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Review and Giveaway: Family Feasts for $75 a Week – NOW CLOSED

Posted By Jessica Fisher On December 15, 2009 @ 11:40 am In Book Review,Promotions | 388 Comments

Congrats to Abby [5]!

Every once in a while you come across a book that just “covers it all” on the topic at hand. It’s a book that prompts you to think, This is all I need to know. Now, I realize that is perhaps a slight exaggeration. We can’t know everything about everything. But, I think there are some excellent books out there that cover the basics on a lot of homemaking and family management fronts. I’ve kind of made it my mission in life to find them. Basically because I need all the help I can get.

And for the last 12 years, since we moved to one-income, I’ve worked to reduce our grocery spending [6] so that we didn’t have to take out a loan to pay for our baguettes [7] and Brie cheese. We’re gluttons foodies around here, so good food is definitely a priority for the FishFam. But there are ways to play the game smarter and more economically.

This book, Family Feasts for $75 a Week [4], tells you everything I would tell you about reducing your expenses — and then some. I read it earlier this fall and was so encouraged by the information that author and blogger Mary Ostyn [8] imparts to her readers. It helps that she’s a mom of ten children, feeding her family on a modest income. Her recommendations are based on spending $75 a week for a family of four. Now, isn’t that motivating? Reading this book is like sitting at the feet of an experienced mom who is sharing all her secrets. Love that!

In thirteen chapters, Mary tackles the pursuit of frugality, the ins and out of grocery shopping, efficiency in the kitchen, and entertaining on a budget, as well as every meal course of the day. The book includes over 200 recipes! Each chapter features action points at the end, reminders about the content of the chapter as well as goals to set for yourself in improving your food spending habits.

While I’ve been working at this “frugal cooking” thing for a while, several things hit me as fresh and new. Why have I never kept a price book? I dunno. I’m pretty geeky with numbers, but I’ve shrugged that off as pointless. Mary promises that doing so will help me save money. So, I’m going to try that out in the new year.

Feeling discouraged that your hard-earned efforts at saving are going nowhere? Yeah, me, too. Mary suggests having a goal for your grocery savings. {Smacks forehead} Why have I never done that? Wouldn’t money for Disneyland be a great impetus for me to exercise just a tad more self-control at the grocery store? Or how about extra funds toward our replacement vehicle that is due in the next year? Mary points us toward the big picture, so that buying loss leaders [9] makes dollars and sense.

Those of you new to the grocery-saving game may worry that you’re going to have to clip 5001 coupons to see this kind of savings. Not so. Mary doesn’t often do the coupon thing. {Jaw drops.} You know how I love my coupons [10], but I love saving without the extra work even more.

Now, when you pick up this book [4], you may be overcome by all the new habits you’re goig to want to instill. Calm down and just pick one or two. There is always room for improvement. Baby steps will help you toward your goal. This book is “a keeper” because it presents the basics to saving on groceries in a very common sense, do-able way. I can’t vouch for the recipes because I haven’t tried them. But, the book is so packed with helpful information that the content can stand alone.

This week Mary is offering a free copy to one LifeasMOM [11] reader. Yeah! Giveaway will be open until Sunday night, December 20 at 8 pm, PST. Winner to be chosen at random. Please make sure you leave an email contact so that I can find you when you win.

There are three ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post, sharing your biggest grocery store challenge.
2. Tweet (@fishmama) or blog about this giveaway and leave a second comment telling me you did so and leaving the link where appropriate.
3. Subscribe to LifeasMOM in a reader [12] or via email [13] or follow me on twitter [14] and leave another comment telling me you did so.

I hope you win!
Disclosure: I was given a review copy of this book.

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[5] Abby: http://www.blogger.com/profile/11204479941168977583

[6] reduce our grocery spending: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/06/good-cheap-eats-this-week.html

[7] baguettes: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/04/homemade-baguettes-one-of-finer-things.html

[8] author and blogger Mary Ostyn: http://www.owlhaven.net/

[9] buying loss leaders: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/12/grocery-geek-presents-whats-loss-leader.html

[10] love my coupons: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/05/adventures-in-couponing-8-great-ways-to.html

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