Skip to content



I’m Kelly Hartman – mother of 2, wife to an amazing man…part time marketer, wannabe chef, budgeting aficionado and full time foodie.  I live in Orange County, CA and I love to cook, bake, find new recipes, entertain, drink wine, talk about food, try new restaurants, and…drumroll please…BUDGET!  So I’m starting this blog to marry my love for all things frugally delicious and to finally be able to say I have a hobby of some sort.

I know what you’re thinking:  hey crazy lady, is it really possible to be frugal and a foodie at the same time? 

Being a frugal food-lover doesn’t mean eating low-cost fast food and tv dinners.  Really.  Truly.  I love love love goat cheese, risotto, pinor noir, cumin, coffee ice cream and the darkest chocolate I can find.

So here we go…together figuring out how to eat well, live well, feed our friends and neighbors, and have fun…as a frugal foodie family.

Wondering where to get started?  How ’bout here.


34 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s possible to be a frugal foodie. Cooking at home is so much cheaper than going out for starters. And fresh is cheaper than processed. Great intro, looking forward to more of your posts.

    June 6, 2011
    • Thanks! Great to meet you.

      June 7, 2011
  2. Really nice blog. I love cooking on a budget, obviously, it’s so pleasing creating amazing food for only a little money.

    August 8, 2011
  3. Great blog! I’m a cook myself, so always looking for delicious and cheap recipes!

    August 22, 2011
  4. oldsoulblues #

    Kelly, Love your blog! I have been forced ;o) to become a from scratch all natural, mostly organic cook due to my son’s chemical sensitivity and special dietary needs, but WOW! we sure have enjoyed the meals since I’ve been cooking it all. It’s great to find another mom doing the cost-conscious foodie thing. I’m a little-f foodie for now. Thanks Freshly Pressed too!

    August 23, 2011
    • Thanks Oldsoulblues!! I love finding great, fresh, and economical recipes to share! Appreciate the feedback.

      August 23, 2011
  5. So sad I just found your blog. I am serving in the Peace Corps for the next two years, in Moldova. The produce is here, but a lot of the spices are not. Hoping to still be able to make some of your great looking food. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    August 23, 2011
  6. Heya! I awarded you something. 🙂 Its here:

    I hope you are having a fan-tabulous weekend! xo Allison

    November 13, 2011
  7. Jud #

    This blog is AMAZING! Kelly, thanks so much for all the great ideas to keep our families well fed on the cheap. Glad you’re getting “recolized” for what you’re doing here. More quinoa pleeeeez!

    January 15, 2012
  8. Terry #


    Proud of you … This is GREAT !!

    Terry G.

    January 19, 2012
    • Thanks Terry! I’ve had some great mentors over the years 🙂

      January 19, 2012
  9. {Main St. Cuisine} #

    Hey Kelly – just found you (and your great blog) and I’m so glad I did! I’m a new follower and hoping I can learn from you and save a few $, while still preparing all of our meals and entertaining as well. Looking forward to future posts!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    January 27, 2012
    • LOVE it!! So glad you found me! Let me know if you have any feedback, ideas or insight!

      January 27, 2012
  10. Glad to have found your blog! I’m looking forward to following along. Cooking from scratch is definitely the way to go.

    February 17, 2012
    • Thanks Food4five! Looking forward to cooking with you!

      February 18, 2012
  11. Katie R #

    Hey Kelly,
    Saw your hubby posted something about this blog on FB. Wanted to check it out, and boy am I glad I did. I will be sharing this with all my Air Force friends as we are always budget-conscious and loving food! By the way, congrats on being featured in Martha Stewarts Everyday Cooking!

    March 1, 2012
    • Thanks Katie!! So honored that you would pass it along…let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!

      March 2, 2012
  12. Hi Kelly! I’m writing a follow-up post to my New Year’s Resolutions (none have been kept) and need your help. How can I incorporate at least one fruit or veggie in every meal (and on a budget)? You have such great recipes and ideas – I’d love to have your opinion. I will include your answer in my article and a link, too.

    Feel free to email me at with your answer. Thank you!

    April 17, 2012
  13. What a great site you have. Love the variety and the savings of course! 🙂

    May 25, 2012
    • Thank you!! Appreciate the feedback!

      May 25, 2012
  14. Amber #

    Just discovered your blog- it’s amazing! I have a question though…do your kiddos eat all this stuff? I have a 6 and 3-year-old and I don’t see a lot of things they would be excited about. Compared to the average child my kids eat a good variety of foods, but they are still picky. I was also curious if the $400 you spend each month includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks? I have found that I am spending about 150.00-200.00 a week on food! Yikes! I typically spend $40 of that at the farmers market each weekend. It’s crazy how expensive it is to feed your family fresh foods!

    Thank you so much! 🙂

    June 17, 2012
    • Hi Amber! I’m so glad you found me and thanks for the feedback! The answer is, no. The kids don’t eat everything I make. They aren’t fans of onions or seafood, and I have a hard time getting them to eat tomatoes. But for the most part they’ll try what I serve and either eat around what they don’t like, or sometimes I “deconstruct” what I’m making so they can still eat the ingredients in some form, saving me from making 2 dinners. I’ll have to do a post on the most kid-friendly dinners I have, but off the top of my head there are several pizzas, honey peanut chicken, enchiladas, lentil tostadas, mexican rice bake, various chicken dishes, veggies, and we do lots of breakfast for dinner.
      And yes the $400 is for everything…with the only drinks being wine. I make a lot of snacks from scratch and our lunches are super low maintenance – pb&j, turkey sandwiches, etc. and my husband loves beans and lentils for lunches. You’re right…it can be super expensive feed our families fresh and unprocessed foods. This was why I started the blog to begin with, to share the way we do it.
      Hope it helps you! Even if you have to deconstruct some of the recipes for the kiddos.

      June 17, 2012
  15. Cristina #

    Kelly, It was great to run into you at the grocery store today! Keep up the great blogging and I’ll be in touch 🙂

    June 21, 2012
  16. such a wonderful blog!

    July 16, 2012
  17. I love your blog, Kelly. These are great options for a frugal lifestyle (in food). I think I am frugal but your budgeting within 125 dollars for a family of four intrigues me. I will continue reading.

    July 16, 2012
    • Thanks! Just to clarify that’s $125/month for dining and entertainment, not groceries. Our grocery budget is $400.

      July 16, 2012
  18. Hi Kelly! I just found your lovely blog all the way over here in London, courtesy of Freshly Pressed (go you!). Your glorious pictures make me realise I could do more to appreciate my frugal and fabulous efforts for the family – perhaps I should snap the plates before we gobble it up – it’s so easy to put in all that planning and effort only to find it has disappeared with the only appreciation for it a nice full tum! Hope to see more of you online!

    July 17, 2012
  19. Hi Kelly! I adore your blog–your recipes all look great! As such, I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award (

    July 25, 2012
    • Thank you!! What an honor.

      July 26, 2012
  20. Hi Kelly,

    I hoping to just email this to you, but I couldn’t find an address on the site. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you made our list of the top 25 blogs for cooking on a budget. Here is a link

    Frugal Foodie Family is really useful for families and also fun! Keep up the great work and congratulations!


    September 11, 2012
    • Thanks Chris! What an honor!

      September 11, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Feast #7: Honey Peanut Chicken With Brown Rice « 1Alive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: