Vintage Cookbooks Have Simpler Recipes with Fewer (Less Exotic!) Ingredients
- Vintage “community” or “specialty” cookbooks. You may even have some of these in your own kitchen! I collect cookbooks and have since I first got married 126 years ago. I look good for my age. I’ve always enjoyed using these types of cookbooks (a few are pictured above), but never more so than lately. With certain foods in short supply and others available for a small ransom (really, butter?!), I’ve especially appreciated their simplicity. Older cookbooks (especially the ones with reader-submitted recipes) simply call for fewer ingredients (and don’t require anything other than an oven/stove and basic pans… I appreciate that too) and the ingredients they do use are basic. Sure it’s fun to cook exotic, out of the ordinary foods sometimes but most of us are just trying to feed our families healthy, great-tasting food these days that don’t completely break the bank. I love that these books and vintage, tired and true recipes call for simple ingredients… most of which are absolutely not likely to become in short supply. Check your own stash of cookbooks, you probably have some like these in your own kitchen – if not, ask family members to borrow theirs or hop on Amazon or eBay to buy your own. I’ll link to a few below that I’ve found on Amazon.
- Meal Prep. Okay this may sound lick a cock-a-doodle suggestion, but please hear me out. When we meal prep (especially for a few days in advance), we have committed to a particular meal and, I don’t know about you, but after I’ve spent time and effort into chopping, peeling, grating, sorting, and organizing for a meal, there’s no way I’m going to impulsively switch lanes. When you meal prep for 3-4 days in advance, you know what you’ll be eating for those meals, which removes any extra trips to the store for last minute episodes of, “meatloaf and mashed potatoes sure sound good tonight…” These last-minute trips to the store have always been my complete undoing! Not only is extra money spent on the meal that suddenly sounds like something I can’t live without, but I also (inevitably!) spend more money on things I in NO WAY need.
- Check Circulars for Sales. Always check the new circulars to see what’s on sale (these sales often determine my meals for the coming week!) – plus, branch out and check the circulars from stores you don’t regularly visit… they may have something on sale your favorite store doesn’t.
- Browse the Aisles! If, like me, you have fallen in love with the grocery pick up service at your favorite grocery store (it’s called Clicklist at Kroger and I am HOOKED), don’t forget to venture inside the store to browse for special deals and clearance sales. I’m always amazed at the bargains I find when I go in Kroger once or twice a week. During the pandemic, I started using Clicklist and I simply love the convenience of it so much that I can’t give it up – however, checking the store, itself, often proves advantageous because I almost always find good deals.
- Stock Up, Within Reason, On Items You Use the Most Often. Some foods are currently in short supply and others are, according to experts, heading in that direction. If there are foods/drinks you use frequently, consider putting back a reasonable supply to see you through future shortages (or price increases).
- If Possible, Learn to Make Convenience Foods Yourself! I think it’s a great idea to always have options when it comes to favorite foods and drinks, and in the coming months it may prove a very, very useful tool to have in your tool box. If you are able to make (from simple ingredients) your own ketchup and other condiments, you’ll be sitting pretty if they have supply issues. Mustard is supposedly on the watch list for supply issues and price increases. Again, have options and have a respectable supply of foods you frequently use.
Vintage Cookbooks Available on Amazon (the links below are all Amazon links):
(Some of these books are available super cheap, others you’ll want to find used on Amazon or even eBay.)
When searching vintage cookbooks on Amazon, see if you can find specialty cookbooks (dealing with a particular ingredient) or “community” cookbooks (filled with reader-submitted recipes).