Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frugal Cookbooks and Getting Books Cheap

Sometimes my menu's bore even me. I get in a rut and that's when it's time to go digging for some new cookbooks. There are great frugal ways to shop for new books.

  • Check them out at the library first. That way you can give them a test drive before you commit to adding them to your home library.
  • Next, I try finding them on paperbackswap.com. This is a free book swapping site that I use when I've found a book that I really want but don't want to spend the money on. You can click on the link above to find out more.
  • If I've exhausted all those options then I'll give in a purchase it online.
So here are some great cookbooks I've come across lately to end my meal boredom. I'll be using some of the recipes in my menu plans over the next few weeks.

Clara's Kitchen is an amazing little book written by Clara Cannucciari. She is a woman in her 90's who lived through the depression and knows how to make a meal for a large family out of next to nothing. Her book is full of great tips as well as amazingly frugal and healthy recipes. It's a fast, light and humorous read.

Not Just Beans...50 Years of Frugal Family Favorites by Tawra Jean Kellam is another book just packed with great recipes with little tidbits and tricks tucked in between. This book covers everything from spice mixes, kid friendly casseroles, dressings, desserts, substitutions and tons of other stuff. It seriously does NOT leave out a thing.

Ciao Italia...Five Ingredient Favorites by Mary Ann Esposito is a pasta lovers dream. She covers way more than pasta and the title is true to it's word. All the recipes have just five ingredients. I love simple stuff like that.

Jamie's Food Revolution...Rediscover How To Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals by Jamie Oliver. This book is all about teaching people how to cook from scratch. There are some great comfort meals in here as well as some impressive frou-frou meals. But cooking from scratch is the way to be frugal so if you're looking for a primer or some really creative recipes this is a great book.

For more WFMW tips go HERE.


Anonymous said...

I love your new photo!!

Oh, and thanks for the book suggestions ... I now have two of them on hold at my local public library.

Debbie said...

I love cookbooks and constantly watching out for old ones. All four of these sound very interesting. I have put them on my list of ones to look for. Thank you!


Candi said...

That's exactly what I do too. Check them out at the library and then if I love it, I'll scan paperbackswap.com to see if it's available. If not, I use my swagbucks to earn the $5 ecards from amazon.com and buy it thru them. I love Jamie Oliver! He has the best ideas and I love that he cooks from his garden.

The girl with the golden quill said...

I buy books at thrift stores (especially for my kids) and can get them (literally) for pennies!

You can also buy books for cheap on Amazon.com-save up your list and buy them all at once to be eligible for free shipping. I buy books all the time there for 99 cents or just a few dollars!

I also LOVE you suggestion to check them out of the library. People forget about this valuable, free resource!

Susan said...

I think "Not Just Beans" has been expanded in a book by the same author entitled, "Dining on a Dime." The latter is more easily found at libraries and amazon.com. Thanks for inspiring more creative menu planning!

sharon said...

Love the new picture!

Elder Family said...

Thanks for the suggestions. My library has two of these plus the "Dining on a Dime" mentioned by Susan. They are definitely going on my reading list. We are expecting a second child this summer and I want to reduce my grocery budget to help with the additional expenses.

Anonymous said...

I believe Clara's Kitchen was borne from all of her videoclips on Youtube (see below).


This clip is regarding her book itself; however, if you look to the right you will see many clips she has made with her different recipes. She's cute.

Life Goes On said...

I buy cookbooks at thrift stores , estate sales and garage sales. I resell on ebay and other internet sites to supplement my income. Until they sell they are mine. Love your new picture

Anonymous said...

Not Just Beans is one of my favorite cookbooks ever. And I posted about Clara, with a recipe tryout and all, on my blog this last week. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I love Paperbackswap.com. Was just on there a few minutes ago! A great resource!

km said...

I've been making some of Clara's recipes since a friend showed me her youtube videos. You'll have to try peas&pasta. I make it with a turkey kielbasa. That costs a bit more, but fills my growing boys.

Mel said...

Thanks! I've been on big on cooking and coming up with new and interesting ways to make food taste good and not cost a lot. I've been reading tons of cookbooks. Thanks for the list. I just put them all on hold at the library.

Anonymous said...

Clara (in her YouTube videos) is so lovely ..... it makes me regret not spending more time with my grandmothers.

They truly are/were a wealth of knowledge, from times when frugality wasn't a chosen lifestyle, but rather, a necessity.

Jill said...

Another place for great, cheap books is Half.com. If you know what you want, you can often get them really inexpensively. For instance, Clara's Kitchen lists for $21.99 but there are several new copies available for $11.75 or so.

Love the new picture, too!

Greg and Renee Rouse said...

I saw Clara on Youtube as well. Poor mans casserole is now one of my family's favorites and definitely an "Under $5 Meal"

I get inspiration from websites such as Allrecipes. Their newsletter "The Daily Dish" has given me lots of new recipes. I love the fact that I can read how others liked it and what changes they made.
Thanks for the great post.

Annie said...

I think this is my first time commenting here. Thanks for your useful, encouraging site!

Yea for PBS! I've been using it for several years and have picked up many useful books (and gotten rid of quite a few I don't want!) along the way.

Estate sales ARE great ways to pick up cookbooks, including some fun (and very wise) vintage ones.

I also want to add one more frugal cookbook: "More With Less" by Doris Janzen Longacre. My mom fed 10 of us kids on it over the past 30+ years. Used ones are impossible to find - I have my mother's original 1975 copy (including her precious handwritten notes) that I wouldn't trade for the world, along with a new one I requested for Christmas from my MIL. Not much has changed in the newer addition. The cook book contains recipes submitted from across the Mennonite community and focuses on highly nutritional but economical meals. I turn to it frequently when cooking for my own little ones.

Hope this helps!