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Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill Paperback – September 1, 2009

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Family Feasts for $75 a Week: A Penny-wise Mom Shares Her Recipe for Cutting Hundreds from Your Monthly Food Bill + The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, and Nourishing Meals That Are Easy on the Budget and a Snap to Prepare + The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook: 301 Delicious, Nutritious Recipes the Whole Family Will Love!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0848732960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848732967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Ostyn is a blogger and freelance writer. Her blog (http://owlhaven.net) is a place to share parenting tips and money-saving ideas. Mary contributed to Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul, and has written articles for Christian Parenting Today, Adoption Today, Adoptive Families, among others. Her first book, A Sane Woman's Guide to Mothering a Large Family releases in April 2009 from Gibbs Smith. She lives in Nampa, Idaho, with her husband and their ten children.

More About the Author

Mary Ostyn is the author of FAMILY FEASTS FOR $75 A WEEK, FOREVER MOM: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE ADOPTING and A SANE WOMAN'S GUIDE TO RAISING A LARGE FAMILY. She, her husband and their ten children live in Idaho. Four of their children were born to them, and six arrived via adoption, from South Korea and Ethiopia. Ostyn has been blogging about motherhood, food, frugality, and adoption at http://owlhaven.net since 2006.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are easy to follow and delicious.
Cherie Smith
This was the first recipe book I have checked out at our public library that I actually felt like purchasing.
Joanne Smith
Great recipes, lots of tricks and tips to saving money!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

500 of 516 people found the following review helpful By MagnoliaSouth on June 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading all the glowing reviews, and while perhaps they are somewhat warranted, I was still a bit disappointed. The not-so-glowing reviews failed to address WHY they felt disappointed so I'll do so here.

First off before I get to it, understand that it IS a good book and is worth the buy because you will find some ideas to shave a few dollars off of your grocery bill. Just know that the average family will very likely never get the cost down to the promised $75 a week. Some can, most probably cannot and here is why:

* She tells you that she saves on produce because she has a vegetable garden and an orchard (pg 46, 47). If you have a house and a lot of time this is great, but nothing none of us have not thought of before. If you live in an apartment without a community garden, then you're sunk altogether. She is careful to not say that you SHOULD do this, but this IS part of the $75/wk plan.

* Along that same notion, she cans her items too. If I had a garden, I would probably can also. However she did say that you could stock up on in-season items and can those. Just remember to do the math yourself because you may find that the "sale price" coupled with the cost of jars, etc. is no cheaper than buying a can. You really only save well here if you have a garden.

* She frequently talks about freezing food and mentions a deep freezer often enough to make you feel that this isn't going to work for you. Granted, she DOES offer tips on freezing for those with space limitations, but to get the full benefit that she describes, a deep freeze is essential. The first example off the top of my head is sales on milk. You can't buy several gallons with only a standard-sized freezer and still keep food in there.
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322 of 331 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Wagner on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was all set last night to sit down and write my thorough praises of Mary Ostyn's new book, Family Feasts for $75 a Week, when my husband blithely reviewed the book better than I could have in pages with one sentence:

As I sat cackling over the money I've saved since reading a pre-publication copy of this book a month ago I said to Ryan, "I can't believe how much money we've saved this month! I've cut our budget by 50% and I think I could easily go lower if we needed to." To which he replied, "That's insane, because we have been eating really well recently, too!" High praise coming from a man whose own mother (an amazing cook) dubbed him The Food Diva several years back when he commented on the amount of carrots she'd used in a favorite dish of his when we were home visiting for Christmas.

In case you aren't already heading out to order a copy of the book based just on that, let me elaborate just a little. Because if you're anything like me you might be thinking, "Come on, seriously. Do we really need another book on how to save money on groceries and inexpensive recipes to feed our families? How many tater-tot casseroles with cheese whiz and Ritz cracker toppings can a girl try?"

If that's you, I'm with yah sister. But let me just mention a couple of things.

1. Delicious Recipes Suited to Any Skill Level: While Mary DOES mention tater tots once in her book it is only to tell you how much better homemade fries are. Not only that, but she upgrades the oven fries with her own homemade Ethiopian seasoning mix (and provides several other easy suggestions for seasonings if a mouth on fire is not your particular version of tasty). And all joking about those spuds aside, her recipes are seriously good, seriously easy and seriously cost effective.
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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful By M. Carroll on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't even describe how much I like this book!! I had heard about it, but had no plans to buy it. Then, about ten days ago, I was in Barnes and Noble and the cover caught my eye. I grabbed it and bought it... a total impulse buy (yes, ironic that I impulse-bought a book on frugality! :)). This is definitely one of the best impulse buys I've ever made!

I read - quickly and easily - through the chapters on grocery shopping and then started reading through some of Mary's recipes. The thing I LOVE about them? They all use such spectacularly ordinary ingredients and they're delicious! The first one I tried was her recipe for granola. I'd never actually made my own granola, always turned off by the cost and specialty of the ingredients used (wheat germ is not a staple in our house, e.g.)... The granola recipe in this book turned out great and I used only things that I already had on hand (AND I didn't have to make any substitutions).

Shortly thereafter, I made the eggy breakfast muffins, as I was in search of a substantial, quick breakfast that wasn't loaded with carbs. Not only are these relatively inexpensive (they cost less than a pre-fab equivalent and are better for you), they are ... wow! flavorful and satisfying!! If you cut the bacon out of them for a vegetarian version, they'd be even cheaper and probably (almost) as good. :)

Skimming over some of the other recipes, I saw one for blueberry muffins. I almost skipped right past it, since I'm always hesitant to use fresh blueberries (even if they taste delicious), because - in my experience - they're so expensive and spoil so quickly if you don't use them right when they're ripe. To my delight, I realized that her recipe called for blueberry YOGURT! What a genius idea! She adds that if you want more blueberry to the bite, you can add frozen blueberries.

Yes, I dearly love this cookbook. It goes in my top ten best purchases ever. :)
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