Frugal Cooking & Meal Prep Tips With Jess Dang of Cook Smarts – EP 26

We are so excited to have Jess Dang, the Founder of Cook Smarts on the podcast today! After experiencing health complications of her own, Jess desired to provide a useful service to others that may be experiencing difficulty in meal planning, and finding recipes to suite their dietary needs. Jess gives us a behind the scenes look at CookSmarts, and shares some expert frugal tips for meal planning, eating at home, and improving your kitchen skills!


  • Cook Smarts – not an official sponsor, but we are big fans! It’s a meal planning service that provides 4 meals per week and they have regular, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian versions AND they’re offering 3 free meal plans 
    • Receive 25% off your purchase just for being a Frugal Friends podcast listener when you use the code: frugal.
    • Check them out at
  • Borrowing: it’s not just something you do at the library. This is deeply rooted value in the frugal community and you can try it out for free today! Need a nice pair of shoes you know you’ll only wear once? Borrow it! Thinking about buying a deep fryer but you’re not sure it’s worth the investment? Borrow it! You can try this tactic with anything but food and underwear! Borrowing – the better option to spending.

Notable Notes:

  • We talk with Jess about how Cook Smarts got started, and some of her tips for meal plan, prep, recipe selection, kitchen skills, and must-have gadgets. Whether or not you use Cook Smarts, Jess has some great advice to share!
    • Questions for Jess from Jen and Jill:
      • For the person who’s too busy, what are some easy quick solutions to make dinner happen?
      • For the person who doesn’t like leftovers, how do they get around that and eliminate food waste?
      • For the person who hates cooking, where should they start?
      • What are the top kitchen gadgets to have and which should we pass on?
    • Questions from the Community:
      • “What are your best tips regarding cooking for 1”
      • “If I can’t get fresh veggies, should I buy frozen – or is it better to just purchase an entire frozen meal at that point?”

BILL OF THE WEEK – Thanks Jess for sharing your ‘bill’ with us this week!

Frugal Friends Book Club

We are reading “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez in the month of October – Head over to our Frugal Friends Community to join the discussion!

  • We are still giving away 1 book for every 5 reviews we get this month! You can get a free copy of November’s book: The More of Less by Joshua Becker!
  • To enter; leave us a review on your podcast listening device (not just Itunes), screenshot the review, and email it to
  • We’ll select the winners for this book at the end of the day October 31st.

Thank you so much for hanging out with us today! Hit the subscribe button wherever you’re listening to this episode and we’ll come at you every Friday with more frugal goodness. Until next week!

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