Beth Moncel of Budget Bytes
1. What sort of work or play were you doing with food before you started your blog?
When I first started my blog I was working in the prepared foods department at Whole Foods Market. During the first few years that I was blogging, I went back to school for a second degree and began working as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. That’s the job I was doing when I finally went full time with my blog.
2. What drew you to food as a hobby or profession?
I’ve always loved cooking because it’s a combination of science and art. Plus, it’s just really delicious and enjoyable! My first degree was in Nutritional Science because I’m fascinated with the human body and wanted to help people achieve a healthier life. While I did not go on to become a registered dietitian after graduation, that educational background and desire to help people influenced my desire to start the blog, except this time it was focused on doing so on a restricted budget.
3. Why did you decide to start a food blog over other food-related businesses or professions?
I didn’t know my blog would be a business when I started. I simply had information that I thought could help people, so I wanted to put it out there. I figured a blog was the easiest way to do that! Plus, it gave me a hobby and a creative outlet that at the time didn’t cost me anything.
4. What was the most difficult part of starting your own food blog, and how did you overcome that challenge?
I didn’t find anything to be difficult when I started. I just googled “how to start a blog” and went from there. Learning how to do it was fun to me. Keeping the blog going has definitely presented many challenges, though. This industry is brand new and it changes on a daily basis, so you always have to stay on your toes. And since one person simply can’t be an expert in all areas (SEO, content creation, social media, design, web development) you have to find people that you can hire to do these tasks. That can be challenging.
5. When did you realize that your food blog was successful?
When I started getting inquiries from publishers about writing a book, I felt like I had “made” it (that makes me laugh now). I signed my first book deal in 2012 and it was published in 2014. I’ve grown so much since then and Budget Bytes has become so much more than I would have ever expected.
6. What is your favorite food or type of food to cover on your blog?
I don’t have a favorite. There are too much good food out there to even narrow it down!
7. How do you discover or create new recipes and foods to cover on your blog?
I get inspiration from so many places. Sometimes it’s seeing an ingredient combination somewhere, sometimes it’s a happy accident that happens in my kitchen, sometimes I’m trying to recreate something I’ve had a restaurant or bought at a store. Inspiration hits from many different angles!
8. Which of the foods on your blog do you eat most in your own kitchen?
I don’t get to cook a lot at home (not for the blog) because I always have so much leftover food from recipe testing and photographing (we do try to eat everything so that nothing goes to waste). But when I do want to cook a quick meal at home it’s usually some type of meat cooked quickly in a skillet with a simple pan sauce paired with a couple of roasted vegetables. Super simple.
9. If you could only recommend one recipe or dish to your readers, which recipe or dish would you recommend?
You’re asking me to play favorites again! Haha! I really don’t know if I could pick just one. I think it depends so much on the needs of the individual, not to mention personal food preferences!