Eating on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor and nutrition at mealtime. Whether you're saving up for a family vacation, or making room in your budget to pay off those student loans, it's possible to eat well on the cheap.
You probably already know a few tricks to help cut down on your grocery bill — like relying on canned ingredients like beans and inexpensive pantry staples like pasta or rice — but it's all too easy to get stuck in a recipe rut and succumb to the temptation of ordering that out-of-budget takeout.
Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration. Which is why we're rounding up our favorite Instagram accounts to turn to for inexpensive recipes. Pro tip: When you spot photos of recipes you want to try in your feed, save them to a collection to reference at a later time, like when you're meal planning or writing your grocery list for the week.
Here are five of our favorite Instagrammers to follow for budget-friendly recipe ideas.
Back in 2009, budget queen Beth Moncel launched her Budget Bytes blog, where she shared her favorite low-cost recipes. She's still churning out inspiring, inexpensive meals nearly a decade later and does an excellent job maintaining her Instagram feed with recipes like this parsley salad with almonds and apricots and delicious-looking creamy salsa chicken skillet. She's also super responsive to comments when you have a question!
Brooke Haggerty tackles an ambitious challenge on her Instagram profile: a $50 food budget for seven days' worth of meals for her family of three. Every Thursday, Haggerty posts a photo of her grocery haul (like this one, which totaled $48.01). And honestly, who doesn't love a good grocery haul photo? Even better is seeing what she manages to make with the ingredients, including everything from tortellini with mushrooms and tomatoes to DIY sushi rolls to shrimp salad toast. We're impressed — and inspired.
Erin Chase is on a mission to help you spend less on your groceries using a combined approach of strategic grocery shopping, meal planning, and couponing. She has an arsenal of crowd-pleasing $5 dinners up her sleeve, like this "fakeout takeout meal" of orange sesame chicken or this delicious-looking pepperoni pizza pasta bake.
Jessica Fisher of the Good Cheap Eats blog is a champion of easy-to-prep budget dinners — many of which also happen to be kid-friendly. We're eyeing this poor man's chicken Caesar salad, and appreciate Fisher's dedication to make-ahead meals such as these black bean and bell pepper wraps.
Oh, did we also happen to mention she writes for Kitchn?
Toni Okamoto of Plant Based on a Budget shows that cutting meat and dairy out of your diet is a useful step you can take to save money. Whether she's sharing recipe ideas for sweet potato toast, tofu red curry, or these zucchini chocolate chip cookies, Okamoto proves it's possible to eat a plant-based diet without spending a fortune.
Who are your favorite accounts to follow?