Sunday, 11 March 2012

Weekend Cooking - Joyful Momma's Guide to Shopping & Cooking Frugally by Kimberley Eddy


I spotted this a week or two ago, available as a free download for Amazon Kindle. I notice today though it has gone back up to £1.30 here in the UK. What drew me to the book was the cover. I know, you should not judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, you just have to! So downloaded the book was and I read using my iPad.

The author is an American, so this is written with an American readership in mind, although that did not matter. The book has some references to the author's Christianity, it was not overly referenced or intrusive. It is written in a very genuine manner and automatically readers share a warmth with the author.

What I found interesting was the apparent differences between grocery shopping in the United States and the UK. The every day things that we take for granted or acceptance within our own lives and way of life. The use of vouchers and really being organised enough to use them before the expiry, something that I rarely do! The author shares her experiences of food parcels - she had in the past both contributed to them for others and received one and her reflections and observations about the types of foods that go into them.

The food parcel references reminded me of when I was at school. Around October time we would have a Harvest Festive. Historically it was about giving thanks for the Harvest that would take families and communities through Winter into Spring. We were encouraged to submit the name & address of someone who was elderly or perhaps would benefit from such a parcel. We would then be tasked to collect a small box - usually a little larger than a shoe box and fill it with groceries. The goodies box then went into school for the assembly and afterwards we were dispatched into the community to deliver the said parcel to the named individual. Some happy memories there.

The author talks about buying fresh meat on sale, making the point of exactly how fresh is it? Taking advantage of those special offers. There were two thoughts that I had whilst reading.

The way we shop today is hugely different to the way our Grandparents shopped and further thinking was even shopping from when I was a kid in the 1970s is different to now. Here in the UK when I was growing up shops were closed on Sundays. The only times they opened on a Sunday was at Christmas. Shops closed at 5.30pm or 6pm and late night food shopping  - well until 8pm happened on a Thursday and Friday. Now grocery shops can be open 24 hours apart from the Sunday trading regulations which prevents this on a Sunday. In Scotland the trading regulations are different on a Sunday.

The domestic equipment we have now impacts on the way we shop. Homes have fridges and freezers,and there availability impacts on how, when and how often we shop. My regular supermarket has offers on fairly regularly. Some meats have little tickets on "2 for £10" these are foods that I regularly buy - mince, chickens and chicken portions, chops, gammon steaks. I tend to select those with the longest shelf dates and put in the fridge, then as the date approaches if I have not used it put it in the freezer. I tend to repackage chicken portions into bags of 2. Not only does that save space but also means I can defrost the two I need rather than the whole pack! Simple things that perhaps are frugal, but also have an historical concept to them.

At the rear of the book are some useful websites, including a link to the author's and some recipes.

I enjoyed this book, not because it has a nice cover! or the content, which despite being in the UK contained useful information, but also because it made me think, reflect of earlier times in my life and consider the changes to past generations.

Taking part in Weekend Cooking, hosted by BethFishReads

12 comments:

  1. I love the cover too. So 1950s! I'm not very organized when it comes to coupons; I usually forget to use them before they expire or I forget to take them to the store with me.

    I remember when stores weren't open on Sundays or late at night, except Thursdays. Wednesdays was "early closing" for many family-owned stores, which meant they closed early afternoon.

    Sounds like a fun read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Surrey where I grew up Wednesday was early closing. I had forgotten that until you mentioned it. Where I live now Thursday was early closing day, but no one now seems to have a close early day - sign of the times!

      Delete
  2. You always come up with the most interesting stuff! I would have been drawn to this cover too :) In the past, I have been "good at" coupons, but when you are busier with other things, that often falls by the wayside...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Libby! It is a great cover isn't it?

      Delete
  3. It is a cute cover..I am not a coupon person,but many here take it very seriously.you can save money, but it is beyond my organizational skills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am no good with coupons either!

      Delete
  4. Sunday has become just another shopping day over here. And shopping itself is a leisure activity. Quite amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Somehow over the last 30 years we have become a society more focused on spending money and shopping rather than any religious activity. I am not a particular church goer,but there has been a shift in what we do in our leisure time. I guess there is some contribution to a welfare state, people working longer and living longer and generally being healthy. Whilst there is some blame laid at the door of the internet and computer games, I not believe that is the root cause. What a debate!

      Delete
  5. Coupons aren't that big here either. I know that I would end up collecting them and not using them if they were big though!

    Thoughtful and interesting post today Julie!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks like a book I would enjoy I will look for it! How about some Irish Boxty for St. Pat's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting book! I adore the retro art, too!

    I don't use many coupons at all, mostly because I don't GET coupons since I don't get the newspaper! ha! [I read my news online]. And also I rarely ever see coupons for the items I buy anyway, so I just don't bother.

    I remember those days when markets were only open 8am-7pm... maybe till 9 pm on Friday and Saturday nights.. closed on Sundays. I even remember the days when you could only buy groceries with CASH! *gasp!* Scrounging around for coins to buy milk on a Saturday after noon if you had no cash because there were no ATMs and banks were only open 10am-3pm weekdays and 9am-noon on weekends. CRazy! lol!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've downloaded the book but yet to look at it. I enjoyed your comments. Shopping is indeed different. We didn't have supermarkets when I was a child and as my parents didn't own a car, I think they had the goods delivered. I remember the baker, iceman, and fisho all coming round with deliveries and the milkman still does. Yes, shopping hours have certainly changed. When I travel interstate I notice differences -our shop hours are longer here, food keeps less well as its travelled 3000kms to get here and its so hot, most fruit and veg doesn't like being outside the fridge etc. And yes, I remember Christine's pre-ATM era all too well.

    ReplyDelete

Hello! Thanks for stopping by and choosing to leave a message. I read every message and I usually reply via the comment thread. Posts are currently moderated due to the sudden influx of spam postings!

Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...