5 Cookbooks that will Help You Save Money in the Kitchen

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I know eating at home is WAY more cost-effective than eating at a local restaurant or grabbing takeout, but I've struggled coming up with recipes that fit my family. Some days, I don't even want to cook! These 5 cookbooks offer loads of simple meals and look like they could be just the thing to push me out of my cooking rut! #eatingathome #cookathome #moneysavingtips #bestcookbooks #favoritecookbooks

I don’t know what it is about a shiny new cookbook that makes me think I can suddenly whip up gourmet magic in the kitchen.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I don’t think I’m a terrible cook {well….I guess you’ll have to ask Joseph on that one!}, but I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. I think I like the thought of me cooking more than actually doing it, if that makes any sense at all!

But I also know that eating at home is WAY more cost-effective than eating at a local restaurant or grabbing takeout. As tempted as I am to rely on the latter, it’s terrible for my wallet. And whenever I feel the pinch of a tight food budget, I know we’ve ate one too many meals outside the home.

So all that to say, I collect cookbooks in an attempt to convince myself that yes, I can cook at home, and somewhat enjoy it too. These 5 have made it to the top of my money-saving favorites, and I rely on them constantly to stretch our meals!

1. Betty Crocker

Whenever I need “back-to-basic” cooking skills, I reach for good ol’ Betty Crocker. I truly believe every homemaker should have a copy of Betty’s cookbook in their kitchen arsenal — she teaches you all about cuts of meat, the ins and outs of eggs, and has some of the best casserole and slow-cooker recipes I’ve tried so far, including my yummy Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

Betty has saved me from many a mishap, and was my go-to resource during those first few years of marriage. Any time I struggled with what to make for dinner, I could usually count on Betty to help me whip up a main dish, a couple of sides, and a bready addition with no trouble at all, and no crazy ingredients!

The publishers usually revise this cookbook every few years, but here’s a link to the latest edition. I was lucky enough to find mine on discount at an Ollie’s Outlet — score!

Cookbooks that Save Money in the Kitchen | Creative Savings

2. Taste of Home Baking Book

Just like Betty Crocker is for cooking, I refer to Taste of Home for the majority of my baking. It’s rare that I find a recipe I don’t like in this huge binder full of goodies, and I love that it’s a one-stop shop for anything baking-related.

After years of searching, I finally found my favorite pizza dough recipe hidden in this gem, and don’t even get me started on desserts — there’s some pretty delectable from-scratch brownies that taste better than the box!

Here’s the Taste of Home edition I have, but you can also get the most updated version instead. It looks like they’ve included a ton more recipes since the update!

Cookbooks that Save Money in the Kitchen | Creative Savings

3. Good Cheap Eats

If you’re not following Jessica Fisher from GoodCheapEats.com, you are missing out on huge meal and money saving inspiration. Jessica inspires me personally to eat from my pantry, create frugal meals, and was the first to convince me I could actually try my hand at some freezer cooking…..and succeed. Needless to say, I was thrilled when she sent me her cookbook a few months ago!

Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or Less is divided into unique sections like, Going Meatless, Make-Ahead Meals, Breakfast For Dinner, etc, and has tons of her awesome frugal tips sprinkled throughout.

I’ve already tried a handful of recipes, but the Seasoned Sweet Potato Oven Fries is by far my favorite. This cookbook is quickly becoming my go-to source when searching for meals to make our ingredients go further.

Cookbooks that Save Money in the Kitchen | Creative Savings

4. The DIY Pantry

Because I gravitate toward quick and simple meals, I often run into some that are not so healthy. The DIY Pantry: 30 Minutes to Healthy Homemade Food is a cookbook that I refer to regularly when I want to make something truly from scratch.

I love how the cookbook is set up with nutritional info for each recipe, difficulty level, cost per serving, and how much time it will take to make. It’s been so much fun to try my hand at homemade oatmeal, ketchup, and other pantry staples, like Homemade Fruit Snacks.

Some recipes end up costing more than a store-bought ingredient, but others are literally pennies to make. Another great way to shave money off that grocery budget!

Cookbooks that Save Money in the Kitchen | Creative Savings

5. Pinterest

Okay, so Pinterest isn’t technically a cookbook, but in today’s digital world, I’m going to make an exception — because I refer to Pinterest for recipes and meal planning ALL the time! Not only does it save me money in buying another cookbook, it means I can curate recipes according to our family’s tastes.

To get the most out of Pinterest, I suggest you create and organize your boards by genre — Appetizers and Snacks, Drinks, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, etc, and then when you find a pin you’d like to try, add it to one of those boards.

Whenever I’m in a meal-making rut, I head to Pinterest and a snazzy photo snaps me back into reality again and gives me confidence that I can actually do this. If I don’t like the recipe, I delete the pin from my boards, and if I do like it, I’ll add a comment with my thoughts. Easy!

Cookbooks that Save Money in the Kitchen | Creative Savings

All the glossy cookbook pages and pretty pins in the world won’t be able to do the cooking for you, but they can at least inspire you to try.

Create an arsenal of your own favorite cookbooks that help save money, so you can rely on them when the grocery budget is tight. Those meals from your own kitchen will taste SO much better knowing you’re saving money towards something more important than a quick stop through the McDonalds drive-thru.

Do you have a favorite money saving cookbook?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I was given a Woman’s Day Cookbook when i got married. It has so many fast and simple recipes plus menu plans in the back. I like to cook but hate the menu planning stage so this was amazing while I was finishing school as a working newlywed. I got married in 1998 and ours has a red and white checkered cover…but a lot of cookbooks have that red and white check. Lol.

    1. You know, I never really thought about that, but you’re right — there WAS a lot of red and white!

  2. I attend a community kitchen freezer cooking group once a month and we get alot of our recipes from the good cheap eats book. Its one of my favourites!

  3. I love my Betty Crocker Cookbook! My Mom had one and I knew I wanted / needed one once I was out on my own. I have a similar Taste of Home cookbook that I love as well. And of course, who doesn’t love Pinterest? 🙂 Great list!

  4. Kalyn,
    I have a Betty Crocker Cookbook that I received as a high school graduation gift, in 1977! Going away to college, my relatives knew that I needed assistance in learning to cook.
    I love your blog and writing. Thank you for presenting such valuable information in a pleasant and easy to read format. Have a great day and nice weekend.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment, Annie! I’d love to browse through an older version of Betty Crocker and see the difference between that copy and current updates. It would be interesting to see what, if anything, had changed!

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