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I am a student of life (no longer an ‘actual’ student, thank goodness. 20 years is enough!) with widely varied interests, mostly centered on food, fitness, and frugality.

I was born & raised in the Heartland of Ohio, with a mom who had a deep passion for cooking and frugality. Some of her lessons sank in, others took some time… What started out as a shaky relationship with a microwave has since blossomed into a full-time obsession.

When I went to college I had to cook for myself for the first time. Writing about the things I learned was fun for me, a good creative outlet, and a way to share and interact with others. This blog began in 2011 as “College Approved Food“.

I wrote about ways to make ramen noodles fancier, and most recipes involved little more than a microwave. Throughout 4 years of undergraduate study, 2 years of a masters degree, and three-ish years of a PhD program*, this blog was my creative outlet and a way to share my ideas with the blogging community and world at large.

Now, nearly a decade later (holy crap!) the recipes have matured and evolved just as I have, but my tenets of taste and value have stayed the same.

I love cooking and baking, shopping for groceries, discovering new ingredients, making meal plans, browsing  recipes, trying them out and creating my own new ones. I love traveling and tasting new foods, spices, and styles. I’m epicurious by nature.

At the same time, as a two-decades-long student I am used to being… not so wealthy.

So I also know how to get creative in finding ways to make healthy, tasty meals on a budget. Even now as a young professional with a blossoming career, I remain true to my frugal upbringing and beliefs. I use a meal plan and grocery lists to keep food interesting and varied while staying under budget.

Thus the name “Budget Epicurean” was conceived.

I’ve been in love with food for a long time.

Food is good for the body and good for the soul. There is peace in chopping piles of fresh vegetables, a deep satisfaction in sitting down to a hot meal that you planned, shopped for, prepped, and put together, and there is no better way to bond with others.

Food brings people together.

A dinner party with family and friends, sharing stories and laughter, a gesture of love to a sick friend or a new mom, a special cake chosen by the birthday girl or boy, or a romantic home-cooked dinner date. These are the things that bind and last.

Food is a necessity of life. We need it, but balance is required. We should eat to live, not live to eat.

Our society has become so disconnected from our food sources. Small family farmers are in decline, mega-food-corps are taking over, and factory farming atrocities are a way of life. We are a generation that spends so little of our money on food, yet paradoxically spends the most on food outside of our home and is the most unhealthy and overweight generation of all time.

It is my belief that everyone should have the skills, courage, and knowledge to cook for and feed themselves, regardless of age, lifestyle, or upbringing.

I’ve spent 20 years in school, pursued a Health Coaching certificate, spent countless hours reading everything I can get my hands on about nutrition and health and finance and fitness, all in pursuit of these skills and knowledge.

I want to share my knowledge and passion for good, real food, and never stop learning.


I also try to live up to the “Budget” in the name Budget Epicurean. I have a grocery budget, as well as a budget for all the other little things in life, and you should too. I meal plan (mostly…) and it’s not hard or time consuming but it saves me tons of money every week.

Money that is going towards buying my freedom sooner than later.

Join me on this journey!

 At the fusion of food, fun, and frugality, you will find me.


*Leaving the PhD is a story for another time.



Want to work together? Have an idea for a blog post, or a burning question you want answered? Shoot me an email at budgetepicurean at gmail.

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The fusion of food, fun, frugality, and curiosity.