How many mothers with limited income struggle to feed their families dishes that are both tasty and wholesome?
Enter The $5 Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, and Nourishing Meals That Are easy on the Budget and a Snap to Prepare by Erin Chase.
The author is the original $5 mom. She wrote The $5 Mom Cookbook, created the website 5dollardinners.com, and has shared her money-saving tips on the Rachael Ray Show and The Jean Chatzky show on Oprah Sirius Radio.
She’s also a wife and mother of three who knows first-hand the challenges of getting a family out the door every day with something better than a sugary donut.
Chase starts with ideas for saving both money and time that anyone can use – from strategies for grocery shopping, coupon clipping, batch cooking, meal planning, to creating make-ahead bake mixes and freezer-friendly foods. She even gives sample cooking plans for batch making that includes one-hour prep plans and ideas for time-saving tasks you can do while you’re prepping dinner, such as baking biscuits for breakfast or assembling lunch boxes.
Then it’s onto the recipe portion of the book, which the author divides into three parts: Breakfast, At Home and On-the-go (cereals; eggs; breads; tacos and sandwiches); Lunches At Home and On-the-go (sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas; soups and hot lunches; Pasta salads and garden salads; side salads and side dishes); and Snacks.
Each recipe is laid out in an easy-to-read format. Every ingredient has a cost (e.g. 1 cup flour .20) and every recipe has a total cost as well as a frugal fact (e.g. mint grows well in the garden). Appendix A offers suggestions for stocking the pantry; Appendix B lists cooking gadgets to make cooking easier; and Appendix C has online resources, especially for coupons.
On first read, The $5 Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook may seem a bit daunting to the uninitiated. However, you don’t have to do everything Chase suggests at once. I started with just a few strategies and recipes and my grocery bill (and stress level) started to immediately fall. If you take your time with this excellent cookbook, you’ll find yourself saving money and time and feeding your family better. What’s not to love? — BH