I am Stephani Jenkins

I help you take your big ideas about intentional, smart living, and make them work in your real life.

Hey friend!

Do you ever get ideas about your life – organizing your schedule, eating healthier, getting on a budget, homeschooling your kids, maybe finally getting out of debt – and you instantly feel overwhelmed?

For nearly 15 years, I’ve been learning how to master the overwhelm and live intentionally. This is my passion and my obsession, and I want to help you.

I’m Stephani, and I primarily work over at CheapskateCook.com, where I teach and empower you to save money and eat healthy.

Back in 2008, my new husband Chris and I sat in our tiny studio apartment (actually, it was a renovated shed in someone’s backyard), hovering over our very first budget. It was a little terrifying. After paying our bare minimum expenses, we had just $25 left for our grocery budget every week.

That included eating out, but who are we kidding.

We could have lived off Ramen and Wonderbread sandwiches, but I had grown up on a small farm, where we raised chickens, dairy goats, sheep, and grew a huge organic garden. So I came into this new budget knowing the importance of good food and how much better we felt when we ate well.

While I couldn’t do everything I wanted to with $25/week, I knew I could use that money to help us eat as clean as possible while still being realistic.

You can do anything you want to do if it’s important enough to you.

You can get organized.

You can live on a budget.

You can decorate your home with beauty.

You can eat healthy and exercise.

You can educate your children well.

You can live intentionally.

All it takes is the right tools and a little grit.

You provide the grit, and I’ll provide the tools.


If you’re looking for an easy, budget-friendly, real food cookbook or menu plan, check out My Shop.

If you’re looking for or a specific product I mentioned on Instagram, YouTube, or one of my posts, go to Shop the Blog.

What You Will Find Here:

At Cheapskate Cook, I teach you how to save money and eat healthy.

Here, I talk about 3 things:

1. Debt-Free Living

When Chris and I were first married, we committed to each other to live debt-free and make smart money decisions. This led to a lot of bonkers stories and weird life choices, but we love every minute if it and wouldn’t change a thing.

If you want to know what debt-free living looks like in real life, you’re in the right place.

2. Our Farmhouse Renovation

After 13 years of shared housing (apartments, condos, duplexes, townhouses, in-law’s couches, and that backyard shed), we moved our family to an old 1942 farmhouse fixer upper. We’re renovating it with cash, while living in it, and we share the stories and nightmares here.

3. Homeschooling

Chris and I were both homeschooled, so it was a natural decision for own kids. I’ll never say this is an easy choice or that it’s the right one for everyone. But here you’ll find resources we love, curriculum and tools we don’t, and real life insight into what second-generation homeschooling looks like.

See what they’re saying.

“Stephani does such a fantastic job of teaching people how to live and eat well on a tight budget. I am constantly recommending her site to others who are looking for encouragement in how to feed their family healthfully and do it without breaking the bank or spending all day in the kitchen!”

Crystal Paine

Founder MoneySavingMom.com

“Eating healthy on a budget has never been easier!”


Deborah Reynaa


“I love Cheapskate Cook! She’s helpful and practical, but so down-to-earth and fun!!”

Courtney Kimball

“Stephani is one of the only Instagram Stories I take time to watch because she’s so knowledgeable and down-to-earth. Her work is always incredibly professional and I remain in awe at how she keeps such a small budget and raises kids committed to eating healthy food, too!”

“I love the simplicity of Cheapskate Cook. Every recipe I’ve tried is amazing!”


“Steph has the most helpful information about cooking, planning, gardening, and more!”


“Steph is one of the most relatable real food advocates I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She teaches and encourages in a way that’s both accessible and enthusiastic, which I find totally contagious!”

Beth Ricci


“I love how Steph doesn’t over-complicate frugal and healthy living. I love learning from her!”

“Steph shares so many simple and cheap tips and tricks in all things real food and natural living! She has helped me over the years to keep spending lower and keep my family’s health a priority.”

Elizabeth Haarsma

Join the Smart Kids!

Learn more about how to take your big ideas about intentional, smart living and make them work in your real life.

What You Can Do Now:

1. Follow me on Instagram or YouTube

Let’s get to know each other! We have a lot of fun on Instagram Stories. I’m on Facebook too! But IG is the easiest way to follow and get a hold of me.

We do a lot of recipe tutorials and trainings on YouTube. Check out a video here and make sure you subscribe so you can watch more (you can always unsubscribe if you want – but I bet you won’t!)

2. Book Me

Need expert advice on debt-free living, homeschooling, or saving money and eating healthy? Book a discovery call for my one-on-one coaching or book me for teaching your small group or class.

3. Shop the Blog

Need budget-friendly ideas for all the things? I got you.

Brands I worked with

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Follow me here for daily inspiration. I basically live on Stories and share daily hacks, tips, recipes, grocery hauls, and other real-life fun.


Subscribe here for debt-free living inspiration, cooking tutorials, recipe demonstrations, and money-saving tips!


I’m an experienced, frugal, domestic ninja, lover of all things food, nutrition, fitness, nerd culture, faith, and family. Not always in that order.

Most of my life I just liked food and trying to eat well. My goal then and now is to eat healthy, whole food that is good for my body, preferably local and sustainably sourced. What I learned – and continue to learn – I share here, trying to be the resource I so desperately wanted over the years.

Chris and I have a really weird love story, and I shared it at length on Instagram at #chrisandstephlovestory and it was published by Love What Matters.

Now, we have 3 wild, amazing boys, and after living for years in tiny apartments and shared housing, we recently moved to our farmhouse fixer-upper (like, woodstove heat level fixer-upper) that we’re renovating with cash.

steph's family

10 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I used to live in West Africa.
  2. I used to raise, breed, and milk dairy goats (not in West Africa).
  3. My extended family represents Greek, Jewish, African American, Hispanic, and Italian cultures. I’m fiercely dedicated to diversity and anti-racism.
  4. Chris and I got married at ages 19 and 20. A great – albeit risky – decision. Read more here.
  5. I am a die-hard nerd. Ask me anything about Marvel, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even classic literature.
  6. Chris’ family is Greek, so after we married, we lived for a while with his extended family in the hill village his ancestors came from.
  7. 10 years later, we were finally able to bring our kids to the family hill village.
  8. I was homeschooled, so homeschooling our kids was a natural decision (although to be honest some days I don’t love it).
  9. I love gardening and have grown our own food at every house.
  10. I had 2 home births and 3 natural deliveries. If I do a fourth, I might go with drugs – because no one needs to climb Mount Everest 4 times, right?

Looking for an Expert Advisor?

Have a question about debt-free living or homeschooling?