Book Review: Feed a Family of 6 for under $20, by Jas McPhee

This book is available now in books.

The success of a cookbook for me lies in a combination cv_feed_a_family_of_6_for_under_$20of a simple lay-out, easy-to-follow recipes and an excellent index. This book has all of these factors and more.

The first section gives you tips on how to make the most of your money at the supermarket and marketplaces, which are very well considered and obviously learned from long experience. I never would have thought of buying milk and freezing it, though I now remember student friends doing this in Dunedin – as I am lactose-intolerant, I didn’t need to!  Don’t put too much faith in the prices that Jas offers up though, just be aware there are fluctuations in food prices depending on where you live in the country or within a city.

raspberry_sliceWe tried a few recipes, mainly the baking ones. I made a perfect raspberry slice, and very imperfect apricot & date snack bars that I was initially enthusiastic about the idea of as an alternative to expensive muesli bars. Upon making these, I realised that this is really a treat slice – very sweet, and delicious, but certainly not in the least something that I’d suggest as part of your regular diet for your toddlers!

My husband made us hotcakes for pancake day on Tuesday, and they were delicious. He doesn’t often follow recipes, and found this was very easy to follow.

I think I would have found this book overall more useful if my boys were a bit older, and I will certainly be pulling it out when they are in their peak energy-burning age, as these recipes are for food that isn’t necessarily low in fat. We tried one of the chicken nibble recipes – Chinese Chicken, and I found them delicious, but the 3-year-old took exception to the skin (this is not uncommon in our household – skin, peel, rind, you name it).

Overall, this recipe book is a great investment for large families living on a budget. There are plenty of recipes that are great replacements for fast food meals like KFC (try JFC!) and Chinese takeaways (Sweet and Sour fish on rice), and I feel like its strongest audience is probably a family with fussy teenagers.

Fantastic work from a first-time recipe book writer.

Reviewed by Sarah Forster

Feed a Family of Six for Under $20
by Jas McPhee
Published by Penguin NZ
ISBN 9780143570769

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Feed a Family of 6 for under $20, by Jas McPhee

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