While employed, McCoy used to spend $160 to $200 a week on food for two people. She shopped at Whole Foods, bought fancy cheese, and didn’t wait for sales. McCoy’s mother had taught her how to stretch her dollars when she was a little girl and there were many mouths to feed, but she hadn’t implemented the lessons. This all changed when the economy tanked. She writes:
Thus, it was a short jump from luxury-food girl to this new food-shopping paradigm. I already had the tools for cooking good food on a budget, I simply hadn’t employed them—nor had it been required of me—until my television work evaporated.
The 222-page cookbook is easy to read and understand. If you enjoy Italian food as much as I do, this book is for you. The cookbook includes McCoy’s spin on many traditional recipes, which she also writes about on her blog by the same name. She introduces each recipe with money-saving tips and a back-story to how it came about.
One of my favorite recipes is for Ribollita, a soup that utilizes leftovers. It has all my favorites: tomato, bread and cheese. Peasant food never tasted so good!
McCoy also included techniques necessary to perfect your cooking. Don’t know how to roast garlic? She shows you how. At the end of the book, McCoy shares her menu suggestion on how to pair the recipes while staying on a $15 per meal budget.
To win a copy of “Poor Girl Gourmet,” leave a comment sharing how your mother has influenced your cooking and money-saving skills. You can also win one of 20 copies we are giving away as door prizes at Frugal Festival Food! on June 25 in LA. Come early and have your pick of all the door prizes! Winners will be revealed June 15.