Friday, June 10, 2011

$5 Dinners

I came across this site sometime ago, and printed off a few recipes, so I was excited to read the book. Our library did not have it, so for the first time, I filled out a card asking them to order it. Not only did they do so, but they even called me when it came in. Woo-hoo! It was a fun book to browse, but I'm glad I didn't purchase it myself, as it's not one I would refer back to.

The first three chapters detail strategic grocery shopping, coupon usage, and meal planning. Because those topics are of interest to me, I enjoyed reading about them, but I didn't take away anything new. That doesn't mean I implement everything she suggests, but some concepts such as "playing the drugstore game" aren't very feasible in my rural area. (Thankfully, I have a sister who scores many deals this way, and she always shares her surplus with me!)

The remaining 8 chapters share a variety of main dish recipes--vegetarian, all kinds of meat, you name it. The common thread is that they all cost less than $5 to prepare, and are well-balanced in terms of nutrition. Finding new recipes is tricky for our family, because I don't eat any red meat or pork, and Eric is allergic to citrus and tomatoes. So, generally speaking, I can skip over at least half of all recipes in most cookbooks! I copied 4 recipes from this book that I'd like to try: summer pasta salad, chicken and rice salad, chicken potato pie, and roasted red bell pepper rotini.

I really like the concept behind this book, and I often add up the cost of ingredients for meals I'm making, so I appreciate that the author worked hard on developing these dishes and calculations. I recommend that you browse the website, and also that you check to see if your library stocks this book. (And if they don't, why not ask them to order it?!)

I also recently checked out this popular book from the library. I read the first few chapters, and then set it aside for awhile. On the day I planned to make the bread for the first time, I decided I didn't feel like it, and thought "Why force it?" So I took the book back right away. Maybe I'll try it someday--guess I'm just not in the mood right now, though I've read lots of rave reviews about it!


Leah in Iowa said...

The local library is a resource I don't take enough advantage of, although my girls like to check out their movies from time to time. So glad you enjoyed the book without having to purchase it. My cousin has the Artisan bread book - she raved about it and had wonderful results! I considered buying it for myself awhile back, and haven't done so yet. Like you, I'm just not in the mood right now. =) Maybe when Fall rolls around?

Katie said...

Kudos to your local library ~ what service! =)

I'm in the mood for some pasta salads and that red pepper rotini sounds like something I would really enjoy. Better yet if it was inexpensive to make!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I did the same thing with the Artisan Bread book! LOL. Thing is, I've been making bread for years, I only making it, and I don't mind doing it the more time-consuming way. So while I thumbed through the book, I never actually made anything.

Sheila said...

I used to read $5 dinners, but none of her $5 dinners would actually feed my family of 4 - I think she and her husband aren't big eaters and her kids are toddlers or something. I would need to double the recipes for our family (thin husband, average me and 14 and 11 year old girls), and $10 dinners aren't that cheap. :) I liked her lot, just didn't find much to cook on her site. I do like Family Feasts for $75 a week better. I checked it out of the library and then ended up ordering it. If you've never read it, you might enjoy More with Less by Doris Lonacre. There are some beautiful and interesting concepts (religious) in her book in addition to the recipes. I am Catholic, but still appreciated her perspective so much. So it's more than just a cookbook. :) I also have used my Miserly Mom cookbook quite a bit.