Cooking on a budget

by on August 28th, 2017
Cooking on a budget Cover Image

CareerBuilder recently came out with a report finding that 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck and 32% of workers stick to a clearly defined budget. When money is tight, budgets are hard. They take tenacity and willpower.

What makes budget living easier is knowing which spending categories are negotiable. Like more than 50% of those surveyed, I can’t give up my expensive home internet and mobile phone bills either. Our grocery bill, however, has a lot of fat we could trim.

Enter the Dewey Decimal number 641.552–“money-saving cooking.” I discovered this section a few months ago when looking for ways to reduce our grocery budget. It’s been helpful for not only nightly meals but sack lunches at work as well. I’m happy eating leftovers for lunch.

You can find money-saving recipes throughout the cookbook collection. Take the Single Guy Cookbook, for instance, or my current favorite, Vegan on the Cheap. If I drill down into our grocery bill minutia, fake meat purchases add up fast, and this book offers inexpensive but hearty replacements. (I have a slow cooker Corned Seitan and Cabbage dish simmering as I type.)

But what about that *other* recent news that says free time makes people happier than money? I can tell you that the times I put in the prep work and have dinner ready by the time we get home from work and daycare, my sanity has been saved. No menu decisions have to be made, no knives have to be wielded when the hungry child clings to my leg. I absolutely love having delicious and nutritious meals waiting for me at home. (Big-batch cooking on Sundays works too.)

And for those who want to save even more time, search for the “time-saving cooking” Dewey number–641.555. It is just down the way from the money-saving cookbooks. Heck, you can even save time by saving a trip to the library and find a cookbook on OverDrive.

Cookbook Sections

CatalogPro lets you find books by their Dewey number. Here’s a rundown of the cookbook sections mentioned in this post.

641.552 Money-saving cooking

641.555 Time-saving cooking

641.561 Cooking for one or two people

641.5884 Slow cookers

Cooking & Food on OverDrive

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About Melody Dworak

Melody Dworak
Melody buys books for the second half of the nonfiction Dewey numbers on the 2nd floor. She has recently been bitten by the fiction bug, but loves those historical reference questions regardless. Visit the digital collections she manages at and