Looking to improve your skills in the kitchen this year? Here are my 10 favorite cookery books for becoming a better cook while on budget.
You’ve herd the phrase ‘Some times you need to spend to money to make money’ right? Well sometimes that’s also true when saving money. While I do consider myself a very competent cook and I while I’m fab at sticking to a super tight food budget, I’m not always the best at cooking the most frugal meals. My husband is some-what of meat fiend and after years in the pub and restaurant trade my repertoire tends to revolve around dishes that are a bit more upmarket and therefore often using more costly ingredients, usually steak, cream and butter among other things.
So, I’m not too proud to admit that sometimes even I need a little nudge in the right direction when comes to doing better when cooking budget meals. It’s great to get some new ideas and inspiration and there’s honestly nothing I enjoy more than curling up with a good recipe book and jotting down the new dishes I want to add to our meal plan.
Investing a little bit of money in one or two of these cookery books could actually save a fortune in the long run, as you become a savvier cook and even cut back on the takeaways because your curry now actually tastes better than the one from the local Indian.
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1. The Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
The Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook is full of recipes that use ingredients that can be bought from budget supermarkets Lidl and Aldi. As more and more of us switch to shopping at these two discount giants over the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s there can still be drawbacks when certain ingredients aren’t available and we end up doing a mini shop elsewhere. Author Amy Sheppard decided that it was our recipes that needed to change rather than the supermarkets themselves and aims to inspire budget cooking without the need to shop around.
2. A Girl Called Jack
A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe has almost become classic in terms of cookery books, along with other notable cooks such as Delia Smith and Mary Berry. Ask most people for the best budget cook and Jack’s name comes up. Her own struggles with food poverty and having a young child to feed are what inspired this book and she continues to champion food related causes in the U.K. Her recipes make the absolute best of the most basic of ingredients and will hopefully inspire you to cut back your spending without cutting back on flavour.
3. The Takeaway Secret
The Takeaway Secret aims to provide recipes that taste as good as (if not better than) ordering food from your local Takaway. It covers all types of cuisine including Kebabs, McDonalds Burgers, Chinese food and Mexican. Author Kenny McGovern spent years perfecting each of his recipes and many people have been converted to making them at home rather than ordering in. While there may be some initial cost buying in lots of herbs and spices that you might not already have, these will cover a great many meals in the long run. Apparently the KFC chicken recipe has become a firm favorite with many readers.
4. Save With Jamie
I do feel like it’s almost become a little bit fashionable to hate Jamie Oliver in recent years. However, there’s no denying the influence he’s had, not only on our food but on popular culture too. I remember watching the series and when it was first on television and while his idea of ‘budget’ cooking isn’t quite the same as mine, this could be a good place to start, especially if you are used to eating more upmarket foods. One of my favourite tips from the series was to cook loads of extra cheap bits like roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings when doing a roast dinner and keep back more of the meat of another day.
5. Eat Well for Less – Family Feasts
Eat well for Less is one of my favouite foodie shows – I usually end up shouting at the television over the obscene amount of money some families are spending on food. While I do think in some cases they could actually do even more to help the families save (no apps or coupons?) I still enjoy watching the hosts help people save and improve their spending habits. This book that accompanies the show aims to build on what families are taught with plenty of recipes for feeding the whole family on a budget and being healthy too.
6. Save Money Good Food – Family Feasts for under a Fiver
Save Money Good Food is another of my favourite foodies T.V shows, possibly because I do rather like chef Matt Tebbutt. Taking money saving to a new extreme, Matt and co host Susanna Reid can often be found rummaging around the families food waste bin and making meals out of what they find there. This show focuses on wasting less, cooking smarter and loving your leftovers, all things I am massive fan of. This accompanying book is full of easy, simple to follow recipes that are sure to become family favorites in no time.
7. One Pound Meals
One Pound Meals are designed to not only save money but save time too. Miguel rose to fame via his Instagram where he began sharing his meals and giving his followers the confidence to get cooking. One of the biggest thigns that appeals about this book is many of the recipes are designed for just one person – perfect if you live alone, but also easy enough to double and even triple as needed.
8. Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites
Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites –while the recipes in this book may not be the thriftiest I couldn’t do a round up on budget cookery books without including something about slow cookers, which are a time and money saving device in themselves. They are also fab for batch cooking and freezing as well bunging full of leftovers for an easy dinner. If you need some slow cooker inspiration then look now further than this book from the BBC’s Good Food team.
9. Tiny Budget Cooking
offers practical recipes for those on a super tight budget, with inspiration drawn from around the world. It also offers a simple, yet flexible approach to cooking as well as providing suggested shopping lists for the recipes included. Of the all the books featured in this list, this one has the best customer rating on Amazon.
10. The Student Cookbook: Easy, cheap recipes for students
is perfect for if your son or daughter is off to uni for the first time and you’re worried about them cooking for themselves. Packed with easy to follow, basic recipes this book also helps with budgets and lists in detail every ingredient needed for each dish.