Just about everyone is concerned with saving money. These three books, written by a pair of students, a mother of 10, and a restaurant owner, offer recipes and ideas for trimming your monthly grocery bill without sacrificing taste.
The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: 200 Gourmet Recipes for Any Budget
By Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small
On their first date, Alex Small showed up at Alanna Kaufmann's apartment with bags of groceries and made salmon, pear and gorgonzola salad, and bananas flambé with ice cream. Kaufman was impressed not just with how the food tasted but also by the fact that Small put the meal together on his limited student budget. Over the years, Kaufman and Small spent a lot of time learning to make the foods they craved on the budget they could afford (they even started a blog, Two Fat Als). In The Frugal Foodie Cookbook, Kaufman and Small share 200 of their favorite wallet-friendly recipes for appetizers, snacks, soups, cakes, pies, main courses, drinks, and more. Each recipe is conveniently broken down into total cost and per-serving cost so users can select recipes to fit their budget. The book also includes Frugal Foodie Tips and the Top Ingredients for the Frugal Foodie Pantry.
Family Feasts for $75 a Week
By Mary Ostyn
Mary Ostyn feeds her family of 12 on $900 a month, which is about $600 less than the USDA's "thrifty food plan." In other words, she knows a thing or two about feeding a family on a tight budget. In Family Feasts for $75 a Week, Ostyn shares her strategies for reducing grocery bills, including a guide to when fruits and vegetables cost less, the benefits of shopping at warehouse stores, ethnic markets, and dollar stores, tips for dealing with picky eaters, and how to set up a price book (a notebook that tracks food prices to help you figure out where to purchase different items and help you evaluate sales). Despite all her cost-cutting ideas, Ostyn isn't into deprivation (coffee creamer is one of her personal indulgences) and encourages readers to take things slowly making small, gradual changes rather than overhauling your budget all at once.
The rest of Ostyn's book focuses on her recipes. Her kid-tested dishes cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, and include a mix of international cuisines such as Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, and Korean.
Dawn Welch owns and operates the Rock Cafe, a 25-seat landmark restaurant just off Route 66 in Stroud, Oklahoma, but she's also a mother of two. In Dollars to Donuts, Welch pulls from these two experiences to offer practical advice on cooking hearty, delicious meals for your family without breaking the bank. Topics include substitutions for pricey ingredients, the best way to freeze sauces, homemade spice blends, and growing your own veggies.
Welch's recipes are divided into cute and helpful chapters, such as When the Pantry is Your BFF, Eating Out at Home, and Say Good-Bye to the Same Old. And, each recipe includes the total cost as well as the per-serving cost, plus lots of additional cooking and cost-cutting tips.
by Lauren Salkeld
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