My frugal bookshelf: Delia Smith’s Frugal Food

Delia Smith's Frugal FoodIf anyone ever doubted the awesomeness that is Saint Delia (as I call her), think again. Delia Smith’s Frugal Food is a classic with good reason.

This book was first published in 1976, at a time of inflation, rising prices and world food shortages. Sound familiar? Those problems persist,  but add to those our current issues around austerity, benefits cuts and  the uncertainty around Brexit and you realise that hard times and financial pressures are an increasingly common reality for many people.

This book, with its reliably cheap and tasty recipes, is still relevant. It was actually republished in a glossier format in 2008 but I have a copy of the original, with yellow pages and spillages to testify to its regular use.

There are some recipes I wouldn’t class as frugal nowadays. I think meat and fish may have been cheaper when the book was written so I don’t cook lamb or beef much. However, there are lots of recipes for those on a budget.  My favourites include pork sausages with cider sauce, spaghetti with tuna and olives, bean and lentil chilli, souffle’d jacket potatoes and liver casserole. There are some great puddings too. Classics like bread pudding and spotted dick alongside blackberry cheesecake for the forager.

You can still pick up various versions of Delia Smith’s Frugal Food second hand, but if you use my link to Amazon to make a purchase I will receive a small commission.

7 thoughts on “My frugal bookshelf: Delia Smith’s Frugal Food

  1. I’m currently working my way through all my cookbooks, and selling all those that aren’t exactly what we need and use. I have a huge collection and have never been able to part with them until now, but some will stay and I think this will probably be one of them.

  2. I tend to search the internet for inspiration these days rather than buy cookery books where, invariably, 95% of the recipes won’t be used. When I find a recipe I like I just paste it into a Word document instead and file it away, thus creating my own personal cookery book!
    Jack Monroe’s books are the only ones I’ve bough in ages, but I still tend to go to the website first instead of to the book!

  3. One of the best things about “old fashioned” cookery books like Delia’s is that they don’t have long lists of hard to find ingredients. I’m tied of recipes that need palm sugar, argan oil. ancho chillis etc! It’s not just the cost, but the time to find them and then the space to store them.

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