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Dining on a Dime Cookbook Review

Updated on April 25, 2015

One of my favorite cookbooks is Dining on a Dime, by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper. This cookbook is 440 pages, plus valuable indexes, and is full of information regarding cooking, gifts, kids, cleaning, menus, and more. Dining on a Dime is so much more than just a cookbook. I have had this cookbook for over three years now and refer to it often.

One of the first pages shows you how you can save over $10,000 a year. This page lists some of the things that most people buy each week and shows you how much you could save in a year buy cutting those things out. For instance if you were to stop buying that bag of potato chips each week at $2.99 a bag, in one year you would save $155.48. If you were to cut out eating out at $30.00 for a family of four to have dinner once a week, you would save $1560. The authors list 14 things you can cut out each week to total $10,102.73. I think that will more than pay for you to order their book.

Kellam and Cooper devote the next section to the basics of frugal cooking. This section covers menus, freezer tips, snack ideas and tips, time saving tips, meal planning, leftovers and more. Next comes the cookbook part of the book. There are lots of recipes divided into sections of beverages, breakfast, breads, soups and sandwiches, vegetable, beans, pasta and rice, salads, dressings, pickles and dips, meats and main dishes, cakes, pies, candy, cookies and desserts, and miscellaneous recipes. Some of my family's favorite recipes come from this cookbook including Hamburger Casserole, Cinnamon Puff Bread and Chocolate Syrup.

There is a section on substitutions that I like to refer to when cooking. This has saved me a trip to the store many times. Next there is a 30 page section on Mixes, Gift Baskets and Jars. Kellam and Cooper do a great job with ideas for gifts. I personally love to receive consumable gifts such as food baskets, theme baskets and jar mixes.

There is a section on kids stuff with recipes for kid friendly meals and snacks as well as homemade finger paints, bubbles, play dough and more. Shhh, don't tell my kids about all this neat stuff, or I will be stuck in the kitchen until we have tried them all. There is a 32 page section called "Cleaning Cents" that if I remember correctly had originally been a separate e-book. There are lots of cleaning tips in this section as well as exactly how to clean your home. There are recipes for homemade cleaning products that will clean just about anything. The only difference is you won't be using harsh chemicals to do it.

The next chapter is called Pretty for Pennies and also was once a separate e-book I believe. There are lots of tips for more frugal beauty care with plenty of recipes to try. Everything from scented bath bubbles to massage oil. Why should you pay dollars for store bought items when you can spend pennies on the same thing homemade? This makes sense to me.

One of the things I like about Dining on a Dime is the indexes. There are three of them including a tips index, a leftover index and a recipe index. This book is full of random tips on frugal cooking and frugal living, hence the whole index devoted to tips. The leftovers index is very helpful for creating new meals out of your leftovers. There is no reason to let them go to waste with this cookbook.

Kellam and Cooper also have a website called Living on Dime. The website has lots of great articles, a blog, a newsletter and even an ask Jill and Tawra section. These women are well qualified in the art of frugal living and cooking and it shows. Head over to their website for tons of useful information. While you are at it, the cookbook, Dining on a Dime is a great purchase that will be well worth your money.

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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Sounds like a great for everyone to study and save money with. thanks for that

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