Top positive review
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More than a cookbook, a guide for those who are finding things difficult.
on 1 June 2014
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.