I'm always checking the personal finance section at the public library. Even though most books say the same thing, I find that reading the books (same with blogs, actually) strengthens my frugal spine: I am not alone.
Recently, I perused Hot (broke) Messes: How to Have your Latte and Drink It Too by Nancy Trejos.
The book is written for the 20-30something age group. It is of the genre of much powerful personal finance writing: the conversion narrative, from sin to salvation, with some backsliding. Oh wait: that's St Augustine's Confessions. The personal finance version is debt to prudence, with some backsliding, and loads of temptation along the way.
I'm definitely too old for this stuff, and I long ago made my peace with my frugality, but, as with every book, there's something good for every reader.
In the section on entertaining, the author quotes a friend who is a "frugalicious foodie." First under the principles of frugal entertaining is Burn Your Cookbooks. This is a ridiculous way to introduce a good point:
Don't look at a recipe and create a shopping list of items you won't use again.There is probably a lot you can do with what you already have...
Good point! Years ago, I almost had a heart attack when a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote about how he made the spice blend garam masala for an Indian dish and spent $20.00 on the spices. The recipe called for under a teaspoon. Really, I almost had heart palpitations, especially because I knew what garam masala is composed of. Poor Jeff (that is his name): he probably had most of the spices in his kitchen, PLUS, you can buy a blend.
So, use what you have. You can search for recipes online by listing your ingredients. Good things come up.
What have you made from your fridge or pantry stash lately?