Reviewed by Christen Krumm

“Buy cleverly. Waste less. Eat Well.” Fiona Beckett’s The Frugal Cook is not just another cookbook. Throughout its beautifully illustrated pages, Beckett gives suggestions and advice to save not only money but food as well. Beckett offers tips on changing the way you think about food, ways to cut your food bill, using leftovers (not in a scary way), stretching your food, storing your food, and where to shop for the best frugal deals.

My favorite section of the book is where Beckett talks about what to do with the food waste – the food that cannot be used in leftovers – like egg shells and banana peels. After reading about the benefits of a wormery (and the fact that it just sounds cool) I feel like I must find one of these amazing composting contraptions (which upon more research are mostly found in the UK). Another favorite was the information on food storage. Beckett lists the items that you should always have on hand as well as when to make sure you replace them. There are tips to storing leftovers and the needed resources for making a meal from scratch.

In the second half of Beckett’s book, she is all about the food – recipes. Just reading these recipes will make your mouth water! She has sections dedicated to breakfasts and brunches, light lunches and snacks, midweek suppers, big weekend cook-ups, being a frugal host and (I am sure my personal favorite) leftovers – which are not recipes, but tips on using what you have.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the recipes are “doable” as well. So many times I will enjoy reading a cookbook only to find that most of the ingredients are obscure and hard-to find (or way out of my price range). Most of Beckett’s ingredients can be found in your local grocery store, butcher, or at a Farmer’s Market. The one recipe that caught my eye as having “hard to find ingredients” would be the rabbit. I am not sure if that is a meat that your local butcher would have on hand.

With simple, practical tips, The Frugal Cook is a book that needs to be in every library. And in an age of everyone trying to save money, I dare say Fiona Beckett’s The Frugal Cook is a necessary handbook.

Best line: Our grandparents had the knack of making the best use of what they had.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Check out Fiona Beckett’s blog, The Frugal Cook

Christen is an aspiring author, book lover, and coffee drinker. She lives in Arkansas with her superhero husband and 2 mini people. Connect with her at her blog: ChristenKrumm.com or Twitter @christenkrumm

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Absolute Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.