If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed the same thing I have: Prices are going up. A LOT.
My husband and I do most of our grocery shopping together. After being married to me for nearly 4 years and getting used to my bargain hunting methods, he’s become a pretty savvy shopper. In fact, he was the one who noticed just how much lunch meat prices have increased in the past year. In our local grocery store, the cost of a 9 oz package of store-brand lunch meat has increased by more than $1 – that’s over 30%!
I admit – I was a little doubtful that I would learn much from the book 100 Meals for $5 or Less by Jennifer Maughan. I figured I might pick up a new recipe or two to try.
This is exactly why they tell you not to judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, its title. Here’s what the publisher, Gibbs-Smith, says about this book:
ONE FAMISHED HUSBAND, THREE HUNGRY CHILDREN, rising food costs, and a fixed income could lead to disaster, but Jennifer Maughan successfully navigates the world of grocery shopping by pinching those pennies for all they’re worth. She shows how anyone can creatively survive the onslaught of higher grocery bills and still eat tasty, healthy meals.
This isn’t just a recipe book. It’s a book that will help you structure your grocery shopping and cooking to save money. It doesn’t just give you generalizations like “start a meal plan” or “clip coupons.” This book tells you SPECIFICS. Like how to find coupons in your local ads AND how to decide if clipping coupons is even worth your time.
There are tips on how to cut out wasteful spending and how to stretch your food budget. One of my favorite tips has to do with whole chicken. When I buy a whole chicken, I normally do one of two things with it:
- Break it down into pieces and use the pieces in a recipe (i.e. thighs for chicken strips, breasts for baked chicken, etc…)
- Roast the whole chicken and serve it for dinner
#2 is a delicious and easy dinner. But you can only make a roast chicken so often before it gets boring. #1 is a good option, but kind of a pain in the butt because it takes a lot of time.
It honestly never occurred to me that there was a simple, AWESOME 3rd option that I could do that would save me money and time when meal planning. Any guesses?
100 Meals for $5 or Less suggested taking the whole chicken, throwing it in the crock pot for the day, and viola! Cooked chicken that can be chopped or pulled into pieces and FROZEN to be used in different recipes. For me, that’s a huge timesaver. Having chicken that’s already cooked and ready to go to add as a protein to my meals? Or tossed onto a salad to make a side dish into a meal?
There were lots of other great tips in this book, too. If you’re looking for ways to save your family money at the grocery store and save yourself time in the kitchen, I recommend reading this book.
You can purchase 100 Meals For $5 or Less on paperback from Gibbs-Smith for $12.99
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of Gibbs-Smith for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated, and all opinions are my own.