About: Creating The Cheapest Recipes On The Internet Since 2011

Cheap Recipe Blog launched in 2011 and currently features more than 600 affordable recipes and 60+ articles on saving money.

Cheap Recipe Blog has collaborated with Betty Crocker, Dorothy Lynch, Lighthouse Dressing, Success Rice, and other food brands. Cheap Recipe Blog has been featured on Fox9 News Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bring Me The News, The Penny Hoarder, and other sites. It was featured in The Ultimate Spam Cookbook: 100+ Quick and Delicious Recipes from Traditional to Gourmet. In 2016, Haley Nelson of Cheap Recipe Blog published the e-book, 39 Low-Effort Ways To Save Up To $9,340.67 This Year.

The Story Behind Cheap Recipe Blog

I’m Haley, and this is my passion project: I love creating and sharing budget-friendly recipes – and I’m so glad you’re here!

I have been in loved with cooking my whole life.

  • Age 5: I made my mom breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. I didn’t know how to make coffee, so I simply put coffee grounds in warm water. My mom graciously drank it, but I later learned that she could barely choke it down.

Breakfast in bed

  • Age 9: I would make my brother pretend he was a co-host in a faux-TV cooking show.
  • Age 11: I would pack “mystery” sack lunches for family members.
  • Age 19: I was accused of being “too domestic” in college because of my frequent late-night baking sessions. I considered it a compliment.
  • Age 22: I chopped, mixed, and stirred my way through bouts of home sickness and culture shock while studying abroad in Brazil (and learned some great recipes including doce de abobora and brigadeiro).
  • Today: I get to cook great food for friends and family (including favorites like ring bologna hotdish, homemade sushi, Norwegian almond cake, and cream cheese mints), take photos of it, and share my experiences online. I’ve been blogging at Cheap Recipe Blog since 2011. Life is good!

Aside from my love of cooking, I’m also a die-hard bargain hunter who is always looking for creative ways to save money.

I frequent thrift shops and garage sales, scope out clearance racks, and scour eBay for great deals. I also look for ways to cook really great food without spending a lot of money.

Save Money and Eat Great Food: I’ll Show You How

My goal is to post recipes that are cheap, creative, and delicious.

By choosing the right ingredients (like cabbage, ground turkey, frozen veggies, and rice) and learning a few money-saving tips, anyone can start saving money immediately. I know because I do it all the time!

Even if you think you can’t cook (or can’t cook well) you’ll find something here.

Cheap Recipe Blog sample recipes

Various recipes from Cheap Recipe Blog

I also share creative ways to use up food scraps and leftovers, a great strategy if you’re looking to save money on food. Start by making your own vegetable broth out of veggie scraps or making delicious cheesy broccoli chips out of often-discarded broccoli stems.

These Are Your “80% Of The Time” Recipes

Which describes your cooking style better?

  • A: I like to spend hours in the kitchen, creating fancy, time-consuming recipes
  • B: I like to be creative and make a quick meal on the fly, using ingredients I already have on hand

The vast majority of the time – about 80% – I’m in Category B, making quick meals that take less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

There are plenty of cooking blogs catering to the 20% – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But Cheap Recipe Blog is different.

The recipes I share here are perfect for your everyday meal planning. They’re simple, quick, and affordable. Like these sheet pan fajitas, polenta pizza bites, and loaded baked potatoes.

Most of my recipes are also adaptable. More ingredients mean more money and potentially more trips to the grocery store. If you can substitute a lower-cost ingredient or leave it out altogether, I note that in the recipe.

What Makes Cheap Recipe Blog Different

It’s simple: On Cheap Recipe Blog, I’m giving you the cheap recipe spin on many of your favorite recipes like homemade BBQ ribs (made with affordable country-style ribs), sushi (you can make it at home for less than $2.00 per roll!), crab cakes (made with budget-friendly imitation crab), and deep dish pizza (made deliciously and affordably in a springform pan).

You can still eat your favorite foods while sticking to a strict food budget. I know because I do it all the time!

Your Time Is Valuable

Many cooking websites crowd in hundreds of words and dozens of pictures, making you scroll way down to find the actual content you’re looking for.

On Cheap Recipe Blog, I don’t bury my information.

Your time is precious. And the content I share is easy to read, easy to scan, and easy to find.

A Little Bit More About Me

I grew up in a small town in Minnesota near the South Dakota border. I spent a few years globetrotting and taking advantage of amazing opportunities to live in fun cities both in the U.S. and abroad.

I am a Minnesota-based blogger who now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. While the dining, entertainment, and shopping options in the city can’t be beat, I’m a small-town girl at heart.

Cooking is my therapy. For me, nothing cures stress better than chopping, mixing, and ultimately reaping the benefits of a day spent in the kitchen.

Cheap Recipe Blog

Cheap Recipe Blog Has Been Featured On:

Betty Crocker

How to freeze fresh fruit
How to make beans in a slow cooker
How to coupon without going crazy
4 Easy ways to save money on meat
Slow-cooker corn jalapeno bacon dip
DIY stir-fry veggie kits
3 Quick and easy holiday gifts from the kitchen
Super fast yogurt snacks
How to make apple chips
7 Affordable apple snacks
6 Late summer toast toppers
8 Budget-stretching summer pantry staples


The Ultimate SPAM Cookbook

Fox9 News Minneapolis-St. Paul

Can you feed a family of four for less than $100 a week?

Haley Nelson of Cheap Recipe Blog was featured on Fox 9 News on December 12, 2021

Minneapolis Star Tribune

How to lower your grocery costs in Minnesota when prices are soaring

Haley Nelson of Cheap Recipe Blog was featured in the Star Tribune on February 7, 2022

Minnesota Blogger Conference: Featured Speaker

5 mistakes even the most experienced bloggers make with their content

What’s For Dinner Summit: Featured Speaker

What’s For Dinner Summit, February 2024


10 Overnight oats recipes that are super simple to make
25 30-minute meals you can make with ingredients in your pantry 

The Penny Hoarder

Your grocery store’s best-kept secret for saving money: The salad bar

Bring Me The News

Bring Me The News Minnesota State Fair food guides

Minnesota State Fair food guides and restaurant reviews
Minnesota State Fair 2023: The best new foods
Minnesota State Fair 2023: The best new food and drink vendors
Minnesota State Fair 2023: This year’s hidden food gems
Minnesota State Fair 2023: A review of some pickle-themed foods
Minnesota State Fair 2022: The best new foods
Minnesota State Fair 2022: The best new food vendors
Minnesota State Fair 2022: Finding the best breakfasts
Minnesota State Fair 2022: Not-so-obvious foods on a stick
Minnesota State Fair 2022: The best food options for those on special diets
Minnesota State Fair during a pandemic: Does it feel any different?
Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best new foods 
Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best vegetarian and vegan options
Minnesota State Fair 2021: The best food options to avoid the crowds
Minnesota State Fair 2019: Where can you get the best coffee?
Minnesota State Fair 2019: Where can you get the best cheese curds?
Minnesota State Fair 2019: Hidden food gems
Minnesota State Fair 2019: Surviving the fair on nothing but free samples
Minnesota State Fair 2019: Who has the best malt at the fair?
Minnesota State Fair 2019: New foods you have to try, and some you shouldn’t
Minnesota State Fair 2018: The best new foods to try, and one to miss
Minnesota State Fair 2018: The best food and drink bargains
We went to 12 Twin Cities grocery stores to find the cheapest
Four ways to save money on your grocery shopping in Minnesota

Today Show

Beyond the sandwich: 5 Delicious ways to use those turkey leftovers
10 Surprising ways to use an ice cube tray

Self Magazine

31 Whole30 snacks that are easy and healthy
16 Healthy lunches that cost less than $2.00 to make
15 Healthy breakfasts that cost less than $2.00 to make
13 Slow-cooker recipes that cost less than $2.00
Healthy chicken recipes
16 Healthy lunches that cost less than $2.00 to make

Mental Floss

6 Easy ways to make boxed stuffing taste better

Country Living Magazine

25 Green bean recipes you can make in a snap (Parmesan-crusted green bean fries featured)


29 State Fair recipes you can make at home


Minnesota Sushi is having a moment thanks to HBO’s Somebody Somewhere


How to deliciously stretch your grocery budget


17 Things to make in an ice cube tray that aren’t ice


How to make your own Halloween candy

Foodie Crush

Friday Faves (deep-fried cheese curds featured)
Friday Faves (banh mi meatballs featured)
Foodie Crush Magazine (Summer 2012) – Sangria slushies

Nellie Bellie

How to make homemade mayonnaise
Easy breakfast tacos
Paleo Hawaiian cauliflower casserole
Irish colcannon (and leftover colcannon cakes)
Cacao nib honey caramels
Tortilla shell pizzas (less than $1.00 each!)
Baked chicken taquitos
Teriyaki turkey lettuce wraps
Oyster stew

Bonbon Break

9 Ways to save money on groceries
How to make (cheap) sushi at home

Smarty Cents

Blogs we love: Cheap Recipe Blog


23 Wild and crazy hot dog ideas for the grilling season
21 Of our favorite salsa recipes

Deals Plus

Wonton pepperoni pizzas


5 Oddly creative ways to save money


9 Frugal cooking blogs with great healthy cheap recipes

Collaborations With Friends

Savoury Table: Chinese chicken salad
Feast On The Cheap: Fluffy yeast-raised pancakes
The Oatmeal Artist: Oatmeal risotto
Minnemama Adventures: Movie night on a budget
Living Well Spending Less: DIY liquid hand soap

Let’s Connect!