I created Poor Girl Eats Well in August of 2008 as a fun way for me to share how I make it possible to eat quite well despite my limited means. After some bad financial moves of my own and several strokes of really bad luck over the past few years, I ended up in one of the worst personal recessions I have ever been through and though I've always been pretty frugal when it comes to food, I really had to buckle down and force myself to stick to a budget and get really creative if I wanted to eat.
There are a lot of "cheap eats" and "budget food" websites out there and most of them have something interesting to offer. Poor Girl Eats Well is quite different from other blogs in that I try to make most of my meals as healthy as possible, with a sinful treat thrown in here & there for good measure. I'm not the type who is satisfied eating cheaply the "easy" way, which is usually through fast food or fat and salt-laden, pre-packaged meals. Though I don't avoid fast food entirely, I have never liked the idea of having to subsist off the 99-cent menu, especially considering that most of the menu items would be really unhealthy for me to eat on a regular basis. I also do not believe that it is "too expensive" to eat healthy food and try to show that in most of my recipes. There have been a couple of folks who have created very similar sites, but PGEW is different and more unique for a couple of reasons.
On Poor Girl Eats Well, not only do I share mostly original recipes (there are a few restaurant adaptations and guest recipes from time to time), I also share different tips and philosophies that will help you think a bit differently about eating on a budget. I consider what I do on PGEW to be a lifestyle, and lifestyle changes always come with a bit of theory to mull over. From shopping tips to what to look for in your local newspaper, I try to share with PGEW readers a few of the pearls of wisdom that I have picked up throughout my school-of-hard-knocks life. For fun and a bit of a change here & there, I also post the occasional restaurant review, spotlighting quality restaurants and any money-saving items they may offer. Unlike other budget food blogs, I actually do write this from the point of view of someone who is broke and who struggles constantly to make ends meet, so what I talk about is what I actually experience. I am brutally honest (sometimes to the point of slight embarrassment) and mince no words when it comes to how I come up with a new dish or what new plight has made me even more broke than before. In short, what you see is what you get on PGEW. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just me.
As I mentioned earlier, the recipes you will find on PGEW are mainly on the "good-for-you" side of things; I simply refuse to fall into the "It just costs too much to eat healthy" trap. I also make sure each dish features ingredients you can find practically anywhere and that you can actually afford. Though it would be nice to blog about Serrano ham and $18 bottles of wine, that does not really fall under the category of being on a tight budget. Let's face it: if you're really scrimping and scraping your way through life, the last thing you need to be worrying about is how to afford that one ingredient that will make your dish a little fancier. The way I see it, things do eventually get better; for now, I try to see what I can do with what I can truly afford. With the current state of the economy, I'm sure this is a philosophy that most people are trying to embrace and stick to so that they, too, can make ends meet.
Although PGEW has only been around for a little over a year, it has gained a wonderfully loyal following of readers as well as some notable press. Featured on CNN.com, local newspapers, and the local news, PGEW has struck a chord with many folks who are looking to save money and stay healthy at the same time. (For a full listing of newsworthy PGEW moments, please click on the PGEW In the News tab.) In August of 2009 I also self-published and printed a "mini-book" of sorts, with some of my readers' favorite recipes and the most popular tips on the site. Poor Girl Eats Well - To Go! is a great way to be introduced to the general concept of PGEW and is available to purchase through this site and directly through me.
I hope you like what you find here on Poor Girl Eats Well and that you're able to find something that works for you, whether it's a recipe, a tip, or a review. I am always open to comments and suggestions, so please feel free to contact me. I'll stop babbling now and let you get back to your PGEW perusin'.
And as I always say... enjoy! :)