spoil quickly — like apples, pears, and citrus fruit. That way I don't feel pressured to eat them immediately. Bananas are also a great option because if they do start to get overripe, I can just freeze them for use in smoothies or oatmeal.

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Another snack staple? Homemade hummus.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

I'll eat this as a snack with carrots or pita, but I also like to add hummus to my breakfast bowls and egg quesadillas. Having hummus on hand = lots of meal and snack options. And it's really easy (and inexpensive) to make, instead of buy.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

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I like to eat dinner early, around 5 p.m. And since I've usually been cooking all day for work, I don't like to put a lot of effort into it.

One pot dishes are my favorite because there's less mess to clean up.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

Lately I've been doing a One-Pot Beef Stroganoff or a Vegetarian Chili Mac.

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Sometimes, if I'm thinking ahead, I'll toss something into the slow cooker in the morning so that I don't have to do any work for dinner.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

(But if I'm feeling ambitious or have extra time, I'll make a batch of sweet potato cornbread to serve along with it.)

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

The leftovers are great for breakfast, too.

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Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

I'll cap off the day with another basic staple that's always in my snack pantry: popcorn.

Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes

I'm obsessed with stove top popcorn. It's extremely inexpensive, only takes about 5 minutes to make, and you can flavor it a million different ways. Just a little salt and freshly cracked pepper is great on popcorn, but I also love a light sprinkle of Creole seasoning.

Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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