Hi, I’m Steph.

13 years ago, my new husband Chris and I sat in our tiny studio apartment (actually, it was a renovated shed in someone’s backyard), hovering over our very first budget. It was a little terrifying. After paying our bare minimum expenses, we had just $25 left for our grocery budget every week.

That included eating out, but who are we kidding.

We could have lived off Ramen and Wonderbread sandwiches, but I had grown up on a small farm, where we raised chickens, dairy goats, sheep, and grew a huge organic garden. So I came into this new budget knowing the importance of good food and how much better we felt when we ate well.

While I couldn’t do everything I wanted to with $25/week, I knew I could use that money to help us eat as clean as possible while still being realistic.

For nearly 15 years, I’ve been learning how to save money and eat healthy. It is my passion, and I want to help you. You can eat well no matter how small your budget. All it takes is the right tools and a little grit.

You provide the grit, and I’ll provide the tools.


See what they’re saying.

“Stephani does such a fantastic job of teaching people how to live and eat well on a tight budget. I am constantly recommending her site to others who are looking for encouragement in how to feed their family healthfully and do it without breaking the bank or spending all day in the kitchen!”

Crystal Paine

Founder MoneySavingMom.com

“Eating healthy on a budget has never been easier!”


Deborah Reynaa


“I love Cheapskate Cook! She’s helpful and practical, but so down-to-earth and fun!!”

Courtney Kimball

“Stephani is one of the only Instagram Stories I take time to watch because she’s so knowledgeable and down-to-earth. Her work is always incredibly professional and I remain in awe at how she keeps such a small budget and raises kids committed to eating healthy food, too!”

“I love the simplicity of Cheapskate Cook. Every recipe I’ve tried is amazing!”


“Steph has the most helpful information about cooking, planning, gardening, and more!”


“Steph is one of the most relatable real food advocates I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She teaches and encourages in a way that’s both accessible and enthusiastic, which I find totally contagious!”

Beth Ricci


“I love how Steph doesn’t over-complicate frugal and healthy living. I love learning from her!”

“Steph shares so many simple and cheap tips and tricks in all things real food and natural living! She has helped me over the years to keep spending lower and keep my family’s health a priority.”

Elizabeth Haarsma

Brands I worked with:

There’s this idea that in order to eat healthy you have to:

 1. Spend your entire paycheck on groceries

2. Devote hours daily preparing fresh, homemade meals

3. Learn to love kale, kombucha, kefir, and other superfoods that start with K

That’s not true, and I can show you why.

What You Will Find on Cheapskate Cook

Cheapskate Cook exists to help you save money and eat healthy. We share tools and recipes to maximize your dollars and time while eating food that’s good for your body, your community, and our planet.

At Cheapskate Cook, you will find 3 things:

  1. Frugal recipes that use whole, natural ingredients
  2. Tips and strategies that help you save the most money while eating real food
  3. Allergy-friendly and special diet recipes that don’t break the bank! Including gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-freevegetarian, and vegan

If you’re new here, go to our Start Here page and start downloading tools!


If you’re looking for an easy, budget-friendly, real food cookbook or menu plan, check out My Shop.

If you’re looking for or a specific product I mentioned on Instagram, YouTube, or one of my posts, go to Shop the Blog.

What You Can Do Now:

Ready to start saving money and eating healthy? I can’t wait to help you!

1. Try a Free Menu Plan

Download our free Budget-Friendly Clean Eating Menu Plan! It shows you how a family of 4 can eat real food on $60 a week WITHOUT eating beans and rice.

Get it here and start saving!

2. Follow me on Instagram & YouTube

We have a lot of fun on Instagram Stories. I’m on Facebook too! But IG is the easiest way to follow and get a hold of me.

We do a lot of recipe tutorials and trainings on YouTube. Check out a video here and make sure you subscribe so you can watch more (you can always unsubscribe if you want – but I bet you won’t!)

3. Start Here

If you’re new here, go to our Start Here page and start downloading tools!

Community & Connection

For more ways to save money and eat healthy, let’s connect here!


Follow me here for daily inspiration. I basically live on Stories and share daily hacks, tips, recipes, grocery hauls, and other real-life fun.


Subscribe here for for cooking tutorials, recipe demonstrations, and money-saving tips!


Like my Page here and connect with other real-life people who are trying to save money and eat healthy.


Get a free menu plan every month in your inbox!

Steph cooking

More About Steph

I’m an experienced, frugal, domestic ninja, lover of all things food, nutrition, fitness, nerd culture, faith, and family. Not always in that order.

Most of my life I just liked food and trying to eat well. My goal then and now is to eat healthy, whole food that is good for my body, preferably local and sustainably sourced. What I learned – and continue to learn – I share here, trying to be the resource I so desperately wanted over the years.

Chris and I have a really weird love story, and I shared it at length on Instagram at #chrisandstephlovestory and it was published by Love What Matters.

Now, we have 3 wild, amazing boys, and after living for years in tiny apartments and shared housing, we recently moved to our farmhouse fixer-upper (like, woodstove heat level fixer-upper) that we’re renovating with cash.

10 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I used to live in West Africa.
  2. I used to raise, breed, and milk dairy goats (not in West Africa).
  3. My extended family represents Greek, Jewish, African American, Hispanic, and Italian cultures. I’m fiercely dedicated to diversity and anti-racism.
  4. Chris and I got married at ages 19 and 20. A great – albeit risky – decision. Read more here.
  5. I am a die-hard nerd. Ask me anything about Marvel, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even classic literature.
  6. Chris’ family is Greek, so after we got married, we lived for a while with his extended family in the hill village his family came from.
  7. 10 years later, we were finally able to bring our kids to the family hill village.
  8. I was homeschooled, so homeschooling our kids was a natural decision (although to be honest some days I don’t love it).
  9. I love gardening and have grown our own food at every house.
  10. I had 2 home births and 3 natural deliveries. If I do a fourth, I might go with drugs – because no one needs to climb Mount Everest 4 times, right?