Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Book!

My book is now officially one year old! Technically, it was officially one year old back on December 6th, but I was too busy being sick and trying to prepare for the holidays to give it the fanfare it deserves :) And the "official launch" was in February so I'm splitting the difference in the middle and calling it good.

It's definitely been an interesting year full of ups and downs. Writing a book really is not for the faint of heart! Even though there have been a lot of challenges and frustrations along the way, it is seeing how the information in my book really has changed families' lives that makes it all worthwhile. When you're a writer, positive feedback can be the thing that keeps you keeping on when the going gets tough, and I have been honored to receive some fantastic comments from readers.

Here are some excerpts from my Amazon reviews:

"This book is a wonderful reference and starting point to feeding your family nourishing , tasty meals and trying to stick to a budget...My family found her lentil soup , zucchini muffins and pork and apple stew all very delicious . Of course we will still continue to eat some of our own family favorites , but our grocery bill will be a lot less , and we will probably eat better than ever. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to feed their family well, and still sticking to a budget."

"Using some of the multiple strategies mentioned, I saved $300 on groceries the first month for our family of five. And it's been fun! We've been enjoying the recipes as well, especially the fact that they use ingredients you're likely to have on hand and don't take hours to prepare: yummy family food that is easily adapted to our personal tastes. Chicken & Vegetable Coconut Curry, Chicken Paprika, and Cheesy Mac & Beef Skillet are already in our dinner rotation and we're looking forward to adding more as we work our way through the rest of the recipes."

"WOW!!! I was happily surprised when my copy of Cheap Appétit arrived. This is so much more than your average cookbook -- it's an organizational tool to aid in kitchen and pantry set-up, trips to the grocery store, and food budgets. The author details ways save at the grocery store, shop to replenish the pantry (not just buying food for the coming week), store food for longevity, and she gives alternatives to the grocery store, like growing your own food or having a co-op food swap. It's an entire change in the way we eat and shop for food, and one that many need to make given the current economic climate. And who doesn't want to eat better for for less??...There is a lot to this book for such a low price; you won't be disappointed!"

"I cannot tell you how many times I see a cookbook and think it will be great, only to receive it and wish I hadn't wasted the money. This cookbook is truly like no other I have ever owned...I had allowed my busy life style to impact my children's meals. I can honestly say the things we have cooked (yes WE as in me and my kids) take the same amount of time, if not less than the prepared meals I have been buying...The best part for me is, my son is a picky eater and he loves the recipes in this book!...I really didn't know we could eat better on less money. I thought the healthier you ate the more expensive it is. I am grateful to Karen McLaughlin for this book! The information is priceless!"

"This book is an amazing resource for any family, but most especially those families who want to get more organized in the kitchen, reduce their grocery budget (possibly DRASTICALLY!) and eat whole yummy foods!...I will be purchasing more copies of this book as gifts for friends. I do know so many who are really feel the pinch of the tight economy at this time and this book is such a concise and comprehensive guide for helping people out with all things food budget,organization, shopping and prep. related."

"We already make all our dinners from scratch, but with a monthly grocery bill of $800 or more for our family of four, I thought I would give this book a try. I am very pleased with it so far!...She has great sections on not just HOW to make things like bread, granola, yogurt or cooked beans yourself, but also WHY you should bother. The author tells you how much money she saves per item so you can decide if it would be worth it for your family. I enjoyed her analysis of different ways to save money, and overall she does a great and balanced job of analyzing different methods to cut your grocery bill from bakery outlets to pick your own produce."

"I don't like to cook dinner every day for our family of five, let alone plan and shop. I run out of ideas, get bored, or get overwhelmed. I find Karen's book to be a practical and expansive collection of recipes with the bonus of cooking, shopping and kitchen hints. I honestly have no idea how she came up with so many helpful recipes and hints. She makes me feel like I can improve my competence in meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking skills."

(By the way, if you happen to be the author of one of these reviews, please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to write it! They mean so much to me and certainly help improve sales, too.)

One thing I know for sure: the information in my book WORKS. It has helped families in many different kinds of situations rapidly cut their grocery bill by 40-60% - *without* couponing. Even my publisher, a super busy mom of 5, told me she has cut her grocery bill in half using the strategies in my book. A wide variety of families with different needs and lifestyles have had the chance to try out my system and confirm that it works for their families, too. I am more convinced than ever that this is not some unrealistic pie-in-the-sky approach, but one that is accessible and doable for everyone who wants or needs to cut their food budget drastically.

There are still SO many families out there who really need this information. Although I certainly do the best I can to promote my book, it's really word of mouth that helps the most. So please, won't you help me celebrate my book's first birthday by telling someone about it? It really CAN change people's lives for the better.

For more information about Cheap Appétit and where to purchase it, go HERE.

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  1. I love your book! It has helped my family eat better and reduce our monthly food budget. My only question is with regard to your grocery costs included in the book. I am unable to find deals anywhere even close to some of these prices! I live in a small town so I have a limited number of options. But even when I tried to compare prices online I can't get close! Can you share more of your secrets of how you find these rock bottom prices? Or have prices gone up substantially on some items since 2010? Thanks so much!

    1. My impression is that prices can vary widely from one region to the next across North America based on prices I've seen other bloggers quote for various items. In general, food is significantly more expensive here in Canada than it is in the U.S., although I don't know how prices in a big city here would compare to a small town in the U.S.

      I pulled my book out and did a quick look over the prices. I'd say I can still get the same prices now for most of the items. The things that stand out that have gone up are: fluid milk (I was paying $2.99 and now usually $4.29), peanut butter (was $1.99 now roughly $2.99 rock bottom, although I've switched to buying locally produced organic pb in bulk), tuna was 59 cents rock bottom, now usually we pay 99 (sometimes 89), frozen orange juice concentrate was 89-99 cents for 355 mL, now the best price is $1.50 for 295 mL (they reduced the can size *and* increased the price!).

      Some things I am actually getting a better price on now. I was paying $1.99 for grocery store ground beef, I am now getting grass fed ground beef in bulk from a family farm for about $1.60 a pound! Some produce at peak season I've gotten better prices than listed in the book. I have actually found organic pumpkin and sunflower seeds through my food co-op for cheaper than the conventionally grown ones from the bulk food store.

      I think I'm going to do a blog post about this topic as this comment is getting long and there are a lot of factors that come into play :)

      I'm also planning to release an e-book around the anniversary of my book launch in February with updates on changes we've made in the past year as to where and how we are sourcing foods, price changes, etc. It will be available free for everyone who has purchased my book, so stay tuned for updates!

    2. Thanks so much for your response!

      We live on the Canada/US border so I'm able to shop in both countries. But we are a bit remote so the higher transportation costs may be why my costs are so much higher.

      I look forward to your e-book! I will definitely watch for updates. Thanks again.


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