Customer Reviews for

Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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(10)

4 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Love this cookbook!

This cookbook is fantastic! I'll tell you what I love: the recipes are easy, and really don't use too many unusual ingredients; they include nutrition information, and Ms. Ely really tries to make every meal well-balanced and healthy- even the side dish suggestions; the...
This cookbook is fantastic! I'll tell you what I love: the recipes are easy, and really don't use too many unusual ingredients; they include nutrition information, and Ms. Ely really tries to make every meal well-balanced and healthy- even the side dish suggestions; the recipes are pretty flexible, too- don't like something? Leave it out! Have lots of pork on hand? Use it in place of chicken- you get the idea; all of the ingredients are listed at the beginning of each week's meals, so you could just copy the shopping list and head to the store. I'm not really into trying a new recipe every single day, so I pick and choose recipes that sound interesting and incorporate them into my weekly meal plan. This has saved me a ton of time, stress, and MONEY, because instead of whining, "What's for dinner?" every night, I have my meals planned, groceries in the pantry and fridge, and can make a healthy, easy meal every night instead of relying on frozen pizza or take-out.

posted by Beckmark on April 1, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Food with NO taste!

Everything sounds good, until you start putting it together and find there's sour cream in the baked ziti! The ingredients list looks good, it's the cooking methods that turn this into inedible mush. Save yourself the money and go buy Faster I'm starving instead!

posted by Running_Wolf on September 5, 2009

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    Has made a HUGE difference!

    I bought this at the end of last year after my partner and I moved in together and quickly realized neither of us knew anything about meal planning. We found ourselves ordering dinner most every night, and putting on weight rapidly. (Don't ask me what we did before we moved in together that this wasn't a concern...)

    I belong to Flylady, and saw the testimonials about SD and menu planning and decided to give it a go. We started the first week of January and haven't looked back since.

    The things I love:
    1) the layout-the book is broken down into seasons so you can cook according to what is more readily available. This also takes into account cravings, so heavier meals are featured in fall and winter, while spring and summer offer lighter fare
    2) the education-I grew up in a home where dinner was usually ordered, so I do not have alot of these skills. While I have a good sense of what is healthy and what is not, I really benefit from the information about proper measuring, preparing and so forth.
    3) the lists-it is so nice to have a grocery list at the beginning of each week, and makes grocery shopping (a task I used to find overwhelming) very manageable
    4) the variety-every week provides at least one each of a red meat dish, a meatless dish, a poultry dish, a fish dish, and a slow-cooker dish. We don't really care for red meat that much, but I'm learning TONS about preparing fish (which I never prepared before) and the slow-cooker is an absolute blessing!

    The things I'm not as keen on:
    1) big bucks-my grocery bill has gone up a great deal. This stuff can be quite expensive! That being said, I know we are spending far less on takeout and we are using everything we purchase (no more spoiled food in the bin).
    2) the flavors-I've had to spruce up a number of the recipes according to our tastes. We actually have fairly plain tastes (especially living in Queens, NY, where we can get any and every cuisine imaginable!!), but I've noticed the need to dress up here and there with herbs and spices. Regardless, I find this is the case with many cookbooks-people often make changes so the recipes suit their family's tastes.

    Overall, I would say this is an excellent value, especially for folks like myself who really never learned how to eat properly in the first place. It is manageable and never overwhelming, and Leanne is a great cheerleader!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Food with NO taste!

    Everything sounds good, until you start putting it together and find there's sour cream in the baked ziti! The ingredients list looks good, it's the cooking methods that turn this into inedible mush.

    Save yourself the money and go buy Faster I'm starving instead!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2009

    Love this cookbook!

    This cookbook is fantastic! I'll tell you what I love: the recipes are easy, and really don't use too many unusual ingredients; they include nutrition information, and Ms. Ely really tries to make every meal well-balanced and healthy- even the side dish suggestions; the recipes are pretty flexible, too- don't like something? Leave it out! Have lots of pork on hand? Use it in place of chicken- you get the idea; all of the ingredients are listed at the beginning of each week's meals, so you could just copy the shopping list and head to the store. I'm not really into trying a new recipe every single day, so I pick and choose recipes that sound interesting and incorporate them into my weekly meal plan. This has saved me a ton of time, stress, and MONEY, because instead of whining, "What's for dinner?" every night, I have my meals planned, groceries in the pantry and fridge, and can make a healthy, easy meal every night instead of relying on frozen pizza or take-out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    Answering the question 'What's for dinner?'

    This book is a fantastic help. I am a busy mother of two and have never been a 'cook'. With Ely's help, my husband raves about the meals I prepare. At first I was unsure about making entrees I had never heard of, but NONE has disappointed us yet. Ely uses strange combinations of herbs and spices that somehow work. Even my 2 year old eats the meals! I love the nutritional information provided for each entree and she plans a variety for each week (beef,chicken,fish, vegeterian, etc.). There's even a crock pot meal every week. She offers tips here and there in the book relating feedback from her weekly subscribers. In my opinion, Ely can not get enough props. The meals are easy to prepare, laid out well, and appeal to most people. While some ingredients are expensive (like salmon) they are balanced out with meals made with inexpensive items (like beans.) For someone like me who's time and money are on a strict budget, this book is a treasure trove. I never thought I would like cooking dinner, but I enjoy it now, and I LOVE what it does for my family. I recommend this book to everyone who wants great food: easy, fun, and quick! This book changed my life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Moms, get this book!

    I love this book! The food is wonderful and it is so easy to use!

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Must have cook book!

    I am the busy mother of five and this book is by far my favorite. My picker eaters, as well as my husband, love these healthy and delicious meals that are also low budget, and quick to fix. Some of the ingredients sound a little "strange", but once you taste it, you won't be disappointed. My book has pages coming out, because I use it so much. Some of my family's favorite meals are:

    Texas One Dish,
    Chicken Pepper Skillet,
    Cheeseburger Casserole,
    Hoppin' John Soup,
    Mexican Turkey Hash,
    Spinach Pasta Casserole,
    Crock-Pot Chicken Jambalaya,
    Chicken Parmesan and so much more!

    Leanne has already done up the grocery list and menu suggestions for you! I also recommend her "Saving Dinner for the Holidays" as well. Her Pumpkin Cheesecake and Turkey Sausage Stuffing is to die for!!!

    Happy cooking!!!

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Great book- good ideas and techniques and a great time saver

    For those who really haven't learned to cook or shop, its a great starter book. However, after awhile, the same old routine of beef, chicken, fish, soup, or mexican can get old.

    What I really liked was it taught you the basics of food prep, helped you plan and provided (this was the best) a grocery list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    Every day I would stress about what I could make for dinner. I hated hearing 'What's to eat?' Now, I know what we are having a week in advance AND I post it on the fridge. It's healthy and easy. She even tells you what sides go with it and they are on the shopping list with an asterisk. This book is truly a blessing to my family. I'm ordering the Holidays version today!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    This book is a huge blessing!

    I have been recommending this book to everyone I know. The recipes are easy, the ingredients are easy to find, I have saved so much time and money using this cookbook. My family (of picky eaters) loves these recipes and I have been so excited to see them eat! Each recipe also has the complete list of nutritional information so if you are Weight Watcher you can count points! So hope this helps and enjoy the cookbook!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    Not your mother's cookbook

    This will get the 'I'm tired of trying to figure out something for dinner' cook back to the kitchen. Having cooked for almost 40 years for my husband and kids, we were all tired of the 'same old same old'. With just the two of us now, DH (Dear Husband) was willing to give this a try. We follow the meal plans as written and are finding lots of new things to enjoy. I'm eating salmon and fish and he's eating pork and both of us are eating much more fresh produce. If you're looking for a standard cookbook, this is not it. If you're stuck in a rut and ready to try another way, give this a try!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2004

    The cookbook I've been looking for

    This is a great cookbook for people who want easy, tasty meals. The recipes are straightforward and not too difficult to make, and some of them challenge most people's palates. That's good! I feared that the Garlic Lime Chicken would be too spicy for my family's taste buds, but they adored it. I work full-time as a college professor, and I'll be using this book a lot during the upcoming school year. The nutritional information is excellent for those of us who are watching our intake. I'm a Weight Watcher, and I appreciate being able to calculate points easily. Some of the recipes are fairly high in points, but knowing this in advance means I can plan my eating for the day. I appreciate that some other reviewers here would have preferred 'normal' recipes--but isn't that how we all get stuck in a rut, by eating the same thing over and over? This is a great step forward.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2004

    Disappointed

    After months of reading all the excellent rave reviews that FlyLady sends out, I decided to try it out, despite the fact that my husband has repeatedly asked me to not buy any more cookbooks, and keeps trying to get rid of the ones I already own. Although I love the concept of cooking by the seasons and the variety presented each week, and having the menus and grocery lists made up before heading to the store, I found it hard (and/or expensive) to find many of the ingredients she recommends, and I had never heard of many of her recipes before. That is scary when you are short on time and the dish sounds like something risky. A whole week's worth of questionable dishes is not my taste. Also, she uses spicy and cajun-y dishes often (not our taste), and we have to get rid of sweet dishes as my husband doesn't like them. So then you end up re-doing the menus and shopping lists anyway. In addition, her side dishes, although healthy, are repetitive and unimaginative--and I would have to look up in another cookbook how to even make them. As for desserts, they are not in here either, supposedly because they are not healthy. But a fruit salad is healthy! All in all, I was disappointed after all the hype from FlyLady and the list (I guess nothing's for free--Ms. Ely got a lot of free advertisement). It would have been better in my opinion if it had included normal recipes I could actually use. I am trying to save time and money, not spend hours in the kitchen concocting weird-sounding dishes we may or may not like. A better idea would have been to give us normal-sounding, familiar recipes, with maybe an exotic dish thrown in once a week or so, and taught us *how* to plan menus and make grocery lists based on foods we already know how to make/know we like or don't like, and *how* to cook by the seasons. For example, I have no idea what is in season ever. My grocery store just provides almost everything all the time. That kind of information would have been more useful. I returned the book and bought something else.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2003

    I Love This Book!

    I'm so pleased with this book. I love that the weekly plans are divided by the seasons - we're in the fall section and the recipes are wonderful cold weather foods. The weekly menu's ensure that I'm not in a chicken-3-days-in-a-row rut! The grocery lists keep me away from the calorie laden processed food aisle and her wonderful side dish recommendations have encouraged me to try things (like kale!) that I never would have before.

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    Posted December 24, 2009

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    Posted April 25, 2013

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    Posted July 27, 2009

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    Posted August 25, 2010

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    Posted March 2, 2010

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