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Miserly Meals: Healthy, Tasty Recipes Under 75¢ per Serving Paperback – August 1, 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The recipes are well written and easy to follow, the food is simple but delicious." -- The Cooking Club, Inc.

About the Author

Jonni McCoy, author of Miserly Moms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Prior to motherhood, she spent ten years as a senior buyer and supervisor for electronics firms such as Apple Computer and National Semiconductor. She presents seminars on living for less to women's groups and other conferences. She has been practicing her frugal ways since 1991.

Jonni has appeared on the Gayle King Show and The 700 Club, and radio programs such as Family Life Today and the Dick Staub Show. She has also been featured in Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day magazines. Jonni and her husband, Beau, make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they homeschool their children.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764226134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764226137
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Some of what other reviewers say is true - there ARE ingredients in these recipes your family may not eat - like the Tabasco sauce. However, what I really appreciate about Jonni's book is that it's a good transition for Mom's trying to get their budgets under control. The fact that she has included Nutrition Information (many of the recipes are low in fat for those of us watching our waistlines as well as our budgets) as well as a 'cost per serving' is very helpful. There may be many readers who are already "pros" at low-cost meal planning but I wasn't one of them. I also appreciate the fact that recipes don't take 2 years to prepare and cook. I, too, am a homeschooling Mom and I found her 2 books - Miserly Moms and Miserly Meals - a real help to get my mind going in the right direction. From these two books, I took 15 recipes for dinners to get started - things my family WILL eat - many of them crock meals which will take only a few minutes to set up and forget about. I look at these 2 books as my springing-off point -- incorporating her principles by looking for new recipes on the Internet etc. I know I am saving money and once I get used to this, I'll refine it further but I would have been knocked out if I had to spend 2 hours a day cooking with homeschooling. For those reviewers who were not very understanding about her shakes and such, Jonni herself said in Miserly Moms she didn't want to live like a pauper but enjoy things at a lower cost, not feeling cheap. If you are going from eating Steak & Elaborate Desserts to Miserly Cooking you are going to feel deprived without a few nice recipes that add variety. One of the biggest challenges I have found as a busy homeschooling Mom is finding good-tasting, lowfat recipes that are quick.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Jonni McCoy's other two books - "Frugal Families" and "Miserly Moms", so I purchased her book "Miserly Meals". I have to say that we have tried a week's worth of meals (including lunches) and we are sorely disappointed. These may be inexpensive and healthy, but they are not all that tasty. Some don't even work right. Last night, I made Mock Pizza in the slow cooker and it called for uncooked egg noodles. There apparently wasn't enough liquid in the recipe because the bottom noodles were cooked, but the top ones were still crunchy. I kept adding liquid, but then it was plain old mush. Yuck. Several other recipes are bland and boring.

I did like the meatball recipe, however, and even tripled it for my freezer. Some of the other basic recipes were also good, such as the taco sauce and spaghetti sauce. But we were very disappointed in many of the meals.

One other concern I had was that the yield of the recipes were not consistent. Some served four, some six, some eight. I would have appreciated a little more consistency there. We have a family of six, though, and even recipes that said they served six weren't enough for us.

I did like the kitchen tips and the nutritional breakdown of each meal. I wish the index was a little more comprehensive so that I could find a recipe when I wanted to use tomatoes, for example.

Overall, we were simply disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I think the author's list of "pantry basics" for the "miserly kitchen" is great. I can match 80-90% of what I have on the shelves with the foods she lists. But I'm doubtful that I would come up with the same results from the same ingredients.
For instance, why do so many recipes in this book call for Tobasco sauce? And sorry but I can't foresee my family would ever accept ground turkey, or anything containing tofu or lentils. And we LIKE butter!
And what's this innovative stuff called "broth powder"? What happened to the good old fashioned (and cheap) method of simply saving the water you cooked the meat in?
The book opens with a chapter of beverages, but I can't help but wonder how they can be called "miserly"? Wouldn't drinking plain water be a whole lot cheaper than some concoction from the blender?
Good points about this book: The desserts look delicious. And each recipe in the book is followed by a helpful "kitchen tip." The tips themselves make pretty good reading.
However, instead of this book, I would recommend an older (and harder to find) book, called _ Good Recipes for Hard Times_ by Louise Newton.
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Format: Paperback
I was not satisfied with this book. I agree with the other reviewers who pointed out that it is very basic - I think it might be helpful to someone who doesn't have much cooking experience, but if you do it won't help you much. I doubt I will make anything from this book, and I have to say nothing really sounded that great. One of my main problems with this book it that every chicken recipe called for boneless, skinless breasts - how un-frugal can you get?? That is absolutly the most expensive way to buy chicken, and don't tell me it is the only healthy option - it won't kill your family to eat chicken legs once it a while. Give me a break! If you are new to both cooking and frugality, you might get something out of it, but otherwise, take my word for it - you already know everything the author has to say.
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