Dining on a Dime review and giveaway

I had the opportunity to review a copy of Dining on a Dime by Tawra Kellam and her mother Jill Cooper. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a giveaway.

Dining on a Dime is packed with tips for saving money in the kitchen. A lot of money-saving books are for beginners, but this one is not. I picked up several tips, such as:
  • Serve smaller portions.
  • Freeze small portions in plastic wrap-lined muffin tins, then remove and store in plastic bags.
  • A full freezer uses less energy to stay cold and will stay cold longer if there is a power outage. Fill up your extra space with water-filled milk jugs.
  • Add a few tablespoons of ground beef to a freezer bag each time you fry some up. Soon you will have enough for a "free meal."
  • A dunk in cold salt water will keep apples from browning.
There is a whole page of snack ideas, which I love because I'd love to cut down on the number of storebought snacks we eat. There is also a leftover index, so you can look up foods you have around and find ideas for using them. Perfect!

There are recipes for laundry detergent, laundry pretreatment, baby wipes, and several different cleaners. There is also a "how to clean" section by room in case you're feeling lost—I know sometimes I just don't know where to start (or don't want to start!), and a list helps me get going.

There is a section on mixes (baking, dressings, etc) and gift baskets, too. I guess the question is not what is in this book, but what isn't in it?

As with most homemaking books, the authors' style here doesn't always match my own. There are some tips and recipes I probably wouldn't try. But there are so many great ideas, and I gleaned enough inspiration from the book, that I feel it was worth my time.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to save a bit of money. I would also recommend it to anyone who needs a good basic cookbook—I was really impressed by the wide range of basic and creative recipes I found here, and at 480 pages (including a good index), it gives any cookbook a run for its money. Plus, what mainstream cookbook is going to tell you how to make soft margarine and peanut butter?


Tawra Kellam is giving away one copy of Dining on a Dime to one of my readers. To enter, leave a comment with a favorite kitchen or money-saving tip.

Giveaway is for your choice of hard copy or PDF ebook (hard copy ships to US only). Winner will be chosen by random.org. Ends Wednesday February 8.

Be sure to check out Tawra's blog, Living on a Dime.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for hosting this give-away. One way that we have tried to save money in our home is by using a wood cook stove. I cook EVERYTHING in or on it...as well as heat water to wash dishes...and dry clothes on a dryer rack in front of it in the winter. Our electricity bill has decreased dramatically! Again, thanks for the give-away!

    God bless,

  2. I hesitate to enter since I won your last giveaway but I can't resist. I would love this book right now. Hey, I was just looking up simple snacks that can be made at home to replace the store bought like homemade wheat thins, homemade fruit snacks and such. I also just made my first batches of homemade laundry detergent and dish detergent yesterday. This book would be wonderful right now.

    A kitchen tip which isn't super unique is just cooking meat and poultry all at once. I cook chicken in the crock pot and shred it and freeze. I also cook all of my ground beef at the same time and freeze in dinner sized portions. It makes meal time go so much more quickly.

    A money saving type, I love savvyshopperdeals.com to let me know what the best deals are for the week.

  3. Sounds like a fabulous and very handy book to have around. SO glad I stopped by today!!!

    Ok, here's my kitchen tip. I don't like to tear lettuce up for salads, to me it takes too long. I'd rather cut it, but using a metal knife will turn your lettuce edges brown. Instead I use a plastic knife that I got from Albertsons. It's one they give away with the bakery birthday cakes. It has a serrated eddge, great for chopping lettuce, and the plastic doesn't turn the lettuce brown.

  4. Sounds like a great book! One of my kitchen tips (and it's definitely something we've talked about before) is to cut up veggies and fruits right after I buy them, so they're ready to eat at a moment's notice. I try to do the same thing with meat; having precooked frozen meat saves me time and stress at dinnertime.

  5. My favorite money-saving tip is to fill up your freezer. It also saves a lot of time when you don't want to or don't have time to cook.

  6. My biggest things in the kitchen to save money are to eat less meat (use less than called for in recipes and more meatless meals) and to buy generic brands.
    snookums06 (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. hmmm... a kitchen tip. I buy spices and herbs in bulk, then use that to fill smaller jars in my cupboard and keep the rest in the freezer.

    Also, the best way to slice cinnamon roll dough is with dental floss.

  8. Oh wow!! I would love this book! It sounds amazing! I save money around the home by cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. I also love buying things on sale at the grocery store and freezing them for later.

  9. My money saving tip? Stay away from online and brick and mortar stores unless you know exactly what you are going to buy.

  10. Sounds like a really great book to add to the home library. One money-saving tip that I have is to create a menu for meals. I have recently renewed this practice in our home and it saves time, money, and my sanity.

  11. Sounds like a great book. One thing that I do is make sure that our menu has easy things that both my husband or I can cook. That way, when one/both of us is super tired, both can quickly make whatever is for dinner.