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The book has a very catchy title for a book on saving money and still eating big. Written by the self-proclaimed “Queen of Greenest”, the premise is to show us all how to feed our family and / or friends for a small amount of cash, the book’s subtitle is “You don’t need to be rich to eat healthy.”

Now I have to say that I am a VERY good buyer. I’m a long-time budget stretcher, so much of this issue is steps I’ve been doing since I have a driver’s license and my mom gave me the job of shopping, who hates going into a grocery store.

I am a coupon collector; I never go into a market without them and after having checked the ads to see what’s on offer to make the most of what I have in my scrap box. I also frequent Costco and use the entertainment book to save money on many necessary items of all kinds. I use them for movies, dinners, gifts, haircuts, dry cleaning (on the rare occasions when I need to), and many other things. But I wanted to see if Jaci Rae could teach me something new.

Most of the book consists of recipes. I love that Rae has included the price of each ingredient to show how she came up with the total and the servings. It is great that you have classified all the recipes in kitchens. They appear to be hearty, somewhat balanced, and varied for all types of diets, allergy restrictions, and tastes. None of the recipes are difficult and time consuming to prepare; In other words, it’s ideal for today’s busy and overworked family nicknamed cooks.

Where I make an exception (sorry Jaci) is that she calls for healthy meals. Too many of the recipes are made primarily with white rice, ramen noodles, tater tots, and canned condensed soups. Yes, these are all very easy and tasty, but healthy? Even soups that are labeled “low salt” and “low fat” are higher than what normal diets should include on a regular basis. While ramen noodle packets are fun and versatile, they also contain lots of salt and preservatives. The amounts of white rice in some of the recipes are astronomical! Hopefully it was a printing error in the prepublished copy, but the recipes called for using 5 cups of uncooked rice for 5 people! Wow, Nellie! Once cooked, this is about 10 cups or more of rice! The amount of protein generally stayed at about 3 ounces per person. Now I am perfectly fine with such a small portion, but I can only imagine what my son and husband would do when served a piece of chicken or steak that size, and my son is watching the weight!

Overall, however, Rae’s book is an excellent book for families who need to keep a tight budget. She gives great tips for stretching a dollar, and again, not just on food. Their recipes are kid-friendly and picky eaters, which is another way to stretch the budget. After all, if no one wants to eat the food, it doesn’t matter how much you save.

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