Cookbook Reviews...Better Homes and Garden’s Good Food on a Budget

Better Homes and Garden’s Good Food on a Budget was published in 1971, and I think that my copy is that old.  In 1971, the inflation rate in the US was 4.3%, the Dow closed the year at 890, the average cost of a new house was $25,250 and the average yearly income was $10,600.  The average monthly rent was $150 and gas cost 40¢ a gallon.  Those prices sound low today, but so was income, and over 4% overall inflation was a problem.  As a new housewife, I certainly worried about how to make ends meet, and I found a lot in this cook book to help me.  The last chapter in the book, More for Your Money, covered planning, a shopper’s checklist, food storage guide, common can size chart, how to buy, store and prepare meat, economical meat cuts and how to get 3 meals from a chicken, ham or arm pot roast.  The back cover has a unit price chart, and the front cover has a chart on “how much to buy” for 1, 2, 3 and 4 servings of dairy products, cereals, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
Myrna and I didn’t have any trouble finding recipes to make from this book, even though it is thin, with less than 100 pages.  I saw a copy of this at a church thrift shop today, where they were selling old cook books for 4 for $1.  A good buy for a book where all the recipes “work”, with nice, full color photos, minimal “convenience foods”, recipes for basics like pie crust and bread,  and lots of other useful information.

Some recipes from this book:

Orange Meringue Pie

Three Flour Bread

Mock Lasagna Casserole

Frank and Potato Bake

Cornmeal Batter Rolls


  1. This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I have made a good number of recipes from it and still turn to it as one of the best, basic, all around cookbooks in my kitchen library. Other than my 1965 edition of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, this was the book I made sure to carry with me when I moved houses so I would have a basic book for meals without having to unpack everything to before I was ready. My favorite recipes from Good Food on a Budget are Chicken Spoonbread and Peanut Butter Cupcakes, though there are many I use quite often.

    1. I am also a fan of Better Homes & Gardens older cookbooks. Every cook new or old should have a good basic tested recipes cookbook to start with and use.

    2. I may have to try those recipes...we're on the same page on this's one of my favorites.


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