This review brought to you by: Lisa We’ve been hard at play for the past 9 years homeschooling in the Sunshine State. Our blessings range in age from 13 years to 24 months. Lisa blogs at Homeschool Circus .
A Joyful Momma’s Guide to Shopping and Cooking Frugally is a collection of tips and tricks gathered over the years by author Kimberly Eddy.
I especially wanted to review this book because it was recently revised to include tips on budgeting meals for families with teens.
“Though the amounts spent on groceries has changed – the principles on how to save money stay the same.”
Also included in this 2nd edition are printables such as: a menu planner, printable checklist for creating your own menu plan and master shopping list, and a handy printable chart for using seasonings and spices while cooking.
Kimberly’s suggestions turned the light bulb on for me in several areas that greatly helped the overall picture of our household.
“I learned from an older lady that I am in a unique position two make my husband feel like the poorest man on the planet even if he earns a good wage, simply by desiring more and more. On the other hand, I can also make my husband feel like a rich man when I check my attitude. I can be blessed and thankful for the plenty he does provide…..Let me give you an example. When I purchase frugal groceries I can either slop a pile of flavorless rice and beans onto a plate, or I can prepare an elegant meal out of properly seasoned and prepared staple foods such as rice and beans, and present it at the table in such a way that those sitting at the table can’t wait to eat.”
Walking you through making a basic menu plan alongside your calendar, Kimberly explains this helps you to not schedule “heavy prep-time” meals on days when you have out of the home activities. Which means you’ll need an easy meal for those days and can plan accordingly.
This brings me to the section on convenience foods where instead of driving the reader completely away from them comments that there are times to utilizes these foods.
“Knowing how to do things “the old fashioned way” gives us huge freedom to decide how and where to save a few pennies to a few dollars when preparing a meal”.
“Being free from the tyranny of processed foods is about more than forgoing boxed mixes, canned soups and the like. It’s about being able to chose where to pinch a penny and where to spend a little bit more to buy some extra time on something more important.”
The author also shares from her heart and is very frank about her health and finances.
To keep from overspending, she encourages you to buy your groceries with cash AND then to save any leftover amount in a separate bank account for debt reduction, Christmas fund, etc.
She also encourages the reader to “just remember to keep portions to the size of your fist and make the best food choices you are able to afford.”
So – being a frugal minded Mom myself whose family lives on one income, I frequently get defeated by the lack of flavor of my frugal bean dishes. Bland and boring, who can blame my family for asking for meat?!
I had one of those ‘lighbulb’ moments reading how to correctly season foods with various herbs, spices and non-MSG based seasonings. (I didn’t know non-MSG based chicken seasonings even existed!)
She also explains how to make a “mirepox” to improve flavor. I gave this one a whirl and it made a tremendous difference! While the family doesn’t beg for these bean dishes, at least now they are eaten without complaining!
Other topics include:
Buying in Bulk
Buying Meat (Store vs. Market)
Make Your Own Convenience Foods
Food Allergies, Health and Weight Management on a Tight Budget
Couponing Simplified (start with ONE thing)
Plus 40 pages of recipes utilizing the 10 most frugal foods!
One last tip from the book….what to do with those expired coupons? Did you know they can be donated to the troops? Seewww.couponstotroops.com
Please visit www.joyfulmomma.com for this and more great homemaking resources AND free printable coupons.
I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review!