About Holly Nilsson – Spend with Pennies

Easy Home Cooked Comfort

Welcome to Spend with Pennies. Here, you will find deliciously simple recipes designed for the everyday home cook. They are easy to follow, tried, tested, and loved!

At Spend with Pennies, we believe in the magic of home-cooked meals that bring families together.

Holly Nilsson from Spend with Pennies leaning her book Everyday Comfort

The Spend with Pennies Mission

My mission is simple – to help bring families together around the dinner table with easy, comforting recipes designed for real life. From my home to yours… happy cooking!

About Holly

Nice to meet you! I’m Holly, a wife, mother of four, grandma to one (almost two!), and a passionate home cook living in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada.

As a professional recipe developer and food photographer, I am the recipe creator and photographer behind SpendWithPennies.com and the author of Everyday Comfort – my debut cookbook (available for pre-order now)!

Holly Nilsson preparing vegetables in her kitchen

Humble Beginnings

While I’m trained in biological technology to work in a research lab, my days are now spent in the kitchen, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

Growing up, we sat down for a family dinner almost every night and when I became a single mom of 3, I was determined to carry on the tradition with my own family. At that time, finances were extremely tight, and I had little in the pantry; it was then that I learned the magic of turning the most basic of ingredients into unforgettable, cozy family meals. This remains the basis of every recipe I create today.

In 2012, I started Spend with Pennies to share my money-saving tips and family-friendly recipes. What began as a small project blossomed into a warm online community of millions of home cooks who invited me into their kitchens and to their family table through my recipes. For that, I thank you for what an incredible honor it is to be a part of your most celebrated and cherished moments and family traditions.

Holly Nilsson filming a video for Spend with Pennies

Mastering Home-Cooked Meals

All of my recipes are created with the everyday cook in mind and tested to perfection.

While I’ve been cooking for over 30 years, as Spend with Pennies grew, I have continued to take in as much culinary knowledge as possible through boot camps at our local culinary school, specialized classes, food tours, and more (homemade pasta in Italy, tortillas and guacamole in Mexico, jambalaya in New Orleans to name a few).

I am committed to providing comforting and approachable recipes that turn out perfectly every single time. Here on Spend with Pennies, you’ll find 3,000+ well-tested recipes that transform simple, familiar ingredients into something special. You can expect:

  • Human-made recipes created by Holly (no AI recipes)
  • Simple ingredients
  • Easy techniques, no special tools needed
  • Well explained
  • Well tested
  • Shortcuts, variations, and adaptations where possible

Whether it’s a quick weeknight meal, cooking for a family celebration, or preparing a Sunday supper, I hope my recipes bring the cozy feeling of gathering loved ones around the table with a delicious home-cooked meal.

Because that’s what life is all about—sharing comfort, connection, and memories. From my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Holly Nilsson with her grandson having mac and cheese.

Get Cooking with Holly

There are lots of ways to get inspired and dig into Spend With Pennies!

  • Browse my recipes: Browse the 3,000+ thoroughly tested recipes on my site and save your favorites.
  • Free meal plans: Sign up for the free weekly meal plan emails to get easy dinner ideas delivered right to your inbox.
  • Get recipes to your email: Sign up for emails for a daily dose of delicious.
  • Follow on social media: You can also follow along on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, X, YouTube) for a daily dose of food inspiration.
  • Buy my cookbook: And be sure to order a copy of my debut cookbook, Everyday Comfort, packed with heartwarming family recipes and pro tips for making the most of simple ingredients.

However you choose to enjoy Spend With Pennies, my goal is to make you feel right at home!

Holly xoxo