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148 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't thank enough
I followed Jack online, but having no money to buy a new printer for her recipes, the book was a much better financial option. All her recipes are budget friendly, allowing the financially pinched and those who just want to cut down an opportunity to do so. A fair number of Jack's methods are wonderful to get the kids involved in the lost art of home economics. Learning...
Published 11 months ago by Serena

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but wine and oven baking on £10 a week....? Really?
I borrowed this from the library, as we can't afford to buy books just now. I've read through it, and whilst some recipes are very interesting, the ones requiring baking things in the oven made me wonder how one is supposed to afford the fuel to use the oven? We rarely use our oven these days, because we cannot afford the fuel to run it. We cook from scratch every...
Published 6 months ago by Jane Louise


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148 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't thank enough, 28 Feb. 2014
By 
Serena (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
I followed Jack online, but having no money to buy a new printer for her recipes, the book was a much better financial option. All her recipes are budget friendly, allowing the financially pinched and those who just want to cut down an opportunity to do so. A fair number of Jack's methods are wonderful to get the kids involved in the lost art of home economics. Learning to knead bread and melt chocolate, prepare hummus and blend vegetables for soups. A well seasoned cook I may be amongst family and friends alike, but our finances are not what they were like millions of others.
Children, homes and fuel are as ever more expensive, food is one area to save, but there is little point if no one will eat the cheap fair you can present on a table. Not so the case when following these recipes. This beautiful and well written book has opened my eyes to traditional food with modern takes for those wishing to be financially economic during 2014.
There are both sweet, savory, light and filling meals, plenty of photographs to indulge the eyes over. Jack's personal story at the start, flowing through 100 recipes to her her much happier life experiences now.
Jack has become someone to look up to, from those who, like myself many, many moons ago, came from wondering if having the heating on was worth the financial ramifications and final demands from the council tax office later that month. Struggling to look people in the eye lest they know you were living off jacket potatoes and cheap ice cream so you could buy that extra blanket to keep warm.
Jack has been there too, and I am thrilled that she has made it through poverty and come out still smiling. This book is truly inspiring on all levels.
Long may her cooking career and campaigning against poverty continue.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, but not foolproof., 19 Mar. 2014
This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
I am a massive fan of Jack's. She has worked wonders on a low budget and I find her inspirational. I was really looking forward to this book and I have now cooked a number of recipes from it.

The recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients are the sort of things we all have in our cupboards. Nothing is hard to find - unsurprisingly all ingredients are available at your local supermarket, no specialist retailer required. All easy to follow and mostly very tasty. I must admit my children are obviously not quite so good with veg as Jack's SB and there are a few recipes that they won't touch such as the Aubergine Curry and Mushroom Chasseur, but on the whole a family friendly book.

However, I don't feel that it has been double or triple tested as thoroughly as some of my other cookery books. You know if you use a Delia recipe it will work. I have had to adjust a few of the recipes I have cooked. Before everyone jumps on me, I know Jack is not a professional chef and I know she typed the book on her phone etc. I'm not having a go - Penguin have published the book and surely its down to them to test. For instance - the bread recipes - most use a 7g sachet of yeast for 200g - 300g of flour. Half would do - 7g is the amount generally needed for 500g of flour. I've made the brunch loaf and garlic and herb loaf. The garlic one needed much less liquid, the chickpea one more. The not meatballs didn't stick together very well - I blended the mixture a bit to help. The amount of rice per person in the risotto recipes varies - I stuck to my usual amount of 75g per person (and am afraid that I will stick to short grain rice - long grain doesn't work for risotto, sorry). I think Jack is an instinctive cook and probably each recipe is a little different each time she cooks and she has written the recipes as she would write them for a friend.

BUT, I do like it. I would recommend it. I think there's a some good ideas there, good ways of using up leftovers, good advice on shopping. They are, mostly, healthy recipes. Quick and easy to make, from store cupboard items. It is an ideal book for students - especially as a lot of the recipes serve 2 (one thing I have to take note of - I'm so used to recipe books serving 4). It will be going to uni with my daughter in September - albeit with my scribbled notes over it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unlike some others this is about true frugal living, 14 April 2014
I admire Jack Monroe. Her blog post Hunger Hurts is enough to upset even a miserable git like me. When I was a child there were times when my parents had very little money and I am pretty sure they skipped the odd meal to keep us boys clothed and fed.

Jack Monroe hasn’t been content to concentrate on her family now is gradually moving away from abject poverty. Instead she campaigns about food poverty. Nobody should be without regular food. This book will not stop food poverty. What this book can do is help you think about the way you shop, where you shop and most importantly what you buy. Given how tight my family finances are this book is very welcome at the moment.

There are some great pieces of advice in this book as well as the recipes. Woody herbs like Rosemary are almost impossible to kill even on a windowsill if they are kept damp. Growing chili plants is also great, not only in terms of flavour but also because they have some great health benefits too. Pickling leftover vegetables and freezing breadcrumbs are also great ways to save money and waste less. There are other similar tips in this book.

Soups are great. Even small children who don’t like vegetables will eat soup. My 6yr old loves bean soup without the beans. We blitz the whole soup so he is getting them. Don’t forget that those beans and pulses are sources of protein. There are not a lot of meat recipes in this book because meat is expensive and if you are on a very tight budget it is only ever a treat. There are plenty of breads to make and a surprising number of recipes packed with flavour. This is not a book for a dessert lover though. There are a few and they reflect the same ethos as the rest of the book. Some nice cheap jam for the sweetener is something I’m keen to play with.

These recipes are all quite simple to make. There are few ingredients, few utensils and not many steps to follow. This would be an ideal present for somebody just leaving home and learning to fend for themselves.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a cookbook, a guide for those who are finding things difficult., 1 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. K. A. Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
I want to write this review so people can understand what this book is and what it is not, so forgive me if it seems to ramble a bit but it is quite essential to get the point across.

A few years before Jack went to her local supermarket to buy one of each of everything in the budget range I did exactly the same thing. I found what was edible and what was not. The aim of course was to be able to eat cheaply, the reason was my debts were exceeding my income to the point where it was getting hard to eat. I managed it, sort of. I have to say that no matter what folks say about supermarkets, in reality the service they are providing with their budget range puts them close to being some sort of Saviour to many of us. I know that comment is going to be a bit controversial, but when your belly is empty and your pocket not far behind then you really start to feel like a kid in a sweet shop when presented with cheap goodies. The fact I did it, and Jack did it, leaves me to believe many others must be trying the same.

But what I did not have was Jacks ability to cut the cost whilst upping the nutritional value at the same time. Her ability to substitute one ingredient for a cheaper one whilst in many cases upping nutritional value makes this book well worth while. Her other trick is to recreate and fix stuff that is both lacking in nutrition and expensive by making them more affordable and healthier by cooking not-quite-from-scratch. Sure, you could make it more nutritional, or even better tasting, but not in the same sort of budget constraints. This is really about cooking as cheap as possible and keeping or upping that nutrition as much as possible.

Her recipes are better tasting than the budget foods in supermarkets, cheaper and more nutritional.

She does this whilst still keeping to simple cooking tactics, the easier it is then the more likely she, and you, and me are going to make it time and time again.

Of course, if you were to throw money at a recipe you could find better. But if you have never walked into a supermarket knowing exactly how much money you have to spend, and wondering how you are going to pull off a miracle of biblical proportions then you are probably not going to understand. I am not going to go too far into political stuff, the book does not so why should I, and there is hundreds of personal reasons why folks need the budget nutrition this book offers. So it does not matter really if your benefits have been stopped, or you have miss spent, or made some bad life decisions, hunger tends not to care and neither does this book.

If you buy budget food get this book. It will reduce your spending and also up the quality of your meals. It goes without saying that if you notice one of your relatives buying lots of budget food then it is also worth buying this book and asking them if they want to borrow it. Honestly, after being there myself, this would be the best gift anyone could give anyone stuck on budget food.

To the folks that can fund any recipe in almost any celebrity chef book, or if you can afford organic everything from the most expensive section of the supermarket for every meal, this one is probably not for you unless you want to buy it to give to someone else. To the folks looking at a cupboard wondering how they can make their food stretch, this book is for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some lovely recipes but..., 7 Mar. 2014
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I was full of admiration for Jack's 'take the bull by the horns' approach to her financial situation and finding myself approaching the retirement age I felt that I too, will have to make substantial savings in the coming years.There are some great ideas for shaving the cost of your shopping bill, substituting ingredients and 'making your own' pizzas, burgers etc as well as more 'grown up' recipes. However I do question 13 pages of home baked breads and wonder if, at 40 minutes a go, whether the fuel used in the cooking is counted in the food budget or is it just the ingredients. I don't think I could budget for Jack's regime for £10 a week in my part of the country but I'm sure that some of her tips will prove valuable.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, easy and affordable, 6 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
I pre-ordered this book weeks ago and couldn't wait til I got my hands on it - and the wait was worth it. Firstly, it contains recipes for food I actually fancy eating. Secondly, none of the recipes are labour-intensive, and since I have ME/CFS, this is a vitally important consideration. Thirdly, (also vitally important since the DWP cut my sickness benefit to £0.00, with only my NI contributions paid) the recipes are all affordable, with ingredients you don't have to hunt down at specialist shops (I'm sick of recipe books saying "You can find X in your local supermarket" - not in mine you can't!). The ingredients are also interchangeable, so by buying a packet of one item, you can use it in several of the recipes.
I've already made 4 of the recipes and devoured the results. In the next few weeks, I'll be working my way through still more, and enjoying every minute.
The book is colourful, bright and very readable, as well as being practical. Well done all round to the team who produced it. We need more like this!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 23 Mar. 2014
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I bought this having discovered a new love of cooking and a sudden decrease in money!
It's well laid out and the ingredients are simple, with mostly store cupboard or freezer favourites. The first recipe I tried was the fish paste pasta, it wasn't a great success as I used low fat yogurt and it curdled...yuch. We preserved and cooked the Coke chicken and Car-brie-nara both were delicious and very cheap.
I'm not sure we'll be down to spending ,£10 a week but certainly cutting our weekly shop significantly.
Jack succeeds where Jamie Oliver and others have failed, by actually using cheap ingredients.
I hope there is a follow-up book.
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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - lives up to the reputation, 27 Feb. 2014
By 
John W Pennell (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
I am a great admirer of Jack and all that she has done and what an inspiration she is to us all.

Her recipes always work and to get 100 in a book is amazing - just what is needed. None are complicated and all of us can make them without trouble. What's more they cover all the different types of food and all times of day. It is so different to those TV cooks to whom cooking on a budget means buying the Big Satan's finest pork instead of buying it from a rare breed farm outlet.

There are some handy tips on how to shop and what to keep in the cupboard and what you need to cook with - all eminently sensible BUT I do feel she could have passed on more of her undoubted expertise in this field.

Pay heed to her bread recipes - they are quirky and very good - not found elsewhere - and of course she tells you exactly how to do it.- there are easier ways but hers works. If all that kneading is too much look at the Atomic Shrimp website.

I simply cannot tell you just how good this book is and how grateful I am to have got it. Arrived first thing this morning and everything else was put to one side while I devoured it. I look forward to devouring all the delicious food she has described (I have tried a fair few that were in her blog so I KNOW they work.

Well done Jack - BRILLIANT.

EDIT : some surly person has been through all the excellent reviews made of this book and marked each one with an unhelpful tick in the box to "no this review wasn't helpful". Amazing. This occurred at about 5.45 p.m. on 27th February - wonder what his/her agenda was?
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and inspiring, 27 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
A great recipe book filled with yummy, easy and fast meal ideas. Each recipe has an introduction by Jack and tips for trying different combinations and the photography is beautiful. I really like the way each recipe uses just a few ingredients and the book covers everything from veg to fish to puddings. I got Jack's soda bread recipe from her blog and it is so easy, using just 4 ingredients, so I am really pleased she has published a whole book.
I still find 'Hunger Hurts' upsetting to read (and so I should, with half a million people in the UK relying on food banks).
I'm inspired by the way Jack has used her immense talent and wit to raise awareness of food poverty and encourage people to cook. This will be an essential book in my kitchen.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the hype!, 27 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes (Paperback)
Like the other reviewers, I have followed Jack's blog for some time, often peering at my iPhone's tiny screen while recreating her recipes. I am very excited to have 100 of them in one book, complete with beautiful photography. The sausage and beer casserole is bubbling away on my stove as I type - unbelievably easy to throw together in between working, cheaper than a ready meal and infinitely more satisfying. I intend to cook Avoglemono tonight for my picky toddler and I know it will all disappear!

Inspired by Jack and her tireless campaigning against hunger and poverty, our family has decided to set ourselves a strict budget for a month and cook our way through this book. We will donate the difference between this and what we usually spend to a foodbank. I don't think it's going to be much of a sacrifice as we will be very well fed by Jack's creative cooking... Who knows, maybe this will become a long-term commitment?

Even if you have never heard of Jack (and politics aside), this cookbook stands on its own merits and delivers exactly what it claims - delicious, imaginative and easy recipes on a budget. However, these are not recipes you cook because you have no other options, these are meals you really really want to eat.

I can't resist the smell of that casserole any longer, where is my fork....
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A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes
A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes by Jack Monroe (Paperback - 27 Feb. 2014)
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