Monday, August 6, 2012

Frugal Living Via the Kitchen

It is my belief that a key component of frugal living is the knowledge of cooking.  One need not be Julia Child  to be a success in the kitchen.  Knowing a few basics and feeling comfortable at the stove can save thousands of dollars by avoiding restaurant meals as well as processed food from grocery stores.

My interest in frugal living, combined with a love of cooking has me reading a lot of cookbooks.  All are requested from the library first, and the gems are found used on Amazon and put on my counter.  Recently I read a cookbook that I heard about at my book club; Farmstead Chef by John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist.  It was a great read, but probably not one I will purchase.  Why?  It is a bit too involved for my life.  Eating gluten free plus cooking for a 2 and 4 year old requires a simple approach to meals.  There was one recipe that is a must -- homemade playdough.  Simple, pure, kid friendly, and cheap.  Who doesn't love that!

If you are looking for inspiration to grow your own veggies or make the most of farmers' markets, read this book.  The back story is great; high powered couples flees the rat race of Chicago and buys a bed and breakfast in rural Wisconsin.  Photos, stories, recipes all make for a lovely read for yourself or to give as a gift.

As children head off to college, think about tucking a cookbook in their supplies. I still use the battered Betty Crocker cookbook my mother gave me in 1991 as I embarked on the odyssey of college.  It's one book I still reference weekly.  And those home cooked meals save  my family money, encourage fresh food on the table, and tread a little lighter on planet earth.

What's your favorite cookbook?  For beginners or those up there with Julia Child?  Please share your thoughts, and thanks for reading.

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