Have you ever thought about rising food costs putting a dent in your wallet? I have, especially when my pay-checks are not getting any higher and bonuses may be a thing in the past. Let’s face it, the USDA has predicted that in 2011, grocery store prices will rise about 3.5 to 4.5% and restaurant prices-3 to 4%. They also anticipate similar increases for 2012. I see the need to seriously figure out ways to eat cheap while maintaining quality. I looked for a book on the subject and found one called $3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less Than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk by Ellen Brown.
I cook my meals quite often. The main reason is that it is rewarding. I believe that it is a way to save some money, too. However, I never thought that making a meal for around $3 was possible. That was until I read Ellen’s book. I was amazed how she connects many traditional money-saving tips to create a sensible methodology.
As a caterer, Ellen clearly describes how to save money by applying her professional kitchen skills to a home kitchen. “Professional cooks learn to minimize waste; wasted food translates to lower profit.” she explains. In my case, that means less money left from my pay-checks.
Some reviews have doubts about the $3 budget. As I tried out some of her recipes, I quickly understood that as you minimize waste, the cost of meals will average out to just about $3 in the long run.
Like a friend, she shares with you how to make $3 meals by running your kitchen in a “waste-free” manner. She makes it clear and easy-to-follow. For example, she says, “…you’ll know you have succeeded in waste-free cooking when, at the end of the week, there’s nothing in the refrigerator to throw away!”. That’s simple.
In order to stretch the food budget for as far as you can, Ellen shows you how to set up a smart system to save money right from shopping, through cooking, and to the storing of foods. Nothing should go to waste.
Coupled with “waste-free cooking”, she adds plenty of advice throughout the book on how to avoid falling into expensive food traps at the grocery stores. On top of that, I have learned how to make use of affordable ingredients to make great tasting meals, like turning bargain cuts of meat or inexpensive seafood into a feast.
This book is also packed with practical examples, and most importantly, lots of recipes. There are more than 15 recipes in most chapters. You can practically follow them to continuously produce $3 meals throughout the seasons. I was especially pleased to see Ellen’s interpretation of two of my favorite dishes, Chicken and Dumplings, Anyone?, and Irish Stew with Guinness Extra Stout. In her book, she tittles them Chicken and Dumplings and Guinness Beef Stew.
At the end of the day, practicing “waste-free cooking” not only saves money, but also saves the environment. As for me, it is also empowering to know that I can now select and cook with inexpensive ingredients.
I read $3 Meals to find ways to cut my food budget, and I have found them, as well as a deeper understanding of utilizing foods that used to be outside my comfort zone. Whether you are a person who cooks for your family every day, or simply during the weekends to entertain, you WILL find $3 Meals a fun and resourceful book. Try out some of the recipes, and I am quite sure you will fall in love with it.
With that in mind, it’s your turn to explore this practical cookbook, and reward yourself for being able to feed your families for about $3 a meal.
This book (or ebook) is available from Barnes & Nobles. To order, just click the link below:
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