Delicious Cooking Within Your Budget

By Ann G.

If you walk the aisles of the Library’s cookbook section (and, at the Central Library, that is several aisles!), you will see a wide range of books with delectable-looking recipes. Truffles, chocolate, caviar, fine wine—it all looks so good, and so out of reach for those of us with normal budgets. But don’t despair—you can eat just as wonderfully with ingredients that won’t break the bank! Here are some books which will give you ideas.

Cover art for Good Cheap EatsIn Good Cheap Eats, you will find 70 sets of three-course dinners, each for $10 or less for a family of four! It can be done, and creatively and deliciously.

Another option for “the time-short, budget-conscious cook” is to use fewer ingredients. In Just Five Ingredients, renowned chef Ainsley Harriott will tell you how to focus in on essentials, and use techniques to make those fewer flavors pop.

Cover art for Make It Fast, Cook It SlowSlow cookers can be great for saving money (and time!), since they do a great job with less-expensive cuts of meat, and less-expensive ingredients like beans. Try the book More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow for surprisingly easy and yummy options!

You can even be budget conscious when preparing vegan and locavore recipes! Take a look at Eat Vegan on $4 a Day and The Locavore’s Handbook for ideas.

Cover art for I [heart] Trader Joe'sAnd last but not least, there is the Trader Joe’s option. If you browse thoughtfully there, you can find high-quality foods at amazingly low prices (true of many stores in our area!). The I [heart] Trader Joe’s College Cookbook shows you how to turn these into amazing meals!

This post is part of The Seattle Public Library’s celebration of Money Smart Week—check out the many programs and resources at a branch near you!

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