Book Review – The Credit Crunch Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Clever Ideas for Cooking on a Budget

Book Review – The Credit Crunch Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Clever Ideas for Cooking on a Budget

There is more to spending less on food than cutting back on takeaway and giving up luxuries like decadent desserts and expensive ingredients. The Credit Crunch Cookbook (Hamlyn) offers a collection of recipes and tips to help singles, couples and families save money in the kitchen by wasting less, being more organised and shopping more efficiently.

Cooking on a Budget

Many householders know that they need to spend less on groceries and meals, but it can be difficult to know where to start to cut back on expensive shopping and cooking habits.

Filled with practical, economical recipes and a large collection of tips for reducing waste, being more organised in the kitchen and saving money when shopping for groceries, The Credit Crunch Cookbook is ideal for those who want to make changes to their spending habits, but don’t know how.

Recipes are divided into three sections covering family meals, entertaining and make-at-home restaurant meals:

  • Budget Basics (light meals, main meals, sweet things),
  • Impress for Less (starters, sides, mains, desserts)
  • Dine In (Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese)

Recipes are easy to prepare, featuring readily available ingredients and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. There are no photos of completed dishes. Recipes are generally suitable for both children and adults and include:

  • Beef and ginger salad
  • Spaghetti carbonara
  • Meatballs in spicy sauce
  • Pumpkin and root vegetable stew
  • Chicken and spinach potato pie
  • Steak and mushroom pie
  • Tomato and green been salad
  • Pears with chocolate crumble
  • Caramelized orange and pineapple

Spending Less on Groceries and Meals

There is more to reducing the grocery budget than swapping to cheaper alternatives for favourite ingredients. The Credit Crunch Cookbook includes a collection of practical and easy to follow tips to reduce food waste, increase organisation at meal times and making sure that meals are prepared efficiently.

Helpful kitchen tips include reducing food waste by using leftovers and planning meals in advance. Writing a menu plan and thinking about the amount of food required for each meal can significantly limit waste and thereby reduce grocery costs. Suggestions for using leftover yoghurt, eggs, potato, rice, pasta, bread and cheese for using leftover vegetables and other ingredients are included.

Other tips include reducing food costs by buying fruit and vegetables in season and storing food correctly in the pantry and freezer. There are hints on how to save money by saving energy and water when preparing meals and tips for shopping wisely.

The Credit Crunch Cookbook encourages readers to be organised as well as economical. With planning, the book advises that it is possible to serve a romantic dinner for two for the same cost as an everyday meal and to feed hungry children and picky eaters without blowing the weekly shopping budget on expensive snack foods.

Save Money by Getting Organised in the Kitchen

Ultimately, the best way to save money at home is to be organised and plan ahead in all areas, including buying groceries and preparing meals. The Credit Crunch Cookbook offers tips for preparing a meal plan to reduce unnecessary grocery purchases and includes a sample budget menu for a weekly meal plan, romantic dinner for two and a dinner party menu for no-fuss entertaining on a budget.

The Credit Crunch Cookbook contains more than 100 recipes and numerous tips for better household budgeting. It is a practical resource for all homes and is an ideal housewarming gift for a new homeowner.