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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 90 reviews
on May 7, 2014
I love, love this cookbook so far! I am on a recent major budget overhaul project for our family and randomly found this book at the library. After hanging on to it for 3 weeks and using several recipes (and having them turn out great!!), I finally bought my own copy. It is nicely organized, with lots of great tips. I am determined to put tasty meals on the table for my family, even if our costs are lower. Who says beans and rice has to be boring?? I am really impressed with this book. I haven't found many cookbooks advertising cheap meals that don't use all processed foods. The meals I have made in here are made with fresh ingredients and are pretty easy to make. All have been a big hit with my family, including our picky 3 year old! I would definitely recommend this cookbook. (Or do what I do and get a book from the library first to make sure you really do like it, then buy!!)
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on February 4, 2017
I did not think I would acquire another cookbook until I saw this book at our local library. I have one for myself now. When cooking for our daily meals starts to feel like a boring chore, I need to look into this cookbook. There are several of my favorite things to make such as Red BBQ Sauce, Jamaican pillaf, Carolina Pumpkin Cobbler. I ordered another copy for someone who was not a born cook but who is raising three pre-teens. Her mother liked the book also.
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on March 23, 2008
I bought this book this weekend, and it's a holiday weekend. Normally, we'd arrive back home and look around at our kitchen and lack of thawed meat, dismayed, and try and find something out to eat. That something would likely have fallen in the $12-15 range, which is about what I paid for the book. Because I was able to page through and pick out something that was not only fast, but nutritious and ready to make from staples on my shelf, I was ready to go.

I don't know what the other reviewer was talking about with there being too many chilis, too many "batch" meals requiring a premade roast. If that is putting you off, you should know that those roasts can be made in a slow cooker, easily. The only overabundance I found was "skillet" recipes, and they point out that these one pot meals are money savers. But I found plenty of variety, not to mention lots of non-batch options.

For those who are health conscious, I'm following Weight Watchers, and I don't forsee any trouble adapting the recipes to my needs.

Most of the recipes cover the "but we don't have any meat thawed" dilemma by walking you through the steps of getting it partially thawed so you can work with it. And I plan on trying the batch recipes later this week.

Additionally, the practical advice about saving money when you grocery shop, the non-recipe parts, is great. I plan on incorporating several suggestions right away, such as cutting up my own chicken parts, only buying meat when it's on sale, limiting my warehouse club buys to the most valuable deals, and making my own broth.

Because of the advice in this book, I've reevaluated my grocery needs, and while I was certain we "needed" to go grocery shopping early this week, I've since figured we can probably make it through the week, only needing to pick up a few things.

Even though I considered myself a very frugal shopper, this showed me that there is much more I could do.

One word though: if you want to make your own beans, I believe the blog "A Veggie Venture" has a better recipe (because it involves a slow cooker and no soaking-a winner as far as I'm concerned."

But, as you can see, I can't say enough. Good advice, and not too preachy... you pick what to do based on your values and your needs.
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The book title is a bit misleading as most of the food does cook up fast IF you do some advance prep work. There is nothing new in this as most cheaper cuts of meat and other other low cost foods tend to take time to prepare. Think about braising the round steak or cooking the beans for example.

As with any book emphasizing low cost foods you will have to prep and then cook quickly later.

If you don't mind doing this, the book does have a nice selection of tasty recipes.

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on September 22, 2016
I really can't say whether these recipes are cheap, and I'm not a speedy cook so nothing in my kitchen is fast. But oh, these recipes are good, and I can actually make them with the time, skills, and ingredients in my possession. I've had the book for many years and kept going back to the handful of recipes I had tried and loved. These past two weeks I've been deliberately trying more new ones. They just really are all pretty darn good. The number of recipes that are easy and tasty makes this book worth buying.
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on April 8, 2017
Bought for a friend as a housewarming gift because I love my copy. Single guy who never really cooked for himself and he was thrilled to try the recipes.
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on January 19, 2017
Great cookbook with lots of recipes I want to try. There are a few minor oddities about the way the author handled some things... like some recipes have a full paragraph in the directions about defrosting meat where I think she could have just specified defrosted meat in the ingredients. I have seen a couple of minor typos, but nothing that would impact your ability to follow the recipe. I like the cookbook overall and would recommend it.
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on February 9, 2015
I bought this book 7 or 8 years ago and never used a single recipe in it. We were a young married couple back then, and for some reason I just never looked at it. We now have a family of 4, and I broke it out again. I am loving all of the advice! I've been using coupons and bulk-shopping for 7 years, so that info wasn't new, but I love all of the advice. The recipes are easy and good and have gotten us out of our cooking rut. Some great ideas for kid-friendly recipes, too!
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on November 25, 2011
This is the best cookbook that I've ever owned. It's a cook book that asks cook to think for themselves though, so if you don't feel comfortable altering a recipe a little bit, this cookbook isn't for you. Some reviewers have said the recipes are bland, but I've found by altering the spice amounts and even changing some spices, I get quite flavorful foods. Sometimes I add spices after portioning out my sons' meals.

Our hands down favorite recipe is Mini- Ravioli Soup and I've made it many times with what I've had on hand.

Many of the recipes double and freeze easily. It's nice to cook once and eat twice.

<y picky son eats almost everything that I make out of this book.

I've been using this cookbook for about three years now and I've used 50 or more recipes from it. We get bored with things pretty easily and love to try new things.

I'd recommend this book to anyone on a budget or with a time crunch.
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on September 7, 2011
I checked this out from the library, and then purchased my own copy I liked it so much. The beginnings of each chapter and sidebars of the book give extensive advice on budgeting and frugal ideas. The recipes themselves I have found to be excellent, and flexible as far as using canned versus fresh items. For example, the bean dish we had gave adjustments for using home cooked versus canned beans, and also fresh tomatoes chopped versus canned. Some items we have tried have been a tad on the bland side, thinking especially of the cajun style skillet we had this week, but that is honestly to be expected in what is marketed as a kid-friendly cookbook. We have kids too so we know the base dish will be palatable for them, and the adults in the family up the spice a bit at the end after the kid portions are served. In a tight economy, this is a great cookbook to have on your shelf for new ideas.
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