Today’s tip may not be earth shattering for you… Most likely, you are way smarter than I was and have figured this out a long time ago. I, however, stumbled across the truth that the public library is my kitchen’s cheapest resource a mere year ago, after spending way too much time spending too much money on cookbooks that I didn’t enjoy as much as the price tag told me I should.
I finally figured out how to find endless amounts of inspiration (I mean, aside from Pinterest) for free! The number of cookbooks I’ve checked out of the library over the past year is immense… I’m sure I have a reputation among the librarians as the chick who checks out every cookbook in the county at least twice. But it’s SO much fun!
My system is that I research cookbooks online, usually at amazon, to see what strikes my interest, it may be a type of cuisine or a particular author. Then I go and see if I can find it in my county’s public library system to request it be put on hold and sent to my local branch. If they don’t have it and I’m dying to read it I can either succumb to the 1-Click lure on Amazon, or I can even suggest the book to the library system to have their buyers put it on their list to acquire (it’s so much more fun to help other people buy stuff when you get to use it too!). The final step of my system is that if in the course of the two renewal periods they’ll allow me before they demand the book back or someone else puts it on hold, I make multiple dishes from the book and love them all, then I put the book on my Amazon wish list, to wait for a special occasion or a rainy day to actually add the book to my collection.
More often than not, I find that the cookbook either doesn’t suit my tastes or has crazy ingredients I would have to work way to hard to track down, or the recipes are simply not well written and nothing turned out the way I’d hoped. Talk about a great test drive! Not only is there a bottomless pit of inspiration, but you can save tons of money by trying before buying.
So, if you’d never even thought of getting a library card, I highly suggest you go get one ASAP, because it is worth it’s weight in gold… In cookbooks alone!