One potato, sweet potato

I’m just going to post a pic of the tastiness here…

sweet potato chips and salmon

Visit Jenerally Fit for the actual recipe. It looks fabulous!

In case salmon is out of the budget, you can fill up on that sweet potato with this budget-friendly recipe from the College recipe cafe


Chocolate chia seed pudding

What do PhD’s do in their spare time? In Jenna’s case, it’s helping other people get healthy and fit. She just started her own site at: and has posted some fabulous recipes.

This looks ridiculously tasty: Chocolate Chia Seed pudding

This pudding is rich and creamy and only takes a few minutes of prep time. Chia seeds (yes, like from the Chia Pet!) can absorb up to 12 times their own weight in water, which helps keep you hydrated and feeling fuller longer. They’re also a great source of protein, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Here is the recipe:

  • 2 oz Chia seeds
  • 8 oz almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Stevia to taste

Mix together ingredients and let sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to overnight. The longer it sits the thicker it will get. Makes 2 servings at around 180 calories per serving. You can definitely mix it up by using your favorite milk (coconut, skim) and/or sweetener (honey, agave). If you’re not in the mood for chocolate you can add almond or vanilla extract with cinnamon and raisins instead of cocoa power for an easy rice pudding. Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy for a healthy breakfast or dessert.

Chocolate Chia Seed pudding courtesy of JenerallyFit

One-Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted: What Can Be Done

It’s sad how some people spend thriftily and still struggle to put enough food on the table, when there’s so much of it getting tossed in the dump. Thank goodness for food banks which have helped to get food where it best belongs–into the mouths of people!

Excerpt from: One-Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted: What Can Be Done.

It’s lettuce season in the Salinas Valley, a carrot-shaped lowland in the central California region that produces about 70 percent of the leafy greens sold in U.S. retail markets. On a typically foggy morning, tractor trailers stuffed with salad stream from valley processing plants to points north, south, and east.

Meanwhile, a single roll-off truck trundles into the Sun Street Transfer Station, not far from downtown Salinas. The driver pauses atop a scale, then positions his battered Dumpster over a concrete pad. A flick of a lever, a pneumatic whoosh, and 20 cubic yards of lettuce and spinach tumble onto the ground. Packaged in plastic boxes and bags, the greens—piled seven feet high—appear to be in the pink of health: dewy, crisp, and unblemished. The misdemeanor for which they’ll soon be consigned to a landfill? Their containers have been improperly filled, labeled, sealed, or cut. Continue reading.

Hopefully the veggies dumped in this case went to the part of the landfill where greenery is dumped for composting. At least then, the wasted goods will be put back to use instead of just taking up space.

Stipend ready meals- beans, beans, they’re good for your heart

…the more you eat them, the more you…will truly appreciate how nutritious and ridiculously inexpensive they are. Not only can beans be used for hearty chili recipes that will fill you up quickly, but they can also make great salad/cold dishes which don’t need re-heating to enjoy. Dried, many varieties of beans cost less than a dollar a pound if you purchase them either at the 99c store, or in the bulk aisle of a grocery store like Sprouts. A friend of mine makes beautiful chili by the gallons because it’s cheap and easy. If you like chili, an easy way to prep it is to throw the dried beans in a crockpot or slow cook and leave it overnight or while you’re at work. Alternatively, you can used canned beans (about 2 cans/$1 on sale) to make a fast chili or an easy bean salad for a quick and very cheap meal. If cooking with dried beans, be careful as some varieties need to be boiled first to remove/degrade toxins and the slow cook may not reach the temperatures needed to degrade the toxin.

Easy 5-ingredient chili modified from


    • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey (or you can just use Costco $5 chicken adding it in later)
    • 3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans beans, drained (black beans, kidney beans, a combo, or whatever you like)
    • 1 small white onion, diced
    • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
    • (optional toppings: shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, cilantro, etc.)

    In a large stockpot, cook ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the onion is cooked and softened.

For a crockpot/slow cook chili, visit

And of course, let’s not forget the bean salad…the one from is really tasty, even if you just use your favorite dressing instead of the ‘from-scratch’ version on the site.

That’s the last of the cost-effective, stipend-ready fillers. Enjoy!

Stipend ready meals- one potato, two potato…

If you’re not a fan of processed foods and would rather work with ingredients from scratch, then today’s cost-effective nutritional filler is for you! Potatoes are ridiculously inexpensive on sale (5-10 lbs) for a dollar. They can also be easy to prepare for a quick meal: wrap and nuke in the microwave for a quick ‘baked potato’, chop and mix with veggies in a crockpot for a stew, boil and mash, or wedge and bake.

Enjoy Easy baked potato wedges in under 30 min courtesy of the Full-thyme student, Daisy Bun.

3 large unpeeled russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder (substitutes: 2 garlic cloves, finely minced)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Optional: 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, parsley, or mint

Adjust the rack of your oven to the lower middle level. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic powder, crushed dried rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika, and whisk with a fork until mixed (or see note below).

Using a large knife, cut the washed scrubbed potatoes in half length-wise. Place the flat sides of the potatoes on the cutting board. To cut the first potato wedge, cut on a 36 degree angle, lengthwise, from the outside of the potato to the center line where the knife hits the cutting board. Cut the next wedge, and continue until you can cut about 5 wedges from each potato half.

Add potato wedges into large bowl with oil and herbs. Toss potato wedges with your hands until thoroughly coated with oil and seasonings. Lay the potato wedges on large baking sheets lined with foil, placing the cut side down. Place baking sheets in oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden brown. To test doneness, use a small paring knife or other thin knife and insert into potato wedge; knife should slide in and out easily. Remove baking sheets from oven, and allow potatoes to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Release potato wedges from foil with a large spatula or tongs. Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs on potatoes and serve with ketchup or other dipping sauce.

For more awesome recipes, check out Daisy Bun’s blog which is especially good, because she focuses on budget-friendly recipes for college students.

*Note, if you don’t have all those spices to make up the seasoning, and easy way to season your potato wedges is with the seasoning powder that comes from your packaged instant ramen noodles. Now you can make potato wedges with a whole lot of different flavors: shrimp, chile lime shrimp, roast chicken, beef. It’s a good way to use up those random extra packets of seasoning.

Stipend ready meals- oatmeal

Few foods are as quick, cheap, and easy as cup-noodles. In terms of storage and convenience cup-noodles are hard to beat. They’re a bit high in sodium, but pouring the ‘soup’ out instead of drinking it can help reduce that a bit. Oatmeal is one of those foods that can rival cup-noodles in terms of cost, convenience, and storage. On sale, a box of 10 packets of Quaker instant oatmeal will cost about $1.50, or about 15 cents a pack. Of course, if you are concerned about the sugar (and salt) content of prepackaged instant oatmeal, you can always make your own which is cheaper and healthier. All you need to do is get some quick-cook oats from a bulk store like Sprouts (less than a dollar/lb on sale.)

Make your own instant oats courtesy of

Into a container or bag, put:

1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon milk powder
sugar and salt (if you like)

For flavoring, try adding:

  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, with dried apple bits (as much as you like)–Apple-Cinnamon flavor
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder (or more if you like)–Chocolate flavor

Seal the container and shake it up. You now have one serving of instant oatmeal to take to work, school, etc. Just add hot water to cook it up.

For even more wild/awesome flavors, you can use hot tea (green, black, mint, chamomile, chrysanthemum, any tea) or coffee (with sweetened condensed milk or honey) to make the oatmeal instead of hot water.