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5 Ways to Live a Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

The Sugar Hit Courtesy of Sarah Coates

Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.

The blog: Pop Art lover Sarah Coates writes the Sugar Hit from Brisbane, Australia, where she talks about food that doesn’t bore her. “If you see a choc-chipper recipe on my site, know that it has been tricked out, probably with brown butter, maybe hazelnuts, maybe sea salt, and definitely with as much chocolate as is humanly possible. I love to eat (no surprises there) but I also like to try to bring something new to what I cook. So for me that means homemade drumsticks with pretzel–flavored ice cream, blueberry pancake granola or churros with salty peanut sugar. Flavors that we all know and love, but combined or presented in a new way.”

Here are five tricks she’s developed for eating well while living cheaply:

1. Bake at home. Often the most expensive items on any grocery list are those that come in boxes and cartons and packages; as soon as you cut those out, you’re better off. Cookies, cakes, granola—make it yourself and you’ll save money and almost certainly end up with something way tastier.

2. Eat less meat. Meat is expensive, especially if you’re trying to buy organic or ethically raised meat, which is nonnegotiable for me. The best solution to this problem is simply to eat less of it. There are so many amazing meat–free food cultures around the world, as soon as you start tapping into those, you certainly won’t feel like you’re missing out. Falafel pita, anyone?

3. Buy in season. I’m sure this is well known by now, but it definitely bears repeating. Fruit and vegetables in season [editor’s note: other than ramps, heirloom tomatoes or other trendy produce sold in New York City] are cheaper. Plus, they’re better quality and they last longer. There’s no downside.

4. Try to waste less. Food waste is a ridiculously humungous problem in the world right now. A lot of that happens well before food even reaches our homes, but it’s still something to think about. If at the end of every fortnight you find yourself throwing out an identical bunch of truly limp carrots, scratch them off the grocery list. Think about using what you have in the house instead of ducking out for that extra ingredient. Don’t throw out your leftovers. I love leftovers. Send them to me.

5. Don’t overthink it. The best damn thing you’ll ever eat is a totally ripe peach still warm from the sun, and that’ll probably cost you less than $1. You don’t need to spend a lot money to eat well.

Sarah’s favorite blogs of the moment: “For sheer style and a new way of thinking about food, I love Dine x Design. Hungry Girl Por Vida, Girl Versus Dough, Take a Megabite, Blogging Over Thyme and Sift & Whisk all do incredibly creative, original work that never ceases to inspire me. I love to read SugarHero, because she creates things I never could. Wit & Vinegar is absolutely hilarious, and Billy is very left of field with his recipes, which I love. Crepes of Wrath, because I like to live a cool New York life vicariously through Sidney; Top with Cinnamon because Izy’s raw talent speaks for itself. And Erika Rax, because she’s got stacks on stacks on stacks of style. Also, Joy the Baker, because she’s Joy the Baker.”

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: Why Girl Versus Dough Loves Loaded Baked Potato Bread
17 Sweet and Salty Desserts
18 Picnic Desserts

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