My great-grandmother used to say that anyone can cook if they can read. It’s a phrase that I recite often when I am feeling frustrated by my culinary skills.
Just because I can read, however, doesn’t mean I run to the nearest book store to buy the latest and greatest cookbook. I have a few other resources I use to find new recipes for a fraction of the cost:
- The library. Hands down the best place to get recipes is via your local library. They have tons of cooking magazines and cookbooks that you can check out for free.
- Garage sales and estate sales. Cheap, cheap cookbooks. I once got a Better Homes and Garden cookbook for 25 cents at an estate sale (a new one is $20+) and the owner had written lots of notes and additional recipes (which were great) throughout the pages. It was a great find!
- Friends and family. If you eat something at a friend or relatives house and you like it, ask for the recipe! My husband’s grandmothers have given me some tasty recipes that our whole family enjoys.
- The internet. There are thousands of great recipe websites out there. My personal favorites are Food.com and AllRecipes. They let you do ingredient searches so if you’re wondering what to do with pork chops, you can easily do a search. When you can’t afford to go out, I also enjoy CopyKatRecipes and TopSecretRecipes (although not all the recipes are free). They can help you mimic the food from your favorite chain restaurants.
And for you frugal number crunchers out there: SenseToSave has a calculator on her website to figure out how much each meal will cost you to make. This is an especially useful tool if you are trying to entertain on a budget.
How do you find great recipes?