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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2012
When my copy of Frugavore arrived, I had low expectations. I had already sifted through a pile of so-called budget meal books. They ranged from awful to terrible, with either completely unacceptable recipes filled with low-end canned goods and processed foods, or recipes that called for large quantities of ingredients that are far too expensive (especially if they are organic, which I always try to buy) to really call "budget." At our house, a meal that costs $10 per person is a called a splurge, not a budget meal! So, with that background, I was very pleasantly surprised (you might even say smitten) by Frugavore. Forge has pulled together a top-notch collection of ideas and recipes for truly eating well AND frugally. Rather than relying on supermarket sale items and low-end ingredients, she recommends creatively sourcing high-quality ingredients and using them in ways that still allow you to stay within budget. This is more than just a cookbook. In an engaging tone, Forge covers the philosophy of healthful but frugal eating; the importance of sourcing locally; stocking your pantry well; gardening; and minimizing food waste. You'll learn how to make a variety of soup stocks, cook with offal and "thrifty bits" of meat, render your own lard (yes, it really is a healthy fat, and delicious too!), and a host of other frugal-kitchen staples. This may look like a small book, but the density and quality of the information makes it worth more than a stack of the other budget meal books that are out there. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in eating well on a budget.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
I was so delighted with the publisher's info on this book that I ordered 2 of them, thinking surely they would make great presents for young families I know that are struggling with the challenge of eating well and economically. Unfortunately there is little in this small book that could not have been gleaned from shallow articles in ladies magazines.

For example, the 8 page chapter on keeping chickens spends 2 pages on anecdotal commentary ("..chickens make wonderful pets.."), 1 page on why you should eat eggs, 1 page on choosing your chickens (in which Ms Forge offers much misinformation about breeds, and suggests that you might want to buy $40 or $50 hens -- very frugal!), and then a few pages on what chickens eat (vaguely) and fatuous commentary on roosters. A few references to good poultry books or links to websites would have been far more useful. I would expect a book devoted to frugal living to provide much more information about keeping chickens frugally (not as pets), but Ms Forge doesn't have much to tell us.

If you identified with Julie Powell (of Julie and Julia fame) and her struggle to get a little recognition, rather than Julia Child and her struggle to master the art of French cooking, Frugavore is the book for you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
This is an excellent book, I'm keeping it on my bookshelf (while I declutter and get rid of lots of other books). As well as containing lots of great recipes it gives you ideas on where to go to source you quality, organic (where possible) food, without breaking the bank.

I would disagree with the earlier reviewer who called it shallow. Although it won't replace a book on keeping poultry, or bees, or preserving food, if that's what you want to do, it gives you enough information to get started and to decide if this is an area to look into further.

As well as from-scratch recipes it contains practical information on where and how to source food, how to use the whole chicken/fish/meat bones, how to use basic products to create your own cheap, non-toxic cleaning products, how to use more legumes in your cooking, and how to get started with hens, a vegetable garden or even bees.
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on October 26, 2013
I am always looking for ways to be more self sufficient and healthier for my family -- this is a great book, but not for beginners.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2012
We live in a fast-paced convenience society. Fast food, fast cars, instant internet. But health problems abound and eating right can cost a fortune. Frugavore is an amazing little guide to help us get back to basics and discover traditional styles of eating and living to get us healthy and give back to nature. It is an easy, inspiring read full of information and recipes. I use Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions coobook daily but the volume and depth of information can be over whelming for real food newbies. Frugavore is like a condensed, easy-read overview of Nourishing Traditions. I highly reccommend this book for those that aren't familiar with traditional foods and style of cooking, who are trying to come off of convenience foods and simply those that need encouragement and ideas in "getting back to basics". Even for me, a Nourishing Traditions junkie, there was still things to learn from this book, great recipes and as I said before, the encouragement and simple ideas to get out there and try these things is great!
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on August 22, 2014
I bought it after reading the first 27 pages from the library. It is full of tips and tricks in how to reduce food waste in the kitchen and pinch a penny till it screams for mercy.
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on May 6, 2015
I love this book. It's easy to read and lots of the hints,tips and recipes can be easily applied to life in the city.
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on September 25, 2014
Lots of good practical information along with cute stories and plenty of recipes too.
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on June 13, 2015
meh. Only for the inexperienced gardener/housekeeper
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