Welcome to Penny Gourmet

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Hello and welcome to Penny Gourmet: a blog focused on cost conscious cooking for food lovers.

Why did I decide to make this blog? Well, it’s simple. I love food. Maybe a little too much at times. I love the way food brings people together. I love the simple act of putting together a meal that puts a smile on a loved one’s face. I believe food can provide nourishment far beyond the simple nutrients and calories listed on the nutrition label.

Food lover on a budget

But, for a food lover on a budget, eating well can seem like an impossible task. Eating out? Forget it! Dining on delicious home cooked meals at home? Pshaw! Haven’t you heard of ramen noodles!? Our stereotype is that eating cheap means eating poorly – that good food is a luxury reserved for the rich.

I’ve fallen into that trap. Just recently I was horrified to see how much I was spending on groceries every month. Now, I am lucky enough to not be living on the breadline by any stretch of the imagination, but money can be tight. I certainly shouldn’t be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on groceries every month. I felt a momentary panic. I was going to have to give up everything I loved and subsist on brown rice for a month! No more avocado on toast for me! (*Disclaimer: I don’t actually eat avocado on toast, sorry millennial-haters)

It doesn’t have to be this way

After I calmed down and realised I wasn’t about to end up in debtors’ prison (note to self: be eternally grateful to live in a century and a place where debtors’ prisons no longer exist) I got firm with myself: It doesn’t have to be this way. I don’t have to eat crap to meet my budget: I have to eat smart. I have to get creative with what’s in my stock cupboard, I have to think carefully about what I want to make and how to make it go further. I need to embrace the long neglected art of making from scratch rather than buying for convenience – a skill my grandmother had in spades. In short, this is a challenge, a chance for creativity, and a chance to explore the world of cooking and baking more fully. This can be an opportunity – to eat better food, healthier food, and to have fun while doing it.

So that’s the Penny Gourmet philosophy. 

Budget doesn’t mean boring.

Budget doesn’t mean bad.

I don’t pretend to be anything more than a home cook who is excited to be on this journey. I will draw on a lot of my favourite recipes and resources and tips I’ve picked up along the way to share & I encourage readers to share their own experiences of penny-gourmet cooking. And I plan to have a lot of fun in the kitchen along the way.

(Oh and that loaf up there? That’s my first attempt at making bread. More to come in a later post)

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