Are you looking for the best frugal cookbooks to help you save money on food? In this post, I’m sharing some of the best frugal cookbooks to help you cook on a budget!
Best Frugal Cookbooks to Help You Cook on a Budget
Do you have a cookbook that you reach for again and again?
Having a cookbook that you love, is a must-have resource to help you save money on food. It will ensure you can always find a great recipe (or many) everyone loves to eat at home.
In case you need to add a cookbook to your home, I wanted to share the best frugal cookbooks to help you find delicious recipes to make on a budget.
The following cookbooks are all about helping you prepare frugal meals, so you can save money on food and still eat great!
18 Best Frugal Cookbooks:
Click on the image or the link to find out more about each cookbook so you can find the perfect budget cookbook!
The Flat Broke Cookbook: Thrifty Meals & Shopping Tips for Tough Times: The Flat Broke Cookbook is about shopping for food with limited funds and still feeding your family tasty and nutritious meals. It assumes you have a bit of money to spend, but not a lot. At the same time, you might be living off the supplies in your pantry or freezer for similar reasons. These recipes are simple and filling to keep you nourished when times are tough.
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day: Created for people who have to watch every dollar—but particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp allotment of $4.00 a day—Good and Cheap is a cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes backed by ideas that will make everyone who uses it a better cook. Plus there are tips on shopping smartly and the minimal equipment needed to cook successfully.
Frugal Vegan: Live a healthy vegan lifestyle without breaking the bank with these 99 affordable and delicious plant-based recipes. Frugal Vegan teaches you how to avoid pricey perishables and special ingredients, and still enjoy nutritious, exciting food at every meal. Learn the tips and tricks to creating plant-based cuisine on a budget and fill yourself up with a delicious feast.
A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes: 100 easy and delicious meals on a tight budget with Jack Monroe’s A Girl Called Jack. Jack is a cash-strapped single mum living in Southend. When she found herself with a shopping budget of just £10 a week to feed herself and her young son, she addressed the situation with immense resourcefulness, creativity and by embracing her local supermarket’s ‘basics’ range. She created recipe after recipe of delicious, simple and upbeat meals that were outrageously cheap.
Plant-Based on a Budget: Toni’s guidance doesn’t just help you save money—it helps you save time, too. Every recipe in this book can be ready in around 30 minutes or less. Through her imaginative and incredibly customizable recipes, Toni empowers readers to make their own substitutions based on the ingredients they have on hand, reducing food waste in the process.
The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Ciarra uses flavorful but less expensive cuts of meat in traditional yet approachable cooking methods and shares her roll-forward technique for creating multiple dishes to maximize your time in the kitchen. You’ll love her keys to budgeting, tips for making items ahead of time, 5-ingredients-or-less seasoning blends and other money-saving pointers.
The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: College students don’t typically have a ton of time, money, or kitchen space to get fancy with their meals, which means good and cheap is the name of the game. This college cookbook makes it easy for students to prepare fresh, tasty, healthy meals for themselves on a budget, with more than 100 recipes that only take 30 minutes to throw together, and only require 5 main ingredients.
Quick and Easy Family-Friendly Budget Recipes: The diverse and delicious recipes in this cookbook all contain very few ingredients and most recipes can be prepared for ten dollars or less for a family of 4 and in some cases, much less! You also do not have to sacrifice your health to eat economically. Everything here is far healthier than TV dinners and fast food—things you’ll be happy to see your family eating and enjoying.
Real Food on a Budget: Transforming, reusing and economizing to provide plenty—these are the principles behind Real Food on a Budget developed during 30 years of kitchen management by Mom of 7, Lana McAra. She reveals her secret formula for creating 4 nourishing meals from a single chicken, 3 meals from one beef roast and 107 ways to use ground beef—including Mock Filet Mignon and Mock T-Bone Steak—as well as dozens of substitutions.
Frugal Cooking with Your Instant Pot: Your Instant Pot® has been saving you time and energy in the kitchen for years and now, it’ll save you money, too! With this impressive collection of recipes, you’ll learn how to make a ton of incredible, budget-friendly dinners in your Instant Pot® that cost next to nothing― just $3.00 or less per serving!
Budget Bytes: Beth’s eagerly awaited cookbook proves cutting back on cost does not mean cutting back on taste. Budget Bytes has more than 100 simple, healthy, and delicious recipes, including Greek Steak Tacos, Coconut Chicken Curry, Chorizo Sweet Potato Enchilada, and Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayonnaise, to name a few. It also contains expert principles for saving in the kitchen—including how to combine inexpensive ingredients with expensive to ensure that you can still have that steak you’re craving. Whether you’re urban or rural, vegan or paleo, Budget Bytes is guaranteed to delight both the palate and the pocketbook.
Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money and Sanity: In Seriously Good Freezer Meals, Karrie shares 150 recipes photos that will change the way you think about freezer cooking. You won’t find your mother or grandmother’s freezer meals here (except lasagna, of course). Her recipes include Morning Energy Bars, Empanada Hand Pies, Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup, Smoky Grilled Louisiana Turkey Legs, and Layered Chocolate Mousse Cake with tons of vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options, too. Plus, she adds a bulk-batch chart for ease in making large quantities of each freezer-meal recipe.
Meal Prep on a Budget: Preparing healthy meals in advance is one of the best ways to keep wellness goals on track while saving time and energy. But how do you keep costs down without sacrificing taste or health? Meal Prep on a Budget is a complete resource for creating balanced, delicious meals that are easy to make and easy on the wallet. Discover clear guidance that breaks down exactly what to buy and how to prepare it―for just $40 per week.
Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: Nicole Hunn has been helping home cooks eat well and on the cheap since 2009. Now, she’s updated her beloved Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, the indispensable guide to simple, inexpensive GF cooking. From chicken potpie to banana cream pie, Nicole shares her recipes for tasty family favorites — all gluten-free, all easy on your wallet. With revised and new recipes, pantry-stocking tips, keys to the best GF flour blends — and of course, more top money-saving secrets.
The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook: With this cookbook, families will find 301 great recipes that almost cook themselves, including Spicy Turkey Meatballs; Hearty Root Vegetable Soup; Pizza Fondue; Crock-Pot Fajitas; Black Bean Lasagna; and more. This comprehensive, all-purpose cookbook is packed with simple instructions, nutritional information, and the amount of money needed for each recipe and makes preparing delicious, healthy, and cheap meals easier than ever before!
Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less: Good Cheap Eats serves up 65 two-course dinners, consisting of a main dish and a substantial side, salad, or soup, all of which take 30 minutes or less to prepare. And as a mother of six and a busy parent, she shows home cooks how to get dinner on the table quickly and inexpensively without relying on heavily processed shortcuts or artificial ingredients. Great for time-pressed couples, families with picky eaters, or singles that need a quick solution to dinner tonight.
Easy Frugal Cookbook: It’s easier than you think to make hearty meals that are tasty, budget-friendly, and nutritious. Discover an easy cookbook that shows you how, with 100 inexpensive family recipes that use basic ingredients, and can be made in just a few steps. This easy cookbook will help you whip up satisfying dishes like Crispy Coconut Drumsticks or Open-Face Turkey Sandwiches for everyone in the house for just $5. All it takes is the right recipe, a few tricks, and a little planning to make the most of your food budget.
There you have it – 18 of the best frugal cookbooks to help you save money and eat at home more! I hope you found the perfect cookbook for your family!
Frugal Tip: Check out the best frugal cookbooks from your library before you invest. Or, take a look at the prices on the used cookbooks from Amazon to save money!
Looking for more ways to save on food? Check these out:
Do you feel as though your grocery bill is starting to get out of control week after week?
Or maybe you have no idea how much you’re actually spending on groceries each week and you find yourself feeling really pinched by the end of the month?
In my opinion, the grocery bill is one of the easiest bills to manipulate. By simply taking the time to learn the money saving tactics that I have listed, you’ll be well on your way to lowering your grocery bill.
Read on to discover how to grocery shop like a money saving pro:
1. Learn the sneaky ways grocery stores get you to spend more.
Did you know that some of the “sales” you see from week to week are just sneaky tactics to get you to buy more?
From the sales, to the grocery cart size, to the layout of the store, grocery stores have learned the best ways to get their customers to spend more than they intended.
In this post, I’ve outlined in detail, several sneaky ways grocery stores get you to spend more.
2. You Need a Grocery Budget.
Having a grocery budget is crucial to lowering your grocery bill.
After all, if you don’t have a budget, you don’t know how much you’re spending or saving!
You need the guideline of a budget in order to help you improve your spending habits and to get you closer to your lifetime financial goals.
If you want to learn how to grocery shop like a money saving pro, menu planning is a must. Not only will it help you lower your grocery bill each week, you will regain so much sanity in your busy life.
By planning a weekly menu, you’ll be using what you already have on hand in your pantry, creating a specific grocery list and avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
Stockpiling, or the Buying Ahead Principle, or another way of terming it, “Buy lots when it’s on sale, so you never pay full price for the things you need”, is one of my favourite way to save grocery money in the long run.
Buying several of the same item when they’re on sale rather than buying one item not on sale, will save you heaps of money.
Another way to save money on your grocery bill is to use a variety of different brands.
When I need a certain product (tomato sauce for example) I always look at all the brands available and choose the one with the best value by taking into account the price and size.
I’ll admit though, sometimes brand does matter to our family. It’s Heinz ketchup or nothing at all!
6. Shop at More Than One Store.
By shopping at a couple of different stores, you have the potential to drastically reduce your grocery bill each week.
If you’re shopping at only one store, you’re most likely paying full price for many items that could very well be on sale at the store just down the road.
Say for example, you need some cheddar cheese. If you bought it from the one grocery store that you always shop at, you’re paying $7.99. But if you drove 2 minutes to Shoppers Drug Mart they have it on sale for $2.99. You just saved yourself $5.00 for two minutes of your time.
7. Look for Markdowns.
Grocery stores mark down items they want to sell quickly.
I’m a firm believer that coupons can save you quite a bit of money on your grocery bill each week.
I know many of you already use coupons so you know the benefits.
But perhaps others of you aren’t sure how to use coupons effectively, don’t see the benefit in using them or don’t know where to find them. Here’s a series I wrote about How to Coupon in Canada that should be beneficial!
10. Price Match to Save Money and Time.
Try price matching to find a really effective way on how to grocery shop like a money saving pro!
Many stores in Canada offer a price match guarantee. They’ll match the advertised sale price of any competitive retailer as long as it is the exact same item and in the current sale period.
They’ll even accept coupons on top! 🙂
If you’ve been wondering how to grocery shop like a money saving pro, I hope that this post gave you hope and a starting point! By implementing the tips provided, you should start to make headway with saving on your grocery bill.
There’s nothing more satisfying than saving money on something that you have to buy on a regular basis, especially when it can be a large percentage of your monthly income!
Menu planning is something I highly recommend. Not only does it save money, lessens the unnecessary stops to the grocery store, but it also makes our life much easier!
Today, I’d love to share with you how to menu plan for the week.
I’m going to give you a system that will ensure you are saving money AND eating well.
While there are various ways to menu plan, what I’m showing you today, has been my tried and true system for the last 15 years.
Regardless of how you may tweak my system to work for your family, the bottom line is, you have to have a plan. Whether rigid or loose, a plan will save you hours of time and hundreds of dollars each year!
Here are the steps on how to menu plan for the week:
Step 1: Take Inventory
Scour the cupboards, the fridge, and the freezer for food items you already have. Use the items that you find as a starting point for your menu. Make a list of meal possibilities from what you find.
Maybe you have some pork chops that you picked up on sale, and you have some vegetables from last weeks shopping trip, and perhaps you always have rice on hand. Right there you could have a meal of BBQ pork chops, rice and vegetables!
By using what you already have, you will instantly start seeing savings on your weekly grocery bill!
As you are going through your pantry, fridge and freezer, mark down any staple items you need to buy more of. If you find you are low on milk, eggs or flour, for example, add these to your grocery list.
I like to jot down all my ideas on a small piece of paper titled ‘menu’ and on the other side I title it ‘grocery list’ to put down everything I need to buy. (I like to have my menu with me when I shop because sometimes I’ll forget why I’m buying something or it helps me remember to buy an item that I may have forgotten to write on my grocery list.)
Step 2: Look through the sale flyers
Quickly look through your flyers to see what deals your local stores have. Jot down on your shopping list, the things that are a great deal and you know your family will eat or use.
If you coupon, now is the time to pull out your coupons to see which coupons will make the sales a great deal. For example, maybe this week No Frills has toilet paper on sale and you also have a coupon. This makes it a no brainer purchase!
I do most of my shopping at Real Canadian Superstore as I find they usually have the best overall prices. Occasionally, I’ll pop over to a different grocery store if I see they have great deals on some things we will use. I don’t like to shop at a lot of stores each week because I find that I will end up spending more than I intended. 😉
When I find a great deal on something we use regularly, I’ll stock up as much as I can. This saves tons of money.
I try to build up a small stockpile of ingredients to work with when planning our meals so that some weeks I only have to buy the basics like milk and fresh vegetables!
Step 3: Finish planning your menu
Once you have taken inventory at home and determined which sales you want to take advantage of, write out your menu with your findings.
At this time in my life I do not plan our breakfasts and lunches.
I only plan for five dinners including side dishes, leaving one night open for leftovers and another for dinner out or a quick bowl of soup.
I also don’t give each meal a specific night to be made since I like to cook for what I’m in the mood for that particular day. I try to have at least one chicken dish, a beef dish, and a pasta dish.
For breakfast, I like to have fruit, cereals, eggs, bread and the ingredients for basic pancakes or French toast on hand. I’ll occasionally buy bacon but that’s usually only if it’s in a dinner recipe I’m using.
Lunches are almost always dinner leftovers from the night before. We rarely let food go to waste!
When you’re first starting out with menu planning, you may want to plan all three daily meals, as you don’t want to forget anything at the store. The less trips to the grocery store, the more money and time you’ll save!
Step 4: Make a final grocery list.
Now is the time when I go over my list to see if I’ve forgotten any pantry staples, milk or items needed for a recipe. I’ll also put all the items into categories according to the store layout. Produce, meats, dairy, canned goods, personal supplies…etc.
Make a list and check it twice!
Step 5: Go shopping!
I recommend going at a time of day when the store is not very crowded and you can take a time to compare prices or mark-downs. I try my best to get to the grocery store before 10:00am on Monday mornings. This is what works for me and I also find the shelves are well stocked on a Monday.
I’ve found that when the store is busy I’m more likely to hurry, therefore, I spend more money or forget something I’ve written down on my list.
You may also want to have a grocery budget and bring cash only. Using cash only forces you to stay within your chosen budget. We tend to get a lot of the same stuff each week so I know that I usually spend $125 each week, give or take.
Other useful menu planning tips:
I like to create simple meals that do not call for a lot of ingredients as this saves on time as well as cash since I’ll most likely always have those ingredients on hand. (soy sauce, spices, etc…)
As you are preparing a meal, you may want to double it to put one in the freezer. It’s always nice to have meals in the freezer you can pull out when you don’t feel like cooking! I do this all the time with Spaghetti sauce and taco meat.
There you have it! That is how to menu plan for the week.
Do you menu plan? If so, what kind of menu planning system works for you (monthly meal plans, weekly plans, loose plans, etc.)?
Menu planning and I have had some ups and downs over the years, due to various life seasons, but I always come back to menu planning because it has SO MANY benefits.
I started menu planning when my husband and I got married way back in the fall of 2007. I was hoping it would make life simpler.
Nearly 15 years later, with mostly consistent planning, I’m finding that it does and I absolutely love it!
If menu planning seems like another chore that you don’t want, today, I’d love to tell you the 5 things that I love about menu planning!
I only shop once a week.
When I was living on my own, if I wanted to make something specific, I would go to the store that day to purchase any ingredients I needed.
If you’re anything like me, a trip to the grocery store for only a couple of things, turns into purchasing many unexpected things. Doing this a few times each week, I was obviously spending more than I needed to by going more than once a week.
With a menu plan in place, I can limit my grocery shopping to once a week because I’ve accounted for all the ingredients and staples I need based on what I already have and what’s on sale.
Less temptation to eat out.
In other words, we save money AND eat healthier by having a menu plan. But because we enjoy eating out once a week or so, I actually factor our meal out into my menu planning so I don’t buy any wasted ingredients.
I have more motivation.
Cooking isn’t my favourite thing to do these days. However, when I have a plan in place, I’ve eliminated a big part of the battle.
I don’t struggle for meal ideas or have any missing ingredients. I can just jump right into meal creation almost thoughtlessly. I almost get excited about making dinner, because I already know what I will be making!
I’ve had quite a few people mention that they struggle with knowing how too afford healthful, whole foods. I’m here to give you some useful tips today that should have you knowing how to save money on whole foods in no time!
When you’re looking to feed your family a healthy diet, the cost of fresh, whole foods can be a bit scary and perhaps a big turn off. Despite what some people tell you, real food is NOT cheaper than junk food. That puts a huge strain on families trying to survive on a budget.
Here are some tips you can put to use right away to help you save money on whole foods:
Visit the Farmer’s Market.
Take a visit to your local farmer’s market for amazing produce deals. Visiting closer to closing time will get you extra discounts as vendors work to clear out stock so they don’t have to pack it up. The local Farmers Market will be packed with locally grown, in season produce.
Start a garden.
Even if you live in the city you can grow some vegetables in pots! If you’re lucky you can grow an entire garden to cut the costs of feeding your family whole foods.
Eat foods that are in season to save money all the while eating whole foods on a budget. Foods that are in season tend to be a great deal cheaper. Preserve foods as they are in season so you can enjoy them all year round.
Look for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or co-op in your local area for great deals on produce, eggs, and even pasture fed meats. A quick google search or asking around with friends should reveal a few options. Most require you to sign up in the winter for the following season.
Do a google search for u-pick farms near you. By picking produce yourself you get a workout, quality family time, and a steep discount on amazing produce to feed your family. Bring the whole family and pick enough to store away for the rest of the year.
Shop in bulk.
Shop the bulk bins at the grocery store for things like grains, nuts, and seeds at a discount compared to buying prepackaged goods. These bins often have sales as well so you can stock up a bit more if the budget allows. In this case, air-tight containers are your friend for storage.
Keep an eye out for manager specials on produce, meats, and dairy. These usually need to be frozen or used right away but with the price, but it’s worth the work. When putting your groceries away place all of your clearance finds in one spot and deal with them that night so you won’t forget about them.
Learn the art of food preservation.
You can take advantage of deals on whole foods by learning how to store them long term. You have several options and doing a combination of them will yield the best results. Great options include freezing, canning, and dehydrating fresh foods for later use.
By implementing these tips, you should start seeing significant savings when you’re eating whole foods. I’d love to know your tips on how to save money on whole foods in the comments below!
It has been years since I have been able to provide you with coupon matchups, but I’m excited to try this less time consuming version!
My intent is to highlight, what I think, are the best grocery deals at major grocery stores across Canada. The deals might use coupons or they might use cash-back apps or even earn you PC Optimum points as well.
I really hope that you enjoy this! If you know of any great deals, please let me know in the comments below!