Beth Moncel: Taking a Byte Out of Life

Meet Beth, creator and culinary pocket protector at Budget Bytes.
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.

We are excited to have Beth join us in the SideChef kitchen to make so many budget-friendly dishes. She shares with us her simple mantras for cooking, prepping and of course, keeping wallets and bellies full!

What does a week of home cooking look like for you?

I usually batch cook 2-3 recipes and eat leftovers throughout the week, and use some of the leftovers to stock my freezer. Breakfast is simple things like scrambled eggs with vegetables, or toast with eggs or peanut butter, or some sort of oats (hot or cold/overnight oats).

When you think about cooking a meal, how do you address time management?

I prefer to plan my cooking for my “off” days, so I know I can take my time and I’ll be full of energy. Cooking after a full day of work can be tiring.

Do you meal plan? If so, how?

I prefer to only plan about one week out. I pick out two recipes or so that I’ve been craving, so I know that I’ll be in the mood for it. If I were to plan any further out than that, I might not be in the mood for the recipes I selected previously.

What are your top 5 pantry staples for cooking at home?

Pasta, rice, eggs, cheese, and frozen vegetables!

Where do you shop for groceries?

This has changed a lot over the years based on what is closest to where I’m living, but recently I do 90% of my shopping at ALDI™ and get the last few things that ALDI™ doesn’t carry at Kroger™, which happens to be across the street.

How do you approach mealtime? Do you have three square meals in a day, or is it more on the go?

I definitely am more of an intuitive eater. Being that I work from home, I have the freedom to eat whenever I want, so I only eat when I’m truly hungry.

On a scale from 1-10, how important is breakfast? Why?

Breakfast is important to me because that’s when I’m the most hungry. I think this will vary from person to person. Being that I’m not a licensed health professional, I can’t speak to the importance of breakfast to health.

If you were to classify your home-cooking style, what would it be?

SIMPLE and colorful. :)

What are your 5 top cooking tips or tricks?


  • Roasting vegetables always makes them taste better!

  • Always look for leftovers in your fridge and try adding them to whatever you’re cooking. A lot of new flavor combinations can be discovered that way and you reduce leftovers.

  • Replace half your meat with beans or lentils to reduce costs and increase fiber intake.

  • A little fresh green in the form of green onions, cilantro, or parsley can add a lot of bright flavor to your meal, and those three fresh herbs are usually very inexpensive.

  • Freeze whole lemons and limes to use for zesting and juicing later. That way you’ll always have fresh citrus on hand to add to your recipes, which can really take your meal from good to “wow”.

If you could sum up your cooking style into one sentence, what would that sentence be?

That’s the same as question 8 above? My cooking style is “simple and colorful”. :)

Love this interview? Try these amazing recipe and cook with Beth Moncel.

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