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A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes Paperback – 27 Feb 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 521 customer reviews

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  • A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (27 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718178947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718178949
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A terrific resource for anyone trying to cook nutritious and tasty food on a tight budget (Sunday Times)

A plain-speaking, practical austerity cookery guide - healthy, tasty and varied. (Patrick Butler The Guardian)

Prepare to feel very inspired, and very hungry. (Look)

A powerful new voice in British food (Observer)

100 tasty, cheap-as-chips - but much healthier - recipes (Good Housekeeping)

Sassy, political, and cooking amazing food on £10 a week. We need more like her. (Xanthe Clay The Telegraph)

Packed with inexpensive, delicious ideas to feed a family for less (Woman and Home)

About the Author

Jack was awarded the 2013 Fortnum and Mason Judges' Choice Award for the impact that her blog, A Girl Called Jack, has had. She is now a well-known campaigner against hunger and poverty in the UK, weekly recipe columnist for the Guardian, and winner of Women of the Year 2014.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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).
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