Make the Bread, Buy the Butter {Review and Giveaway}

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn’t!) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money was offered to me for review as it has just recently been released in paperback. I couldn’t say “YES!” to accepting this book fast enough. I’d seen it on bookstore bookshelves but didn’t quite know what to make of it. Then several friends recommended it to me and I was growing curiouser and curiouser. When it arrived in my mailbox, I devoured it. (Pardon the bad pun!)

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is more than just a practical how-to guide when it comes to deciding what you should create in your own kitchen verses what you should buy. Jennifer Reese is a hilarious author and I chuckled my way through the read as she described her enthusiasm over becoming a beekeeper or obsession with her chickens. She pokes fun at herself – as well as other consumers – as she talks about making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I loved her wit which is sprinkled merrily about the book.

What Reese decided to do was to compare costs between homemade and store bought items. She kept track of her experiment and this book gives the readers a rough idea of whether it is in their best interest to learn how to make any variety of things – from bagels and hot dogs! For each item she documents the hassle involved in making any given item, to the cost difference between homemade and store bought. She also provides the recipes that she found most successful in her endeavors. And in between recipes we are treated to her commentary on country life in the suburbs or a tale of how her chickens were attacked by neighborhood dogs. All in all, I was fascinated and entertained by this “documentary”, if you will, of Reese’s experiments in the kitchen.

As Christmas is coming up, I want to make mention of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter being a great gift for the foodie on your list. I have someone in particular that I intend to gift with a copy of this book. It’s more than your average cookbook but a look back in time to see what life was like for people who had to make anything they desired to eat. Fun book, fun thoughts and I’m highly recommending this one.

Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter after you leave a comment. You can also earn extra entries each day. We’ll announce the winner in the book review column on 11/26.

The winner of The Shortest Way Home is Sandra Knobloch. The giveaway for the novel Sad Dask Salad is still open another week, so enter now.

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Thanks to Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) for sending a copy of this book my direction in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Carrie occasionally blogs about food and gardening adventures along with the books she reads to learn about both over at Reading to Know.


  1. Jenny says

    My kids love making butter…get a small jar and pour in some cream. They have a blast shaking it up and watching for that moment when it turns to butter!

  2. says

    For a while I made barbecue sauce from scratch after having run out and needing to make some in a pinch one day, but I have reverted back to the bottled kind. I do make homemade spaghetti sauce and dislike the kind in jars. I love cookies made from scratch but like a few store bought ones, too.

    This sounds like a great resource.

  3. glykia says

    Among other things, I make my own jelly, floor cleaner and laundry detergent. Would love to know what else is worth making myself because it’s cheaper, better, or just more satisfying.

  4. Katy S. says

    I’ve just begun making many more things from scratch including salad dressing and pie crust. I’m going to try some more.

  5. Milly B says

    I’m starting to make a lot more things from home. I make things like bread, yogurt, eggnog, hot chocolate, brown sugar…. I would LOVE this book!

  6. says

    I put “bread” in the widget, but we’ve been having fun doing a lot more cooking from scratch, and we still buy this stuff pre-made, but we are trying to often make bread, spaghetti sauce, pizza crust and sauce, etc all from scratch. It’s amazing how yummy it is, and it ends up being less sugar and salt and more whole grains that we were eating before!

  7. Becky S. says

    Cookies – they’re really not that hard to make, and the homemade are 1000 times better!

    beckytag618 at gmail dot com

  8. Lanicsha Wynn says

    I finally perfected making gravy from scratch, and my all time favorite is my lemon pound cake made from scratch, my husband LOVES it

  9. Laura Proctor Unger says

    I make pancakes from scratch. I always used to buy a box mix, but making them from scratch is just as easy and they taste so much better!

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