Hi, I’m Ellen.

I started Cheap Cooking during a dot.com bust in 2002 I think. When I needed to cut back on expenses the first time (after I quit my job to stay home with my new baby (way back when, she’s now an adult!), I scoured used bookstores and garage sales and libraries for information. I want to share what I learned (and still use). There have been boom and bust cycles in my life since I stayed home with my firstborn. Sometimes I eat out a bit more often or feel free to experiment with some unusual ingredients from a new cuisine, but I’m always very conscious of what I’m spending.

But I also enjoy cooking so you’ll find a lot more than beans and rice here! I’m always trying out new recipes, playing with new to me ingredients, exploring new cuisines and exploring new cookbooks. My focus here is on providing recipes that taste good, don’t require expensive equipment or really picky techniques.  I want you to have fun while you’re feeding yourself and your family! I remember what it’s like to cook dinner every night while young children need  your attention. I got divorced when my girls were quite young so I’ve done the working parent/single parent mealtime dance. My daughters are both grown and out on their own at this point so my cooking has taken another turn, as I get used to cooking for one or two.

What do you do besides cook?

I play fiddle, guitar and mandolin (turn of the century Italian music). Some of my other hobbies include archery and I’m learning to fly fish! I went on my first camping trip in many years in 2016 and have been on several since then, including a week-long camping .  I like to grow food and typically have a vegetable garden going. I also have a good selection of fruit trees and berry bushes, herbs and perennial edibles like artichokes. (And I’m trying to get an asparagus patch going!)

My boyfriend’s teaching me to weld and do wood work, which is quite fun.  I’m also learning how to turn wood and have been busy buying used tools off Craigslist. The lathe was just a gateway tool, as I’m learning. You can see some of the fun stuff we make (including kitchenware!) at MarloandEllen.com.  And we’re starting to sell a few things on Etsy.

I was a contributor to Digital Dish, The Freshest Writing and Recipes from Food Blogs Around the World and have had articles published on various web sites, including The Dollar Stretcher.

I’d love to hear your comments about the web site so tell me what you liked, what you didn’t, and what you want that you didn’t find.


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