Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With Friends!

September 19, 2022 | Jody Gatewood

leftovers in containers stacked on the counter

Over the past few months we’ve heard from Christine’s mom, Katy’s friend, and Justine’s children. For the final blog in our interview series I talked with my friend and colleague, Kristin Taylor.

Kristin works for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. In fact, she helped create Spend Smart. Eat Smart. starting back in 2007 and continues to be part of our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. team today. Kristin is married and has three children, one living on his own and two living at home. Kristin enjoys cooking so let’s see what she had to say!


  1. What is your favorite food memory?
    Growing up on a farm and my mom cooking food from scratch. She used what she had on hand to make a meal. We also had a garden and canned what we grew. My mom made a lot of yeast breads (including award winning cinnamon rolls!) Another memory that comes to mind is helping in the school kitchen as an 8th grader. I remember learning more about the bulk preparation of food and the importance of food safety. We always had to wear a hairnet to serve!
  2. What food always makes you smile?
    Mashed potatoes and gravy
  3. What is a go-to meal at your house that is tasty and easy?
    Stir-fry, I like that I can use up vegetables that I have on hand, either fresh or frozen. We use chicken a lot and sometimes beef. I also make a large batch of sauce and then freeze it in smaller portions. Then I pull some out to use when we have stir-fry and it saves me a little time. We have stir-fry once a week.
  4. What is one tip you can share for eating well on a budget?
    The freezer is your friend. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t waste a lot of food. If we aren’t able to use something before it goes bad, I’ll freeze it to use later. For example, if I have just a few berries left, I’ll freeze them to put in a smoothie. I also peel ripe bananas and freeze them to bake with or use in smoothies. Frozen grapes are also really good! I buy meat in bulk and then put it in smaller packages and freeze. I also cut chicken into strips for chicken tenders or to stir fry or cut chunks of beef for kabobs before I freeze it so I just have to thaw it when I’m ready.
  5. What is your favorite Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipe?
    Turkey Vegetable Quiche, it reminds me of chicken pot pie, a comfort food when I was a kid.

Thanks Kristin for sharing with us! I hope you enjoyed our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. with Friends series.

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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