When I first picked up this book I was sceptical about it saving any money. It is big and glossy with a lot of nice colour photos. But Save with Jamie is a useful addition to my frugal bookshelf, with some lovely recipes. Here is my Save With Jamie review.
Can this book help you save money?
What would Jamie Oliver know about saving money, you might ask? He has never had to live on a very tight budget. I am sure this is true, but he does know how to run a kitchen for profit so is aware of ways to reduce food waste. He is also a creative chef, which means some of the recipes presented in this book are very different from anything else I have come across.
Puff pea and potato pie, squash houmous, aubergine daal, and savoury Japanese pancakes are on my hit list to try. I regularly use Jamie’s saag aloo and hit and run tray baked chicken already.
Love your leftovers
I like the way the book is organised, with a key recipe for, say pork, with lots of ideas about how to use the leftovers. Alternatively he will take an ingredient, such as squash or chicken stew, and give you four ways to use them.
There are pages aimed at preventing food waste spread throughout, which is great for the budget cook. What to do with stale bread, dripping and leftover wine (as if!) are useful sections.
There is a chapter on smart shopping, which won’t tell you anything you don’t already know if you already shop on a budget. We know we need to meal plan, shop with a list and not go to the supermarket when hungry.
However, his chapter on the freezer is good. I find the sensible use of mine to freeze leftovers, home grown fruit and veg and yellowsticker bargains does save money.
I also like the cheap and simple ideas in the bonus recipe section.
Occasionally the ingredients pose an issue for the truly frugal cook, however. For example, lamb is too expensive for many families on a budget and beef is reserved for high days and holidays in our house. Salmon is also not likely to be on the poor cook’s shopping list often.
Despite this though it is overall a bumper book full of delicious looking recipes. Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less would be a very nice present for a young couple moving into their first home I think. If you can get it at a decent price it is worth having.
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