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 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.